When you’re looking for a new car, you’re probably going to be looking at a few in the same sector to see how they compare in terms of reliability, practicality etc.
It’s important that you do this so you know that you are choosing the right car for your needs.
Ford Fiesta vs. Mazda 2 vs. Vauxhall Corsa: Pros
Firstly, we’re going to look at the general pros of each car.
It has fantastic performance models
- Lots of technology
- Engaging to drive
- Good performance from the VXR model
- Lots of standard equipment
Ford Fiesta vs. Mazda 2 vs. Vauxhall Corsa: Cons
So, we’ve had a look at each cars strengths, what are their weaknesses?
- Looks a bit dated
- Poor headroom in the back
- Boot is tricky to access
- No ‘hot’ version
- Boot space is lacking
- Not great to handle
- Divisive looks
- Non-turbo engines are weaker
- Sports suspension is a bit too firm
Ford Fiesta vs. Mazda 2 vs. Vauxhall Corsa: Running Costs
Running costs are important when looking at a new car. While a car might have a lower price tag, the amount it costs to run could take you up and over your weekly or monthly budget. As these cars are city cars, they aren’t hugely expensive to run but some are cheaper than others.
The cheapest Fiesta engine to run is the 1.5-litre TDCi Econetic which claims an average of 88.3mpg and emits 82g/km of CO2.
If you’re looking for a petrol engine then the 125hp 1.0T EcoBoost is the best for running costs, averaging 65.7mpg and 99g/km of CO2.
The worst engine in terms of running costs is the Fiesta ST200 which achieves 46.3mpg and emits 140g/km of CO2. This engine also happens to be the fastest, so it depends which is more of a priority for you; running costs or performance.
Mazda’s SkyActiv means that pretty much all the Mazda 2’s engines are affordable to run.
The most expensive engine to run is the 113bhp 1.5 Sport Nav with a fuel consumption of 56.5mpg and emitting 117g/km of CO2. As you can see, even the most expensive to run is still affordable for many.
The cheapest engines are pretty much the diesel engines in any trim as they claim 83.1mpg and emit 89g/km of CO2. At the current time, they are free to tax (but this will be changing from April next year, find out more here).
If you want the Corsa with the lowest running costs then you want to go for the three-door 95bhp 1.3-litre CDTi engine and run it on 16-inch wheels. This model claims 88.3mpg and emits 85g/km of CO2.
However, the two most expensive engines are the 1.4 litre 90hp engine and the Corsa VXR. The 1.4 achieves 47.1mpg and 140g/km of CO2 and the VXR achieves a real-world mpg of 25mpg and emits 174g/km.
Fuel Costs and Insurance Groups
It will cost you between £762-£1,152 a year in petrol (based on 10,000 miles) and £553-£726 for diesel. The warranty is pretty standard for these types of cars at three years or 60,000 miles (whichever is soonest) and sits in insurance groups 3 through to 30.
The warranty for the Mazda 2 is the same as the Fiesta at three years/60,000 miles but the insurance groups are higher at between 13-19.
To run the Mazda 2 for a year it will cost you between £799-£885 for petrol and around £586 for diesel.
To run the Vauxhall Corsa for a year it will cost you between £774-1,054 on petrol and £553-657 for diesel.
The warranty is the same again at three-years/60,000 miles and the Vauxhall Corsa is placed in between insurance groups 2-21.
Ford Fiesta vs. Mazda 2 vs. Vauxhall Corsa: Reliability
Reliability is another huge consideration. If a car is affordable to buy and to run, you don’t want to have to fork out a lot of money to get it repaired. So how reliable are our three city cars?
Because the Ford Fiesta is slightly older than the other two, there has been more time for faults to emerge and there have been a few in its time. However, this is pretty normal with any car and isn’t something that you should be worried about.
It had to be modified in 2011 to prevent exhaust fumes re-entering the cabin. Models were recalled to rectify rear suspension bolts in 2012 and in 2014 and 2015 Diesel Fiestas needed work to prevent two potential fire risks and to fix rear seatbelts that didn’t always latch securely.
However, Which? have given the Fiesta three stars out of five, which is pretty decent considering the recalls, and owners don’t seem to have a problem with its dependability.
The Mazda 2’s predicted reliability is pretty good, scoring three out of five stars on JD Power. Parkers have reported no faults with the car either, which is a good sign.
This is because many of the components from the Mazda 2 have been used in previous Mazda’s with no serious issues. Its interior is also pretty robust.
Vauxhall issued a Corsa recall for 2,767 fourth generation Corsa’s after owners reported cases of fires.
And, in April 2016, Vauxhall identified a fault in some 1.4 petrol Corsa D models where water could get into the braking system, fry the electrics and cause a fire. However, they did state that this was an issue with the Zafira and on the Corsa.
But, according to autoexpress, seven Vauxhall Corsa D owners contacted BBC Watchdog about their cars catching fire, with three of the cars falling under the existing recall and four which were not. You can read Vauxhall’s response to Watchdog here.
Ford Fiesta vs. Mazda 2 vs. Vauxhall Corsa: Safety
Our cars are getting safer and safer with every new or facelifted model, so it’s no surprise that our three city cars have scored well in safety tests. But some have scored better than others.
The Ford Fiesta was one of the top-ranking small cars in the Euro NCAP crash tests, scoring five stars out of five. Euro NCAP were particularly impressed by the MyKey System. This system allows parents to set a maximum speed and stereo volume limits for their children which is ideal for a Ford Fiesta which is a popular choice for a first car.
All cars have dual front, side and driver’s knee airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and ISOFIX child-seat mounting points.
Emergency City Stop is a good and inexpensive investment as it offers autonomous braking at low speeds if the sensors detect an impending danger and the driver not doing anything about it. Plus, Fiesta ST models benefit from traction control and enhanced stability systems.
The Fiesta scored 91% for adult occupant, 86% for child, 65% for pedestrian and 71% for safety assist in the Euro NCAP. So you can be rest assured that you’ll be kept safe in the Fiesta.
Mazda 2 has also scored highly when it comes to Euro NCAP, but not as highly as the Fiesta. It scored four stars out of five on the Euro NCAP, scoring as follows;
- 86% for adult occupancy
- 78% for child occupancy
- 84% for pedestrian
And for the first time, the Mazda 2 will have lane departure warning. It also comes with rear cross traffic alert, smart city brake system and blind spot warning function.
If we exclude the potential fire problem, the Vauxhall Corsa has scored pretty highly when it comes to safety. It scored four stars out of five in the Euro NCAP test, scoring;
- 79% for adult occupancy
- 77% for child occupancy
- 71% for pedestrian
- 56% for safety assist
Plus, an electrically-heated windscreen comes as standard on all Corsas. Optional safety equipment includes collision avoidance warning, blind spot warning and lane departure notifications.
Ford Fiesta vs. Mazda 2 vs. Vauxhall Corsa: Performance
Okay, so we’ve looked at running costs, reliability and safety, but performance is also something you’ll want to consider. Of course, these are city cars, so they aren’t going to be top performers, particularly when you hit the motorway. However, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t some of the top in their class, particularly the Fiesta and the Corsa.
The Ford Fiesta has a range of engines for all tastes, whether you want a runaround or a more performance-based hot hatch.
If you’re looking for something more economic, then you would want to have a look at the diesel engines. The lower powered diesel can reach 104mph but takes 13.3 seconds to get to 62mph from rest.
However, the 95hp engine reaches a top speed of 112mph and takes 10.9 to reach 62mph. So, it’s worth paying a little bit extra for more performance.
If you’re looking for a real fuel-saver then the Econetic version of the 95hp diesel is your best bet. However, performance does suffer as it reaches 111mph and takes 11.9 seconds to hit 62mph.
If you’re really looking for a performance model, then your best bet is to invest in a Hot Fiesta ST. All STs come with a turbo-charged 1.6-litre petrol engine and six-speed manual gearbox and can reach 139mph and do 0-62mph in 6.9 seconds. This year, however, there was the introduction of the Fiesta ST200, which has a top speed of 142mph and can reach 62mph in only 6.7 seconds.
So, it’s safe to say that if you’re looking for performance, you’ll find it in the Fiesta.
There isn’t a ‘hot’ version of the Mazda 2, which may be a mark against it if you’re looking for performance first and foremost. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s a terrible performer.
The entry level engines can reach 0-62mph in 12.1 seconds. The Sport Nav can achieve the same distance in 8.7 seconds with a maximum speed of 124mph.
There’s only one diesel engine, and that offers a top speed of 111mph and does 0-62 in 10.1 seconds.
So, not as performative as the Fiesta, but if performance isn’t your main priority then this shouldn’t bother you too much.
Would you be surprised to know that the VXR out-accelerates the Fiesta ST? Well, it does, with a top speed of 143mph, the VXR achieves 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds.
The rest, however, don’t fare quite as well. The turbo-charged 1.4 litre petrol engine has a maximum speed of 115mph and can reach 62mph in 11 seconds. The 1.4-litre turbo, 150hp version is only available on the Red and Black Edition trims which can achieve 0-62mph in 8.9 seconds with a maximum speed of 129mph.
If you are looking for a diesel then you have two options to choose from; the 1.3 litre CDTi, producing 75hp and 95hp. The lower powered diesel can reach a maximum speed of 102mph and can hit 62mph in 14.8 seconds. The latter can hit 113mph and reach 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds.
Ford Fiesta vs. Mazda 2 vs. Vauxhall Corsa: Style
Finally, you want a car that looks good. So, in our last section we’re going to discuss style. It’s not uncommon for city cars to be ultra-stylish, and our three do pretty well in this area.
The Ford Fiesta has always been popular with young people, so it was always going to be particularly stylish. However, it does look slightly dated, especially compared to some newer models. But, it’s still easy to use, comfortable and has good visibility.
The Mazda 2 is well built; driver focused and from the exterior, looks modern and trendy. The only problem is that the display function looks a bit dated. But then, we are being slightly picky.
The latest Corsa looks considerably more up to date and modern than the Fiesta and the Mazda 2. There are more glossy black surfaces and supresses noise much better than its predecessor.
There is also more equipment and higher-grade materials used inside the car than the other two and visibility is good.
So, we’ve compared the three on some of the most important factors you should look at when getting a car. Hopefully this has at least given you an overview of the basics for the Ford Fiesta, Mazda 2 and Vauxhall Corsa.