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Mazda Mazda3 vs. Ford Focus Reliability by Model Generation

Results are for year ending December 31, 2016. Only successfully completed repairs are currently included in the analysis. Routine maintenance, most wear items, recalls, and problems fixed with just a reflash or warning light reset are not included.
Year and Model Percent of Average  
2014 - 2016 Mazda Mazda3 Reliability by Generation2014 - 2016 Mazda Mazda3
28.2857142857% Best 87% Worst
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2012 - 2016 Ford Focus Reliability by Generation2012 - 2016 Ford Focus
59.1428571429% Best 141% Worst
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2010 - 2013 Mazda Mazda3 Reliability by Generation2010 - 2013 Mazda Mazda3
6% Best 48% Worst
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2008 - 2011 Ford Focus Reliability by Generation2008 - 2011 Ford Focus
25.4285714286% Best 82% Worst
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2004 - 2009 Mazda Mazda3 Reliability by Generation2004 - 2009 Mazda Mazda3
27.7142857143% Best 86% Worst
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2005 - 2007 Ford Focus Reliability by Generation2005 - 2007 Ford Focus
51.7142857143% Best 128% Worst
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2000 - 2004 Ford Focus Reliability by Generation2000 - 2004 Ford Focus
54% Best 132% Worst
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What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Mazda Mazda3

Mazda Mazda3 Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Sedan 155-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
It was neck and neck between the Mazda3 and the MINI COOPER. I had my heart set on the MINI, but reliability was the deciding factor. I spent countless hours researching vehicles over the last several months and was very dismayed at all the mechanical issues that plague the MINI. On the other hand the Mazda3 seems to be very much trouble free. I really wanted a MINI, but I knew its 'cool' fun to drive personality wouldn't be enough to overcome the reliability headaches I could expect. full 2012 Mazda Mazda3 review
2012 4dr Hatch 155-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I do have to hand it to this car; it's been DEAD RELIABLE. Nothing has been broken enough to warrant a trip to the shop. THe only issue I had was with the heater fan making noise, and then the heater stopped working at the end of last winter, but it is woring normally now, without a repair. full 2012 Mazda Mazda3 review
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Consumer Reports top rated is always a good choice. full 2011 Mazda Mazda3 review
2011 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Reputation for reliability. full 2011 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Always rated well full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Mazda has been a reliable purveyor of fun cars, and its Mazda 3 is no disappointment. The new-for-2010 version features overhauled sheetmetal and extra cabin refinement, and a 3 s Sport model. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I;ve had them in past and have had no warranty issues and other than regular maintenance had not had to take them in to get serviced. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I have been impressed with previous Mazdas I have owned. The 3 was well rated with CR and other automotive sites. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Have owned other Mazdas and liked them. full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
reliabiilty is excellent so far. both rear shocks leaked after about 65,000 miles. one oxygen sensor replacemnent. that is it so far. made in hiroshima says it all i guess full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
Mazda Mazda3 Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr Sedan 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
According to various sources it is not as good as Honda/Toyota. I had 0 problems with the 3. In equal time and distance the Corrola had given me some light headache though. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2010 4dr Hatch 167-horsepower 2.5L I4
6-speed manual FWD
The drivetrain reliability on this car is awful. Clutch started failing at 40K, axles have gone bad, wheel bearings have gone bad, suspension has been replaced.. full 2010 Mazda Mazda3 review
2009 4dr Hatch 156-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed shiftable automatic FWD
I got this from previous owner. full 2009 Mazda Mazda3 review
2008 4dr Hatch turbocharged 263hp 2.3L I4
6-speed manual FWD
turbo might be unreliable full 2008 Mazda Mazda3 review
2008 4dr Sedan 148-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
My alternator went out after 10,000 miles of gentle driving. It happened to fail as I was driving through the coastal Oregon mountains, causing me to lose power steering intermittently on the twisties. Inexcusable for modern, brand-new automobile!! full 2008 Mazda Mazda3 review
2006 4dr Hatch 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I am getting an intermittent CEL coming on, and it seems to be missing every now and then. Not sure if it is bad tank of gas, or a plug is dirty, but it is a little disconcerting. Sometimes when you pull away you feel it jerk a little, and then it kicksin full 2006 Mazda Mazda3 review
2006 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
Perhaps I have a lemon or drive it too hard, but have replaced: Clutch at 22k (free fix from dealer) Right Axle (CV joints clicking) at 65k ($480 part!) Left Axle (CV joints) starting to click Broken engine mount (rear, #3 I think) at 50k inspection full 2006 Mazda Mazda3 review
2005 4dr Hatch 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I've owned many great Mazdas in the past and they have always been exceptional cars, but this 3 has been awful. Everything was OK until around 70k miles and from there on out it has been nonstop issues.
  • Brakes - Plan on replacing rotors every time you do pads
  • Tie Rod - Broke clean in half at 80k miles. The car was never in a collision or anything that could have explained it. If I was on the highway I could have seriously crashed the car
  • Belt Tensioner - Only available OEM (and pricey)
  • Control arms, bushings (front and rear), constant clunks and thuds from the suspension.
  • Broken shock mounts
  • Heater Core at 90k miles
  • Wheel bearings - In 127k miles I have done all 4 twice. My mechanic says that this is common on all of the 3's he services.
  • Front End shimmy - It has had a shimmy of varying degrees constantly since about 50k miles on. I will get a bunch of front end work done, replace rotors, or balance tires, and it will be better, but never gone
  • All sorts of electrical weirdness (Sometimes the "you forgot your key in the ignition" chime wont go off until you turn the car back on/off)
  • Headlights - You will replace them so often that you can do it in your sleep. We also have a Mazda 5 and it is the same way. I have even had to replace the weird socket adapters they use. Currently I am getting no power at all to the passengers side. Also, those clear lenses haze like crazy.
  • Horn - even the slightest puddle drowns it. Mine seemed to have been shorted out as the relay trips but now I dont even get power to the horn itself
  • The condensate drain for the AC clogs constantly. If you dont notice it, it will slowly start to seep into the carpet and cause a wonderful mildew funk. Its easy to fix with a chopstick or pencil, but I have never had a car where this is an issue before.
  • Cruise Control now toggles off/on/off/on creating a wonderful seasick sensation
I would like to mention that I'm not some boy racer constantly hooning around. My car is completely stock, I'm a 38 year old dad, and 90% of the miles on it are highway back and forth to work. This is my daily commuter. full 2005 Mazda Mazda3 review
2005 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
Had several repairs during warranty. None engine related except one. Nearly every repair was covered by a TSB so known problems. Plus developed rust on inside door panels due to improper factory clean;Mazda has a lot of problems with rust in this model full 2005 Mazda Mazda3 review
2004 4dr Sedan 160-horsepower 2.3L I4
4-speed shiftable automatic FWD
No major problems but there are still some problems with brake dust in the rear. Had to have the front passenger window fixed (got loose). Purge valve was found defective. Transmission 2nd gear shifted hard until the software was updated. full 2004 Mazda Mazda3 review
 

What Our Members Are Saying about the Reliability And Durability of the Ford Focus

Ford Focus Reliability And Durability: Pros
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2010 4dr Sedan 140-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed automatic FWD
The 2nd generation of the North American Ford Focus does surprisingly well in reliabilty rankings. Look at TrueDelta stats and else where. According to the shop I frequent the only weak point is braking rear springs in areas where road salt is used. In addition I found that the motor mounts are prone to failure. full 2010 Ford Focus review
2009 4dr Sedan 140-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
The Duratec 20 is a well made and reliable engine. Paired with the 5 speed manual transmission i should never have a trans failure for the life of the car. full 2009 Ford Focus review
2009 4dr Sedan 140-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
Have a 2001 with over 362,000 miles full 2009 Ford Focus review
2009 4dr Sedan 140-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed automatic FWD
So far it has been about 5 months, and I have 10000miles on the odometer and there have been no strange noises, problems or anything. I have been rear ended twice and both times I took a very small amount of damage, so maybe the rear is pretty durable full 2009 Ford Focus review
2008 2dr Coupe 140-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I hear great things from most Focus owners about the great reliability and few repairs/low cost of ownership. full 2008 Ford Focus review
2007 2dr Hatch 136-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
No problems with the car in terms of reliability, and holds up very well on the terrible roads we have in New Jersey full 2007 Ford Focus review
2007 2dr Hatch 136-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I will be afraid to buy any other vehicle after owning this one. I have had so few problems of any sort, I do not know how it could get any better. The vehicle has been put through its paces and endured more than most, without faltering once. I would have no problem recommending this car to someone who needs a reliable vehicle. full 2007 Ford Focus review
2007 2dr Hatch 136-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
Other than 2 problems covered under the warranty, this car has caused no problems. Brakes lasted longer than expected. The only problems encountered were due to driver error. full 2007 Ford Focus review
2007 4dr Sedan 136-horsepower 2.0L I4
4-speed automatic FWD
This car has been very reliable. I have driven it hard and fast on a daily basis and have only had a few minor mechanical problems. At 45k the alternator needed replaced and the steering fluids replaced, but it was covered under the extended warranty I purchased, so I didn't have to pay a thing other than labor costs and the usual 45k checkup costs. At 68000 miles the transmission had to be flushed and fluids replaced--not covered by warranty, cost about 280usd. I consider these minor costs for upkeep, considering the use this car has seen, and the car runs perfectly after these repairs. full 2007 Ford Focus review
2006 2dr Hatch 136-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
In the 35 months since I bought the car, I have put more than 60,000 miles on it. The car has never been back to the dealer for service. Since I have owned it, I have only changed the oil and replaced the tires. full 2006 Ford Focus review
Ford Focus Reliability And Durability: Cons
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2012 4dr Hatch 160-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed automated manual FWD
Had a clunking noise in first 1000 miles that required front struts to be replaced. Clunking noise appears to be slowly reappearing. Starting to occasionally hear a low groaning noise when transmission shifts between 20 & 30 mph. full 2012 Ford Focus review
2005 4dr Hatch 136-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
There are only three reasons why I would hesitate to recommend a used 2001 - 2007 Focus, and two of them are just picking nits. First reason, the side mirrors are two sizes too small. For what was a $23,000 car in 2005, the side mirrors speak to the decontenting in this class of car. I would have been happy for a trade-off of an extra $100(?) for better and larger mirrors. My other nit to pick was the heater fan - at maximum it sounded like a F4 Phantom was taking off inside the cabin. My only major complaint with the Focus is the appearance of rust. Throughout the model run the Focus ZX3 and ZX5 rusted in the same places - under the trim piece on the hatchback and the rear bottom corner of the rear passenger door frame. I regularly detailed the car, and the interior was absolutely mint, but even after giving up and having the hatchback professionally repaired, the rust had taken root. full 2005 Ford Focus review
2003 4dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Most of the car holds up very well. But where the roads are salted the rear wheel openings start to rust after about five years. full 2003 Ford Focus review
2003 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
Lots of teething problems when I bought this car, it was fixed under warranty but the clutch broke prematurely and they were unwilling to help. full 2003 Ford Focus review
2002 2dr Hatch 170-horsepower 2.0L I4
6-speed manual FWD
The interior was designed around a budget. Feels cheap, but because it is cheap. Everything seems held together with glue when it should be with bolts. full 2002 Ford Focus review
Ford Focus Reliability And Durability: Neutral
YearBody/PowertrainComment
2014 4dr Sedan 103-horsepower 1.6L I4
5-speed manual FWD
I backed into a GMC people carrier. Massive damage to his front end. Mine looked like it just came off the assembly line. Not even dust on the clearcoat. full 2014 Ford Focus review
2007 4dr Wagon 136-horsepower 2.0L I4
5-speed manual FWD
The Focus had a terrible launch from a reliability perspective, but selling the car with relatively few changes over the next eight years meant lots of time to iron things out. I've had only a few very minor reliability issues with the car in the last three years, though it was diagnosed with bad engine mounts when I got it -- repaired by the dealer for free. It's notable that because you can buy a much newer used Focus than you can most other small cars, it's going to have that much more life in it. A Civic may have better reliability ratings for the same year, but you're not getting a 2007 Civic for the price of a 2007 Focus. full 2007 Ford Focus review