2012 Hyundai Elantra vs. 2012 Ford Focus: Which One Should I Buy?

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The Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus are both offerings in the inexpensive compact sedan category, and both represent some of the best offerings in that class. Compact cars are slightly larger than a subcompact, but smaller than a mid-size; generally a solid and cost-effective offering in the family car realm.

The Hyundai Elantra and the Ford Focus have both raised their games with this model year, with features, styling, and performance that aim to please. While both claim to “set the standard” for excellence in their class, they both have good points and places where the vehicles fail to excite. The Hyundai provides a more eye-catching exterior than the Focus, but at least the Focus has lost the dreadfully awkward look of previous model years. Styling is very subjective, so it’s difficult to say which will appeal to the average consumer.

Ford Focus 2012
Ford Focus 2012

Power and Efficiency

Fuel efficiency is a hallmark of this class of small compact sedans, and 40 mpg is practically required to allow the tradeoff for smaller size. Many of the vehicles suffer from power loss, but the Focus has a slight advantage in terms of power, however the twin-clutch transmission can be reluctant to downshift when passing. The Elantra tends to head straight for sixth gear to provide that fuel economy boost, but tends to downshift quickly – sometimes even dropping a few gears – when you hit the gas for a little extra boost of power. Neither vehicle met their stated ratings for fuel usage in real world testing.

Interior Design

The Elantra’s interior design feel is simpler, and the layout in general is pleasing to the eye even though the material quality is just not there. The hard plastic feels inexpensive; while by contrast the Ford’s interior offers much more to write home about. While it’s still a bit cramped, the material used for the interior far outclasses that of the Hyundai and leaves you with an overall impression of quality. The seats in the Ford Focus are surprisingly luxurious as well, as opposed to the Elantra’s board-flat buckets and limited head room from the dramatic roof line.

The Ford Focus has a higher overall gas mileage, nicer interior materials and design look, but suffers in comparison to the Elantra’s ease of use for the dashboard interface and the overall price point of the Elantra certainly wins.


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Chris

21 years of experience
1719 reviews
Chris
21 years of experience
Lexus ES300 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Garden Grove, California
Very professional, but although cool in a sense. On time actually arrived at site earlier than expected that was a plus. Also very thorough, and gave recommendations. Thanks alot Chriss.
Jaguar F-Type - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Mission Viejo, California
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Willie

23 years of experience
28 reviews
Willie
23 years of experience
Hyundai Elantra - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Stanton, California
Had Will inspected two Hyundai Elantra SE at different dealers. He was prompt and provided great feedback on the cars. Really value his experience and recommendation. We're highly satisfy with Will and his service.
Dodge Avenger - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Long Beach, California
Willie is a hard and reliable worker. Fixed the problem. 3rd experience with him I think. Very satisfied

Raymond

36 years of experience
155 reviews
Raymond
36 years of experience
Ford Explorer - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Las Vegas, Nevada
Very happy with the pre-inspection service. He was in contact from when he left to when he arrived at dealership to a FULL Sheet of info right after the inspection. Raymond helped make me feel at ease buying the car after having his professional opinion that everything was good. The one thing he did recommend I mentioned to the dealership and they took care of it before I even bought the car. :) Thanks so much for your expertise. I would definitely use this website again for any future services I may need.
Subaru Baja - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Las Vegas, Nevada
Raymond was early, Very Professional, & very thorough. Answered all my questions and was very informative. Did an Excellent job !

David

12 years of experience
287 reviews
David
12 years of experience
Honda CR-V - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Marietta, Georgia
Prompt and knowledgeable. David arrived early to do our pre-purchase car inspection and completed it in a timely fashion. He communicated his findings, recommendations by phone and text message, which was nice. I appreciated the information and details he provided.
Mercedes-Benz E400 - Pre-purchase Car Inspection - Kennesaw, Georgia
David called when he arrived and called shortly after he finished inspecting the vehicle. Unfortunately, due to the inefficiency of the sales representative at the dealership, David was not able to drive the vehicle as the final phase of the inspection.

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