I looked over many cars and narrowed 'em down to the Ford Focus and Toyota Corolla. The 2012 Focus is all new styling for body and auto transmission. The front of this Focus looks cheesy and isn't functional, being nothing more than mostly a bug catcher. A new, double clutch auto transmission, worried me also - no track record regarding functionality and durability. The Focus gas cover was cheap plastic with matching body paint.
The Corolla I chose was an S model. I've owned for 1 month. This had the 16" wheels I liked. The steering is TOO responsive, but i'm used to it now. Terrific gas mileage at 31mpg driving 75-80mph. Comfortable. Too much static creating vinyl and plastic inside tho.
Gas mileage, looks attractive, pretty comfortable for 1 hr. drives. 16" wheels. No problems with the floormats ! Very quiet, without alot of road noise. Love the 2 yr./24,000mi. free maintenance. Loved the 1.9% financing. Looking forward to long usage.
Electric assist steering is tricky. It's real responsive and takes some getting used to, especially at highway speeds. Accelerator pedal is touchy between 3rd/4th gear with the auto transmission, driving at highway cruising speed of near 60mph. The lightest touch, or lift off the pedal, can make the car want to accelerate or decelerate. I'm getting used to it tho.
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.