For those who enjoy driving, the Mazda3 is still the best handling choice in this class, and though its powertrain isn’t quite as great as the one in the Civic, it’s fast.
Yet another good choice is the new Kia Forte; it’s certainly more enjoyable to drive than the soft Corolla, without giving up much if any refinement, and it has an interior that comes across as upscale and very well appointed.
If you can get past the ungainly styling of the Ford Focus, it’s worth considering for interior comfort, along with features like Ford's SYNC entertainment and hands-free phone controller.
If you’re a more comfort-oriented shopper, you should take a look at the Hyundai Elantra, which isn’t as much fun to drive but feels a step above in refinement.
|2010 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2010 Kia ForteBrowse Used Listings||2009 Toyota CorollaBrowse Used Listings||2008 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2008 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings||2008 Mazda MAZDA3Browse Used Listings|
|21 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 34 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 33 MPG Hwy||18 MPG City / 32 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|4-Door Man DX||4-Door Sedan Man LX||4-Door Sedan Man (Natl)||2-Door Coupe S||4-Door Sedan Man GLS||4-Door Sedan Man i Sport *Ltd Avail*|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door Sedan||4dr Sdn||4 Door Sedan||2 Door Coupe||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan|
|Manual||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD||Manual w/OD|