Ford Focus

2016 Ford Focus

The Ford Escort is getting long in the tooth, having last been redesigned for the 2012 model year, but it still offers a good combination of ride and handling attributes. The Focus comes in sedan and hatchback versions, with front-wheel drive standard and a choice of powertrains.

Little has changed for the 2016 model year, except for the emergence of a greatly improved Sync 3 infotainment system. Installed in much of the 2016 lineup, Sync 3 replaces the much-criticized, non-intuitive MyFord Touch interface. Sync 3 has a capacitive screen, streamlined menus, smart-charger USB ports, and AppLink capability.

Conveying a sportier aura than many compact sedans and some hatchbacks, the Focus comes in a broad range: from budget-priced Focus S to luxurious Focus Titanium trim and high-performance Focus ST.

Offered only with a 6-speed manual gearbox, the Ford Focus ST can reach 60 mph in a frisky 6.3 seconds.

eaching further yet, a super-performance Focus RS with all-wheel drive joins the lineup late in the model year as a 2016 model.

Most models hold a peppy 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 160 horsepower, teamed with either a 5-speed manual gearbox or a 6-speed PowerShift dual-clutch automatic transmission. Buyers can choose instead a 1.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged three-cylinder engine, now available with a 6-speed automatic transmission as well as manual shift.

Also available, on a limited basis, is the Focus Electric, which is EPA-rated at 105 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent).

Outward visibility is quite good compared to other compact cars, although rearward vision can be an issue. However, a rearview camera comes standard. You can even get Active Park Assist, which actually steers the car into a parking space.

Ford offers a selection of safety features, including a Blind Spot Information System as well as Lane Keeping Assist. Unfortunately, you need to step up to a higher trim level to obtain such features, and some of the latest forward-collision and automatic-braking technologies arent available at all.

Built on a global structure engineered to meet international crash-test standards, Focus has earned top Good ratings in all categories, for tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. Sole exception was an Acceptable score in the more rigorous small-overlap frontal test. Testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration resulted in a five-star overall rating, with five-star scores for frontal and side crashes. A rearview camera and drivers knee airbag are standard.


2015 Ford Focus

The latest version of the top-selling Ford Focus compact sedan made its North American debut at April's New York International Auto Show.

The 2015 Ford Focus sedan is restyled with a new hood, headlights and grille. The grille uses Ford's new signature trapezoidal-shaped opening and strong horizontal lines, scaled proportionately to the compact Focus, giving it a stronger family resemblance to the midsize Fusion and the subcompact Fiesta. In the rear, the 2015 Ford Focus gets a redesigned trunk lid and new tail lights.

Inside, the 2015 Focus gets more sculpted seats and a new center console, including a new cupholder design. Enhanced features of Ford's Sync infotainment system include connected apps that can access real-time vehicle data including speed, acceleration, odometer and location information, as well as refinements to the voice-activation system and a more seamless integration with compatible iPhone and Android devices. Also standard on the 2015 Ford Focus is a rearview camera and Ford's MyKey system, which allows owners to limit vehicle speed and audio volume, as well as block incoming calls and text messages to paired phones.

Options include a new heated steering wheel and a number of active safety technologies, like blind spot detection, lane keeping assist and cross-traffic alert.

Making its debut on the 2015 Ford Focus is Ford's 1.0-liter three-cylinder EcoBoost engine, a small but efficient powerplant used also on the Fiesta, mated to a new 6-speed manual transmission. Official specs haven't been released, but the 1.0-liter engine makes 123 horsepower and 125 pound-feet of torque in the smaller Fiesta. We'll see if those numbers hold true for the heavier Focus.

Ford's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 160 horsepower will also be offered, with a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

From an engineering standpoint, the 2015 Focus gets a revised suspension with a new shock absorber valve design, revised electric power steering and software updates to its dual-clutch automatic transmission, which Ford says will equate to better performance and handling, as well as a quieter ride.

Deliveries of the 2015 Ford Focus sedan are expected to begin in the latter half of 2014. Pricing hasn't been announced, but we expect a modest bump over the previous model, starting at around $18,000.


2014 Ford Focus

Available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback models, Ford Focus offers sharp looks, technology and refinement with excellent fuel economy. A choice of drivetrains is available.

Focus comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine with direct injection and twin variable valve timing. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard and a 6-speed automatic with SelectShift is optional. The standard 2.0-liter engine makes 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. The 2014 Ford Focus gets an EPA-estimated 26/36 mpg City/Highway with 5-speed manual, 27/37 mpg with 6-speed automatic, both on Regular gasoline.

Focus ST features a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that cranks out an impressive 247 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Focus ST comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox and sport-tuned suspension. Focus ST comes as a hatchback only with a special body kit. The sporty Focus ST is rated 23/32 mpg City/Highway.

The Focus Electric is powered by a 107-kilowatt electric motor that has an estimated range of 76 miles per full charge and an EPA energy efficiency equivalent rating of 110 MPGe City and 99 MPGe Highway or 105 MPGe Combined. It's an electric car, so gas stations are a thing of the past. You charge it up at home. With a 240-volt home charger, Ford says the Electric can be recharged in four hours, half the time it takes the Nissan Leaf to get fully juiced. The Focus Electric competes most closely with the Leaf, although the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is a smaller, less expensive all-electric alternative. Government subsidies, perks and kickbacks make the Focus Electric more attractive to buyers.

The Ford Focus models have nice interiors for the class. The soft materials are clearly high quality, while the hard trim looks slathered on. There's excellent legroom in front, but rear legroom is only moderate. The gauges are easy to read and include a big tachometer and speedometer with cool blue needles.

The MyFord Touch connectivity interface powered by Microsoft's SYNC comes standard. The system uses twin high-resolution screens, including an 8-inch touch screen in the center console, to communicate with your car. The driver uses three senses: see, hear, touch. Ford says the system is designed to be simple and completely intuitive for the driver, and maybe it was designed that way, but it doesn't always work that way. We found this latest version of MyFord Touch difficult to use.

On the road, the Focus is exceptionally quiet. A lot of productive effort went into making the cabin silent, with luxury-levels of sound insulation practically everywhere, including the doors, windshield, carpet and headliner. Ride quality was smooth and soft. We found the standard engine extremely smooth with plenty of power. However, we thought the 6-speed automatic was imprecise in its shifting, while the 5-speed manual felt ropey.

Ford Focus competes with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cruze, Subaru Impreza, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Kia Forte and Volkswagen Jetta.


2013 Ford Focus

One of the most popular compacts on the market, the Ford Focus has a sharp, futuristic look that leaves behind old stereotypes of small, affordable American cars. Completely redesigned for the 2012 model year, the Focus makes its claim as the technology and fuel-mileage leader in its class. The 2013 Focus lineup adds two new models: the sporty Focus ST and the all-electric Focus Electric.

The Ford Focus comes in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback models.

The most popular 2013 Focus models come with a 2.0-liter engine with direct injection and twin variable valve timing. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard and a 6-speed automatic is optional, with SelectShift manual mode an option for the automatic. The standard 2.0-liter engine makes 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2013 Ford Focus are 26/36 mpg City/Highway with 5-speed manual, 28/38 mpg with 6-speed automatic.

The new 2013 Focus ST features a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that cranks out an impressive 247 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Focus ST comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox and sport-tuned suspension. Focus ST comes as a hatchback only with a special body kit. The sporty Focus ST is rated 23/32 mpg City/Highway.

The Focus Electric is powered by a 107-kilowatt electric motor that has an estimated range of 76 miles per full charge and an EPA energy efficiency equivalent rating of 110 MPGe City and 99 MPGe Highway or 105 MPGe Combined. It's an electric car, so gas stations are a thing of the past. You charge it up at home. With a 240-volt home charger, Ford says the Electric can be recharged in four hours, half the time it takes the Nissan Leaf to get fully juiced. The Focus Electric competes most closely with the Leaf, although the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is a smaller, less expensive all-electric alternative. Government subsidies, perks and kickbacks make the Focus Electric more attractive to buyers.

The Ford Focus models have nice interiors for the class. The soft materials are clearly high quality, while the hard trim looks slathered on. There's excellent legroom in front, but rear legroom is only moderate. The gauges are easy to read and include a big tachometer and speedometer with cool blue needles.

The 2013 Focus uses the MyFord Touch connectivity interface powered by Microsoft's SYNC. The system uses twin high-resolution screens, including an 8-inch touch screen in the center console, to communicate with your car. The driver uses three senses: see, hear, touch. Ford says the system is designed to be simple and completely intuitive for the driver, and maybe it was designed that way, but it doesn't always work that way. We found this latest version of MyFord Touch difficult to use.

On the road, the Focus is exceptionally quiet. A lot of productive effort went into making the cabin silent, with luxury-levels of sound insulation practically everywhere, including the doors, windshield, carpet and headliner. Ride quality was smooth and soft. We found the standard engine extremely smooth with plenty of power. However, we thought the 6-speed automatic was imprecise in its shifting, while the 5-speed manual felt ropey.

The 2013 Ford Focus competes with the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Subaru Impreza, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Kia Forte and Volkswagen Jetta.

 

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