By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 7.0
In the intensely-competitive compact-car market, the details count for everything, and the 2014 Ford Focus covers those details. The Focus looks great on the outside without giving the impression it will fade from fashion in the next six months. The inside is modern and comfortable – it's spacious and offers a generous assortment of premium features and touches with the ascending trim levels of S, SE and Titanium. You can have the Ford Focus as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, and it's fully competitive with all the likely suspects, including the import nameplates of Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla and Mazda Mazda3, and its fellow domestics the Chevy Cruze and Dodge Dart. Shopping in this market segment? The Focus deserves your attention.
Want an efficient compact sedan with style, efficiency, technology and comfort that's still fun to drive? Give the 2014 Focus your close attention.
Some buyers might find the styling just a bit much. And if the pure bottom line is your main consideration, such competitors as the Chevy Cruze, Hyundai Elantra and Kia Forte can deliver solid transportation value for less money.
For 2014, the only change of any significance for the Focus is a new Sport Appearance Package for the SE trim level, consisting of sport cloth seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and an available rear spoiler.
Driving Impressions With its internationally-inspired engineering and design foundations, the 2014 Ford Focus delivers a first-class driving experience. All trim levels are noted for a comfortable feel to the ride combined with...quick response and confidence-inspiring stability. The higher trim-level Focus Titanium, when fitted with the optionally-available 18-inch wheels and 40-series tires, tends to ride a little firmer but handle even more responsively. For those times when bad weather or tricky situations require some assistance, the AdvanceTrak stability control, in combination with a torque-vectoring control system that transfers power to the wheel with the most grip, keeps things on course. With front disc/rear drum brakes on the Focus S and 4-wheel discs on higher trim levels, the brakes deliver sure stops. Even the Focus Electric can be considered fun to drive.
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.
GREAT DRIVING EXPERIENCE
Ford engineers went the extra mile to give the 2014 Focus commendable road manners and comfort, which is something we really appreciate.
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
The Focus sedan and hatchback embody an aggressive and aerodynamic look that is effectively reinforced by a lower, sleeker windshield rake and flowing roofline set off by smartly-stylized headlight and taillight treatments. 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.
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 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.
The Focus S 4-door is available with the 6-speed dual-clutch auto-shifter and remote starting. SE models offer an Appearance Package (leather, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, satellite radio, rear spoiler, and more), Interior Style Package (2-tone leather-trimmed seats, coordinated interior finish and steering wheel, premium floor mats, and more), Sport Package (sport cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and available rear spoiler). Also available are a Winter Package, Appearance Black Package, Super Fuel Economy Package, power moonroof and navigation. Focus Titanium buyers can choose a 5-speed manual transmission, moonroof, navigation, the Technology Package, Style Packages, a Winter Package and a Handling Package.
All conventional 2014 Focus models are fitted with a naturally-aspirated, direct-injected 2.0-liter 4-cylinder that uses Ford's twin-independent variable camshaft timing. 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.
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
184 lb-ft of torque
Projected range: 76 miles
The 2014 Focus S has a Manufacturer's suggested Retail Price (MSRP) around $17,000, the high-volume SE Sedan is around $19,000, and the SE hatch will be near $20,000. The Titanium sedan and hatch are around $24,000 and $25,000, respectively, and will be above the $27-$28K range when heavily optioned. Those numbers may have some buyers considering alternative choices, particularly the Hyundai Elantra sedan and GT 5-door, both of which cost less and have a slightly better retained value. Priced at around $40,000 without the federal tax credits or other incentives, the Focus Electric requires buyers to commit some green to go green. Check the Kelley Blue Book Fair Purchase Price to find out what buyers are really paying for the 2014 Ford Focus. We expect the Focus to retain its value about as well as the Dodge Dart and Chevy Cruze, but below the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra and some other imports.
By guido (OR) on Wednesday, November 27, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 22,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "fit/finish of interior. Sporty looks."
Cons: "None as of yet.."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Interior fit/finish is excellent. In the first 5 K miles I did have my Dual clutch transmission /computer re-flashed due to some shifting issues. Those were solved. Car is fun to drive with the DCT transmission. I am averaging 32.4 MPG. Sync/my touch work fine, no issues. Sporty fun little car."
3 people out of 3 found this review helpful
By DriverDriver (NC) on Tuesday, November 26, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,200overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"0 out of 10 is how I rate this car. It accelerates poorly and erratically...makes loud grinding and rattling noises. At first I was only having these issues during certain driving maneuvers(making left turns or going over railroad tracks or speed bumps) now they occur at all times. The dealership recommended that the clutch be replaced but Ford Motor Company will not pay for the fix. I do not feel safe driving this car. The resale value is so low I can even trade it in without paying thousands of dollars."
4 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By Tim (NJ) on Monday, November 25, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Fun to drive, great fuel economy, good cargo space"
Cons: "cramped back seat, Microsoft Sync is finicky"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I got the Ford Focus SE Hatchback last January and have loved every minute of driving it. The car is small but there's enough room in the front seats to be comfortable. The back seat is less than ideal but that's to be expected. The car has an impressive amount of cargo space and once after putting the seat down I was able to fit 2 15' poles in it once. The car has great pickup which is great for highway driving. The integrated blind spot mirrors are a great feature because frankly the back window doesn't have the best viability. I average around 32 MPG with my driving split about half city and half highway. The one downside to the car is the Ford Sync system. It will either work perfectly on the first try or fight me for 10 minutes while I try to get it to play a song. I once had to reset the system manually by pulling a fuse which was very difficult to reach. Voice commands are hit or miss as well. Sound quality is great from speakers and even phone calls can be heard clearly while driving. Overall a great car."
By Ruben (TX) on Saturday, November 23, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Power handling looks"
Cons: "lots of plastic"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have the 2014 Ford Focus ST. This car handles great and has the power to pass on the highway. Handling is awesome, takes corners with ease. When merging onto traffic on the highway, all you have to do is down shift and it takes off really fast. The only reason I don't give it a 10 in reliability is because the rear hatch plastic feels cheap."
By Denny (NC) on Friday, November 22, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 16,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good fuel mileage."
Cons: "Stutters on acceleration and grinding sound"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"This car has had many issues in the 8 months that I have owned it. The constant problem is the little stutter it does when you accelerate forward. To accompany that is the grinding in the transmission area. It feels and sounds like the transmission is going out but the Ford service department keeps telling me it is normal. Whatever! I don't know how they can keep telling themselves that lie. Who would design and build a vehicle that acts like its going to break every time you move forward. It gets decent Fuel mileage, which is the only thing I like about the vehicle."
8 people out of 9 found this review helpful
By Colt (TN) on Thursday, November 21, 2013
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "good price, High MPG's, Fun driving"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is an absolute amazing car. The only reason everything is not a 10/10 is the size. Yes I know it is a sub-compact, but that's my only thing. It is amazing to drive especially if you have Shift-tronic in it. Sync is the most amazing thing for a car. I recommend this car to anyone. I live in the foothills of the mountains in Tennessee, and even though its pretty hilly, i still get about 42 mpg Highway around here. it has technology AND good gas mileage."