Tested the Civic, Mazda 3, Elantra, skipped the Corolla. Was ready to go with Mazda 3 until I drove the Focus. Smooth ride, quietest of the bunch, seamless 5 speed shifter, great visibility, supportive seating, and a lot of pep. I'm actually having as much fun driving it as my '06 'stang GT 5 speed. The mileage is better than it's rated at. 4 aftermarket speakers and additional damping under dash and behind the door panels and the stock head sounds better than my Shaker 1000! Cannot hear tire hiss when driving in rain. Great, scatty little car!
Mileage, it stays around 35-38 MPG! Nice to fill up a 13 gal tank and see that I've got 470 mi. to empty. Cut my fuel bill in half. 5 speed shifter is seamless. Quiet! No need for stereo mods. Big trunk. No rattles or squeaks.
It seems most every Ford I've owned has weak headlights. Assign an engineer to solve this and lose the H13s! Lose the chrome "warts" on the fenders. Interior plastic looks cheap. Lose the front chrome grille strip and go with matched paint.