When you need more space than a two-door Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ can provide but still want some automotive fun, enthusiasts can pick from cars like the Mazdaspeed3, Ford Focus ST, and Subaru Impreza WRX Special Edition. Each offer four doors, plenty of power, and driving entertainment under $30,000. We’ve just shared what we think of these cars in a comparison test, and now it’s your turn. If you were in the market for the 2013 Mazdaspeed3, 2013 Ford Focus ST, and 2013 Subaru Impreza WRX Special Edition sedan, which would you choose?
Go for the Subaru and you’re getting one of the last WRXs from the outgoing generation. This means a dated interior, yet thanks to the orange-and-black special edition, more “look at me!” curb appeal than the other two cars. Oh, and in case you didn’t catch the Motor Trend testing numbers, the WRX accelerated from 0-60 mph in just 4.7 seconds — more than a second quicker than the Focus ST and Mazdaspeed3.
Then again, 0-60 mph times aren’t everything, and it was in the Ford Focus ST that Randy Pobst said: “…corner entry is just how I want a front-wheel drive race car to handle. For me as a racer, I absolutely love it.”
As for the Mazdaspeed3, the car now offers an in-dash navigation system on a 5.8-inch screen, as well as HID headlights that turn around corners. We felt the Mazda’s seats were on par with the Ford’s Recaros, but the four-door hatch was loud and rough-riding.
So if you were in the market for a hot hatch (or sedan), which of our comparison test contenders would you choose? Take a look at our comparison test and then vote in the poll below.
By Zach Gale