Hatchbacks

2019 Ford Focus adds CoPilot360 safety, connectivity

Can Ford's latest compact continue to entice buyers the world over?

Ford

The One Ford initiative has given us some pretty great cars over the years, chief among them being the Ford Focus. It's always proved to be a fun, attractive and economical alternative to compacts from Japan and Europe, but lately, it's felt a little long in the tooth. That changes now, with the global 2019 Ford Focus.

The engineers at Ford have taken the revamp of the Focus pretty seriously and managed to pack some intensive driver assistance tech into a small and affordable package in the form of Ford CoPilot360. Announced alongside the new Ford Edge at the Detroit Auto Show, CoPilot360 is a standard safety equipment package that incorporates automatic emergency braking, blind spot information system, reverse camera and automatic high beams.

The European-market Focus Vignale is the more luxurious choice and stands out in this gorgeous shade of Aubergine.

Ford

"We're evolving our successful One Ford strategy to find new ways to create a sporty-looking small car our customers will love," said Jim Farley, president of Global Markets. "We'll tailor which cars in the Focus lineup we offer in markets around the world to ensure we best meet customers' different needs and preferences."

The folks at the Blue Oval are also going all-in on connectivity with the new Focus by adding FordPass Connect technology that will allow vehicle users to turn their car into a wireless hotspot for up to 10 devices. FordPass Connect also pairs with the FordPass mobile app to allow remote starting, remote lock and unlock, checking of fuel levels and more.

Ford also worked on making the Focus even more fun to drive, something the old car excelled at -- even in more pedestrian trim levels. It did this by increasing the chassis torsional rigidity by 20 percent and updating the electronic power-assisted steering system for better feel. This coupled with available and ever-delightful EcoBoost engine options should make the newest Focus a hoot to drive.

The Asian-market Focus five-door is probably the most aggressive of the new trims but it's easily our favorite, and smacks a little of Ferrari FF in a good way.

Ford

The 2019 Focus grows in several key dimensions but is externally the same size as the outgoing car. Ford opted to extend the wheelbase making more room for passengers while also axing things like a traditional shifter and mechanical parking brake. The folks in Dearborn were also thinking about your furred friends when designing the wagon variant, with the cargo area specifically being designed to house a large-ish dog crate.

Now we get to the bad news. This global launch for the 2019 Focus is worldwide except for the US -- for now. We will be getting the new Focus, rest assured, but likely not until next year. Our version is likely to be slightly different than the European and Asia-market version we are seeing Tuesday, but Ford is holding on to those details until closer to the US launch.