In recent years, it seems that the small-car baton has been passed in some respects.
For instance, the Hyundai Elantra occupies some of the sensible, high-value territory that the Toyota Corolla used to occupy, while Chevrolet and Dodge now have real, top-notch rivals--the Cruze and Dart--to take on the Focus.
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.
Honda’s Civic has also been refreshed this year, with an upgraded interior and a somewhat new look, both of which fix some of the egregious lapses in the 2012 model.
The Dodge Dart is all new this year; it's only offered as a sedan, but like the Focus it does offer considerably more excitement, more refinement, and a much more stylish package than previous small-car efforts.
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|2013 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2013 Chevrolet CruzeBrowse Used Listings||2013 Dodge DartBrowse Used Listings||2013 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2013 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings||2013 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings|
|23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||23 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|Compact||Midsize Cars||Compact||Compact Cars||Midsize cars||Compact|
|4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Sedan Manual LS||4-Door Sedan Aero *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Manual LX||4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant) *Ltd Avail*||4-Door Sedan Manual i SV|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|