Overview: A 10Best Vehicles winner in 2012 and 2013, Ford’s third-generation Focus is now merely a reliable small automotive that’s beginning to present its age amongst a set of more energizing rivals. The present Focus sedan and hatchback have been round for the reason that 2012 mannequin 12 months with out main modifications, leaving it behind many rivals by way of out there expertise. Though the broader lineup contains an electrical model, the Focus Electrical, and two hot-hatch variants, the ST and the RS, we’re overlaying solely the usual Focus sedan and hatch right here.
The Focus gives a alternative of two engines: a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter inline-four and a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder that’s designed for higher gas financial system. The 1.0-liter is now supplied solely within the sedan, and it sacrifices some oomph to earn EPA freeway scores of as much as 40 mpg. Trim ranges begin with the bare-bones S sedan, whereas the SE, SEL, and Titanium supply extra gear commensurate with elevated worth tags. The hatchback physique model prices about $500 greater than the sedan, a modest premium given its additional measure of practicality.
What’s New: Ford has simplified the Focus lineup, eliminating sure configurations, together with our favourite, the hatchback with the two.0-liter engine and a guide transmission. In actual fact, save for the enthusiast-oriented ST and RS fashions, the Focus hatchback is now automatic-only, and it’s now not supplied with the extra environment friendly turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. The SEL trim degree is a brand new addition for the hatch, slotting in between the SE and Titanium fashions.
What We Like: The Focus stays one of many extra fun-to-drive automobiles in its section, with fast steering and a responsive, well-balanced chassis. It’s refined, too, with a composed journey and a comparatively remoted inside that make it really feel dearer than it’s.
We expect the clear exterior styling has aged properly in opposition to extroverted new competitors comparable to the newest Honda Civic. The out there Sync 3 touchscreen infotainment system is refreshingly straightforward to make use of, with well-organized menus and enormous onscreen buttons. Sync 3, which is customary on SEL and Titanium trim ranges, additionally helps Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.
What We Don’t Like: Neither of the Focus’s powertrains are significantly inspiring. The two.0-liter four-cylinder is just not as punchy because the turbo fours out there in lots of rivals, whereas the tiny turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder is overmatched by the Focus’s dimension, requiring greater than 9.0 seconds to get the automotive to 60 mph when geared up with the guide transmission and greater than 10.0 seconds when paired with the non-obligatory automated. We’re additionally not offered on the six-speed dual-clutch automated that pairs with the two.0-liter engine on most fashions. Though Ford has smoothed its operation over time, it shifts slowly, eliminating any discernible benefit over a standard automated transmission whereas nonetheless displaying the typically clunky low-speed conduct widespread amongst dual-clutch gearboxes.
The Focus resides on the smaller finish of its section, and its inside feels cramped. The rear seat is tight for adults, and, even within the hatchback, cargo house is lower than beneficiant. Few active-safety options can be found, and those which might be—specifically blind-spot monitoring and lane-departure warning—come solely as a part of a $795 choice bundle on the highest Titanium trim degree, which means you’ll pay greater than $25,000 for a Focus so geared up.
Verdict: Because it ages, the Focus slides farther down the compact-car totem pole.
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