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.
The Ford Focus coupe has been discontinued for 2011, leaving only the sedan.
The 2011 Ford Focus provides reliable transportation, but overall there are better choices to be had for a small car.
Cost to DriveCost to drive estimates for the 2011 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M) and comparison vehicles are based on 15,000 miles per year (with a mix of 55% city and 45% highway driving) and energy estimates of $3.57 per gallon for regular unleaded in Virginia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2011 Ford Focus.
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!
5 out of 5 stars
Ford Focus Long Term Review
2011 Ford Focus 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
4.63 out of 5 stars
What a Great Car
2011 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
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.
5 out of 5 stars
VERY RELIABLE AND AFFORDABLE
2011 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
The 2011 Ford Focus goes down as one of the most reliable and affordable vehicle I have owned, and I have owned a few. I bought it used in 2013 with 30,000 and the only maintenance I have had is a full set of brakes and 10 oil changes in the last 15,000. It gets great gas milage, but would like if it had a larger fuel tank (only 13.5 gal). It is comfortable on long trips, and the … trunk easily held the luggage for 3 people. My only regret is the color, black, but when buying used you take what's available. Over-all, I would recommend the Focus and plan to pass it down to my daughter when I am ready to buy another.