Space-efficient package; fuel-efficient engine; lots of convenience features; world-class style.
Larger turning radius than before; dual-clutch transmission takes getting used to; ride quality suffers noticeably with 18-inch tires.
As the 2012 Ford Focus takes you down the road for the first time, you can feel yourself gradually picking up speed, as if the friction of daily automotive life had suddenly been overcome. You feel as if there is a gap in traffic ahead just for you, while every gas station you see is a reminder that you can sail past without a second thought.
What you sense has nothing to do with physics. Instead it is the burden of the small-car stereotype being lifted from your shoulders. You feel transformed by an automobile that is utterly modern, one that is neither large size nor small size but instead "right size."
Americans have been chasing such a car for decades, wobbling between the guilty pleasure of enormous land yachts and righteous enthusiasm for tiny fuel-sipping pods, but now the Ford Focus shows us the middle ground where most of us belong. Though it carries the same name as Ford's previous compact sedan, this new-generation Focus has been stretched a few inches into a size that's just right.
Just as important, the Ford Focus doesn't make you suffer for choosing the way of the right-size vehicle. It has an adventurous, modern look that makes nearly everything else on the road look tired and stuffy. More important, the 2012 Ford Focus is available with the same comfort and convenience features we demand in large cars, even while its pricing remains consistent with what we expect of a small car. The base model begins at $16,270, which is the same price as the 2010 model. The top-of-the-line Titanium reflects the greater feature array available in the new car, with a price that starts at $22,995.
As the price of fuel rises irresistibly toward $4 per gallon, it's necessary to make the hard choice between power and fuel economy. But the refined inline-4 engine in the new Focus makes you wonder what the fuss is about because it delivers both.
The 1,999cc inline-4 engine of the new Focus makes 160 horsepower at 6,500 rpm, some 20 hp more than last year's version of this engine. This is enough power to propel this top-of-the-line 2012 Ford Focus Titanium's not insubstantial 3,076 pounds to 60 mph from a standstill in 8.7 seconds, and the car goes through the quarter-mile in 16.4 seconds at 85.4 mph. This engine is also quiet while it's idling at stoplights and refined while it's humming down the freeway in the fast lane.
When the time comes to visit the gas station, you'll be surprised at the number of miles that have gone by. Edmunds testing of this 2012 Ford Focus Titanium recorded an average of 27 mpg. Ford itself promises an EPA-certified 28 mpg city/38 mpg highway, while the EPA has just certified the specially equipped Focus SFE (super fuel economy) for a highway rating of 40 mpg.
Much of the secret lies in the Focus' six-speed automated manual gearbox, a design that has made the leap from high-performance exotic cars to everyday transportation. This transmission shifts according to its own programming like an automatic, yet it still delivers the throttle response and fuel efficiency of a manual transmission. You'll notice the transmission's reluctance to creep forward smoothly from a standstill to parking lot speed, and the transitions between gears will be more abrupt than those of a conventional automatic, but the crisp throttle response combined with a surprise (in a good way) at the gas pump will overcome any reservations you might have.
The 2012 Ford Focus sits on a wheelbase that's 1.4 inches longer, while it measures 3.5 inches longer overall and 4 inches wider. An additional 2 inches in front-seat head- and legroom lets you stretch out, plus the steering wheel both tilts and telescopes, so it's easy to think that you're riding in a much larger car. If you go by the dimensions, rear-seat room has shrunk as a result, but this is largely because the front seats have more fore and aft travel.
It's actually kind of refreshing to travel in the Focus. You have a better view of the road than you get in big cars, and a feeling of safety that comes from this. At the same time, the new Focus has that Euro-style sense of structural integrity, a reflection of the high-strength steel used at key points throughout the car.
We must warn you that the laws of physics have not been entirely suspended here, because the Focus does not ride very well with the optional 18-inch 40-series high-performance tires. While these tires might deliver the quick steering response and crisp road feel that performance-oriented drivers prefer, the stiff sidewalls register every crack in the road and the car pitches noticeably back and forth over the bumps.
You can have your Focus in a plain flavor if you like, and it'll be a paragon of function. But just like the Mazda 3 and the Mini, the 2012 Ford Focus makes its strongest impression as a premium car, which is the way it really sets itself apart from the competition.
Just as in a premium car, there's a full allotment of available convenience features, like satellite navigation, dual-zone climate control, rain-sensing wipers, keyless ignition with passive entry, and even an automated system that will parallel park for you.
It is also available with the MyFord Touch system, which offers touchscreen access to all the connectivity and entertainment features of Ford Sync, the Microsoft-engineered connectivity program that combines voice control, satellite navigation, Wi-Fi capability and links to portable communication and entertainment devices.
Yet the combination of lots of MyFord Touch features with a touchscreen interface doesn't work well here. Most of the features are available through a series of menus on the screen, and the process of locating and engaging them is complex and finicky. The process isn't helped by the few buttons available, nor is it ameliorated by the voice recognition system either. In some ways, this suggests to us that the number of electronic features has overwhelmed the apparent simplicity of the touchscreen interface, and that a console-mounted remote control much like what we've seen from German carmakers would be a better solution.
Design/Fit and Finish
Not so long ago, Ford labored under its reputation for uninspired middle-class design efforts. But after a couple decades of often controversial effort by assorted executives as well as hard work by design directors J Mays and Peter Horbury, Ford now is at the sharp end of the pack, making even the Germans seem tired and empty of fresh ideas. The Focus is the poster child for Ford's effort, a statement of modernity that's remarkable at any price point, let alone among compact sedans.
Who should consider this vehicle
Just as with so many other compact sedans, the 2012 Ford Focus will find ready acceptance among the growing number of people newly conscious of rising gasoline prices. Its fuel efficiency — notably the 40-mpg promise of the Focus SFE model, one of four Ford vehicles EPA rated at 40 mpg highway — will command attention. It also holds the promise of driving performance once found (and since lost) in the Volkswagen Jetta GLI.
Yet the Ford Focus aspires to be far more than a commute car. This is an expression of stylish modernity that really makes you question the way in which cars like the Honda Accord, Chevrolet Malibu, Mazda 6, Nissan Altima and Toyota Camry have become full-size sedans, wonderful in their own way and yet a little more than we need and a little costlier than we can afford. The 2012 Ford Focus makes right size the smart size.
The manufacturer provided Edmunds this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
2012 Ford Focus Overview
The 2012 Ford Focus is offered in the following submodels: Hatchback, Sedan, Electric. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and SEL 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6AM). Focus models are available with a 2.0 l-liter flex-fuel (FFV) engine, with output up to 160 hp, depending on engine type. The 2012 Focus comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual, 6-speed automated manual. The 2012 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 2012 Ford Focus?
Save up to $247.5 on one of 275 used 2012 Ford Focuss for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $5500 as of Dec 11, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 102 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 3 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2012 Ford Focus trim styles:
The 2012 Ford Focus Titanium is priced around $8399 with average odometer reading of 89891 miles.
The 2012 Ford Focus S is priced around $6724 with average odometer reading of 80885 miles.
The 2012 Ford Focus SEL is priced around $8469 with average odometer reading of 65541 miles.
The 2012 Ford Focus SE is priced around $7650 with average odometer reading of 88260 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. 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.
Is the 2012 Ford Focus a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2012 Ford Focus and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2012 Focus featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2012 Ford Focus? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2012 Ford Focus and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2012 Focus 3.6 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2012 Focus.
Vehicle Titanium 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6AM)
Review DO NOT BUY. The transmission is absolutely horrible and ford will do NOTHING to fix it. I have broken down 2 times, my car will not accelerate and the RPMS just go crazy. I have had it in the shop 3 times within the past 2 months and they refuse to do anything for it.
2012 Ford Focus inventory listings Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2012 Ford Focus for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 1303 new and 2055 used and CPO 2012 Focuss listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 4990 and mileage as low as 7953. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2012 Ford Focus. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 301 on a new, used, or CPO 2012 Focus available from one of 2804 dealerships in your area.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
Is the 2012 Ford Focus safe? The 2012 Ford Focus earned a 4-star overall safety rating from NHTSA and "GOOD" ratings from the IIHS in the following caregories: Side Impact Test, Roof Strength Test, Rear Crash Protection/Head Restraint, Moderate Overlap Front Test Results, and a JD POWER overall quality rating of 5.0 out of 5. Among Edmunds' many tools and resources for finding your perfect car are detailed safety ratings and analysis from NHTSA, IIHS, and JD Power, including overall ratings, frontal barrier crash ratings, side impact tests and crash ratings, rollover test results, roof strength tests, rear crash protection and head restraint ratings, side barrier ratings, combined side barrier and pole ratings, and more.
2012 ford focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 5-speed manual, flex-fuel (unleaded/e85) 30 combined MPG 26 city MPG/36 highway MPG
2012 ford focus SE 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), 5-speed manual, flex-fuel (unleaded/e85) 30 combined MPG 26 city MPG/36 highway MPG
2012 ford focus SEL 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6AM), 6-speed automated manual, flex-fuel (unleaded/e85) 31 combined MPG 27 city MPG/37 highway MPG
What options are available on the 2012 Ford Focus?
Available Ford Focus 2012 Submodel Types: Sedan, Hatchback, Wagon, Coupe, Electric
Available Trims: SE, SEL, Titanium, SES, S, ZX4 S, ZX4 SES, ZX4 SE, Electric, ZX3, ZX3 S, ZTS, LX, ZXW SE, ZTW, ZX3 SE, ZX5, ZX5 S, ZX3 SES, ZX5 Premium, ZX5 SE, ZX5 SES, SE Comfort, ZXW SES
Exterior Colors: Magnetic Metallic, Shadow Black, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Lightning Blue Metallic, Blue Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Blue Metallic, White Gold Metallic, Sterling Grey Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic (Late Availability), Oxford White, White Gold, Performance Blue Metallic, White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat, Blue Candy Metallic, Race Red, Tectonic Metallic, CD Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Ebony Clearcoat, Sangria Red Clearcoat Metallic, Pitch Black Clearcoat, Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Silver Frost Clearcoat Metallic, Kona Blue Metallic, Sterling Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Blue Flame Clearcoat Metallic, Cloud 9 White Clearcoat, White Platinum Metallic Tricoat, Brilliant Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Frosted Glass Metallic, Black Clearcoat, Infra-Red Clearcoat, Ingot Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Pueblo Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Blue Flame Metallic, Light Ice Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Light Tundra Clearcoat Metallic, Liquid Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Sangria Red Metallic, White Suede Clearcoat, Ebony, Vermillion Red Clearcoat, Amber Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Atlantic Blue Clearcoat Metallic, French Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Natural Neutral Clearcoat Metallic, Sonic Blue Clearcoat, Twilight Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-Coat, Dark Toreador Red Clearcoat Metallic, Hot Pepper Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Jackpot Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Malibu Blue Clearcoat Metallic, White Suede, Aqua Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Arizona Beige Clearcoat Metallic, CD Silver Clear Coat Metallic, Cloud 9 Clear Coat, Fort Knox Gold Clear Coat Metallic, Kiwi Green Clearcoat, Natural Neutral Metallic, Outrageous Green Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
Interior Colors: Charcoal Black Insert w/Warm Steel Surround cloth, Charcoal Black Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Warm Steel Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert cloth, Medium Light Stone cloth, Medium Dark Stone Surround w/Medium Light Stone Insert cloth, Charcoal Black w/Metal Gray Surround cloth, Tuscany Red Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Medium Soft Ceramic leather, Charcoal Black leather, Medium Light Stone w/Medium Dark Stone Surround cloth, Medium Stone cloth, Medium Light Stone leather, Charcoal Black w/Warm Steel Surround cloth, Metal Gray/Charcoal Black Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert premium cloth, Medium Stone leather, Medium Parchment, Tuscany Red w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Medium Graphite, Charcoal Black Surround w/Arctic White Insert leather, Charcoal Upper/Charcoal Lower leather, Light Stone leather, Charcoal Black cloth, Dark Charcoal, Dark Flint Upper/Light Flint Lower, Dark Pebble Upper/Light Pebble Lower, Arctic White w/Charcoal Black Surround leather, Charcoal Upper/Charcoal Lower cloth, Charcoal Upper/Light Flint Lower leather, Dark Pebble Upper/Light Pebble Lower cloth
Popular Features: Post-collision safety system, Heated seats, Power Driver Seat, Leather Seats, Remote Start, Aux Audio Inputs, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Trip Computer, Keyless Entry/Start, Alarm, Bluetooth, USB Inputs, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Upgraded Engine, Upgraded Headlights, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Sunroof/Moonroof, Mobile Internet, Back-up camera, Navigation, Parking sensors, Upgraded Stereo