Eh, the Ford DSG isn't great. I don't have any comparison as I haven't tried VW/Audi but I did not like the trans the Focus I test drove. As much as I dislike automatics I would have preferred it to the powershift. The one time a car I was buying had that crap the salesman told me straight I could keep the stuff or have them take it off and I wouldn't have to pay for it. Of course, I was also getting the car at invoice so clearly they knew that if they forced me to pay for it they'd be losing a sale. There have been no major defects with the vast majority of Honda automatics. Those found in the Civic, CR-V, Fit, Accord 4-cylinder have all been fine overall. I'm also convinced they learned their lesson and that current 6 cylinder autos are up to the task. Oh, for the OP. If I was in the market for a small hatch, as much as I love Hondas I would be hard pressed to not seriously consider a Sonic with the turbo motor and 5MT. Talk about power potential and the little sucker is pretty comfortable too.