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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
7.4
Out of 10

Based on 302 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.6/10
    Quality
    7.5/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    7.8/10
  • Comfort
    7.7/10
    Styling
    8.2/10

Nice car, well equipped. Nice styling.

By on Monday, August 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 150

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Styling, Ride, Handling, fit and finish."

Cons: "Rear leg room, no rear floor mats."

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

"Leased this car to replace a leased 2012 Fusion SEL. OK this is less car than the Fusion which was one of the best cars I've ever had. The ride is a little more harsh, which was to be expected in a smaller lighter vehicle. But it is much better than the 2009 Honda Civic I traded last year for an Escape. The Civic was rough riding and very road noisy, This car handles nicely. Very sporty and not a lot of road noise. Only real complaints I have are the lack rear carpeted foor mats and the craftmanship of the leather seats was mediocre. All seat backs and cushions had varying degrees of wrinkles. I got the SE appearance package and the Winter package as I live in Michigan. Equipped with just those 2 packages I believe is the best value. I read all the complaints about Sync and MY FORD TOUCH. I haven't experienced those problems in either of my 2 Fords. Like all things electronic, reading the manuals and a little patience goes a long way."

10 people out of 16 found this review helpful

No problem excellent car always garaged .

By on Saturday, August 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive good milage ."

Cons: "Too small for our problem"

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

"My reason for selling or trading is I have a medical reason .I like this car it has plenty of pep ,safe and economical. What we need is Ford Edge or Free star or something in 2010 that age group ."

3 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Not thrilled but could be worse

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,800

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "good mileage"

Cons: "cheap stereo, foggy windows"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"Old car needed work fast and thought better to buy now then put all the money into the other. Stereo system is very cheap compared to my Aveo. I transfer my books on cd onto one mp3 cd or flash drive so I don't have to change cd's while driving. The system won't play them because it can't handle that many tracks. No problem on my cheapy Aveo. More wind noise than I would like and windows will fog inside very quickly if I don't have the defrost on. So bad that I can't see out the windows at all until I put the defrost on! Dealer said this is very common for this model. Mileage is good for the 32 miles round trip I take for work. Handles well, but I can hear the transmission grinding from a slow start. If I press harder on the gas it goes away. Again the dealer says this is just common for the car."

10 people out of 18 found this review helpful

Great car great price

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

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: "great value, many features"

Cons: "Sync system aggravating, USB port in console"

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

"I recently purchased a 2014 Ford Focus SE with the following options: SE appearance package and the power moonroof. I haven't owned my 2014 Focus for long, but i'm really impressed with what I got for the price. The driving/steering system is absolutely amazing, and this car drives better than any other car that I've ever owned. The car comes standard with many options, and the appearance package added such things as fog lights, ambient interior lights, sirius radio, leather trimmed seats, 6 speed power shift automatic transmission, power mirrors, 17" wheels, and a six way power driver's seat. My only complaints are that the Sync system is a bit flawed. The voice recognition isn't the best, and if the system doesn't understand my command, it sometimes goes on a bit of a lengthy rant and recites every command one could possibly make. The power shift automatic transmission shifts a bit roughly through the first three gears, but I've read that it takes time for the system to synchronize and shift smoothly. If I remember, I will return and make additional comments regarding this. Lastly, there's only one small console in between the two front seats, and for some reason this is where they put the USB and auxiliary ports. Overall I feel that I got a great car for a great price. I couldn't refuse the offer as it was $20.5k @ 1.9% interest. Overall, I am a very satisfied customer and I will definitely shop Ford in the future."

Great car great price

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

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: "great value, many features"

Cons: "Sync system aggravating, USB port in console"

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

"I recently purchased a 2014 Ford Focus SE with the following options: SE appearance package and the power moonroof. I haven't owned my 2014 Focus for long, but i'm really impressed with what I got for the price. The driving/steering system is absolutely amazing, and this car drives better than any other car that I've ever owned. The car comes standard with many options, and the appearance package added such things as fog lights, ambient interior lights, sirius radio, leather trimmed seats, 6 speed power shift automatic transmission, power mirrors, 17" wheels, and a six way power driver's seat. My only complaints are that the Sync system is a bit flawed. The voice recognition isn't the best, and if the system doesn't understand my command, it sometimes goes on a bit of a lengthy rant and recites every command one could possibly make. The power shift automatic transmission shifts a bit roughly through the first three gears, but I've read that it takes time for the system to synchronize and shift smoothly. If I remember, I will return and make additional comments regarding this. Lastly, there's only one small console in between the two front seats, and for some reason this is where they put the USB and auxiliary ports. Overall I feel that I got a great car for a great price. I couldn't refuse the offer as it was $20.5k @ 1.9% interest. Overall, I am a very satisfied customer and I will definitely shop Ford in the future."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Great car great price

By on Sunday, August 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200

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: "great value, many features"

Cons: "Sync system aggravating, USB port in console"

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

"I recently purchased a 2014 Ford Focus SE with the following options: SE appearance package and the power moonroof. I haven't owned my 2014 Focus for long, but i'm really impressed with what I got for the price. The driving/steering system is absolutely amazing, and this car drives better than any other car that I've ever owned. The car comes standard with many options, and the appearance package added such things as fog lights, ambient interior lights, sirius radio, leather trimmed seats, 6 speed power shift automatic transmission, power mirrors, 17" wheels, and a six way power driver's seat. My only complaints are that the Sync system is a bit flawed. The voice recognition isn't the best, and if the system doesn't understand my command, it sometimes goes on a bit of a lengthy rant and recites every command one could possibly make. The power shift automatic transmission shifts a bit roughly through the first three gears, but I've read that it takes time for the system to synchronize and shift smoothly. If I remember, I will return and make additional comments regarding this. Lastly, there's only one small console in between the two front seats, and for some reason this is where they put the USB and auxiliary ports. Overall I feel that I got a great car for a great price. I couldn't refuse the offer as it was $20.5k @ 1.9% interest. Overall, I am a very satisfied customer and I will definitely shop Ford in the future."

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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?