In the end, the 2018 Ford EcoSport is our first choice. Ford's brand-new subcompact crossover was designed to combine modern comfort with a sporty, yet fuel-efficient ride - and it does just that. We're also big fans of its tech features, which give you complete smartphone integration without distracting you from the road ahead. The EcoSport's sporty all-wheel-drive performance gives you the confidence you need to travel through seasonal weather.
Interior Comfort & Passenger Space: 2018 Ford Focus
In the Focus, the front seats offer long-term comfort, with supportive contours and padded armrests. It's where you want to be when rush-hour traffic strikes. If you crave a little extra luxury, the Focus serves up options like leather-trimmed seats and a leather-wrapped shift knob.
The Cruze's front seats offer a range impressive of adjustments, making it easy to get comfortable, even if you're tall. But the seatbacks are on the narrow side, and they're not a good fit for everyone. Unlike the Focus, the Cruze does not offer dual-zone climate control, but its optional automatic climate control system does an excellent job of maintaining the set temperature.
Infotainment & Tech Features: 2018 Ford Focus
The Focus is our pick for modern convenience. Add-ons like blind-spot monitoring and lane departure warning add a new level of safety to your daily ride. The Focus SEL comes standard with the Sync 3 infotainment system, which includes a crisp, 8-inch touchscreen and savvy voice-control technology. You'll find it's easy to use, even if you have no love for technology. Sync 3 also includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capabilities. This smartphone integration technology displays apps on your central touchscreen, so you can make calls or view your Maps app without looking down at your phone.
The Chevrolet Cruze's MyLink infotainment system also includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for maximum smartphone integration. We like MyLink's uncluttered, easy-to-use menu systems as well. We only have one criticism: the voice recognition software could do a better job obeying your commands. Switch over to the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto interface and you can avoid this problem by simply using your phone's voice-control technology.
Fuel Economy: 2018 Chevrolet Cruze
With its new diesel engine, the Cruze provides the thriftiest ride. Combined with the automatic transmission, this compact earns 31 city/47 highway mpg. However, you should note that adding the diesel engine to the Cruze lineup adds thousands of dollars to its price tag.
When you select a 2018 Ford Focus with the turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine, you'll enjoy the line's thriftiest performance. Combined with the six-speed manual transmission, this engine earns 30/40 mpg. That's slightly less mileage than the diesel-powered Cruze, but its thrifty performance should still keep you well within your fuel budget.
Ride Comfort: 2018 Ford Focus
The 2018 Ford Focus offers one of the comfiest drives in the segment, with a smooth, compliant ride and a quiet cabin to get you through road trips. When it comes to cabin insulation, this sedan is a class leader. It keeps the road and wind noise at bay so you can hear yourself think on the highway
The Chevrolet Cruze does a respectable job of soaking up bumps and imperfections in the road. If you want a Cruze that prioritizes smoothness over sportiness, skip the Premier's RS package, which increases athleticism at the expense of ride comfort. The Cruze's engine features a stop-start system, which saves on fuel when you're stuck in traffic but jolts a little when it turns back on.
If you're looking for a compact that balances impressive fuel mileage with a smooth ride, comfortable seating, and cutting-edge technology, you've found it in the 2018 Ford Focus. This peppy little car gets you to work and back in style, earning up to 40 mpg on the highway and keeping things quiet and composed on the highway. The Focus offers all the latest in infotainment and safety technology, keeping you on your toes as you move through heavy traffic.