2012 Ford Focus vs. Its Competition

2012 Ford Focus image
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior 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 Focus image2012 Ford Focus
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2012 Chevrolet Cruze image2012 Chevrolet Cruze
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2012 Honda Civic image2012 Honda Civic
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2012 Hyundai Elantra image2012 Hyundai Elantra
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2012 Mazda MAZDA3 image2012 Mazda MAZDA3
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Quick Specs
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.
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.
The 2012 Honda Civic is a little more spacious, comfortable, and economical, but it's now one of the blandest of the bunch.
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.
With its new Skyactive powertrains, the 2012 Mazda3 is the eco-conscious choice that sure doesn't drive like one.
MSRP From    
Gas Mileage    
26 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 42 MPG Hwy22 MPG City / 44 MPG Hwy23 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy18 MPG City / 40 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class    
CompactMidsize CarCompactMidsize carsCompact
Style Name    
4-Door Sedan S4-Door Sedan LS2-Door Manual DX4-Door Sedan Manual GLS (Alabama Plant)4-Door Sedan Manual i SV
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity    
Passenger Doors    
Body Style    
4 Door SedanSedan2 Door Coupe4 Door Sedan4 Door Sedan
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 MAZDA3