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.
You'll Like This Car If...
Want an efficient compact sedan with style, efficiency, technology and comfort that's still fun to drive? Give the 2014 Focus your close attention.
You May Not Like This Car If...
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 the Focus
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.
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.
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.
2014 Ford Focus Details
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.
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.
Under the Hood
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.
Synchronous electric motor/generator 23kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack 107kW/143 horsepower 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.
"This car, in many ways, was a step up from what I had been driving in handling characteristics, comfort, style and noise. Like many new cars its has had its problems, all of which have been taken care of by the dealer. When the a/c is on (most of the time in CA) its acceleration is leisurely. At highway speeds it's fine and the 6 speed transmission takes care of keeping up with traffic.
The hatchback give us a large opening but taking off the rear deck and flattening the rear seats takes time. There's less storage space than in the sedan version."
"I really like my new 2014 Ford Focus. I like the way it drives and the great gas mileage I get in it. The interior of the car is nothing like I have ever seen the cloth seats are very unique and I love the two tone design. The radio I have heard some say that it is hard to use or figure out but it seems very general to me and I was driving in a car that had a radio from the 90's. If I can figure it then I think anyone probably can."