Ford Focus poised for continued success

Roseville, CA,- Not many people are probably aware, but the Ford Focus has been among the top-selling cars in the world, and even held the top spot in 2013.

The Focus is available on practically every continent. Give credit to Ford for globalizing the compact car, which these days can be purchased as a four-door sedan, hatchback or electric model.

Unchanged from last year’s model, the 2017 Focus does have some serious competition in a very crowded compact vehicle class. Among the biggest rivals are the Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Chevrolet Cruze, Kia Forte, Toyota Corolla, and Volkswagen Golf hatchback

So, what makes the Focus such an appealing buy worldwide? The Focus has an attractive exterior look, provides solid performance for a compact, handles well, features a smart interior, is good on gas, and can be purchased at a reasonable price – starting at approximately $18,100.

2017 Ford Focus

* Performance: turbocharged 1.0-liter, three cylinder, 123 horsepower; 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 160 horsepower; turbocharged 2.0-liter, four cylinder, 252 horsepower; Electric vehicle, 107-kilowatt electric motor, 23-kWh lithium-ion battery pack, 143 horsepower
* Mileage estimate: 30-40 mpg; 25-34; 22-30 mpg; equivalent of 99-110 mpg
* Estimated price: $18,100 to $37,200
* Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/ 60,000; corrosion: 5 years/ unlimited

There have been several changes since Ford provided its last significant redesign in 2012. Two significant modifications are adding a new Sync 3 technology interface and debuting the 1.0-liter, Ecoboost turbocharged engine.

The Focus electric vehicle (EV) is available in all 50 states – but only as a hatchback. It’s an affordable compact that starts at around $30,100, yet incentives can potentially lower the sticker price by thousands of dollars.

What makes the Focus EV a temping buy is its range working solely off its battery, an impressive 76 to 115 miles (depending on driving habits) before the car needs a charge. The EPA estimates the Focus EV has a combined fuel-economy rating of 99-110 mpg.

Industry experts say the Ford EV can be recharged in four hours (Ford estimates slightly less time) from a 240-volt power source or 20 hours using a standard 120-volt circuitry from home.

The Focus EV has a synchronized electric motor/generator, a 107-kilowatt (kW) that features a 23 kilowatt-hour (kWh), liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack that produces 143 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. Ford says the vehicle will top out at 84 mph. Although the Focus EV is not the quickest compact around, it does go 0-60 mph in 9.9 seconds. Like the gas-modeled Focus, the EV model provides a smooth and quiet ride.

The turbocharged engine is a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder that generates 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. One downside to the turbocharged model is it’s not paired with an automatic transmission. Some folks won’t care for shifting gears in six-speed manual mode. But note there are three other engine choices.

All Focus models have a fairly upscale cabin for the class, featuring good quality materials and a smart overall layout. For front seat occupants, the seating is comfortable with solid leg and head room, while the backseat room is not as generous. Cargo space is 13.2 cubic feet in the sedan and 23.8 cubic feet in the hatchback.

After years of great sales numbers, the latest version of the Ford Focus certainly seems poised to continue that trend. It’s a reliable compact vehicle with plenty of upside and is offered at a reasonable price.