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2009 Ford Focus

Overview
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2009 Ford Focus Review

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With the profitability of its trucks and SUVs waning, Ford is quickly moving to reassert its presence in the car-based side of the market. To that end, its smallest and most fuel-efficient U.S. entry, the Focus, received a major revamp last year, radically changing its appearance, driving dynamics, safety and available features while helping it shed roughly 30 pounds in the process. Although basic platform engineering from the '07 model carries over, new sheetmetal and cabin appointments make a far bolder visual statement that's suitably complemented by an improved roster of standard equipment in all four trim levels; S, SE, SES and SEL. Ford hopes the Focus' combination of affordable pricing and nifty features, such as the SYNC audio system, will help lure away customers long accustomed to shopping the likes of the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

You'll Like This Car If...

A progressive look, more refined handling and additional features make the 2009 Ford Focus an even more appealing choice for drivers seeking a value-oriented American compact. However, it's the SYNC system that really sets it apart from all of its competitors, particularly for those who use their cars as mobile offices or entertainment centers.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Those seeking the versatility of a compact hatchback may be turned off by the trunk-only body style of the 2009 Focus Sedan and Coupe.

What's New for 2009

An SEL trim is added to the sedan lineup, touting leather seating, the SYNC audio system and chrome door handles. The SES trims receive a refreshed front grille, a roof-mounted rear spoiler (Coupe) and optional 17-inch wheels (Sedan). AdvanceTrac stability control is now available on all models.

Driving the Focus

Driving Impressions Handling has always been a Focus strong suit, and the comprehensive revamp of its fully independent suspension, coupled with a stiffer body structure, adds even more poise and control in...

that department. A rear anti-roll bar, Euro-style chassis tuning and larger 16-inch aluminum wheels (17 on the SES Coupe) wrapped in premium Pirelli tires make the SES the standout player as the roads get twistier. Large front disc and rear drum brakes improve stopping power, and all models offer an available anti-lock system with traction and stability control. Generous sound proofing, an acoustic windshield and thicker side glass help to lower cabin noise levels. While not the quickest car in its class, the 2009 Focus does deliver decent gas mileage, which should please those who favor efficiency over exhilaration.

SYNC In-Car Communications System
Developed in conjunction with Microsoft, this state-of-the-art in-car hands-free cell phone and personal media player interface is remarkably functional and amazingly affordable at under $500.

Optional Leather Upholstery
Available on SES and standard on SEL models, it adds a touch of class to the interior of either the coupe or sedan.

2009 Ford Focus Details
2009 Ford Focus photo Interior

Inside, the Focus gains functionality and boasts upgraded materials. The "organic" dash contouring that made the original Focus so youth-oriented gives way to a more traditional design, netting improved storage spaces, better-positioned controls and attractive ice-blue backlighting. Gauge faces are black on the S and white on SE, SEL and SES models, and a dash-top display graces the interior of all models. The large central accent panel, tan or black on S and SE, has an upscale brushed-nickel finish on the SES and SEL. Redesigned bucket seats provide more comfort and support up front, while the 60/40-split rear bench can handle two average-sized adults or three kids and adds utility to the 13.8 cubic-foot trunk.

Exterior

The latest Focus borrows design cues from the more angular Edge and Fusion, gaining crisply-chiseled character lines and a chrome bar grille that help align it more closely with other Ford vehicles. Base S models come with 15-inch steel wheels; the SE gets alloy rims of the same size. The SES and SEL variants move up to 16-inchers, while the SES Coupe rides on 17-inchers. Chrome faux side vents add a bit of bling to the front quarter panels of SE, SES and SEL models and the top-line Focus also has body-color door handles and side mirrors and gets a subtle rear decklid spoiler.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the Focus S boasts a respectable basic roster of features, including high-efficiency air conditioning, a tilt steering column, dual 12-volt powerpoints and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags. It also includes an AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with auxiliary audio input. The SE, SES and SEL trims add power windows, locks and mirrors, keyless remote, driver information center and unique alloy wheels (15-inch on SE, 16-inch on SEL and 17-inch on SES Coupe). Moving up to the SES and SEL adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise control switchgear, upgraded interior trim, an auto-dimming rear-view mirror, fog lamps and the slick SYNC in-car communications system.

Optional Equipment

All models can be fitted with anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, an electrochromic rearview mirror – with or without Homelink and compass – remote starting for cars with automatic transmission and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. The SE offers the Driver's Group Package (cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, electrochromic rear-view mirror) and the Moon and Tune Package (power moonroof and audiophile sound system with six-disc CD/MP3 changer). Other options include factory-installed ambient interior lighting, the SYNC audio system and leather seats (optional on SES, standard on SEL).

Under the Hood

The Focus offers two variations on the existing 2.0-liter twin-cam Duratec four-cylinder engine. In Federal form, the engine makes 140 horsepower (143 in the Coupe) whether it's paired with the standard five-speed manual transmission or optional four-speed automatic. The "California-spec" engine, mandated in five states, makes only 132 horsepower but qualifies for Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) status. While both engines get similar fuel economy numbers in the city, the manual gearbox raises the official highway number from 33 to 35 mpg. Choosing to shift for yourself also results in a bit more spirited acceleration; but even with the automatic, any Focus can cope easily with in-town traffic, freeway on-ramps and highway travel.

2.0-liter in-line 4
140 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
143 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (Coupe)
136 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 (manual), 24/33 (automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4
132 horsepower @ 6000 rpm (PZEV)
133 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4250 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 24/35 (manual), 24/33 (automatic)

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Ford Focus Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.8
Out of 10

Based on 400 Ratings for the 2008 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    9.0/10
    Quality
    8.7/10
  • Reliability
    9.2/10
    Performance
    8.8/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.9/10

Good mileage and reliable.

By on Saturday, August 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 81,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Affordable, Good mileage, Reliable"

Cons: "No leg room in back seat."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Purchased car when it was 2 years old. It was a former rental. Only maintenance needed has been oil changes and recharging the A/C at 75K miles. Just bought a new set of tires because I plan to own it for 3-4 more years."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

5 years and I am still happy with this SES.

By on Wednesday, July 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 51,515

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "perky, fun to drive, comfortable"

Cons: "no trunk release inside vehicle"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I own a 2009 SES coupe, loaded with everything except power or leather seats. Love the sunroof. No problems for first 50,000 miles. Finally had to replace a front wheel bearing. Recently the brakes and tires (P215/45R17) were checked. Original equipment-still good. Tires were rotated every other oil change. I think that they are getting noisy and will need to be changed soon. When I travel (70 mph), I average 38-40 mpg. Everyday driving, 33-35 mpg."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

great small car

By on Monday, July 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "handling and ease of use"

Cons: "no cup holders in back seat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Car is good on mileage, handles well and mostly comfortable,trunk is roomy back seat is a little cramped on long trips."

My Favorite Car!

By on Thursday, July 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 74,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "fun, good on gas, easy shifter, AC is excellent"

Cons: "needs new tires, interior cleaning"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

I have more photos

"I really will be so sad to see it go, but I am selling it for about $6500. I've never had a problem with it. It's a standard and runs perfectly. Only thing is it needs 3 new tires. Some dents and bumps but besides that it's worth at least $6000 firm. I need to sell it so I can buy my sister and I a cheaper car. I still owe less than $3000 on it so the $6000 will help to pay it off and the rest can buy us another car that I don't need to pay on."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I have more photos

Terriffic little Car!

By on Monday, June 23, 2014

I own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Price Value Style!"

Cons: "Needs more intereior Qualty enhancements."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"Great car to get around in! Has small faults like any other car, but world buy again if I had to do all over!"

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Love the Focus

By on Friday, June 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Fun, reliable, inexpensive, gas mileage, value."

Cons: "Glove compartment is too small."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This is my 2nd Focus. Other than the other had a sunroof and sports package, this is just as great. It's versatile, roomier than it looks, great gas mileage, cheap to keep! Who could ask for anything more?"

9 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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