Power from the direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder won't blow you away, but the engine is smooth, sounds good and doesn't mind being wound out. The dual-clutch gearbox shifts evenly and quickly, and blips the throttle on downshifts.
The Focus Titanium is a driver-oriented compact car, especially with the optional Handling package. The electric steering is precise and the chassis stays glued to the road, evidenced by its impressive 0.91g around our skid pad.
Considering the Focus Titanium has a sport suspension and summer tires, the ride is reasonably plush and refined. But it does get slightly jiggly on bumpy back roads. Helping here are comfy front seats.
The Focus exhibited very little in the way of wind noise, even at elevated highway speeds. The summer tires only become obtrusively boomy on coarse, bumpy streets.
The driving position is very good, upright with a decent command. Most controls are well placed and have excellent detents, but the climate control buttons are small. SYNC with the MyFord Touch system for radio/nav can be confusing to learn.
Outward vision to the front is good with reasonably small A-pillars. Side/rearward vision is aided by an extra window within each C-pillar. Optional rear sonar helps with parking.
Seat Access & Space
Left side of dash can interfere with your knee getting in/out up front, but once in place you don't feel cramped. Rear doors don't open especially wide, and rear head-, leg- and foot room are on the tight side, although good for a compact.
Cargo & Storage
Center armrest bin is refreshingly large; door pockets are adequate. Front cupholders are wide, but don't conform to smaller drinks. High trunk floor hampers space because of full-size spare. Rear seats fold, but pass-through is small.
The Focus feels substantial when you close its doors, and the materials set new standards for small cars in terms of quality and tactile feel; many soft-touch trim pieces. A few exterior body panels had non-equidistant gaps.