In fact, we at one point wound up staring at Google maps on an iPhone, as the Elantra's in-dash nav-screen wasn't detailed enough to show us how to negotiate a particularly confusing loop near the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts. Similarly, Hyundai's voice-recognition technology is easier to use than Sync at first, but can become tiring with its multilayered command structure, leading us to believe real owners will find more utility in the Ford system over the long haul.
Hyundai is also the more earnest in following through on its fuel-efficiency claims. Both Ford and Hyundai are heavily touting their small cars' ability to achieve 40 mpg on the highway, but the Focus only does so when equipped with a dual-clutch automatic transmission and a special fuel economy package. Our test car, equipped with a five-speed manual -- no six-speed is offered -- is rated at a still impressive, but less sensational, 26/36-mpg city/highway. The Elantra, on the other hand, is rated at 29/40 mpg regardless of trim level and with either the six-speed automatic that was in our test car or the standard six-speed manual. Over the course of our three days of mixed city and highway driving (including the round trip to D.C. from Ann Arbor, MI), we observed an indicated 36 mpg in the Elantra, versus 33 mpg in the Focus.
It's a similar story when it comes to interior space. On paper, the two cars have nearly identical interior dimensions. In real life, the Elantra feels noticeably more spacious, especially in back, where its flat floor allows for easy pass-through and tolerable legroom even for a middle passenger. The Focus feels a bit crowded in front and positively cramped in back, though it scores some points with nicely bolstered front seats and excellent materials quality overall.