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Honda Civic vs. Ford Focus: Which Should You Buy?

The Honda Civic is a consistently top-ranked affordable small car that has strong reliability and safety ratings, as well as an interior that reviewers say is roomy, quiet and even a little upscale. Coming close behind the Civic in the small car rankings is the Ford Focus. Reviewers like how the Focus performs and its available high-end features, but is it a viable alternative to the Civic? Let’s take a closer look.

[See full affordable small car rankings]

2014 Honda Civic LX Sedan with automatic transmission

2014 Ford Focus S Sedan with automatic transmission

143 HP

Power

160 HP

$1,650

EPA-Estimated Annual Fuel Cost

$1,750

94.6 cubic feet

Passenger Volume

90.7 cubic feet

12.5 cubic feet

Cargo Space

13.2 cubic feet

3-year/36,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty, 5-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain warranty

Warranty

3-year/36,000-mile new-vehicle limited warranty, 5-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain warranty

AC, Bluetooth, power windows and door locks, USB and auxiliary input ports, rearview camera

Standard Features

AC, stereo with auxiliary input jack

$19,190

Base Price

$17,905

Though the Civic is a very well-rounded small car, its performance score is middling. The Ford Focus, on the other hand, has one of the better performance scores in the class, with reviewers commenting on its nimble handling. Looking at the specs, the base Focus has 17 more horsepower than the base Civic, which is fitting for a more performance-oriented car. You pay for that extra power, though, with the EPA estimating that the Focus S with an automatic transmission will cost $100 more per year to fuel than the Honda Civic LX with a continuously variable automatic transmission.

[See Honda Civic pictures and Ford Focus pictures]

The stats are split on interior space as well. The Ford Focus sedan has a larger trunk than the Civic sedan does, but the Civic has more passenger volume. When it comes to warranty coverage, the two are equal, but the Civic has a much higher reliability rating than the Focus does. Though the Civic has a higher base price than the Focus does, it also has many more standard features.

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When you get down to it, the Focus and the Civic have a lot in common and either would be good cars for most small car buyers. However, if you want plenty of standard features and a strong reliability rating, go for the Civic. Buyers who want better performance and a lower price should go for the Focus.

[Compare the Honda Civic and Ford Focus for yourself]

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