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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

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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2012 Ford Focus Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.3
Out of 10

Based on 343 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

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

Love my Focus ST

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

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

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Performance/handling, reliability, comfort, size"

Cons: "Mileage could be a bit better"

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

"For me, it's a perfect car. Just the right size, pretty decent gas mileage, low maintenance, responsive, comfortable, well behaved in city driving, a fire breather on the open road. I get lots of compliments on the Recaro seats, and all the convenience items are well-conceived and functional. I'm 50-plus, so I like that it has a bit of an edge but doesn't make me look like I"m trying to be 25. Well done, Ford@"

FOCUS BABY, FOCUS!

By on Monday, November 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,345

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
7/10

Pros: "Super fun to drive and very dependable."

Cons: "Not a lot of interior storage space."

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

"This is my 3rd Focus. My 2012 is my favorite SO FAR. It is very comfortable to drive, gets decent gas mileage and has nice looking interior/dash. I drive approximately 50 miles round trip weekdays to work and a tank will last me through the week with alittle left over. It is a solid car. I don't hear a lot of road noise when I drive. It has some giddy up too. For a 4 cyl. it can get up and go if needed. I've even churped the tires before. I've had it 2-1/2 years now. There is no sign of rust so far. My only complaint is there isn't a lot of storage space for your "stuff". It has been dealer maintained and other than oil changes and a couple normal wear and tear items it's been trouble free. I would hightly recommend the 2012 Ford Focus to anyone. It's very dependable and fun to drive, plus it's a nice looking car."

Not for a family with a young child

By on Sunday, November 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
Not Rated
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "ok with the mpg"

Cons: "read review"

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

"Would dump this car onto a non friend the back seat is not wide enough to buckle the child up with a car seat without problems ...the car is jerky have the Moon roof and the noise from the interior drowns out the music makes the sane person crazy decent mpg but i am not sure if its the best"

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

experience

By on Thursday, November 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "good young adult car but not for a family"

Cons: "drive in rain feels like hydroplaining"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"This car is not built to have anyone over 5'9'' in it, I fit fine and enjoy the car myself but taller people in it are not something I would recommend to someone of that height when we first bought it I did not notice that due to I being the one buying it but going on a trip and someone else driving isn't going to work well if taller. economy wise I like on interstate miles however in town I thought it would be better on mpg but just drive 5 minutes to and from school half on interstate and half in town and I only get average of 18 mpg compared to what they say you get."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Need a time machine

By on Monday, November 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,500

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "flat dry surface handling"

Cons: "no storage,control & cupholder placement"

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

"So that I can turn back the clock and not buy this car. Poor placement of controls behind steering wheel so they're not visible without doing contortions requiring taking your eyes off the road. Console designed so that you have to reach over them to use the climate controls, shift, or set the ebrake. No storage, folding the back seats down flat takes 10 minutes. The hard cover for the cargo area is stored in my barn, it just gets in the way, should be a retractable. Traction control causes car to hesitate when accelerating from a stop, feels like it stalls, on the slightest wet road so I have to disable it whenever it rains or snows. Kind of defeats the purpose. On the plus side on flat dry roads the car handles well. Unfortunately this is Oregon, neither of those are in abundance here. I'll trade this as soon as the $6K loss, paid $22k six weeks ago - KBB now $16k, is covered."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

GOOD CARS FLAWS IN TRANNY FORD NEEDS TO FIX

By on Friday, November 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 27,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "stylish fun to drive fuel efficient"

Cons: "transmission awful"

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

"Fun and stylish car if you can look past transmission. It's horrible to say the least. Feels like car wants to stall when you move from stoplights."

3 people out of 4 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

Buying this car?