I don't think hatchbacks are inherently more fun.
Also what year and what displacement?
For example in 2012 the engine was re-tuned to 148 horsepower,
in 2013 it had an option to get a regular 148 horsepower MPi or the SkyActiv GDi engine with 155 horsepower
and in 2014 it went though a redesign making now with all engines being skyActiv and the 2.5L variant getting a boost to 184 horsepower while getting better fuel economy than last years much weaker variant.
I would same up some more and go for the 2014, it's just so much better than the old Ford based Mazdas.
leaning more towards mazda3 just because of reliability (MADE IN JAPAN lol)
Both the Mazda3 (until 2014) and Fiesta are FoMoCo (Ford Motor Company) designed cars.
Mazda was owned by Ford at the time this car was designed and it's indistinguishable with the EURO Ford Focus.
The powertrain on most of these is a Ford DuraTech, and most of the parts on these have "FoMoCo" on them.
So regardless of where it was assembled, it's Ford designed.
The Ford EcoBoost 1.6L (Turbocharged and GDi) has a well deserved reputation.
On Volvo cars that engine was called B4164T and it's a known to be a pile of crap even though Volvo was severely de-tuning it to try and make it last (from 200hp to as low as 118hp)
And honestly? at just 182 horses I don't see the appeal - that's "turbocharged power" so it performs worse in 0-60 than 150 naturally aspirated horsepower engines (check it against the Mazda3)
And even at peak power it has LESS performance than what Mazda3's newer 2.5L naturally aspirated engine does. (Not to forget that Mazda's 2.0, and 2.5 are 100% common, durable, and super reliable engines)
And the Fiesta is not that quick, 7.8 seconds 0-60. Same as the Mazda3 with just the SAMLLER SkyActive 2.0!
Fiesta ST reliable enough to justify the savings?
IMO not, it's less fun, it's smaller, less practical, and the interior on the Fiesta is no match for Mazda's.
The few cars I am looking at buying are between the years 2013-2017. Thanks!
Just get a 2015-2016 Mazda3 with a 2.0/2.5 they're so much better than others.
The 2.0 is more durable, the 2.5 has slightly better performance (a pretty negligible amount, I think it's 0.4 in a 0-60)
By the way, a Mazda3 with reasonable millage from 2015-2016 probably has another decade of life left in it, so it’s not a “temporary fun car”, it’s a fun car to keep.