2011 Ford Focus Review

Pros & Cons

  • Innovative and useful Sync system, good fuel economy, comfortable ride, low price.
  • Budget interior materials and construction, lacks polish and refinement, no telescoping steering wheel.
List Price Range
$3,495 - $11,000

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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

Vehicle overview

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.

2011 Ford Focus models

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.

2011 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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.

Safety

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Ford Focus.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

Great economy car
James Smith,11/22/2015
SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
This is a great economy car. It does a lot of things well and is very easy to drive. With Traction Control and Anti-Skid, we've never had problems getting around in bad weather. Includes blue tooth phone and 6 air bags...just a very nice small car. It has been very reliable. Our car has 66,000 miles on it at this point and not a single problem yet. The body is holding up well and it has no visible rust. Love it. Review Update: We now have 89,000 miles on this car and still no problems. The body is still holding up well. I sprayed rust preventative along the bottom seamed edge of each Door and the Trunk lid too. So this car is now 7 years old and still doing great....knock on wood!
Ford Focus Long Term Review
Jon,09/22/2015
SES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car summer of 2013 with 36,200 miles on it. Fast forward over two years later, i am at 90,600 miles and have had absolutely NO issues with this car mechanically! Smooth ride, great on gas, and love the upgraded stereo that my focus has. The only problem I have had are the 17" 16 spoke wheels. The finish is peeling off badly on all 4 wheels. I will soon either have to get them replaced, or paint them myself (though that may go horribly). I also wish my car had the 5 speed manual transmission. The 4 speed auto is just a little sluggish at times. Overall would recommend this car 9.5/10
What a Great Car
hanksranger,02/23/2011
I have had this car since December 2010, First off I never saw myself buying a car, as I have always driven and liked trucks more; but I needed something good on gas as I have put 5000 miles on it since I bought it. I have not had a single mechanical issue with it. It handles great, looks good and fit my budget perfectly (the extra features I did not plan on getting where a huge plus). Ford has done really well with their quality the past few years as I have noticed. This thing is built very well and the interior is very well put together, with quality material. I cant stress enough how happy I have been with it. Only thing I could say is its not that comfy on long trips.
daily car
burak askin,12/22/2018
SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
if you need a car with fuel efficiency and cheap to maintenance by your self thats exactly what you looking. my car 2011 and has 170000miles on it just change the oil on time thats it. perfect handling good fuel economy i think my car 31.8 mpg but if you drive in city it will be 29<.

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover13%

More about the 2011 Ford Focus

Used 2011 Ford Focus Overview

The Used 2011 Ford Focus is offered in the following submodels: Focus Sedan. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SEL 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 4A), and S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2011 Ford Focus?

Price comparisons for Used 2011 Ford Focus trim styles:

  • The Used 2011 Ford Focus SE is priced between $3,495 and$11,000 with odometer readings between 27552 and167255 miles.
  • The Used 2011 Ford Focus SEL is priced between $4,901 and$8,487 with odometer readings between 56679 and178273 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 2011 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) 2011 Ford Focus for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2011 Focuses listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,495 and mileage as low as 27552 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 2011 Ford Focus.

Can't find a used 2011 Ford Focuss you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Ford Focus for sale - 3 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $17,366.

Find a used Ford for sale - 6 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $8,274.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford Focus for sale - 12 great deals out of 12 listings starting at $9,486.

Find a used certified pre-owned Ford for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $25,583.

Should I lease or buy a 2011 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.

Check out Ford lease specials
Check out Ford Focus lease specials