Roseville, Calif. – Although this may not be the most identifiable car in the Ford stable of vehicles, the Focus has given the venerable American automaker plenty of notoriety and a bundle of cash since its U.S. debut in 1999.
Not many people are probably aware, but according to Ford, the Focus is among the top-selling cars in the world and is available on practically every continent. Chalk one up to Ford for globalizing the compact car, which these days can be purchased as a four-door sedan, hatchback or electric model (not included in this review).
And it’s not like the Focus doesn’t 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 $17,225.
There have been several changes since Ford provided a redesign in 2014. Two significant modifications for the 2016 Ford Focus is adding a new Sync 3 technology interface and debuting the 1.0-liter, Ecoboost turbocharged engine.
2016 Ford Focus
- Performance: 2.0-liter, four-cylinder, 160 horsepower; turbocharged 1.0-liter, three-cylinder, 123 horsepower
- Mileage estimate: 27-40 mpg; 30-42 mpg
- Estimated price: $17,225 to $23,725
- Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles; drivetrain: 5 years/60,000 miles; roadside assistance: 5 years/ 60,000; corrosion: 5years/ unlimited
Although not test driven here, the new turbocharged engine – a 1.0-liter, three-cylinder that generates 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque – is receiving plenty of praise, with some auto experts making it their engine of choice. 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.
The standard Focus engine is the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder that produces 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. Both the S and SE models have a standard five-speed manual transmission with the six-speed automatic transmission an option. The Ford Focus goes 0-60 mph in 9.0 seconds and the gas mileage is 27-40 mpg.
The Focus has nice road manners and is ideal as a commuter car for people of any age group. It provides a secure and stable ride, accelerates fine when needed, and the generous mileage won’t have owners visiting a gas station too frequently. Another complimentary feature is the quiet ride, something that’s not a common trait of numerous compact cars.
Ford discontinued the MyFord Touch system, a source off constant frustration for buyers of previous Focus models. The Synch 3 touchscreen responds quicker and is easier to operate.
The Focus has a fairly upscale cabin for its 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 back seat 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 2016 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.