I was looking for a hot hatchback and the choice was the Mazdaspeed 3 or Focus ST.
I was fortunate that the local dealer carried both brands so was able to test them literally side by side.
They are both outstanding in their genre.
The choice came down to a small price advantage for the MS3, a bit more power and my wife liked the looks better.
Gas mileage had been a concern when looking, but at least here in Florida, it is much better than rated.
I average 24 around town and around 30 highway.
All around a really fun ride with a bit of a firm ride.
Performance is the most outstanding feature, both in straight line acceleration and handling.
The Focus may have had a slight advantage in handling, but in Florida, it isn't noticeable on our usually straight roads.
Seat comfort is also very good, I am average size and weight, though much larger people might find them tight.
MPG is better than it was rated.
A very practical car with the large hatch and folding rear seats.
Nothing major, a bit more compliant ride would add to comfort, the Focus ST manages to do it.
Interior is a bit plain, almost German in appearance with mostly hard surfaces, still it is clean and functional.
I'm considering some dashboard inserts readily available online.
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