Floyd Mayweather vs Manny Pacquiao; Serena Williams vs Maria Sharapova; Vauxhall Astra vs Ford Focus?
When the top two contenders of any industry clash it's a showpiece of the highest order - and this should be no different when considering the merits of the highest-selling used cars in the UK. The Vauxhall Astra and Ford Focus are two cars that sell in huge numbers in Europe, but both manufacturers still demand to be top of the sales pile. History dictates that the Ford Focus has an edge on its bitter rival, but is it truly the better car?
Styling and image
Mainstream cars are always under the spotlight; the smallest styling tweak can really make the difference between selling thousands of cars and failure. On the surface, Ford has the edge over Vauxhall in desirability on British shores just because of its reputation as the UK's top car manufacturer. When you also throw in competition from the Volkswagen Golf, it would seem that the Astra is destined to be the bridesmaid, and never the bride.
In terms of its exterior style, though, let's give the Astra some props (or 'proper respect'). It's never been a bad looking car; in fact we'd go as far to say that the GTC model is one of the best looking three-door hatchbacks available. The Astra has been consistent in delivering sharp, bold and often futuristic styling. But still, for pure overall aesthetics, we give the nod to the Focus.
The Ford is a traditionally better-looking car, displaying a greater flair more often than not. It could also come down to reputation alone; the Ford Focus being the bigger-seller might make it more appealing to casual car-buyers than the Vauxhall Astra.
Round one goes to: Ford Focus
Interior quality and practicality
A big selling point for many hatchbacks is the quality and practicality they exude in the cabin. The level of refinement has been something that Ford has championed, but the Vauxhall Astra has caught up and overtaken its rival by making quality a key selling point.
Technology is where the Ford shines brighter with better features, more intuitive controls and safety features abounding, but the Astra boasts a less cluttered central control panel and a more stylish appearance by comparison. The Focus pays for its better exterior styling in terms of practicality by not making the most of dimensions as the Astra's cabin is more capacious with plenty of headroom and decent accessibility.
Round two goes to: Vauxhall Astra
Drive, performance and economy
The proof is always in the pudding and the Ford Focus delivers in regards to its drive. Razor-sharp dynamics are guaranteed in any age of the Focus, and it consistently delivers in performance despite its low price.
Meanwhile, the Astra serves up plenty of grip and involvement, but does pay for its ability slightly in terms of ride quality. Ford's Ecoboost engine range is a big plus for the Focus delivering award-winning standards of performance and economy that have never been seen before. The Astra does its best to compete with a large number of engines - many of which have a low emissions output to avoid tax and provide enough grunt to make driving enjoyable.
It's a tough call, but the winner (by close decision) is: Ford Focus
If you are driven by statistics then the Ford Focus wins against the Astra, but in reality they are not too far apart in any regard. In this battle there is no loser; whichever car you opt for will be a good decision. If you're looking to buy a car on finance and have decided on either a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra, check out our competitive car finance deals and our car finance calculator today.