2011 Ford Focus Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Ford Focus Sedan

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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 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 25/34 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Ford Focus

  • The 2011 Ford Focus provides reliable transportation, but overall there are better choices to be had for a small car.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Innovative and useful Sync system, good fuel economy, comfortable ride, low price.

  • Cons

    Budget interior materials and construction, lacks polish and refinement, no telescoping steering wheel.

  • What's New for 2011

    The Ford Focus coupe has been discontinued for 2011, leaving only the sedan.

Full 2011 Ford Focus Review

What's New for 2011

The Ford Focus coupe has been discontinued for 2011, leaving only the sedan.


Let's cut to the chase: Wait a few months to buy a 2011 Ford Focus. There is a radically improved, top-to-bottom redesigned version coming soon that'll have you kicking yourself should you go ahead and pull the trigger on a 2011 Focus. While it offers simple, fuel-efficient transportation with the unique convenience of Ford's Sync system, the current Focus pales in comparison to its rivals from abroad. The new car, on the other hand, has the potential to be a class leader.

The reason for this colossal gap in desirability from one model year to the next stems from the fact that North America skipped a Focus generation. While Europe got a second-generation car, the American market soldiered on with essentially the original Focus introduced 11 years ago. Styling was altered (twice), feature content was enhanced and a two-door coupe came and went (it's been discontinued for this model year), but the current Focus is very much a dinosaur.

In some ways, the Focus actually got worse as it got older, inexplicably eliminating its telescoping steering wheel, discontinuing its hatchback body styles and trading its once spry handling for a rather soggy, comfort-oriented ride. While it has become a much more reliable car, the magic we once heralded has been gone for years.

If you can wait, we'd highly recommend hanging on for the next-generation Ford Focus. Its world-class engines, driving dynamics, interior quality and exterior style are bound to make waves. However, if you can't wait, we'd recommend the current crop of compact sedan leaders such as the 2011 Honda Civic, 2011 Hyundai Elantra, 2011 Kia Forte and 2011 Mazda 3 instead. And if you like the idea of Sync and buying American, the smaller Ford Fiesta is a wonderful little car that provides a glimpse of just how good the next Focus will be.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Ford Focus is a compact sedan available in S, SE, SEL and SES trim levels. The base S gets you 15-inch steel wheels, power locks, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a 60/40-split rear seatback, a tilt-only steering wheel and a four-speaker stereo with CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The SE adds 15-inch alloy wheels, power windows and mirrors, and satellite radio. The optional Ford Sync Equipment Group adds voice-activated controls, real-time traffic, directions assistance, Bluetooth, iPod control, an auto-dimming mirror, cruise control and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

The Focus SEL adds 16-inch wheels, foglamps, a sport-tuned suspension, heated mirrors, heated leather front seats and the Ford Sync Equipment Group. The SES is equipped similarly, but has 17-inch wheels and special front and rear fascias, but not the heated leather seats. Both the SEL and SES can be optioned with the Moon and Tune package, which adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker sound system with a subwoofer.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Ford Focus is 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 sold in California-emissions states earns PZEV tailpipe-emissions certification and produces 132 hp and 133 lb-ft of torque.

A five-speed manual is standard on all trims but the SEL, which comes with a standard four-speed automatic. That transmission is optional on the other trims. In testing, an automatic-equipped Focus went from zero to 60 mph in a slow but class-typical 9.7 seconds. EPA-estimated fuel economy with the automatic is 24 mpg city/33 mpg highway and 28 mpg combined. Sticking with the manual ups the highway number to 35.


The 2011 Ford Focus comes standard with stability control, antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), front-seat side airbags and side curtain airbags. The Focus also comes standard with 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 Focus received four out of five stars in a frontal collision. It got five stars for side impact driver protection and four stars for side impact rear passenger protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Focus its best rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset crash test and the second-best rating of "Acceptable" in the side crash test.

Interior Design and Special Features

At night, the cabin of the 2011 Ford 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 that don't fit together particularly well.

Comfort is adequate -- even for extended road trips -- but without a telescoping steering wheel, taller drivers will find its seating position a far-reaching affair. 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. It also gives the driver 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 2011 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 when driven hard, but it's just not as fun as past Focus models. Those hankering for a bit more fun and refinement are going to be happier with a Honda Civic, Kia Forte SX or Mazda 3.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Love my focus

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Focus SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I've had my focus for two years now. I bought it used with 11,000 miles on it. Now I'm at 50,000 miles and have still had no trouble. This is a car I would recommend to everyone. I did extensive research when buying my car. I narrowed my list down to the Focus, Fiesta, Nissan Versa, Hyundai Elantra and Scion XD. The Focus came at the best price, for the best reliability ratings, was the most fun to drive, and was the best looking. The Sync program isn't the most efficient system of all time, but it is a nice convenience. Occasionally it struggles, but anything electronic has it's occasional lag. This car is great, I swear by it and plan to drive it for the next ten years.

4 of 46 people found this review helpful

Seriously?? a focus?

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Focus SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I have had this car for about 5 months now. I really did not want to post a review so soon but I also did not want to wait until the car was completely irrelevant....At first my mind was so set on this Volvo S80 that I did not even want to test drive a Focus, they always seemed like a "starter" car that was short on features, esp to someone accustomed to BMWs & Lincolns. But I am an open minded car guy and the Volvo turned out to be a real POS. If nothing else I just wanted to scratch the Focus off the list. I liked it but wasn't sold until I drove a couple of other cars including a Fusion and a Mercury Milan, which was super nice but the trans had a hard clunk when downshifting from 2 to 1

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Excellent economical car!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Focus SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

The Focus is great for families like ours with one child, needing great gas mileage and comfort commuting and traveling. The Focus SE has all the bells and whistles and more, at a very competitive price. I still can't see paying over $20k for a compact car, and this one is well under that. We got a 2011 with 23,000 on it, and because it was certified we got 1.9% financing as well. That, in my opinion, was an excllent value. The car is tight, plenty of headroom, a vacuous truck, comfortable back seat and all the creature comforts we have come to expect. I also got cruise control, Sync, etc. The appearance is very good - This is a good choice for comfort, value, and economy.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

My honest opinion- excellent car

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

We own a 2011 Focus stick shift that we bought in Jan 2011. We have over 24,000 miles on it. This is our first Ford. We've owned Toyotas, Hyundais, Kias, Chevys and Saturns. This is probably my favorite so far. I really went to the dealership to look at a Fusion midsize sedan but was shocked at the cost. So we looked at the Focus.It was a little too small for my taste, but I wanted a new car so we reluctantly bought it, for a steal. It was brand new but almost 4,000 off because they wanted the old model out for the redesignes 2012s. Well, after a year and a half, I have to say I love this car and I'm glad we got it.

Objective review

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Car is great on gas and fill up is the lowest among similar size models. Bought the SE Automatic as a Demo at the dealer The brakes sorta grind when it is pressed and the stopping distance is too long for my comfort. The seats are upright with little or no thigh support. However, you do not fee cramped in the cabin. There is an abundance of room. IT takes longer than usual to heat up in the cabin in the winter. Will report on the AC when it is summer. Bump absorption is decent. It is an econo car so do not expect great acceleration. It is ample at best. The Sync system works satisfactory, no complaints so far. For the price, overall it is a solid car. I will run regular updates as the Ks go

5 of 11 people found this review helpful

Not so happy!

by on
Vehicle: 2011 Ford Focus SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

I bought this 2011 Ford Focus in March 2011 and have had three times already that it has been back to the Dealer for repairs. Once it died and left me stranded on the highway and the dealer couldn't figure out why. Another time it had a rattle and the dealer said it was because a part was left off at the factory. Now the passenger door wont open from inside or out and I have to take it to the dealer again. With all of the hype about how great a car this is supposed to be, I am really disappointed.

Talk About The 2011 Focus

2011 Ford Focus Discussions See all Started By

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Gas Mileage


  • 25
  • cty
  • 34
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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