If you don't have time to read both of our drives, here's a quick glance at some of the more salient details:
|2011 Ford Fiesta||2011 Mazda2|
|Base Price||$13,995 (four-door sedan), $15,795 (hatchback)||$13,980 (hatchback)|
|Engine||120 horsepower, 112 pound-feet of torque||100 horsepower, 98 pound-feet of torque|
|Transmission||Five-speed manual, Six-speed dual-clutch auto||Five-speed manual, Four-speed auto|
|Base Weight||2,537 pounds||2,309 pounds|
|Efficiency||29/40 (auto), 28/37 (manual)||27/33 (auto), 29/35 (manual)|
Naturally, there's more to the equation than the tale of the tape. For instance, if you're in the market for an automatic transmission, the six-speed dual-clutch gearbox in the Fiesta seems to be a much more attractive option than the old-school four-speed automatic in the Mazda. Also, the Fiesta can store more cargo and has more comfortable seats.
It would seem that the scales are tipping in the Blue Oval's favor. Consider too that the Fiesta is available as both a sedan and a hatchback while the Mazda2 is a hatchback only. Add in an available navigation system, leather interior, SYNC infotainment system and heated seats – none of which are available on the Mazda – and we've got a slam-dunk win for the Ford. Right?
Perhaps not. Our man Steven Ewing, the only member of the team to have driven both U.S.-spec models, tells us that the Mazda2 is notably more fun to drive than the Fiesta. Plus, he claims the 2 looks better in its specific shade of green, if that kind of thing is important to you. So, is the promise of an added dose of driving enjoyment worth the significant loss in comfort, convenience and economy? That's up to you to decide.