The 2018 Ford Focus is a well-rounded and competent small car. It's available in a variety of flavors, including a no-frills commuter machine, a high-performance hatchback and, yes, even as an EV.
The core appeal of the 2018 Ford Focus, however, remains its comfortable ride along with enjoyable handling and a quiet interior. We also like the the available Sync 3 infotainment system. It's fast and powerful and supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, ensuring your commute won't lack entertainment.
On the downside, the Focus' rear seating is tighter than its competitors', and the available 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine's power can seem inadequate when you're accelerating to highway speeds or passing. Certain rivals best the 2018 Focus in these areas, but we think it's worth a look if you're shopping for a small sedan or hatchback.
trim levels & features
The 2018 Ford Focus is a front-wheel-drive compact economy car that is available as a sedan or hatchback. It comes in a variety of styles and trim levels. The core starts with the bare-bones S, which is followed by the budget-conscious SE, the well-equipped SEL and the top-of-the-line Titanium. Adjacent to these trims is an electric variant that is called, simply, Electric. The performance-oriented ST and high-performance RS, which have more powerful engines and aggressive suspension tuning, are reviewed separately.
The base S trim is available only as a sedan and employs a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (160 horsepower, 146 pound-feet of torque). A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and a six-speed automatic is optional.
It comes with 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, 60/40-split folding rear seats, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, a 4.2-inch central display, power front windows (manual rear windows), power locks and mirrors, Ford's MyKey (limits speed, audio volume, etc., for young drivers), voice controls, Bluetooth, a four-speaker sound system and USB port.
One step up is the SE, which is available as a hatchback or sedan. The hatchback comes with the 2.0-liter engine and six-speed automatic, while the sedan uses a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine (123 hp, 125 lb-ft of torque) and a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
Standard SE equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, power rear windows, a trip computer, a front center armrest, rear air vents and a six-speaker sound system. Available options include a Cold Weather package (adds heated mirrors and heated front seats and steering wheel). SE trims equipped with the 1.0-liter engine have access to an Appearance package that adds different 16-inch wheels, daytime running lights, foglights and black exterior detail elements. A 17-inch wheel upgrade is also available with this package.
The SEL trim is available as a sedan or hatchback. Standard equipment includes 17-inch wheels, daytime running lights, foglights, a sunroof, ambient interior lighting, dual-zone automatic climate control, rear proximity sensors, an 8-inch entertainment screen with Sync 3 (includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay support), two USB charging ports and a 10-speaker Sony stereo system. Options include the aforementioned Cold Weather package and navigation with satellite radio.
The Focus Titanium has the highest level of standard equipment. Its exterior wears a different style of 17-inch wheel and chrome exterior trim. The interior gets leather-trimmed seats, four-way adjustable headrests, eight-way power-adjustable driver seat, a leather-wrapped shift knob, rear center armrest, seatback map pockets and remote start. While the Cold Weather package is standard, an optional Titanium Technology package adds automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring with cross-traffic alert, and lane departure warning.
As you might guess, the hatchback-only Focus Electric is powered by an electric motor (143 hp, 184 lb-ft of torque) that runs through a single-speed automatic transmission. EPA-estimated range is 115 miles. It's equipped similarly to the Titanium trim but boasts xenon headlights and restyled taillights. Leather-trimmed seats are optional.
Each vehicle typically comes in multiple versions that are fundamentally similar. The ratings in this review are based on our full test of the 2016 Ford Focus SE (turbo 1.0L inline-3 | 6-speed dual-clutch automatic | FWD).
NOTE: Since this test was conducted, the current Focus has received only minor revisions. Our findings remain broadly applicable to this year's Focus.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
edmunds expert review process
This review was 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.