In this episode of Head 2 Head, Carlos Lago, Associate Road Test Editor for Motor Trend, compares two powerful hot-hatches, the Ford Focus ST and the MazdaSpeed3. Which is better? From the start of the video, it’s clear which car Lago has chosen, even before any of the tests have been done.
Lago immediately states that the interior design winner is the Ford Focus ST, as there’s not much going on in the Mazda, and he feels that the navigation system on the Mazda has been worked to death. Inside the Ford its more coherent, and the theme is clear throughout the entirety of the interior.
Next on Lago’s list of comparisons is the transmission. With the Mazda, it’s more sensitive than the Ford. The sound coming from the Mazda is what one would expect from a traditional turbocharged engine, however, Lago prefers the induction noise of the Ford, as it has been amplified. To him, the Mazda just feels savage, bonkers, crazy, and immature when compared to the Ford.
It’s then time for the “Better Daily Driver” test, more specifically, the torque steer test. With the Mazda, it turns almost as soon as Lago hits the gas, and even before he enters the Ford, Lago calls the Ford as the victor. When in the Ford, though, he is able to get just into second gear before the car starts to swerve, solidifying its victory over the Mazda.
Randy Pobst, professional racer steps behind the wheel of both cars at the Streets of Willow Speedway. The MazdaSpeed3′s fastest lap was 1.29.51, and the Ford Focus ST came in with a faster time of 1.28.4, making it the clear winner.
Pobst at first liked the Mazda over the Ford, and the Mazda, to him was a better made car, more solid with better shocks, but the handling wasn’t up to par with the Ford, and the Focus ST was just smoother to drive overall. The Ford set the bar for front-wheel drive vehicles, making it the winner of the episode.
Source: Motor Trend via YouTube