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The Best Compact Sedan for Front Seat Comfort

August 21st, 2011

The compact sedan segment owners have spoken.  Both inside and out, the Hyundai Elantra is the best compact sedan when it comes to looks.  But what about front seat comfort and roominess?

We assembled over 100 compact sedan owners to carefully evaluate 11 of the best-selling compact sedans in America.  Included were the all-new 2012 Civic and Focus, and the new-for-2011 Elantra, Cruze, and Jetta.  We had them rate each model on 87 attributes, including 11 detailed front seat comfort and roominess measures.  Here are what they found to be the best compact sedan front seat comfort.

The 2nd runner up:  The all-new 2012 Honda Civic.  Civic tied with the Nissan Sentra for the second most comfortable front row seating area.  It’s top-rated shoulder room and above average legroom provide best-in-class front seat roominess.  Above average range of steering wheel adjustment and comfortable armrests add to Civic’s strengths.

The 1st runner up:  The Nissan Sentra.  Sentra ties Civic for best-in-class roominess on the strength of its top-rated head and shoulder room.  Like Civic, Sentra’s armrest comfort rates above average.

The winner:  The new-for-2011 Hyundai Elantra.  Taking the top rating in 9 of 11 detailed measures, compact sedan owners judge Elantra’s front seats not only beautiful, but comfortable.  Elantra ties Civic and Sentra for roominess and earns best-in-class scores for driver seat comfort and ease of entry and exit.

So, Elantra wins the front seat comfort sweepstakes.  But, what about those who need to carry adults or adult-sized teens in the rear seat?  The driver may be comfortable, but how much is that worth if his teenage rear passengers are miserable?  Which compact sedans sport the most comfortable rear seats?  In a few days, we will roll out what 100 segment owners said after comparing them all.  But, you don’t have to wait.  See for yourself by selecting the compact sedan segment and then scrolling down to select the rear seat attribute.  You’ll get the top 3 compact sedans in order of rear seat comfort and roominess.