If you want a compact hatchback with good gas mileage, a pretty well-designed interior, and plenty of features for the money, you have plenty of options this year.
The Nissan Versa has all of those things--including a roomier interior and the ride of a larger car--but it's simply not fun to drive.
The all-new Chevrolet Sonic is an excellent entry in the market, with a more comfortable, refined feel.
Also worth considering is the Toyota Yaris; it's also been redesigned for 2012 but remains on the more practical, comfort-oriented end of the scale.
One of our editors' favorites remains the Honda Fit; its more spacious, versatile interior has plenty of headroom for taller drivers as well as an especially handy Magic Seat arrangement that lets the rear seats be folded low for cargo.
The base MINI Cooper is another fun-to-drive alternative, but it costs thousands more.
Also, next to the Ford Fiesta, we tend to like the Mazda2's powertrain and tuning a bit more, although the Ford definitely has the upper hand for features.
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|2012 Mazda MAZDA2Browse Used Listings||2012 Chevrolet SonicBrowse Used Listings||2012 Ford FiestaBrowse Used Listings||2012 Honda FitBrowse Used Listings||2012 Nissan VersaBrowse Used Listings||2012 MINI CooperBrowse Used Listings|
|28 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||27 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy||24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy||25 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy|
|Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4||Gas I4|
|- TBD -||Compact Cars||Subcompact||Small Station Wagon||Compact||Minicompact|
|4-Door HB Manual Sport||4-Door Sedan LS 1LS||4-Door Sedan S||5-Door HB Manual||4-Door Sedan Manual 1.6 S||2-Door Coupe|
|Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front-wheel drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive||Front Wheel Drive|
|4 Door HB||4 Door Sedan||Sedan||5 Door Hatchback||4 Door Sedan||Coupe|
|Detailed Spec Comparison|
|2012 Mazda MAZDA2 vs. 2012 Chevrolet Sonic||2012 Mazda MAZDA2 vs. 2012 Ford Fiesta||2012 Mazda MAZDA2 vs. 2012 Honda Fit||2012 Mazda MAZDA2 vs. 2012 Nissan Versa||2012 Mazda MAZDA2 vs. 2012 MINI Cooper|