2012 Medium size car recommendations

I have had Ford Fairmont Ghia's for the past 15 years and really like the comfort of seats over a Camry or Commodore, and the other comforts.
I'm thinkng of going smaller for better fuel economy and easier to park. I started reading medium sized car reviews and really didn't find it helpful so would like to hear people's experiences and reviews please. Even if it's what to avoid! Will most likely get something a few yrs old in $10,000-$15,000 range.
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after having problems with some cars I would avoid largish cars that rely on placing high demands on 4 cylinders, too much technology and parts and pressure points on the system. economy on big cars is pretty good anyway. I had a 2012 mazda 2 and a 1997 commodore, very little difference in economy, the commodore was amazing actually.

I would just stick with the Fairmont/Calais range. any slight increase in fuel consumption will be saved by cheaper maintenance and ownership costs