Compact: Ford Focus
Base price: $16,500 - $22,700
Fuel economy: 26 City / 36 HWY

The Focus is comfortable, very fuel-efficient and fun to drive. Ford's been working to fix the car's one major flaw: an automatic transmission that loves to race but that can make you seasick in ordinary driving. Software changes should help with that.

The Focus is available in both hatchback and sedan styles, but the hatchback is most functional and looks best, as is usually the case with small cars.


By Peter Valdes-DapenaPeter Valdes-Dapena @CNNMoney - Last updated January 05 2012: 8:32 AM ET
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