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2012 Ford Focus

Overview
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2012 Ford Focus Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.2

The 2012 Ford Focus gets a clean-sheet recasting that brings a new look, enhanced quality, more features, and upgraded options in a slightly larger but far more dynamic package. Based on Ford's global C-platform, this compact front-driver features an international design pedigree and introduces numerous class-exclusive technologies, including a host of premium-level creature comforts. Available as a 4-door sedan and a new 5-door hatchback, the 2012 Focus is also offered as a pure battery-electric vehicle with a 76-mile range and an impressive 110 miles-per-gallon-equivalent (MPGe) city rating. While the new Chevrolet Cruze and Honda Civic are its key rivals, formidable challenges will also come from the Mazda3, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla as well as newly redesigned and very impressive Hyundai Elantra and its Kia Forte cousin.

You'll Like This Car If...

Buyers seeking a compact vehicle with class-leading character and technology – from MyFord Touch infotainment and Active Park Assist to corner-taming torque-vectoring control and a PowerShift dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission – will find plenty to admire in the 2012 Ford Focus line.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Some more conservative buyers may deem its new looks a bit too radical, but the biggest hurdle the 2012 Focus could face is one of cost. Those willing to forgo a few of the latest tech touches for a lower price point are apt to see better perceived value in alternatives like the new Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte.

What's New for 2012

A comprehensive makeover raises an already popular player in its segment to a position of prominence and possible dominance thanks to the addition of a new hatchback body style, greatly-expanded/upgraded feature set and a range-topping Titanium trim level. And while the 2012 Ford Focus Electric marks the Blue Oval's first crack at a mainstream electric car, they succeeded in producing a relatively affordable gas-free vehicle that drives, feels and looks like a conventional car.

Driving the Focus

Driving Impressions Built around a stiffer, stronger unit body structure underpinned by a comprehensively retuned and Euro-flavored suspension that brings better damping and roll control plus quick, well-weighted electrically assisted power steering...

the 2012 Ford Focus feels comfortable, confident and impressively responsive to driver inputs under virtually all conditions. Although stepping up in trim level and the accompanying wheel/tire enhancements does impact ride compliance – particularly with the 18-inch rims and 40-series tires available on Titanium models – Ford has done an excellent job of bringing out the best in this component set regardless of configuration. When the going gets twisty, the new Focus bolsters its standard AdvanceTrak stability control with a new torque vectoring control system that acts like a limited-slip differential and helps the car accelerate out of corners more adroitly. Despite a soft-ish pedal, the well-modulated anti-lock brakes (disc/drum in S/SE, disc/disc in SLE/Titanium) deliver solid, drama-free stops.

MYFORD TOUCH
Optional on Focus SEL models and standard on Titanium trim levels, Ford's top-line infotainment/telematics package is based on an even more advanced and expansive application of the automaker's acclaimed SYNC voice-command system and includes a premium 10-speaker Sony sound system, with HD Radio, media hub, in-car Wi-Fi access and more.

SUPER FUEL ECONOMY (SFE) PACKAGE
Available on autoshifted SE models, the SFE Package includes auto-articulated, aero-optimizing grille shutters – an unseen mileage-enhancing element also found on most other Focus models fitted with the PowerShift transmission – as well as low-rolling resistance tires, wind-cheating wheel covers and a tasteful rear spoiler that collectively bring the car's projected EPA highway figure up to 40 mpg.

2012 Ford Focus Details
2012 Ford Focus photo Interior

Slightly roomier but with a far more upscale look and feel than its predecessor, the 2012 Focus cabin sets off a decidedly premium flavor with loads of soft-touch surfaces and an abundance of effectively integrated sound-attenuation materials. Legible instrumentation and well positioned controls in all versions are complemented by an 8.0-inch full-color touch screen that replaces the normal multifunction display on SEL/Titanium models fitted with the primo MyFord Touch infotainment/navigation system. The rear seat is scaled for 2 mid-sized adults but decently padded for three kids. Folding the standard/optional 60/40 rear seatbacks to a semi-flat position adds utility to the Sedan's 13.2 cubic feet conventional trunk and raises capacity of the Hatchback's rear bay from 23.8 to 44.8 cubic feet.

Exterior
2012 Ford Focus photo

Both the Focus Sedan and Hatchback display the latest evolution of Ford's "kinetic design" language that is both more aggressive and more aerodynamic. While their overall footprints remains similar to the 2011 Sedan, a slightly lower roofline, longer wheelbase and substantially wider front/rear track dimensions give the 2012 Focus lineup a more planted appearance. Effectively accenting the new look are stylized headlight/taillight treatments, with the Focus EV sharing most styling cues with its gasoline-dependent counterpart, apart from the charge port prominently mounted on the driver's side front fender. Wheel selections range from 15-inch steel wheels on the Focus S Sedan to 17-inch aluminum rims on Titanium and Electric variants – and the availability of an 18-inch upgrade that also brings 235/40 performance tires and a sport-tuned suspension.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the base Focus S Sedan gets an impressive complement of power assists, air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering column, keyless remote entry, 4-speaker radio, AdvanceTrac stability control, front disc/rear drum brakes and six airbags. Key SE-level gains include power rear windows, a trip computer, programmable MyKey, foglamps and 16-inch wheel/tires while the SEL adds the 6-speed PowerShift automatic transmission, dual-zone climate control, SYNC, upgraded audio, cruise control, LED ambient lighting, 60/40 folding rear seatbacks, 4-wheel disc brakes and 16-inch alloy wheels. The range-topping Titanium also nets push-button starting, MyFord Touch with 10-speaker Sony HD sound system, Sirius Satellite Radio (with six months free), sport seats, sport suspension, 17-inch wheel/tire package and more.

Optional Equipment

The new Focus offers a wide selection of upgrades linked to the model hierarchy. At S level, the 6-speed dual-clutch autoshifter and remote starting dominate an intentionally modest list, but the SE Sedan offers that plus a power moonroof, voice-activated navigation, Super Fuel Economy/Interior/Winter/Sport Packages – all but the SFE also available on SE hatches – a MyFord Driver Connect technology/SYNC Package, leather upholstery and more. Extras for the SEL and Titanium versions include leather as well as voice-activated navigation and the Technology Package (Active Park Assist, front/rear sensors, rearview camera), plus the premium MyFord Touch telematics/infotainment system – a Titanium standard. Going Titanium also permits a dedicated sport suspension with 18-inch wheels with performance tires. To help simplify the ordering process, leather seating is the sole option on the Focus Electric's menu.

Under the Hood

All 2012 Focus models are fitted with a new, naturally aspirated 2.0-liter in-line four that features gasoline direct fuel-injection and Ford's twin-independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). This smooth free-revver makes 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque – 20 more horsepower and 10 additional torque than its 2011 predecessor – and can be paired with a 5-speed manual or a new 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. On SE with Sport Package/SEL/Titanium models, the automated-manual cog changer adds SelectShift capability via a rocker switch on the shift lever. Formal EPA figures are pending, but Ford anticipates about 10 percent better overall fuel economy and autoshifted SE Sedans fitted with the mileage-maxing SFE Package are projected to net 40 mpg on the highway. Motivating the Focus Electric is a 143-horsepower permanent magnet motor powered by a 23 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, which returns a remarkable 105 mpg equivalency combined rating from the EPA.

2.0-liter inline-4
160 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
146 lb-ft of torque @ 4,450 rpm
EPA City/highway fuel economy: 26/36 mpg (manual), 28/38 mpg (automatic), 27/37 mpg (SelectShift automatic), 28/40 (SFE trim, automatic)

Synchronous electric motor/generator
24kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack
107kW/143 horsepower
184 lb-ft of torque
Projected per-charge range: 76 miles
EPA city/highway fuel economy equivalent: 110/99 MPGe

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2012 Ford Focus Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.3
Out of 10

Based on 403 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.5/10
    Quality
    7.4/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    7.7/10
  • Comfort
    7.6/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

want my ranger back !!

By on Saturday, May 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "handles nice"

Cons: "clunking noise in 6 spd. automatic"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"electric power steering very sensitive,have not come close to the gas mileage they of 28-38.. 6 speed automatic makes clunking noises when shifting into 3rd and feels like it slipping..6,500 miles on car now..."

Great Vehicle for the Price Range

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, fuel efficent, reliable, cost"

Cons: "Door lock set up, Sony premium sound system"

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

"First let me start by saying its a very fun car. Has a large amount of torque for a small hatchback. Even though the car is classified as a compact car it has a fair amount of room. I am 5'11" and fit well with room to spare. The Recardo seats are very nice and I find them quite comfortable but I know they are not for everyone, they are made for the driving enthusiast and hug you, not everyone likes that but it's just a matter of preference, you will have to sit in one and judge for yourself. I really only have 2 complaints about the car and they are just because I tend to be, well, picky. First would be the power lock set up, there is one button in the center of the dash to lock and unlock with no manual way to unlock or lock the door (this seems to be more and more common in newer vehicles) I just don't like it, I can't really say anything more about that. The second would be the upgraded Sony sound system, most will probably find it pleasing, it is much better then a standard factory radio but for my taste the sub is lacking and the bluetooth audio doesn't seem to go loud enough, again this is something you will have to listen for yourself, everyone's ears are different and most don't tend to be as picky as mine are when it comes to radios. Otherwise it is a great car, get's decent gas mileage, and has not given me any problems as of yet. I can not stress enough fun, fun, fun car that is economical enough to be used as a daily driver without breaking the bank to fill the tank."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Very nice car - much better than 2006 model

By on Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,100

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "SE Appearance Pkg, Ride & Handling feels European"

Cons: "Rear seat legroom"

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

"I traded a 2006 Focus for the 2014 Focus SE with Appearance Pkg. Wow, this is nice car. This car feels strong and stable on the highway, just like my VW Golf. The ride is firm, meaning you feel the road imperfections on the city streets, but is very comfortable on the highway. I like the usefulness of the hatchback and the rear doors give great access when setup for max cargo. The back seat leg room is pretty limited, but is useful in a pinch. Nice controls and gauges. The little things mean so much, like the Ambient Lighting and the satellite radio."

Great car that feels sporty with great gas mileage

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,800

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Offers lots of options at a good price."

Cons: "Arm rest in between front seats too far back."

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

"I wanted a smaller car that's easy to maneuver, sporty, looks great with good gas mileage. Also wanted a nice car that wouldn't look opulent to other, but had lots of great options that I liked and wanted. The Focus offers the all of this and does it perfectly."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Good seats no room fo coffee cup

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,200

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Decent mileage, easy to drive"

Cons: "no room for cups too small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"I got the car to run around town and make occasional day trips. Inside is roomier than we thought it would be, until it comes to the console between seats. Too tight! Can't put in a coffee cup or soda as the cubby hole closes over the cup holder. I've spilled numerous times trying to get a cup out of the holder when the lid catches on the cubby hole lid. The darn car has no door locks!! It inconveniently locks in the middle dash board, try locking with a baby and bag in your hand and you have already put your keys in the diaper bag - terrible design. It's difficult to get the key into the starter - too cramped behind the steering wheel and you can't look to see where it needs to be. You can fit in two car seat and a kid in the back seat, but not for long trips. You have to tint the windows dark - it works like a solar oven and the entire interior is super hot on warm days. The blue tooth is terrible - frequently has no idea what you asked it to dial and has terrible reception. Decent mileage, but my van got the same . . .. Too much tech and gadgets for me, difficult to use the technology"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Great Car for the $

By on Tuesday, May 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "No Regrets @ `all"

Cons: "None"

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

"I have the SE Model with a 5 speed manual transmission. I've owned many vehicles in my half of a century driving. Ford did a excellent job on this Focus. The four cylinder has smooth power & excellent MPG's. (30 MPG's in city & high 30's on the interstate). The handling/braking/ride is amazing for a small car. The seats are very comfortable & the interior features has everything a driver needs. It's one of the best cars I've ever owned for the dollar. I drove the ST model and if you want more speed + fun, you should test drive one. "Focus on one & you will buy one""

7 people out of 8 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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