The Civic and Corolla used to be the segment leaders among inexpensive compact sedans, but just over the past two to three model years everything's changed with the entrance of several excellent models.
The Kia Forte is one of the oldest in this segment now, yet it's still a good choice with a strong feature list and perky driving feel.
Then there's the Chevrolet Cruze, which feels more refined and sophisticated than its low price tag might suggest.
The Hyundai Elantra is also one of the best-equipped vehicles in this class, and all versions get an EPA 40 mpg highway.
Meanwhile the Ford Focus might be the best-driving vehicle in this class, with excellent handling and a firm but comfortable ride—plus a bold, nicely styled interior.
Also in the mix is the 2012 Volkswagen Jetta, though the Jetta suffers from the same somewhat de-styled, de-contented syndrome as the Civic.
|2012 Honda CivicBrowse Used Listings||2012 Chevrolet CruzeBrowse Used Listings||2012 Ford FocusBrowse Used Listings||2012 Hyundai ElantraBrowse Used Listings||2012 Kia ForteBrowse Used Listings||2012 Subaru ImprezaBrowse Used Listings|
|22 MPG City / 41 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy||26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||22 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 36 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas Flat 4|
|Compact Cars||Midsize Car||Compact||Midsize cars||Compact Cars||Compact Cars|
|4-Door Manual DX||4-Door Sedan LS||4-Door Sedan S||4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant)||4-Door Sedan Manual LX||4-Door Manual 2.0i|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||All Wheel Drive|
|Sedan||Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||4 Door Sedan||Sedan|