2009 Ford Focus Review | Edmunds.com

2009 Ford Focus

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Ford Focus Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2009 Ford Focus

  • The 2009 Ford Focus is a good value, but those in the market for a refined compact sedan or performance-oriented coupe should look elsewhere.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Innovative Sync system, very good fuel economy, plush ride quality, responsive steering, low price.

  • Cons

    Budget interior materials.

  • What's New for 2009

    For 2009, Ford has shuffled the trim levels for the Focus. The sedan now comes in four trim levels and the coupe is available in two. The coupe, although just introduced last year, also gets an exterior freshening and a couple minor modifications for improved performance. Heated leather seats are now standard on the top-of-the-line SEL sedan and optional on the trim level below it (both the sedan and the coupe). Finally, stability control has been added to the options list.

Full 2009 Ford Focus Review

What's New for 2009

For 2009, Ford has shuffled the trim levels for the Focus. The sedan now comes in four trim levels and the coupe is available in two. The coupe, although just introduced last year, also gets an exterior freshening and a couple minor modifications for improved performance. Heated leather seats are now standard on the top-of-the-line SEL sedan and optional on the trim level below it (both the sedan and the coupe). Finally, stability control has been added to the options list.


Even nearly a decade into its lifespan, the Ford Focus is still doing a pretty good job of holding its own. In a small-car segment dominated by imports, the Focus generally finishes in a respectable 3rd place sales-wise behind more popular Japanese rivals. Some credit goes to the significant refresh Ford performed last year, which blessed the Focus with a new coupe body style and an interior upgrade, among other changes. Mechanically, last year's Focus stood pat, but there was still enough inherent goodness to keep plenty of small-car buyers happy.

For the 2009 Focus, Ford has made a few more changes. It seems Ford listened to criticism about the car's odd styling elements, as the coupe has been given sleeker-looking front and rear fascias, and those dopey-looking fake fender vents have been put out to pasture. On the SES trim, Ford throws in a few exclusives, including dark-painted wheels, a new sport exhaust (which increases horsepower a bit) and a shorter final-drive ratio for the automatic transmission, to improve acceleration. The rest of the Focus is pretty much the same, though stability control is now an option again -- oddly, it debuted in the early 2000s, only to disappear in 2005.

The 2009 Ford Focus certainly has some things going for it. Its fuel economy is better than average, and the Sync interface, which allows voice control of MP3 players and cell phones, works impressively well. The Focus is also priced competitively. But those looking for engaging handling and a premium ownership experience will want to look elsewhere. The Mazda 3, for example, is a much more engaging car to drive (though markedly thirstier). The Honda Civic is slightly more expensive, but it's a much better all-around performer. Overall, Ford's aged Focus is still a viable choice for a small sedan or coupe, but you'll certainly want to check out other options before deciding.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2009 Ford Focus is available as a sedan or coupe. The four-door body style is offered in four trim levels. The base S model comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a tilting steering wheel and a four-speaker audio system with a single-CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack. Cruise control and satellite radio are on the options list. The SE adds full power accessories and Sirius Satellite Radio, and options like Sync, an upgraded stereo with a six-CD changer, heated side mirrors, chrome exterior trim, faux-aluminum interior trim, an upgraded driver seat, customizable interior lighting and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The SES trim will get you 16-inch alloy wheels and upgraded tires, foglamps and a rear spoiler, along with firmer suspension tuning for better handling. This well-equipped Focus also comes standard with much of the SE's optional equipment, including Sync and cruise control. Top-of-the-line SEL models have all SES features, plus chrome exterior trim and heated leather seats.

The Focus coupe is available in the SE and SES trim levels. They are largely similar to their sedan counterparts, though you'll find a sport exhaust and 17-inch wheels on the SES coupe.

Powertrains and Performance

Just one engine is available on the 2009 Ford Focus, a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder good for 140 hp and 136 pound-feet of torque. A cleaner version of that engine that earns PZEV tailpipe-emissions certification is also available for California-emissions states. That engine makes 132 hp and 133 lb-ft of torque.

The standard transmission on all Focus trim levels is a five-speed manual. A four-speed automatic is available as an option. The automatic on SES coupes is geared slightly shorter for better acceleration. Fuel economy for the Ford Focus is rated at 24 mpg city/35 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined for the manual transmission. Opting for the automatic drops the highway estimate to 33 mpg.


Six airbags are standard on all Focus models, including front-seat side-impact airbags and side curtain airbags for both front- and rear-seat occupants. Antilock brakes and stability control are optional on all trim levels.

In government crash tests, the Ford Focus sedan earned four stars (out of a possible five) for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. In the side-impact test, the sedan received five stars for protecting front occupants and four stars for protection of those in the rear. Curiously, the Focus coupe earned a five-star rating for frontal impacts but just a three-star rating for front and rear side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Focus a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset crash protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the 2009 Ford Focus looks contemporary, thanks to last year's refresh. The front seats are flat but prove supportive on long drives. Compared to other small cars, however, the Focus' interior is nothing special in terms of design and materials, even with the optional aluminum-like trim highlights and colored interior lighting.

One key advantage for the Focus is Ford's Sync system. Essentially a hands-free voice-recognition interface, the Microsoft-developed Sync adds Bluetooth functionality to the Focus but requires fewer steps than other systems. You don't have to save voice tags or build lists of phone numbers, as Sync accesses your device's phone book wirelessly. It offers similar control for the iPod, Zune and other PlaysForSure portable MP3 players.

Driving Impressions

The 2009 Ford Focus will get you where you want to go, but the driving experience is not particularly special. The quick steering is nice, but even the sport-tuned SES models lack the energetic handling feel that earlier Focus models were known for. The 2.0-liter engine is adequate in terms of power, though it makes raucous noises at higher engine speeds. Although five-speed automatics are becoming increasingly common in this segment, the Focus makes do just fine with four. Its gears are well-spaced, and the transmission rarely shifts up and down looking for the right gear, even on steep inclines. On the highway, road noise is about average for this segment and wind noise is nicely quelled.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2009 ford focus se auto

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car about two years ago. It had 90 thousand miles on it. I like the car because it saves me gas and it is a great car for my wife. She does not like it because it is not very spacious in the back but shes not paying for it so her opinion partially matters. at 124xxx I noticed that the front axle was humming and figured out it was the wheel bearing/hub. I would recommend this car if you are a commuter but beware the cheap quality of the car, It rides fairly well for a light passenger vehicle but my only concern is how reliable it will be once I start climbing the odometer past 140xxx. And the overall value of the vehicle seems to be depreciating faster than others in its class.

I would not buy another

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Do not believe the reviews and best lists info. I owned this car. Got it used for cheap. The engine ran well, and I did not have many maintenance problems though I got it to 70000 until I was rear ended and totaled. It totally lacks comfort. There are so many other cars that run better than this. I traveled in it and could not sleep so cramped. A windstorm almost made it go over embankment had to drive in the fast lane. The seat became loose being I'm a bigger person. When I was rear ended it tore up my knees because I hit forward. Way cramped. Unless you are short and wt 100-lbs, buy something bigger. Forget good gas mileage if the comfort is lacking or you dread driving in it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Buyer beware

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Focus SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this car with 15k miles on it. Its been one problem after another. It has left us high and dry at least 4 different times where the car wouldnt start at all. 2 times is was due to the fuel pump. The fuel pump went once last Christmas day and we had to stay at a hotel out of town overnight. Then the computer on the car went out not too long ago. Everything was covered by warranty, but what a pain . Then, just yesterday, the car would start but wouldnt shift out of park at the grocery store. Shifter was somehow locked up! It is currently at the dealer and they have no clue why that happened. I will never buy another Ford car. tires wear down very fast also. on 2nd set at 5ok miles sucks

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Issues with heated seats, ac,

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Focus SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Alignment issues with 09 & my 08 Focus as well. Guy @Alignment shop said Focus's are known for it. Bought 09' when it was 1year old, 8,550 miles. Shortly there after we took trip out west. It was mid summer, 90 degrees, with leather seats & the heated seats kicked on and off several times. Got home & dealer fixed it under warranty. They said they had reports of others with same prob. Not long after warranty was up AC blower set on level 3 would blow hard then soft, then hard again. Because of no warranty I ignored it and dealt with it. Another 50k miles later the vents on left aren't blowing as cool of air as the 2 on right side. Can hear it cycling. Others have reported same issue online

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Vehicle: 2009 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I am saving up for a much needed 3rd SET OF FOUR NEW TIRES WITHIN SIX MONTHS! I feel robbed, stuck and beaten down by Ford. No matter where I go or who I go to for help, I am given the run around. "You must have hit a pothole." (So, apparently in the 2009 Ford Focus, if you hit a pothole it will throw your entire car out of whack and wear your tires unevenly within 2 months.) I have had two alignments in the past 10 months, so I know that is not the issue. I feel like I'm driving a matchbox car and will fly off the road to my death at any moment. The entire car shakes violently and has since 30K. Very unimpressed and taken advantage of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Great little car

by on
Vehicle: 2009 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this 2009 Focus with 21k on the clock when i found out that my soon to be wife was expecting our first child. I found this black on black focus SE 2.0L Auto trans. I get 30mpg cursing down the highway at 80mph. My wife gets 36mpg driving 70mph. I have had very little issues with the vehicle We have since put over 20k on the car driving all over New England. The car drove great in the two snow storms of 20plus inches. Now is the car not made to have 4 6ft people in it. Do they fit yes. I would say that if i were to buy again for the purpose that i bought it for i would have bought a larger car. But for a single person a commuter car, or for just cheap transportation ITS GREAT.

Talk About The 2009 Focus

2009 Ford Focus Discussions See all Started By


Yes bdyment, It was shocking to me also. The Escapes have had trouble with their seats for a long time but having a 2013 Edge I thought no way. I did find out (much later) my brothers Focus (2009) and...

We have had our Focus (2009 sedan -SEL) for just four weeks. Around town we were getting about 28.5 to 29.0 per gallon. My wife is an RN and makes short (10-15 mile) trips from visit to visit. This pa...

Gas Mileage


  • 24
  • cty
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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