The Ford Focus is offered in 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback forms in S, SE, Titanium, ST and RS trims--although hatchbacks aren't offered in base S form and the high-performance ST and RS are hatchback only.
The 2016 Focus offers a range engines possibilities. The smallest is a 1.0L 3-cylinder turbocharged "EcoBoost" engine. Owners choosing the 1.0L can expect excellent fuel economy, however power levels aren't as low as many would guess. The 1.0L engine makes a respectable 123hp and 125 lb-feet of torque. The next step up is a 2.0L direct-injection 4-cylinder engine, making 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. Ford's Ti-VCT variable valve timing system helps provide stronger response through the rev range while saving fuel at other times. Ford anticipates up to 40 mpg on the highway. A 2.0L high-output turbocharged 4-cylinder engine powers the high performance Focus ST. It makes 252 hp and 270 foot-pounds of torque, ensuring strong acceleration from the Focus ST.
The new-for-2016 Focus RS features a turbocharged 2.3L 4-cylinder engine good for 350 horsepower and 350 lb-feet of torque. It's mated to a full-time all-wheel drive system and a 6-speed manual transmission as the only powertrain combination.
With a 4-wheel independent suspension--combining a semi-isolated front subframe and a control-blade multi-link rear suspension--along with 4-wheel disc brakes in all but the S and SE models, the Focus has stronger performance credentials than most small cars. The suspension is tuned to be quite firm yet has enough give to soak up heaves and potholes; Ford's electric power-steering system provides good steering weighting and responsiveness as well. In addition, a torque vectoring system, included with the standard stability control system, balances torque delivery between the front wheels for better poise out of corners.
Front seats in the Focus are supportive buckets, with even better, firmer bolstered ones provided with the Sport Package. Both the sedan and hatchback have about the same back-seat space--just ample for most adults. Cargo space is quite generous in either model, with a relatively wide trunk opening in the sedan. In either model, the back seat folds forward nearly flat.
The Focus S model is quite basic, but includes air conditioning, a tilt/telescopic steering wheel and CD sound as well as Ford's SYNC system with a 4" LCD display and Bluetooth. SE models add 16" alloy wheels, remote keyless entry, cruise control and Ford's MyKey system.
Titanium models add a limited-slip differential, fog lamps, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, proximity entry, dual-zone climate control and heated leather seats.
All Focus models but the base S come with Ford's SYNC system, which provides voice-command-based connectivity with phones and media players and can perform other actions such as reading texts. MyFord Touch is included in all Titanium models and brings a huge, colorful 8-inch touch-screen display, which can also be controlled through steering-wheel buttons. This system includes advanced voice control for climate control, entertainment and other vehicle functions, and can also turn the vehicle into a wireless hotspot with a USB-based cellular data modem. It's also packaged with an upgraded Sony sound system, as well as satellite radio and HD Radio with an iTunes tagging function. Other available features in the Focus include multi-color interior ambient lighting, push-button start and an Active Park Assist system that steers the car into a parking spot while the driver only modulates the brakes.
The Focus ST is far more aggressive than its siblings. Its standout feature is a turbocharged 2.0L engine producing 252 horsepower and 270 foot-pounds of torque. The ST's suspension has been strengthened and its unique 18-inch wheels help to greatly improve the handling of the car, while larger brakes help balance performance. The exterior is also differentiated from standard Focus models with a unique grill, body kit and rear wing, giving the Focus ST a much lower stance and more aggressive look. Available only as a hatchback and with pricing similar to the Titanium model, the Focus ST offers a bit less luxury but a lot more performance. Starting at just over $24,000, it is available at an excellent price point.
The Focus RS takes compact performance to a new level. In addition to the all-wheel drive and 350-horsepower engine, the RS also includes upgraded brakes, 19-inch wheels wearing Michelin Super Sport rubber, a driver-controllable ride control suspension, HID headlamps, a 10-speaker Sony audio system, additional gauges displaying oil pressure, and boost pressure. Outside, The RS distinguishes itself with an under-bumper intercooler, a rear wing spoiler and a dramatic lowered stance.
A fully electric-powered Focus hatch is available in certain regions. It features a 107kW electric motor with a liquid-cooled lithium ion battery good for 143 horsepower and 184 lb-feet of torque. The electric Focus does not skimp on comfort. It includes power windows and locks, remote keyless entry, proximity entry, dual-zone climate control, heated seats and Ford SYNC. The EPA estimates its range at 76 miles and a 240V fast charger can top the battery up in less than 4 hours.
The Ford Focus Electric makes a return appearance in the CNET garage, this time for the 2015 model year. The EV car market has had two years to evolve, and the charging infrastructure has had as much time to grow. How does this former Editors' Choice Award winner fare, today? We charged it up and hit the road to find out.
Under the hood is the 107kW electric motor. Those kilowatts work out to a more familiar 143 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque being sent through the Focus' single speed gearbox and to the front wheels. The Focus has a top speed of 84 mph and gets to 60 mph from a standing start in a respectable 10.1 seconds.
Top speed and acceleration aren't really the point when you're behind the wheel of a battery electric vehicle -- range is. The EPA reckons the Ford Focus Electric will do an average of 76 miles on a fully charged battery. That works out to about 110 MPGe in the city, 99 MPGe on the highway, and 105 MPGe combined. Our testing seems to back this claim up. Ford's SmartGauge also gives the driver tools to help maximize, and potentially, exceed this range. We'll come back to this shortly.
The Good The Ford Focus Electric delivers on its estimated range. The torquey, electric acceleration makes the compact hatchback feel responsive. The base model is about as fully-loaded as the Focus gets.
The Bad The 76-mile range is less than that of the newer competition from Fiat and Kia. The battery protrudes into the rear storage space. None of the standard Focus' driver-aid features are available on the Electric.
The Bottom Line Three years after its predecessor debuted, the 2015 Ford Focus Electric is still a good choice for a compact battery-powered car, but the newer competition offers slightly greater range and faster charging.
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