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2013 Ford Focus

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2013 Ford Focus Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 7.1

Completely redesigned last year, the 2013 Ford Focus goes through some trim level simplification on the conventional side of its lineup but carries over the Focus Electric unchanged and adds a new dimension to the family with the high-performance Focus ST version (reviewed separately). A dynamic player in the super-competitive compact segment, the Focus matches its Ford One global design heritage with avant-garde styling and loads of premium touches that progressively build through S, SE and Titanium trim grades. Available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, the Focus is a match for any of its key rivals, including the Chevrolet Cruze, Dodge Dart, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte Mazda Mazda3, Nissan Sentra and Toyota Corolla.

You'll Like This Car If...

Delivering an outstanding mix of style and substance, the 2013 Ford Focus enriches its fundamentally solid and efficient basic package with the availability of class-leading technologies, including MyFord Touch, Active Park Assist and a PowerShift dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission – as well as offering a pure electric alternative.

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The avant-garde kinetic design cues of the 2013 Focus won't please those with less adventurous tastes in styling, but an equally significant consideration involves its comparative pricing. While the Focus does delivers what it promises, the Chevrolet Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte can make legitimate cases for offering better bottom-line value.

What's New for 2013

Fully redone for 2012, the Ford Focus is largely unchanged for the 2013 model year except for the availability of a 5-speed manual transmission on the top-line Titanium trim level, the departure of the semi-premium SEL version in favor of a more comprehensively-appointed SE and the arrival of the hot, new Focus ST (reviewed separately).

Driving the Focus

Driving Impressions The Ford Focus has a robust structural foundation and features European-style suspension tuning that imparts a clear measure of fun to the driving experience. Even the base Focus S feels...

comfortable yet confident and responds quickly and predictably to all driver inputs. Although ride compliance suffers a bit as you move up through the model hierarchy – and particularly on Titanium versions fitted with the optional 18-inch wheels and 40-series tires – the Focus still merits above-average handling marks across the board. Its AdvanceTrak stability control is complemented by a torque-vectoring control system that helps the Focus slice through corners with enthusiastic competence, and well-modulated anti-lock brakes (front discs and rear drums on the S, 4-wheel discs with the SE, Titanium and Electric) deliver solid, drama-free stops. While the Focus Electric does trade a measure of dynamic sportiness for its more overtly-efficient character, even this super-green sibling leaves no doubt as to its basic heritage.

MYFORD TOUCH
Standard on Titanium trim levels, Ford's top-line infotainment and telematics package is based on an even more advanced – and now more user-friendly – 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 the auto-shifted SE 4-door sedan, 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 EPA highway figure up to 40 mpg.

2013 Ford Focus Details
Interior

While not the roomiest in its class, the cabin on the Focus boasts the look and feel of a more expensive car, reinforcing that premium character with loads of soft-touch surfaces and an abundance of 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 Titanium models with the MyFord Touch infotainment and navigation system. The rear seat is scaled for two mid-sized adults but decently padded for three kids. Folding the 60/40 rear seatbacks to a semi-flat position adds utility to the regular Sedan's 13.2-cubic foot conventional trunk and raises the capacity of the Hatchback's cargo area from 23.8 to 44.8 cubic feet. However, the battery pack puts a big dent in cargo space on the Focus Electric.

Exterior

Both the Focus sedan and hatchback embody the latest iteration of Ford's "kinetic design" styling language that gives each one a more aggressive and aerodynamic appearance. The look is effectively reinforced by a lower, sleeker windshield rake and flowing roofline set off by smartly-stylized headlamp and taillamp treatments. A relatively long wheelbase and generous front and rear track dimensions contribute to an even more planted stance. Filling its tastefully-flared fenderwells are wheel and tire packages that range from 195/65 all-season tires on 15-inch steel wheels on the Focus S Sedan to 215/55 tires with 17-inch aluminum rims on Titanium models. The top-line Focus Titanium is also available with an optional 18-inch wheel upgrade that includes 235/40 performance tires as well as a sport-tuned suspension.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even the base Focus S sedan boasts an impressive complement of power assists, air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering column, keyless remote entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio, anti-lock disc/drum brakes and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, while the SE – now infused with many ex-SEL features – adds SYNC with MyFord Driver Connect, cruise control, folding rear seat, 4-wheel discs, programmable MyKey and 16-inch tires on alloy wheels. The Titanium trim level has leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, push-button starting, SYNC/MyFord Touch, a 10-speaker Sony HD sound system, Sirius Satellite Radio and a 17-inch wheel and tire package. The richly-appointed Focus Electric features unique eco-fabric seat covers and adds voice-activated navigation.

Optional Equipment

The Focus offers an impressive selection of model-specific upgrades. While the 6-speed dual-clutch auto-shifter and remote starting lead an intentionally modest list on the S four-door, the SE offers a comprehensive Appearance Package (leather, 17-inch alloys, foglamps, satellite radio, rear spoiler and more) and a Style Package (custom-colored leather, power moonroof, navigation, MyFord Driver Connect and Super Fuel Economy, Winter and Handling Packages); all those options are offered on all but the SFE 5-door model. Titanium buyers can choose a 5-speed manual transmission, moonroof, navigation, the Technology Package (Active Park Assist, front and rear sensors, rearview camera), Style Package, Winter Package and a Handling Package with dedicated sport suspension and 18-inch wheels and tires.

Under the Hood

All conventional 2013 Focus models are fitted with a naturally-aspirated, direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that uses Ford's twin-independent variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). This smooth, free-revver makes 160 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque and can be paired with a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. On the SE with Sport Package and Titanium models, the automated-manual transmission adds SelectShift capability via a rocker switch on the shift lever. Auto-shifted SE sedans with the mileage-maxing SFE Package rate a 40-mpg EPA highway rating but the economy star is the Focus Electric. With a 143-horsepower permanent-magnet motor energized by a 23 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, this ultra-clean hatchback returns a remarkable 105 MPGe 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 mpg (SFE trim, automatic)

Synchronous electric motor/generator
23kWh 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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2013 Ford Focus Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.3
Out of 10

Based on 435 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.5/10
    Quality
    7.3/10
  • Reliability
    7.6/10
    Performance
    7.7/10
  • Comfort
    7.6/10
    Styling
    8.1/10

Stylish. Reliable. Not sluggish

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Titanium is a good price with good negotiation"

Cons: "Driver side is not too comfortable for a 6'2 male"

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

"I have a Titanium. This is an overall nice car. It is fun to drive. I get lots of compliments due to the dynamic red color (extra) and sleek style. There were issues with the transmission that was recalled, but I did not have that problem. Even when I thought I did, Ford serviced it and made a minor adjustment. Ever since then, I have not had a problem. This car has one of the best pick up speeds when trying to enter a highway. Once you put the pedal to the metal, it takes off and I'm sure people in other cars say, Wow, she really got out there! It's passenger side is comfortable and roomy enough for my 6'2 husband, but driver's side is a little challenging. The braking is excellent as my husband can attest after almost getting into an accident on the NJ Turnpike! The Ford My Touch system has had a few problems initially, but after the 3rd upgrade from Ford (free), it is okay. I love this car and would recommend it!"

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Proceed with caution!

By on Saturday, August 29, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 7,500

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good looking car, lots of options."

Cons: "Poor quality starting to show."

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

"I wanted a Fusion, but wife wanted the smaller Focus. Nice car, owned for one year, but its been in shop 3 times to fix little things like drivers seat belt wouldn't work. Then the dome light and radio would go off when driver's door closed - had to replace all the electronics in the drivers door. Transmission was acting up, ford knew all about it, had to replace the clutch module for the manuel shifting mechanism we never used. Took 2 months for that part to come in. Now the passenger side seat belt is not working properly. The glove box door does not line up properly when closed so we'll see how those repairs go. Trunk lid won't stay up while trying to remove things from the trunk. Should have gotten the Fusion of Civic."

Water pump went out at 400 miles

By on Friday, August 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 500

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "looks nice, reasonably priced"

Cons: "reliability"

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

"We just bought this car for my daughter to commute back and forth to school and the water pump went out at 400 miles leaving her stranded. The Ford dealer replaced it but my confidence in Ford products has been shaken. We've asked for another car or a free extended warranty but so far no reply. I realize there may be manufacturing defects but I'm disappointed. I have another daughter in school and I have more confidence in her Honda Accord with 200k miles on it than I do in this car. Also when we test drove the cars the first car shifted abruptly so we didn't buy it. Be aware the 2014 and earlier cars had transmission problems. They've supposedly resolved the problem but do your research before you buy. The car we ended up purchasing looks nice and my daughter likes it."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

Not a fun car to drive

By on Tuesday, August 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 49,900

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
3/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Good pep for a four cylinder."

Cons: "Transmission is a big issue"

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

"The dual clutch transmission has given me fits. The car has a jerking motion in stop and go traffic which can be very scary at times. I've had the car in for this problem six times. The software is re-flashed and I'm told to give it about a 1,000 miles so the car can learn my driving habits. Obviously the car is not to smart since it still has not learned my driving habits. The dealership now tells me the jerking motion is normal. This would have been nice to know before I bought the car. This is a vehicle to stay away from. No one should have to drive a car with the problem I've encountered."

6 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Great car for a great price!

By on Saturday, August 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 66,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great milage, quick acceleration, solid & smooth"

Cons: "Hub caps, auxiliary jack loc., non-split rear seat"

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

New roof rack for my bike

"I always seem to have really good luck with new cars, and this Ford Focus follows suit. Great milage for surprisingly quick acceleration when needed, and a solid but smooth feel are my favorite highlights. The quality exceeds my expectations. When I drive it smartly, meaning when I keep the tachometer under 2,500 RPM going either uphill or downhill, and with the right tires, its easy gets 41 MPG in warm weather. In cold weather, the milage drops by about 15-20% as expected (lots of physics to explain why). Also, the seats are very comfortable, and the backseats are the most comfortable I've ever had (really phenomenal). I recently added a Thule roof rack which greatly adds to the sportiness. My 3 complains are that the hub caps on the steel wheels are really ugly and detract from the otherwise sharp looking car, also that the stereo auxiliary jack is located inside the glove box for some really odd reason [after-thought?], and finally that the fold-down back seat is not split (a split folding rear seat should really be standard for any small car)."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

New roof rack for my bike

Update on 2012 I own

By on Friday, August 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,440

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Sporty look, fun to drive, great MPG!"

Cons: "rear leg room."

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

"In 2012 I purchased a Ford Focus Hatch SE with sport pkg, winter pkg, sun roof, convenience pkg in white oxford. I average 34MPG. Car has been reliable and has no squeaks or rattles. Fun to drive if you know how to use the sport shifter. Overall a nice car. Dislikes are the amount of rear space/leg room. Transmission has been fine after re-program."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

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