Compact family saloons are no longer the plain-Jane machines they were a decade ago. To enthusiasts, driving one of these cars was only slightly better than puttering around in an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle). You weren’t exactly driving a school bus, but the experience was just as dull.
The family saloons available today, however, are a far cry from their vanilla predecessors. Although their purpose as an everyday runabout is unchanged, their designs have gone from bland to glam, while the driving experience they offer is now spicy rather than flavourless.
Promising plenty of zest is the athletic-looking Ford Focus, which we test in range-topping Titanium spec. Apart from its reputation as an able handler, the Focus also aims to delight with its slick drivetrain and well-sorted steering.
Just as eye-catching is the sleek Hyundai Elantra, which is seen here in Elite guise. Its key strengths are a spacious interior and a sublime ride, which have been instrumental in drawing buyers thus far.
Also in the ring is the Elantra’s mechanical cousin, the all-new Kia Forte K3. While both models share the same platform and powertrain, the K3 will be relying on its fresh design and interior refinements to lure buyers away from its rivals.
Which of these stylish runabouts actually delivers a driving experience that is commensurate with its looks? Keep reading and find out what we think.