2009 Ford Focus Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- Innovative Sync system, very good fuel economy, plush ride quality, responsive steering, low price.
- Budget interior materials.
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.
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.
2009 Ford Focus models
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.
Performance & mpg
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.
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.
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.
Most helpful consumer reviews
Features & Specs
NHTSA Overall Rating
- Frontal Barrier Crash RatingOverallNot RatedDriver4 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Side Crash RatingOverallNot Rated
- Side Barrier RatingOverallNot RatedDriver5 / 5Passenger4 / 5
- Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsFront SeatNot RatedBack SeatNot Rated
- RolloverRollover4 / 5Dynamic Test ResultNo TipRisk Of RolloverNot Rated
- Side Impact TestAcceptable
- Roof Strength TestNot Tested
- Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintGood
- IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
- Moderate Overlap Front TestGood
Used 2009 Ford Focus Overview
The Used 2009 Ford Focus is offered in the following submodels: Focus Sedan, Focus Coupe. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SE 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and SES 2dr Coupe (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Ford Focus models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 140 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2009 Ford Focus comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual. The Used 2009 Ford Focus comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2009 Ford Focus?
Price comparisons for Used 2009 Ford Focus trim styles:
- The Used 2009 Ford Focus SE is priced between $4,199 and$5,200 with odometer readings between 129125 and177620 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Which used 2009 Ford Focuses are available in my area?
Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Ford Focus for sale near. There are currently 3 used and CPO 2009 Focuses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $4,199 and mileage as low as 129125 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Ford Focus.
Can't find a used 2009 Ford Focuss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.
Find a used Ford Focus for sale - 9 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $19,542.
Find a used Ford for sale - 4 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $19,423.
Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Focus for sale - 12 great deals out of 18 listings starting at $15,711.
Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 12 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $11,718.
Should I lease or buy a 2009 Ford Focus?
Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.