Small Cars Rising: This Time Detroit Is Prepared
MSRP: $16,275 - $21,975
Fuel Economy: 36 mpg Hwy/26 mpg City
The Cruze replaced the Chevy Cobalt, and the "Eco" version gets more than 40 mpg.
Chevrolet's new Cruze is a global compact sedan that has been refined for America with an emphasis on fuel economy. The Cruze features two new small-displacement four-cylinder engines; a 140-hp 1.4L turbo, or a 138-hp naturally-aspirated 1.8L. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the LS and soon to be released ECO trims; all others feature a six-speed automatic transmission.
MSRP: $13,320 - $17,120
Fuel Economy: 37 mpg Hwy/28 mpg City
One version of the Fiesta, the SFE, gets 40 mpg on the highway.
The all-new Ford Fiesta is a sub-compact, front-wheel drive, five-passenger car. Available in four- and five-door bodystyles, the current benchmarks for the sub-compact segment are being tested by the Fiestas styling, comfort and luxury features, technology, and overall practicality. The Fiesta hatchback is offered as either SE or SES trims, while the sedan can be had in S, SE, or SEL form. Power comes from a 119-hp 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. An advanced six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission is optional. Standard features on all models include air-conditioning, capless fuel filler system, power body-colored mirrors, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, aux audio input jack and electronic power-assisted steering.
MSRP: $16,270 - $22,765
Fuel Economy: NA
The Ford Focus is still small, economical, and fun but now it includes the latest technology and style; setting a new standard in the compact car category. Completely redesigned for 2012 the Focus is now available as a four-door sedan and a five-door hatchback. Available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback the front-wheel drive Focus is all-new for 2012. Ford offers four trims on the Focus, the S is available on the sedan, the SE, SEL, and Titanium are available on both models. The new high efficiency engine is a 160-hp 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder with twin independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT), direct gasoline injection and E85 capability.
MSRP: $14,995 - $18,895
Fuel Economy: 34 mpg Hwy/25 mpg City
The Forte is Kia's offering in the competitive Compact market segment. Attractive styling, pricing and feature content are what make this car standout. The Forte is available in sedan or hatchback body styles. Both feature Kia's distinctive family grille. The Forte is available in three trims; LX (sedan only), EX and SX. The LX and EX trims both feature a 156-hp 2.0L four-cylinder and a six-speed manual, or available six-speed automatic transmission. The SX features a 173-hp 2.4L four-cylinder and a standard six-speed automatic (sedan) or six-speed manual (hatch) transmission.
MSRP: $14,830 - $19,980
Fuel Economy: 40 mpg Hwy/29 mpg City
The Hyundai Elantra is a compact car with handsome styling and nice lines. It has excellent interior space and standard safety equipment. The current generation Elantra can seat up to five and has very accommodating trunk space. Two trim levels are offered: GLS and Limited. Both use a 148-hp, 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual transmission is standard on the GLS trim, while a six-speed automatic with Shifttronic is standard on the Limited trim and available on the GLS.
Available: Fall 2011.
When the Chevy Spark arrives in the U.S. as a 2012 model, it will be the smallest Chevrolet in the brand's U.S. portfolio. The five-passenger Spark is only 143 inches long, nearly a foot shorter than the Chevy Aveo hatchback GM has been selling. Considered a "mini car," it's aimed at city dwellers. GM has said the Spark will be sold in more than 100 markets around the world by 2013.