2010 Ford Focus Review | Edmunds.com

2010 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 2010 Ford Focus

  • The 2010 Ford Focus is a good value among small sedans and coupes, but it lacks the level of refinement and performance found in other top models.

  • Safety
  • Pros

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

  • Cons

    Budget interior materials, lacking in polish and refinement, no telescoping steering wheel.

  • What's New for 2010

    In addition to numerous trim level and option revisions, all Focus models get standard keyless entry, antilock brakes and stability control. Sync now includes the ability to provide directions, traffic and information when paired with mobile phones.

Full 2010 Ford Focus Review

What's New for 2010

In addition to numerous trim level and option revisions, all Focus models get standard keyless entry, antilock brakes and stability control. Sync now includes the ability to provide directions, traffic and information when paired with mobile phones.


Ford is definitely shaking things up with its frantic pace of fresh model introductions, and its new world order looks to continue with the upcoming release of a new Focus and Fiesta next year. But where does that leave the current Focus? It stands to reason that anticipation of a sharper redesigned model may relegate the 2010 Focus to lame-duck status.

Though it was heavily updated two years ago, the incumbent 2010 Ford Focus can still be considered a single-termer that started service a rather unbelievable 10 years ago. On the positive side, the Focus still has a liberal amount of feature content, a low cost to maintain and an economically sound price tag. Add in the nifty Sync feature and environmentally friendly fuel economy, and the current Focus holds up as a viable candidate for a small car.

But this car has also built up some undesirable baggage during its term. Notably, there's a general lack of excitement and curbside charisma when the Focus is taken out for a spin, which is a shame because it originally had these qualities. While economy cars aren't typically expected to have high quotients of personality, other automakers have really upped their small cars' game in recent years. Additionally, the Focus is still haunted by the use of some low-quality interior plastics, subpar construction and a four-speed automatic transmission (many other cars have five-speeds or continuously variable transmissions (CVTs).)

Overall, we think that the current Focus is a respectable choice for a compact sedan or coupe, but shoppers should certainly examine the competition before casting a vote. The Mazda 3 is our favored choice, as it combines a high-end interior with a fun-to-drive nature. The Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit are other perennial all-stars, while Kia's new Forte is worth a look as well. And if you are still interested in a Focus, it might be worth waiting a bit to catch the new and improved model for next year.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2010 Ford Focus is available as a sedan or coupe. The four-door body style is offered in four trim levels. The base S sedan comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, a four-speaker audio system with a single-CD/MP3 player and an auxiliary audio jack. Satellite radio is the only available option. Upgrading to the SE will get you all of the above plus 15-inch alloy wheels and full power accessories. There's also more to choose from in terms of options, such as a rear spoiler, foglamps, the Sync electronics interface (includes Bluetooth and iPod integration), an upgraded stereo with a six-CD changer, cruise control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, customizable interior lighting, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and a sunroof.

The SEL trim (sedan only) will get you all of the SE features and options (minus the spoiler and sunroof) plus 16-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors, a sportier suspension, chrome exterior and interior accents, leather upholstery and heated front seats. The SES trim level represents the athlete of the model line by adding 17-inch alloy wheels, a more aggressive front fascia for the sedan, dark chrome exterior trim, a rear spoiler and a performance-enhanced suspension. Options for the SEL and SES are few and include the sunroof and a premium nine-speaker sound system.

Powertrains and Performance

2010 Ford Focus models are powered by a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces 140 horsepower 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. In testing, an automatic Focus coupe went from zero to 60 mph in a lackluster 9.7 seconds. 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. For 2010, antilock brakes and stability control are now standard on all trim levels. Also new for the 2010 Focus is Ford's programmable MyKey system, which allows parents to specify limits for vehicle speed and stereo volume for their teenage drivers.

In government crash tests, the 2010 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 protection of 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 coupe a top rating of "Good" for frontal-offset and side crash protection. The Focus sedan also earns a "Good" rating for frontal protection, but receives a downgraded "Acceptable" for side impact protection.

Interior Design and Special Features

At night, the cabin of the 2010 Focus has a high-tech feel about it, thanks to a soothing cool blue glow from the gauges and optional customizable ambient lighting. But these lighting effects do little to mask some interior missteps, including cheap-looking plastic interior bits and a button-heavy center stack that some people find a bit confusing.

Despite having a non-telescoping steering wheel and fairly flat front seats, comfort is adequate -- even for extended road trips. Luggage capacity is also suitable for road trips at nearly 14 cubic feet, with 60/40-split-folding rear seats at the ready for even more storage. One other nice attribute is Sync, a voice activation system that allows hands-free operation of mobile phones, iPods and other MP3 players. The 2010 Focus further increases Sync's appeal by adding the ability to acquire driving directions, traffic conditions and other information by pairing it with Bluetooth-enabled phones.

Driving Impressions

Behind the wheel of the 2010 Ford Focus, you'll likely be pleased with the relatively quiet and smooth ride quality. Engine performance is also respectable for a small car, but the four-cylinder can sound noisy and the four-speed automatic is increasingly outdated by competing models' five-speed units. To its credit, the Focus has commendable steering response and feedback along with a decent amount of grip when driven hard. But those hankering for a bit more fun are going to be happier with a Honda Civic or Mazda 3.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Overall excellent fun durable reliable car. Good in snow, MPG, comfortable, features like manual / heated seats-mirrors, tilt steering, traction control that were hard to get at this price with others. It still runs so well but I look after it. I do some rough back roads in snow as well.

Love my '10 se

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I know car magazines love to hate this car but I don't get it. Bought my '10 in '11 as a cheap gas saver and i've been very happy with it. The 2.0 4 cylinder isn't crazily fast but it easily keeps up to speed on the highway and averages 34/35 mpg. I'd like it to have another gear and be a bit quieter but overall this is a great car for the money. I take it toi the dealer for the recommended 7.5k services and it's never cost me more than $45. I'll just keep rolling on...

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

O-k until transmission went out

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Focus SES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought the Focus as a used car with 20k miles. Tires were not so hot so replaced them. I drive 100-150 miles daily & needed good fuel economy. It gets about 30-35 on highway & much less in town. Have not had much difficulty until the transmission went out at 93,000 miles. Oil changes & check ups are done on time by the dealer's service department. The dealer has had it since March 17 tried 3 transmissions which were not good and is still looking for one. I authorized a new one but for some reason the dealer's service department is balking on it. Getting close to 2 months with no replacement to be found. Thinking about just giving it to the dealer & getting a Toyota.

4 years, 112,000 miles and

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Focus SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car for a daily 132 mile round trip commute. This car was on my short list because it is one of few in the category that I can fit into easily - 6'2" and 210 pounds. I average 36 mpg overall - a little worse in the summer running AC all the time. Comfort is acceptable for a 2 hour commute. Leather and heated seats are pluses for comfort in winter. I do not like SYNC as it does not work with my cellphone. I have had only 1 warranty repair - a head gasket at about 80K miles. At 4 plus years the car looks and drives like new. It is no beauty, but I can live with it for the long run.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Go kart handling, go kart

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car for a cheap fuel savvy commuter and it was just that. I've had the car from new and now have 70,000 miles on it. It has never broken down and I have averaged 30mpg during my ownership. I drive this car extremely rough and demand a lot more out of it than it can really put up with, so for that it wins some points. I bought this car knowing I wouldn't have it for life, I changed the oil every 10,000 miles. The original brakes were terrible and vibrated from the beginning so I swapped them out, as with the tires that wore out at 20k and were god awful in the rain. I slapped some expensive tires on and it made the car much better overall.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Worst focus ive owned out

by on
Vehicle: 2010 Ford Focus SES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought the focus ses in June of 2011 with 18k on it, I traded it in in April 2013 with 45k on it. In the 22 months and 27,000 miles i owned it i went through 3 sets of tires, 2 axles, 2 wheel bearings, abs control module that cost me almost 2000, 2 sets of front rotors, the driver side door handle broke, the locks in the car stopped working, and the sync would not work half the time. This all happened around the time the warranty ran out and just to be clear Ive always been very easy on my cars. This was my fourth focus Ive owned, 2 01s, an 05, and this one. I traded this one in for a 2013 corolla, I test drove the new focus and could not stand the way the transmission felt.

Talk About The 2010 Focus

2010 Ford Focus Discussions See all Started By

will wheels from a 2008 focus stock 15" aluminum fit a 2010 focus ses with 17" wheels? I heard they might not clear calipers...

A friend of a friend has worked at a local Ford for years and is offering the focus SE at invoice price. So after all taxes etc. are added, and the $500 student discount and trade-in downpayment, the...

Focus still does not crack the top ten of best selling cars....

Gas Mileage


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