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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).
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.
New standard equipment for 2010 includes anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction and stability control, remote keyless entry, power door locks, MyKey configurable key and a driver's message center. SE, SES and SEL models receive a perimeter alarm, while a new SE Sedan Appearance Package adds 15-inch alloy wheels, decklid spoiler and fog lamps. Also new this year is the available SYNC communications system with Traffic, Directions and Information, which can provide traffic updates as well as turn-by-turn directions.
An SEL trim is added to the sedan lineup, touting leather seating, the SYNC audio system and chrome door handles. The SES trims receive a refreshed front grille, a roof-mounted rear spoiler (Coupe) and optional 17-inch wheels (Sedan). AdvanceTrac stability control is now available on all models.
Comprehensive restyling and retuning give the Focus a more contemporary flair and even better handling. The hatchbacks and wagon are discontinued, but the sedan is joined by a new coupe. All now feature air conditioning, tilt steering column and front, front-side and side-curtain airbags, plus SYNC (standard on SES) that adds in-car connectivity for cell phones and personal media players.
The compact-car market is one of the most intensely competitive out there, and it's the details that make a car a winner. The 2015 Ford Focus hones in on those details, with exterior styling that won't look old in 12 months, and the modern and comfortable interior features numerous usability upgrades, whether you choose the S, SE or Titanium trim level. The 2015 Ford Focus remains available as a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback, and it gives up virtually nothing to competitors like the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla and Mazda Mazda3. It also holds its own against domestics like the Chevy Cruze and Dodge Dart. If you're shopping for a compact, the Focus deserves your attention.