2012 Ford Focus vs. Its Competition

2012 Ford Focus
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor

A decade ago, the benchmark in this segment was the Toyota Corolla, but today’s Corolla is outclassed.

The Chevrolet Cruze—from Ford’s crosstown rivals at Chevy—is to some the top rival to the Focus.

Compared to the Focus, the Cruze feels a little roomier yet with a rather soft ride and bland styling inside and out, it’s not nearly as exciting.

For those who want a sporty driving feel, the Mazda3 is still one of the best bets; trouble is, the 3 just has too much harshness and road noise inside.

The Hyundai Elantra is the new leader in this segment, with a stylish interior and exterior, good ride comfort, and an excellent 40-mpg highway rating for all versions.

The Volkswagen Jetta became a step blander last year—with a lackluster base four-cylinder engine and unimpressive fuel economy—but otherwise it’s a decent value.

Honda’s Civic has also been refreshed this year, with an upgraded interior and a somewhat new look.

2012 Ford Focus2012 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings2012 Chevrolet Cruze 4-door Sedan LTZ Angular Front Exterior View2012 Chevrolet CruzeBrowse Used Listings2012 Honda Civic Sedan 4-door Auto LX Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings2012 Hyundai Elantra 4-door Sedan Auto GLS (Alabama Plant) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings2012 Mazda MAZDA3 with SkyActiv2012 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings2012 Volkswagen Jetta GLI2012 Volkswagen Jetta SedanBrowse Used Listings
Quick Specs
8.8
With the 2012 Focus, Ford shows that small cars don't have to feel so banal, with charismatic compacts that are more satisfying to drive, more luxurious, and better-equipped.
8.0
The 2012 Chevrolet Cruze is a practical, comfortable, fuel-efficient, and a strong value, but it does lack the nimble, tossable feel that some small-car fans appreciate.
7.0
The 2012 Honda Civic is a little more spacious, comfortable, and economical, but it's now one of the blandest of the bunch.
8.2
The 2012 Hyundai Elantra has officially left the Civic and Corolla in the dust, thanks to a 38-mpg gas mileage rating, a sleek look, and tremendous value for the money.
8.2
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
7.8
The 2012 VW Jetta delivers a better driving feel and more back-seat room than many other compact sedans; skip the cost-cutter base versions in favor of the TDI or the GLI for a distinctive choice in the compact class.
MSRP From     
$16,500$16,800$15,955$15,345$15,200$15,515
Gas Mileage     
26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy
Engine     
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
CompactMidsize CarCompact CarsMidsize carsCompactCompact Cars
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan LS4-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Ulsan Plant)4-Door Sedan Manual i SV4-Door Manual Base
Drivetrain     
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
555555
Passenger Doors     
N/A4N/A4N/A4
Body Style     
4 Door SedanSedanSedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
Transmission     
ManualManualManualManualManualManual
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Chevrolet Cruze2012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Honda Civic2012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Hyundai Elantra2012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Mazda MAZDA32012 Ford Focus vs. 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Sedan