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 |  Jan 01 2013, 12:32 PM

2. 2012 Hyundai Elantra

It shouldn’t be any surprise that the 2012 Hyundai Elantra was one of the most popularly-searched cars of the year. Starting in 2011, the Korean brand’s compact car took dead aim at the Honda Civic — something that at least in part prompted Honda to redesign its all-new 2012 Civic after only one year of production.

The Elantra represents value by offering generous standard equipment and youthful styling that found a warm reception in 2011 which has yet to cool off. That’s especially impressive considering how heinous-looking the 2010 Elantra really was.