Looking for a compact car with a comfortable ride, sporty handling and lots of high-tech interior options? The 2017 Ford Focus might be a good match. Here's a quick rundown of what we like, what we don't and the bottom line from the Edmunds editors.
TRAVIS LANGNESS: I'm Travis Langness, Edmunds editor. And here's our Expert Rundown of the 2017 Ford Focus. Ford Focus is essentially unchanged this year, other than a few alterations to trim levels and features availability. The Focus has a great balance between a comfortable ride and feeling sporty and secure when going around turns. That's not something you get a lot in the compact car class, and we praise the Ford for it. The interior's quiet at highway speeds. And there's lots of available high tech features. Unfortunately, the back seat room is tight for adults. And there's not a lot of cargo space. There is, however, a hatchback variant that you can get if you need more room for your stuff. On the inside, there's an easy to use touchscreen and intuitive voice controls. In the past, Ford's SYNC technology was difficult to use. But lately, it's become a lot easier. The bottom line is the Ford Focus is a class leader for us. It's got a good balance between handling and comfort as well as excellent fuel economy. If you can get over the marginal acceleration, we definitely recommend it. For more reviews of key competitors, go to YouTube and check out more of the Edmunds Expert Rundowns.
The front-drive Focus is a stalwart of Ford's product portfolio and it's built to hold down the company's position in what may be the most value-conscious segment of the market: compact sedans and hatchbacks.
Still, there are a few tweaks to the model mix for 2017. A new SEL model includes 17-inch wheels and black-painted trim. And the latest Sync 3 information/navigation/entertainment system with voice recognition technology has been added to the options list. A new addition to the color palette is called "White Gold"; Ford insiders have confirmed to Edmunds that there is no actual gold is in it, however.
Leaving the performance-oriented ST and even higher-performance RS aside for the time being, the regular, gasoline-burning Focus is offered in four trim levels as either a five-door hatchback or four-door sedan. And beyond that there's a five-door all-electric Focus, too.
The base "S" is offered only as a sedan and only with Ford's straightforward 160-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. The SE, SEL and Titanium trim models all come as either a sedan or hatchback with the 2.0-liter engine. But the SE sedan is also offered with Ford's 1.0-liter, turbocharged, three-cylinder EcoBoost powerplant rated at 123 hp. The 2.0-liter is backed by either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission, while the EcoBoost 1.0-liter comes with a six-speed manual or six-speed automatic.
The direct-drive one-speed electric Focus uses a 143-hp permanent magnet traction engine.
Fuel economy numbers range widely. The EPA rates the electric model at the equivalent of 107 mpg combined (118 city/96 highway). However, that's limited to a 115-mile range. The manual-transmission, 1.0-liter Ecoboost burns actual gasoline and is rated at 34 mpg combined (30 city/40 highway). The 2.0-liter Focus with the automatic — which will be purchased by the overwhelming majority of buyers — carries an EPA rating of 29 mpg combined (26 city/36 highway). All solid numbers in this class.
The Focus has been part of the North American Ford line since 2000 and this third-generation model went on sale back in 2011. So some newer competitors have advantages over this aging model.
Considering all the choices available in the compact class, making sense of it all can be daunting. That's why Edmunds is here to help with researching your purchase and getting a great deal from a great dealer.
Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.