Interior headroom front/rear is 39.0/37.1 inches, while front and rear legroom is 42.0/36.2 inches. Trunk cargo volume is 12.5 cubic feet.
The Car Connection rates the 2012 Honda Civic at 6.8 out of 10, largely for its duller interior and lack of overall improvement in a tough class.
2012 Hyundai ElantraEnlarge Photo
2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS
With an EPA rating of 29 mpg city/40 mpg highway, the 2012 Hyundai Elantra GLS (and Elantra Limited) don’t require a special package to deliver high fuel economy, unlike its competitors. The Elantra is powered by a 148-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine paired with six-speed manual transmission (a six-speed automatic is an additional $1,000).
Notable standard equipment for the base Elantra includes a six-way driver seat, driver seat height adjustment, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, six-speaker 172-watt AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, XM Satellite Radio, and iPod/USB auxiliary input jacks. Standard safety features include an anti-theft system integrated with remote keyless entry, panic alert and trunk open.
Interior headroom front/rear is 40.0/37.1 inches, while legroom front/rear is 43.6/33.1 inches. The Elantra boasts a trunk cargo volume of 14.8 cubic feet.
The Car Connection rates the 2012 Hyundai Elantra at 8.2 out of 10.
2012 Ford FocusEnlarge Photo
2012 Ford Focus S
The base model 2012 Ford Focus S sedan, priced at $17,295 with destination charge, is powered by an all-new 160-horsepower 2.0-liter Ti-VCT direct-injection in-line four-cylinder engine paired with a five-speed manual transmission. Fuel economy is EPA rated at 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway.
Standard equipment includes four-way manual driver’s seat, two-way manual passenger’s seat and two-way adjustable head restraints, folding rear bench seat, manual climate control, air filtration system, four-speaker AM/FM/single-disc CD/MP3 audio system, and power mirrors with integrated blind spot. A small number of optional packages are available as well as six-speed Power Shift automatic (for an extra $1,095).
Front and rear headroom is 38.3/38.0 inches, while front/rear legroom is 41.9/33.2 inches. Trunk volume is 13.2 cubic feet.
Note that to get 40-mpg highway fuel economy, you’d need to go up one trim to the SE with SFE package (super fuel economy). That gives you automatic transmission, 16-inch steel wheels, MyKey owner controls and more for $19,885 (including destination).
The Car Connection just named the 2012 Ford Focus Best Car to Buy.
2012 Chevrolet Cruze
2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS
For $17,470, consumers can get the base model 2012 Chevrolet Cruze LS sedan, powered by a 138-horsepower 1.8-liter in-line four-cylinder engine matched with a six-speed manual transmission that’s EPA-rated to deliver 25 mpg city/36 mpg highway fuel economy. The six-speed automatic is an additional $995.
Note that the top-of-the-line Chevy Cruze Eco trim, with 42 mpg highway fuel economy from 1.4-liter turbocharged engine and six-speed manual transmission is $19,995 (including destination).
Standard Cruze LS features include 60/40 folding rear seat, six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system with seven-inch diagonal color display and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (three months free). Standard safety features include OnStar Directions and Connections for six months, including Turn-by-Turn Navigation.
Interior headroom front/rear is 39.3/37.9 inches, while front/rear legroom is 42.3/35.4 inches. The Chevy Cruze leads the class with 15.4 cubic feet of trunk cargo volume.The Car Connection rates the 2012 Chevrolet Cruze at 8.2 out of 10.