The Ford Fiesta and Mazda2, which are two budget cars on the same platform, may have many similarities. And both even made their world debuts at the recent Los Angeles Auto Show and received redesigns for Europe in 2008.
However, Ford thought it best to discuss how they differ from each other. Firstly, they have different engines, lengths and sheet metal.
In the US, Ford will offer a sedan and hatchback, while Mazda will only sell a five-door. Mazda also sells a three-door in Europe. Mazda may have its "zoom-zoom" marketing but the Ford engine is actually more powerful and features variable camshaft timing.
In addition, Ford is introducing a six-speed, dry-clutch automatic transmission in the US, mostly because the European market prefers stick shifts, said Steve Pintar, Fiesta chief program engineer.
Ford Fiesta is 4 inches longer and an inch wider while the Mazda2 has a stubbier appearance due to its shorter front and rear overhangs.
These vehicles were both installed with standard 15-inch wheels; a front-disc, rear-drum brake setup; a MacPherson strut front suspension; and a torsion-beam rear suspension.
But they differ in suspension settings. Robert Davis, Mazda North American Operations senior vice president of product development and quality, noted that "all the expensive stuff is shared, and this includes the crash structure and the fuel system.