Good Things Come In Small Packages
Over the years, we’ve seen Ford Group Philippines announce month after month a new sales record. Considered as one of the fastest growing car brands in our market, Ford, it seems, doesn’t want that streak to end by releasing this, the Ford EcoSport. The Ford EcoSport is the first mini crossover SUV in the Philippine market. A first generation model was released in 2003 exclusively for the South American market, and proved to be very popular, but it seems Nissan started the global trend for the mini SUV with their Juke. This changed the public’s interests in car ownership and has pushed car manufacturers to create a car that fits in a congested urban environment, yet has the ground clearance, tall ride height, water wading capability, and flexibility of an SUV. This rendered other manufacturers to come up with a mini SUV to satisfy that growing demand, and ultimately, eat out the sales of each other. Being the first mini crossover SUV in the Philippines, does the Ford EcoSport have the guts to be a trendsetter and a benchmark in our market?
The Ford EcoSport, like all mini crossover SUVs, is based on a subcompact platform. In this case, it uses the Ford Fiesta’s platform. It has a 200mm. ground clearance and a water wading depth of 550mm. As a result, it has a body that can be easily described as tall and short. Dimensions that a Japanese domestic market kei car would normally posses. Styling elements include a character line that sweeps from the front wheel arch, up to the rear, discrete LED Daytime Running Lights in the headlamps, plastic cladding to further strengthen its rugged character, and an in-your-face grille that begs to be seen by passer-bys. Its front fascia will certainly split opinions, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I am one with the crowd that thinks this is a good-looking front fascia. Go through the rear, and you will immediately notice its exterior spare tire. I am not a fan of rear spare tires, as this will render the trunk almost useless when a car or wall is behind you, since the doors on cars with door-mounted spare tires are hinged at the sides. It reminds me of the first generation Toyota RAV4, back when it used to be really small. Go figure.
People who are familiar with the Fiesta will adapt easily to its interior. Even the mobile phone inspired center console seems to be lifted from the said subcompact. It is a cabin that is stylish to look at, with creases and lines that keep the environment lively. Blue accent lighting in the LCD between the gauges, climate control, some of the buttons, and the central display for the multimedia controls create a modern feel in the cockpit of the EcoSport. The sunroof is a welcome feature in this category, and this feature, I certainly dig, as I am a fan of sunroofs.
Space and Practicality
There are plenty of adjustments in the seat and the steering wheel to suit almost any body style. Thankfully, full-size adults will fit comfortably in the rear, because unlike the Ford Fiesta, where the EcoSport is based, legroom and headroom are both good. The ceiling height is a bit low in the forward end of the second row because this top spec Titanium model has a sunroof, so do take note of that. When designing the EcoSport, Ford has thoughtfully placed a lot of cubby spaces in the cabin, with a generous glove box, cupholders in the doors, a place to put your glasses, and a cleverly designed underseat storage bin. Be sure not to forget where you last placed your items alright?
If there is one thing we can all immediately agree on every vehicle that Ford is selling here in the Philippines, it is their generous equipment levels. All models come with ISOFIX Child Seat Fixings, Courtesy Lights, Multi-Function Display, Heated Rear Windows, Welcome Home/Leaving Home Lights, Halogen Headlamps with LED Daytime Accent Lights, and Dual Airbags. This top-spec Titanium variant gets more sophisticated kit, including a Smart Key Access System with Push Button Start, Sunrooof, Auto Dimming Rear View Mirror, Rain Sensing Wipers, Automatic Headlamps, ABS with EDB and Hill Launch Assist, Lumbar Support for the seats, Automatic Climate Control, and Ford’s SYNC with Bluetooth and Voice Command. It also comes with leather seats, giving it a more upmarket and luxurious feel.
Powering the Ford EcoSport is the same 1.5 liter Ti-VCT engine from the 2013 Ford Fiesta, producing 108 hp at 6,300 rpm, and 142 Nm of torque at 4,500 rpm. Power is delivered exclusively through the front wheels via Ford’s Powershift 6-Speed Dual-Clutch Transmission.
How It Drives
The Alabang landscape is congested today, supposedly the perfect place to test the EcoSport since the city is its intended environment. I’m assuming the traffic is really bad because the EcoSport, upon handing over the car to me by the previous driver, registered a fuel consumption of only *4.5 km/l. Thankfully, in order to escape from the horrible traffic, I was permitted to drive at locations in Alabang where there were less to no vehicles at all, and as I searched for an open road, fuel consumption improved significantly at 7-8.5 km/l in mixed stop and go traffic and short open road driving.
Being based from the Ford Fiesta would mean that the EcoSport is fun to drive, and it is. Don’t let its dimensions fool you. Despite the tall body, the EcoSport is very agile and has a plenty of grip. It stays planted in the corners, even if there is more body roll compared to the Fiesta, but that is a given, since the chassis now carries a bigger body. Steering is really precise, and you really notice the nose of the car following each of the driver’s commands. The Ford EcoSport then, can be considered a driver’s car. It begs to be driven hard on winding country roads. Too bad I can’t take this to Tagaytay, because this car is really a hoot to drive. The engine is responsive, but the 1.5 liter engine does run out a bit of steam at higher speeds and at higher rpms. With many international reviews citing a 0-100 km/h acceleration of 12-13 seconds for this 1.5 liter EcoSport, drag racing isn’t the EcoSport’s strong point, but it shouldn’t be, as this car is designed for the urban environment.
Calm your foot down, and the car, despite the sporty credentials, cruises really well. The whole car is very refined, with a compliant ride, and a cabin that is well insulated from road and wind noise. The cabin is so quiet and refined, it almost feels like driving a car from a class above. Passengers will easily fall asleep on long journeys. The EcoSport then, is a fun to drive car, that can easily eat up the miles of highway driving in relative comfort and serenity. Also, because of the tall ride height, the EcoSport does have an advantage when it comes to visibility and how it handles rougher terrain and speed bumps. Perfect for our city streets that are ridden with potholes, and the occasional flooding brought by rains.
On The Downside
My amount of enjoyment when driving the EcoSport in an open road is inversely proportional with my amount of enjoyment when driving the EcoSport in the city. I just can’t help but think if the Ford EcoSport would be better off with a conventional torque-converter automatic transmission. While driving in the city, it keeps on changing from 1st to 2nd at random times, and don’t get me started with the amount of jerks I experienced while it was doing that in the city. The transmission is so dimwittedly confused, it even jerks when you simply want to make the car crawl like how a conventional torque-converter automatic would do in situations like, looking for a parking spot. To be fair though, dual-clutch transmissions, especially the ones in supercars almost have a similar feel while in the city, and Ford’s Powershift could be easily forgiven if it also does what a dual-clutch transmission is good at. Lightning-fast shifts, but then, it doesn’t shift that fast. The dual-clutch Transmissions from Volkswagen are a bit smoother, if not as jerky, yet upshifts and downshifts are really quick.
There are also a few points to talk about the EcoSport’s interior. It is similar from the Fiesta, so whatever downsides I had with the Fiesta’s interior remained in the EcoSport. The quality of the plastics are fine, but at some places, there are plastics that feel really cheap. Build quality isn’t consistent either, with some switchgear that feels flimsy and may easily break off. There are also areas that have really noticeable and inconsistent panel gaps too.
Interior space is another aspect of the EcoSport to talk about. Though I did say that even tall people will be comfortable in the rear, having a third person sit in the middle may be a bit of a squeeze. Trunk space is also small at 346 liters, easily dwarfed by the even smaller Honda Jazz. Fold the rear seats down, and that increases to 705 liters, which is still smaller than what the Honda Jazz can offer.
Get onto the driver’s seat, and all these negatives are immediately thrown out of the window. The EcoSport will beg you to drive the car. It is very fun to drive and has the refinement to match larger vehicles. Combine it with the generous loads of equipment for the price, and the small EcoSport will definitely be the next big Ford. Oh! I did forget to mention the price. Starting at P775,000 for the base 1.5 Ambiente MT, the Ford EcoSport, like all other Fords, is excellent value for money. This top-of-the-range Titanium tops out at P975,000, and when I conducted a survey to some of my friends, they actually thought it costs more than what the actual price suggests, with most of them guessing that it costs around P1,000,000. Ford Group Philippines then, I think you accomplished your mission. Creating a car that is perfect for the modern day urban dweller. A small car that leaves a huge footprint. It is a car in a class of its own, for now.
Exterior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Quality: ★★☆☆☆
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★☆
Value For Money: ★★★★★
OVERALL: 3.88 / 5
2012 Hyundai Elantra 1.6 GL AT
2013 Mitsubishi Montero Sport GLS-V 4×2 AT
2013 Chevrolet Trailblazer LTZ 4×4 AT
just a question. Alterra or this?
The EcoSport and Alterra aren’t actually in the same category. This is a mini SUV, even smaller than the Honda CR-V, Mazda CX-5, Subaru Forester, and the like. Its only 4 meters long, just as long as the Ford Fiesta, the car it is based on.
“The Ford EcoSport is the first mini crossover SUV in the Philippine market, and the second in the world after the Nissan Juke. ”
This is actually the 2nd generation EcoSport, the 1st generation EcoSport was launched in 2003, way before the 1st Juke concept.
The 1st gen EcoSport was displayed here when Ford Philippines held their Ford Centennial Motorshow in Makati back in 2003, other Ford cars on display was the previous generation Fiesta, Ford Lynx Centennial Edition (black RS) and the 1st gen Everest.
I did forget that there was a first generation EcoSport. Thanks for noting.
Hi, I don’t know if my question makes sense, pero ano ang mas fuel efficient? Trend MT or the AT versions? I am torn between Chevy Spin and this Ecosport. Can you also give me advise on why choose or not to choose Ecosport over Spin? As of this day, You were the only that drove this car and gave a review. Thanks!
The Trend AT does not use a typical torque-converter automatic transmission. Rather, it uses a dual-clutch semi-automatic transmission. Its more of a self-shifting manual transmission, since it does not possess the “crawl” feature found on conventional automatics. On paper, the “AT” is more fuel-efficient, because of the millisecond shifts, but I still haven’t verified the difference in fuel consumption in real world tests. If I were to pick between the EcoSport vs. the Spin, I’d rather go for the EcoSport, because of the added equipment and refinement. The Spin has 7 seats, but since I don’t need 7 seats in the first place, then the EcoSport is my choice. It all actually depends on your needs.
Hi, am really torn between the EcoSport Titanium or the Fiesta EcoBoost. I’m favoring the EcoSport because of the higher clearance and water wading plus the better leg room at the backseat but I just can’t help but think twice because of the EcoBoost’s fuel efficiency and power (plus it’s almost a 100K cheaper). Any thoughts? Do the difference in numbers really count in terms of “real-life” situations? I haven’t actually test-driven any of the two although I hope I can try them one of these days. Thanks.
To tell you the truth, the EcoBoost isn’t really very fuel efficient. Real-world fuel economy figures are almost on par with the standard 1.5 Ti-VCT engine, albeit more powerful. Think of it as the Fiesta’s performance variant rather than a fuel-efficient one, and with the Fiesta EcoBoost priced at P898k, the EcoSport starts to make much more sense. If space and versatility matters to you, then the EcoSport is the better choice, but if you’ll be driving alone most of the time, and don’t need the high ground clearance and flood wading capacity of the EcoSport, then you can at least save some money by getting the Fiesta EcoBoost, and yet have a car that is also faster to drive.
Hi sir im interested to buy ecosport but my main concern is
The fuel consumption…city driving lang kse ako and i know consumes
More fuel…traffic situation here in davao is not that heavy or
Should i say medium…im also considering The new Honda
city..by the way, ford says fuel consumption for AT
Overall, the fuel consumption of the EcoSport is good, if not as fuel efficient as the Fiesta, since they both have the same engine, yet this engine carries more weight because of the bigger body. 12-14 km/l in city seems too optimistic. 8-10 km/l is a more more realistic figure, but then, it could be my driving habits. My best advice is to test drive the EcoSport as well, since we may have different driving habits that affect fuel consumption. Hope this helps. 🙂
Thank u for the reply sir.😊
Thank you for the great article! Still torn between the Ecosport Titanium and the new Mazda 3 1.5V. :s
If you don’t need the tall ride height and the bigger body of a small SUV, then I heavily recommend the new Mazda 3 1.5V. It may carry a small engine, but it is surprisingly more exciting to drive than the 2.0R. My review of both the 2.0R and 1.5V will be written soon, so you might want to check that out as well. 🙂
What is the difference between Ecosport Titanium 1.5 AT with Trend 1.5 AT ?
The Titanium has more equipment than the Trend. These features include a smart proximity key with smart entry and push button start, sunroof, automatic climate control, leather seats with lumbar support, 12 V rear power outlets, electrochromic auto dimming rear-view mirror, and Hill Start Assist.
Thank you very much!!!
My name is Stevie and I recently got married. My wife and I plan to get a car next year. We want to have a car before she gets pregnant. This early, i have been doing my research already (which my wife thinks im “OA” because i even have an excel file for it – since this is a big purchase i dont think its OA). I have trimmed it to 3 cars: Fiesta Ecoboost, Ecosport Trend or Honda City VX. We value fuel efficiency, safety, comfort and resale value. Can you recommend the best car that will suit our needs? Appreciate your help on this one. Thanks and have a good one!
Sorry for the late reply on this one. I would like to ask, is this going to be your only car, or do you have another one? If this will be your second car, then the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost will be perfect, since it has the least interior space among your three choices.
If you are looking for your first/only car, the City or EcoSport is a better choice since I presume you’d be having a child in the near future. The new City, along with the Almera, has the best legroom in its segment, which is almost as big as the Corolla’s, a vehicle on a bigger class bracket. The Ford EcoSport, while having more passenger space compared to the Fiesta, which it is based on, suffers from a really small boot, if boot space will be your priority. However, the EcoSport’s jacked up suspension means that it won’t easily throw in the towel when floods occur on our roads.
In terms of safety, the previous City, along w/ the Fiesta, earned a maximum 5-stars in our ASEAN NCAP crash tests. Meanwhile, in the Euro NCAP, the Fiesta earned a maximum 5-stars, while the EcoSport earned only 4-stars, because of low scores when the EcoSport hits a pedestrian.
In terms of fuel efficiency, the EcoSport is the least fuel efficient among your three choices, since it uses the Fiesta’s 1.5 liter engine, therefore it needs more work in carrying the added bulk of the EcoSport. However, for the kind of vehicle the EcoSport is, its fuel consumption isn’t terrible.
My best bet overall would be the Honda City VX, since it offers the best combination of fuel efficiency, space, comfort, and will hold its value really well, but if you need a taller (not bigger) vehicle, I can also recommend the Ford EcoSport Trend. Consider the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost as a higher performance option among your choices. Hope this helps, and happy shopping. 🙂
I guess you need to try the “Car Buyer’s Guide” of Autoindustriya.com. It lets you compare 3 different cars. This way you can get rid of the excel. I’ve been using it to compare chevrolet spin and ford ecosport.
I’m interested to know what your final verdict was? I am also comparing chevrolet spin LTZ and ford ecosport trend.. thanks!
If I were to pick between the two, the EcoSport would be my choice. The Spin is more practical and substantially more spacious, but I prefer the rugged looks and the high ground clearance a crossover possesses. A wildcard pick is the Suzuki Ertiga. It is also spacious and practical for everyday use, and a 5 ft. 10 in. tall person such as me can fit in the third row of the Ertiga comfortably.
Which is a better choice? EcoSport Trend At or the Yaris 1.5 AT?
It would mostly depend on your needs. Overall, the Ford EcoSport is the better choice because for something similarly priced to a Toyota Yaris 1.5G AT, you essentially get a bigger car that even has the capability to traverse waters of up to 500 mm deep.
Thank you. 🙂 problem with the EcoSport is the long line.. 🙁 people reserved last January are still waiting 🙁 hoping to get one in Makati though 🙂 thank you again 🙂
just want to ask, “why cant you take it to tagaytay becuasue its hoot to drive” just dont uderstanrd the statement hehe.
What I meant by I can’t take it to Tagaytay is because my time with the EcoSport is actually limited 🙂
nice. thought i cant handle the steepness of tagaytay haha. i bought my wife a ecopsport. will release today. 🙂 nice review though.
Sir, why do you think the award winning Ecosport 1.0L diesel variant will unlikely be sold in Philippines?
I am sorry sir but that is a question I am not able to find answers as well. 🙁
Hi so what’s the solution for the ecosport drivers in slow manila traffic? Thanks.
Sir which is a better choice ecosports trend or a toyota altis 1.6 g? Tnx in advance..
If I were to pick, I’d pick the Corolla Altis 1.6G. The Corolla Altis may not have the tall ride height of the EcoSport, but it is better built, has a nicer interior, and has a much bigger interior space. Thanks to a stretched wheelbase, legroom is almost comparable to a Camry as well.
Tnx sir isaac for the advice…
Hi. I’m torn between Honda Jazz and Ford EcoSport. I’m interested in getting the manual transmission. Help me decide please. Thanks.
I’d pick the Honda Jazz over the Ford EcoSport. Sure, the EcoSport has a higher ground clearance than the Jazz, but that’s pretty much it. Inside, the Jazz has substantially more room (124 liters more with the seats up and 787 liters more with the seats down, to be exact), more fun to drive, and more fuel efficient given that they both use a 1.5 liter engine, but the EcoSport is a bigger car, so the engine needs to work harder. Also, you might want to wait for the upcoming Honda HR-V. It also rivals the Ford EcoSport, yet has the same levels of spaciousness the Jazz possesses, though I assume the HR-V will be priced a bit higher than the EcoSport, knowing that Honda prices their vehicles generally higher than the competition, and since the HR-V will also have a 1.8 liter engine.
Good day sir, just want to ask the estimated release date of the new HRV on our shores?
My estimate would be around Q3 of this year.
Hello Sir! Choosing between Ford Ecosport and Suzuki Ertiga, both in manual transmission. Which do you think is better? Thank you!!
If all 7 seats will be utilized, the Ertiga is your only choice. Wild pick would be the recently launched Honda Mobilio, but for me, since I only utilize 5 seats, the EcoSport would be my choice, because despite its negatives, the EcoSport feels more sophisticated.
Hi sir. When will the ecosport with crdi engine available in the Philippines?
I’m sorry but we don’t have any word or any leaks from Ford Philippines about their intents to bring a diesel EcoSport.
Hi! Which has a higher value for money, Trend or Titanium?
In my opinion both variants have equal value for money. Many of the features found in the Titanium variant are already offered in the Trend variant, however, the P100,000 premium over the Trend variant (P885,000 for the Automatic) adds leather seats and steering, lumbar support for the driver, automatic air conditioning, rear parking sensors, smart key with push button start, front driver armrests, and a sunroof, which in my opinion isn’t a bad price increase for the amount of unique features you get. A warning though is the sunroof. While I personally love sunroofs, it may become a pain in the neck if the electronic mechanism to open the glass fails, so do consider this factor as well.
i have a question …
sir please help im torn between choosing the ecosport titanium over the ranger 4×2 xls m/t.. please helpme decide.. 🙁 since price diff is almost 100k… be some
says ecosport is underpower when loaded going up hill….
Hi! Let’s start off with what do you really need. Do you need a car that can carry huge loads or not? If you do some heavy duty loading in your daily life, perhaps the Range is a nice choice, but if not, the EcoSport Titanium is already fine. Do note that one of your compromises in getting the Ranger XLS is that, you lose a lot of features that were standard in the EcoSport Titanium. Also, if going uphill while fully loaded is a concern, yes the EcoSport seems underpowered, but the question is, will you really fully utilize the increased power from the Ford Ranger going uphill everyday or just once in a while? If only once in a while, I suggest the EcoSport is already a fine choice.
thanks you sir… maybe i am just amazed sa porma ng ranger its realy “look macho” with the added accesories, and no worries in a offroad..(anyway my one more problem is mahaba sya sa parking space namin) so i think ill better go with the ecosport. trend or titanium? just one last question 🙂
Hi sir. Please help me choose a car that best suits my need. I am choosing among Honda Jazz 1.5L V CVT, City 1.5L E CVT and the Ecosport 1.5L Trend Powershift. I work here in Manila but only plans to use it during weekend (it can be every other week) when I go home to Tarlac. I might also use it here if weather is really bad or some occasional and inconvenient times. But mostly lost distance drives to and from Tarlac. I am considering the ground clearance of Ecosport and it offers better road visibility. Also, fuel consumption is a factor. I’d like to hear your advice. Thank you.
Hi! Sorry for the late reply as I was very busy for the past week. As a car that’ll be dominantly used in the city, the Honda Jazz is already fine. As a matter of fact, the Jazz offers more interior space and flexibility than the supposedly bigger EcoSport. If features are one of your priorities, since both are priced around the same, the EcoSport offers more, plus since you are based in Manila, and it’s the start of the rainy season, a higher ground clearance can certainly help you tread treacherous floods, which obviously the Jazz won’t be capable off. As a long distance cruiser to Tarlac, the EcoSport would be a better choice since the EcoSport offers you a better view of the road ahead, and having a slightly bigger car for out of town trips can prove less tiring to the driver. In terms of fuel consumption, the Jazz is miles ahead thanks to its CVT and lower weight penalty from the EcoSport, meaning the engine works less hard compared to the EcoSport, in which case, both utilize a 1.5 liter petrol, with the EcoSport mated to a 6-speed manual or automatic.
To sum it all up, the Honda Jazz’s main strengths would be its interior space and versatility and its fuel consumption. The EcoSport’s main strengths would be its ground clearance, taller ride height, and features. So if you don’t really need the space and versatility, I suggest taking the EcoSport 1.5L Trend instead. Hope this helps!
Hi Sr Good Morning,
Me and my wife is about to purchase our 1st and only car, i will be the one who will use it most of the time. However, since Pinoy (extended family ika nga), we will be occasionaly using it for out of town trips with her parents and brother, as of this time im very inclined to purchasing the ecosport. Also in consideration is the Ertiga, but im afraid na baka hindi ganun ka tibay ang ertiga. Any suggestion or enlightenment sir? Thank you.
Good day! I’m sorry for the late reply, I’ve been kinda busy for the past few weeks. Actually, if reliability is already your initial concern, you’re actually better off with the Suzuki Ertiga. Common problems with Fords are its 6-speed Powershift Automatic Transmission and its electronics. I personally still haven’t driven the Ertiga, so I still have no clue on how it compares to the EcoSport in terms of driving dynamics. In summary, if reliability is your main concern, the Ertiga is already the better choice, but maybe if you don’t think the 7 seat configuration the Ertiga offers will ever be used, then the EcoSport is already a good choice. Other alternatives you might want to consider are the Nisaan Juke and the Chevrolet Trax. Hope this helps.
i’m planning to buy a car that can last long (my last car to use siguro)… my first love is New Altis 1.6G Mt Dual VVTI, but pricey nga lang.. my choices are Ecosport trend MT and Toyota Vios 1.5G MT (2017)…. my concerns are: comfortability, fuel economy, fun to drive, durability, parts availability,speed… family of 5 with my mother using wheelchair… your response is important…
Since the EcoSport is part of your choices, high ground clearance is probably one of your reasons why you’d want one. Apart from the EcoSport, the Nissan Juke is something you might want to consider. I haven’t driven the Juke yet, but reviews point to the Juke as being extremely fun to drive due to its low height, wide stance, and great chassis tuning. Its quirky looks are a love it or hate it affair, however. Overtime, it will predictably be more durable compared to the Ford EcoSport, since Nissans tend to have a better reliability track record. The Nissan Juke (P980,000) is also great on fuel, since the bigger, more powerful 1.6 liter engine of the Juke is not strained unlike the EcoSport’s, and will also feel quicker than the EcoSport. Practicality, however, is the Juke’s low point, with one of the smallest trunks in its class, and the most cramped rear seat for people like me.
All the cars you selected hover around P850,000 to P950,000. Since you also brought to topic the Corolla Altis 1.6 G MT or Vios 1.6 G MT, you might want to consider the recently facelifted Mazda 3 1.5 V sedan (P998,000), which boasts a lot more features than both Toyotas, and is the most fun to drive sedan among the compact car class. If its pricing is already too steep for you, you also might want to consider the Mazda 2 1.5V+, which costs P895,000 for the hatchback and P865,000 for the sedan, and the Mazda 2 is also greatly more fun to drive than the Vios. Additionally, it also offers loads more equipment than the Vios 1.5G MT it rivals despite the Mazda undercutting the Vios in price, and the free 3-year maintenance provided by Mazda’s Yojin3 is definitely hard to resist, as it’ll save you a lot of money in the first 3 years of ownership. Mazda’s Skyactiv technology has also enabled their cars to return great fuel economy.
Based on your choices, it also seems you want a manual vehicle. Unfortunately, the Nissan Juke, Mazda 3 1.5 V Sedan, Mazda 2 1.5 V+ Sedan and Hatchback are all unavailable in a manual transmission, so that’s also one factor you might want to consider.
Hope this helps.