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


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.






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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 174 Comments
      • 4 Years Ago
      focus if you're after more spirited driving, jetta if you wish to trade some of that for some worldly comfort and a half-bucket of comfort.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Autoblog, you should've included Dodge Caliber in this poll just for the lulz...

      ..oh wait never mind. Their starting price is $17,630. Wow....just wow.....
        • 4 Years Ago
        Caliber is standard with Power Windows, Locks, Mirrors, Heated Mirrors, Auto-Dim Mirror, U-Connect Bluetooth, I-pod Control, Aux. Jack, ABS, and a full set of Airbags.

        But yes, people always pay sticker for any of these cars *rolls eyes*.

        Dimwits.
        • 4 Years Ago
        seriously? wtf. what. the. f. 17k+ for that pos? do not understand.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Er. I meant other 2.
      • 4 Years Ago
      VW
      Focus
      Cruze

      The VW looks like an Audi on the inside and out, and while I realize that neither will cost $16k, the GLI and TDI models both really appeal to me. The Focus comes in as a close second because of Sync, a great looking interior, and the promise of high-performance variants. The Cruze is last (not 3rd) because it already seems old. Nothing about it is exclusive in the segment, and I have a feeling that Cruze fans will end up falling back on that well-worn GM fans' excuse: "...but it was cheap."
      • 4 Years Ago
      WELL..Autoblog...
      lets make it fair..

      JETTA pictures are pictures released from the automaker

      FUCUS pictures are also pictured released by the automaker

      Cruze pictures : looks like someone took them with a disposable camera

      the three pictures on the main page while both Fucus and jetta look like they are fully loaded the Cruze doesnt even have any fog lamps so its probably not fully loaded.
      That will make the car look cheaper compared to the other two.

      Now, what The cruze needs is some new Headlamps and tailamps, and maybe a Black Lower grille *(the bodycolor looks cheap).
      • 4 Years Ago
      chevy needs to hold its release of this car, it is a couple years too late. thy need to release their NEW UPDATED CAR here in the usa as a 2012 model which they shoud have been working on. otherwie there gonna be dissapointed by the sale figures when those come around. this looks all bad for chevy....unless there are looking for an underdog status and surprise everyone with a hugly refined and new cruze as a 2013 model which i hope is on the way!!
        • 4 Years Ago
        Agreed! Cruze exterior looks outdated already! I really like the interior though.

        I picked Focus, I think it looks best.

        If the world were perfect I would take the Focus exterior and the Cruze interior.

        The inside and out of the VW is just yawntastic.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I'd take the VW any day. It's just an overall more pleasant, refined, and usable car than the other two. The interior is actually nice. The engine isn't that bad.

      In terms of sales though, I predict the Cruze takes the cake, as all the Rental Car agencies will probably go Cruze Crazy.
      • 4 Years Ago
      D. 2011 Hyundai Elantra
      • 4 Years Ago
      None of the above. Wait until Focus RS comes out with 2.0 liter 265hp and a six speed manual or paddle shifted-dual clutch.
      • 4 Years Ago
      One more comment: Toyota is totally out of the running here. Corolla just doesn't have the stones to compete with these three. Sliding into irrelevance unless it gets a big redo fast.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @AMcA
        I agree. The corolla isn't in the same class as the Focus or Jetta when it comes to driving dynamics. I can't wait to test drive the new Focus.
        • 4 Years Ago
        @AMcA

        What part of "new models for 2011" don't you understand? In a couple of years (or less for the Civic), the new Corolla and the Civic will be compared, and you'd have to say, "sheesh, the 2011 Focus and Cruze need a new refresh or they're gonna be so obsolete".

        But on topic: the Focus, easily. With Ford's improvements in image and otherwise, and with the Focus's much more youthful styling, I think Ford may have a winner here. The Focus hatch is very nice. The Jetta is very classy but borderline boring. The Cruze...well, at least they're trying.

        @edirtaynine

        That VW door closing sound is actually the latch coming loose after a year :P
      • 4 Years Ago
      Although nice looking inside and out and possessing good driving dynamics I don't understand why Volkswagen's lousy quality isn't being mentioned. A nice car if you like plastic interior bits in your lap.

      German "quality" has been overstated for at least ten years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      The burning question I have is - base price for the eco models w/ standard equipment list? A base TDI jetta will be closer to 20k rater than 16. And a base focus? I'll bet money it'll be so barren that the fiesta looks like a good alternative. The chevy? While probably not significantly better than the focus for equipment, having the base models capable of 40mpg and w/ a 6 speed mnual should gurantee some niche sales form the hypermilers and people shopping chevy would rather be seen in a cruze than an aveo. As far as coolness goes - focus, performance - jetta (TDI cup possible + GLI), sales - the very average cruze.

      Sorry people, but toyota and honda have proven that predictable sells in showrooms, performance sells in dreams. The fiesta is just too good for the focus to compete at that price bracket.

      Now in a 20k shootout, money on the focus and jetta for sure. If you are spending that money and have the options, they seem to be the superior product. But go for 15-20k and the cruze just fits.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yea, actually, with the Fiesta around, I'd be surprised if the Focus will stay bottom out at $16k. I was expecting something more like $18k base, which would include power everything, A/C, etc...

        The baseline Fiesta can be the low price stripper, no reason to have cheap Focuses out there to dilute the brand.
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