Just after we flip our calendars to the year 2011, we'll have three new sedans on the street, all poised to compete against one another and priced from around the $16,000 mark – the 2011 Volkswagen Jetta, 2011 Chevrolet Cruze and 2012 Ford Focus. Each car has a lot of positives and we're sure the automotive media will be lining up comparison tests as soon as each are ready. But right now, we want to know what you, the reader, thinks has the makings of the best $16,000 sedan. Read the details and vote for your pick below.

2011 Volkswagen Jetta
  • Dimensions (inches): length: 182.7, width: 70.1, height: 57.1
  • Engines: 2.5-liter inline-five with 170 horsepower, 177 pound-feet of torque; 2.0-liter turbo-diesel four with 140 hp, 236 lb-ft; 2.0-liter turbocharged four with 200 hp, 207 lb-ft; six-speed automatic, dual-clutch and manual transmissions will be available
  • Fuel economy: Over 40 mpg for TDI diesel models
  • Available features: Navigation, Bluetooth, 60/40 split rear seat
2011 Chevrolet Cruze
  • Dimensions (inches): length: 181.0, width: 70.7, height: 58.1, wheelbase: 105.7
  • Engines: 1.8-liter naturally aspirated inline-four with 138 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque; 1.4-liter turbocharged four with 138 hp and 148 lb-ft; six-speed manual and automatic transmissions available
  • Fuel economy: 40 mpg for Eco models
  • Available features: Bluetooth, USB connectivity, OnStar support
2012 Ford Focus
  • Dimensions (inches): length: 179, width: 72, height: 58, wheelbase: 104
  • Engines: 2.0-liter naturally aspirated inline-four with 155 horsepower, 145 pound-feet of torque, mated to a five-speed manual or six-speed dual-clutch automatic; 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged four reportedly in the works with 240-plus hp and a six-speed manual
  • Fuel economy: 40 mpg highway targeted for base 2.0-liter model
  • Available features: SYNC, active park assist, navigation
What is the best new $16,000 sedan?
2011 Volkswagen Jetta 1 (33.3%)
2011 Chevrolet Cruze 1 (33.3%)
2012 Ford Focus 1 (33.3%)


Note: Official specifications for the 2011 Jetta and 2012 Focus have not been released as of this writing, but these are the details that Autoblog has learned through industry sources.



  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan speeds around the test track Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by John F. Martin for Chevrolet)
  • 2010 Hydra-Matic 6T40 (MH8) Six Speed FWD Automatic Transaxle for Chevrolet Cruze and Chevrolet Malibu
  • 2011 M32 (MZ0) Six Speed FWD Manual Transaxle for Chevrolet Cruze
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze front suspension is a fully independent, decoupled MacPherson spring over damper design where normal damper loads are decoupled from the harsh jounce loads for better isolation and ride control. �Lower control arms and front knuckles are lightweight aluminum for better wheel control on rough surfaces. �New hydraulic ride bushings improves NVH. �The steering system is a dual pinion rack-mounted electric power system that provides precise control, responsiveness and direct on-center feel.
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze features a patented rear suspension design that incorporates a torsion beam-compound crank rear axle with Watts Link linkage system for better side-to-side wheel control for greater stability and handling response. �A tuning element tube is welded to the trailing arms also using a patented helical welding process and attached to the body through new hydraulic ride bushings for superior road noise and vibration isolation.
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)
  • The 2011 Chevrolet Cruze fuel-efficient sedan undergoes crash testing Friday, April 16, 2010 in Milford, Michigan. The new Cruze offers class-leading fuel economy, the spaciousness and amenities of a midsize car, and more safety features than other vehicles in it class. (Photo by Jeffrey Sauger for Chevrolet)



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