Second-best back-to-school car: 2014 Ford Focus
Base price: $16,310
Available from Ford (F) as a sedan or hatchback, the Focus combines high-quality interior finishes with good cabin space and lots of available high-tech equipment.
"The Ford Focus is really fun car to drive, and it's stylish inside and out," Allan says.Perhaps the car's most unique feature is its optional Active Park Assist system. Available on the top-of-the-line Focus Titanium, Active Park Assist uses ultrasonic sensors to control steering and help you parallel park perfectly (you still control the gas, brakes and transmission). Higher Focus trim lines also come offer Bluetooth phone connectivity, satellite radio and the Ford Sync voice-activated-command system as standard or optional equipment. Under the hood, the base Focus comes standard with manual transmission and a 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine that produce 26 mpg/city and 36 mpg/highway. Optional automatic transmission will boost that to 27 mpg/city and 38 mpg/highway.
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