2016 Ford Focus
The Focus is Ford's entry in the highly competitive compact car segment. Its strengths include a good combination of handling and ride attributes. Buyers have a choice of sedan and hatchback body styles, three trim levels and several powertrains (i.e., engines and transmissions). Variants such as the performance-oriented Focus ST, Focus RS and the battery-powered Focus Electric are also available. They are not covered in this review.
Upgrades for the 2016 model year primarily focus on the introduction of SYNC 3. This advance telematics and infotainment system replaces the similar MyFord Touch in most models. It adds a capacitive screen, stream-lined menus, special USB ports and AppLink capability.
All Focus models are built using a global structure engineered by the automaker to meet crash-test standards worldwide. Thus it's not surprising it aced the NHTSA's tests, scoring five out of five stars in overall safety. The IIHS also gave it similar scores with the agency's highest rank of Good in such tests as moderate-overlap frontal-offset and side-impact. Standard safety features include anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control systems, and plenty of airbags (a driver's knee, front, front-side and side-curtain). A rearview camera also comes standard.
Creature comforts of note include a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel and column setup, fog lamps and navigation. Optional features are available either as a standalone or as part of a bundle depending on vehicle configuration and trim level.
Most Focus models come with a 160 horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine underneath the shapely hood. It's paired to either a standard five-speed manual or Ford's exclusive six-speed dual-clutch automatic. Buyers can also option for a fuel-sipping 1.0-liter three-cylinder turbo. Transmission with this powerplant is a six-speed manual with available six-speed automatic. While not as powerful as the larger engine, it received an EPA-estimated 35 mpg in combined driving in manual-equipped models.
"Even in basic trim, Focus is among the better-handling cars," notes New Car Test Drive. "Nicely weighted electric power steering ensures precise control, though road feel is somewhat lacking. Despite a rather firm suspension, a Focus won't bang and bounce through harsh surfaces."
*All vehicle mileage based on 2016 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.