2012 Ford Focus hatchback

The 2012 Ford Focus is stylish inside and out without being overdone. Ford has got the styling of its new compact car, which is sold throughout the world, just about right, not quite as over the top as the new Hyundai Elantra, but edgier than the conservative Chevrolet Cruze.

Available in sedan and hatchback formats, the Focus is a giant step ahead of the car it replaces in terms of exterior shapes and interior refinement. The new car in either style looks sportier and more aggressive than the previous model.

We like the hatchback styling best with its flowing roofline, rear spoiler and large wrap-around taillights. The grille has the big-mouth aggressive look that has become popular. Ford has done an outstanding job with the look.

The gauge cluster and center stack are handsome and outfitted with first-class materials.

MotorwayAmerica photos by Jim Meachen