New 2018 Ford Focus Sedan New 2018
Ford Focus Sedan

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KBB Editor's Overview

By KBB.com Editorial Staff

A perennial best-seller in the compact class, the fun-to-drive 2018 Ford Focus is available as an affordable sedan or as a versatile hatchback. High-tech features and high fuel economy help the Focus compete with the Chevy Cruze, Mazda3, Hyundai Accent, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Kia Forte. Four trim levels are available, as well as several powertrains including an extremely fuel-efficient 123-horsepower 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the Focus SE Sedan. For enthusiasts, Ford offers two high-performance turbocharged versions of the 2018 Focus Hatchback, the 297-horsepower Focus ST and the 350-horsepower all-wheel-drive Focus RS. They compete with the VW Golf GTI and Golf R and the Honda Civic Si and Type R. There’s also an all-electric Focus that challenges the Chevy Bolt, Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf and offers about 80 miles of range.

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You'll Like This Car If...

Sure it’s affordable, fuel efficient and attractively styled, but the best part about the Ford Focus is its sporty dynamics. Few cars in the compact class are as fun to drive as the Focus. It handles well and its steering is quick and responsive with plenty of feel. If you like to drive you’ll like the 2018 Ford Focus.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Ford offers the Focus as a sedan or a 5-door hatchback. If you were hoping for a coupe in this class, check out the Honda Civic coupe. Wagons in this class are also unicorns. The only one is the VW Golf SportWagen. The Civic is also a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, while the Ford Focus is not.

What's New for 2018

There are no changes to the Ford Focus for 2018.

Driving It

Driving Impressions

Few cars in the compact class are as fun to drive as the 2018 Ford Focus. It handles well, its steering is quick and responsive with plenty of feel and its stopping power is impressive. The standard 160-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the S and SEL models is strong. If horsepower is less important than fuel economy consider the SE Sedan, which is powered by a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder. It makes only 123 horsepower, but gets considerably better mileage than the 2.0-liter, including 40 mpg on the highway. Most will also like the ride delivered by the SE trim, which can be nicely loaded up and still remain well below $25,000. The SEL and Titanium bring even more bells and whistles, including larger tires and a sport suspension. The 252-horsepower Focus ST is an impressive piece of work: fast, fun and comfortable. While the 350-horsepower all-wheel-drive Focus RS is nothing short of the new benchmark in the high-performance small-car market.

Favorite Features

ACTIVE PARK ASSIST
An optional feature for just $395, this clever system will practically parallel park your Ford Focus for you. After the system identifies an appropriate space, it will do all the steering for you as well as instruct you when to work the pedals and change gears.

TITANIUM TECHNOLOGY PACKAGE
For $795, this optional package is a strong value. It adds automatic high beams, blind-spot monitoring and cross-traffic alert, which warns the driver of cars approaching from the side when backing out of a parking space. This package also adds Lane-Keeping Alert, which lets you know when you’re drifting out of your lane.

Vehicle Details

Interior

Front-seat accommodations are spacious, and the Ford’s front seats are well-shaped and supportive. The new 2018 Ford Focus can seat five; unfortunately, the Focus’ rear-seat head- and legroom are now surpassed by a number of competitors. The climate controls and steering-wheel buttons are easy to use, and the blue backlighting is both stylish and easy on the eyes. Interior storage is also well-thought-out, with well-placed cup holders and a small cubby ahead of the shifter that’s perfect for your phone. It even includes a USB port for easy phone charging. The Titanium trim level adds luxuries including a sunroof, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Exterior

With a sleek, raked windshield and tastefully flared fenders the well-proportioned Ford Focus sedan is attractive and sporty. But the Focus hatchback is the runway model of the two, with European style and unique taillights that accentuate the width of its rear view. SE and up models all get attractive alloy wheels, with large 17-inch rims on Titanium models. The hot ST model and red-hot RS, also hatchbacks, both wear aerodynamic enhancements that announce their intentions but don’t break out the bullhorn. They look racy but not ridiculous. The Focus Electric is identified by its charge-port door on it left front fender and its lack of a tailpipe.

Notable Standard Equipment

All new 2018 Ford Focus models come standard with MyKey, a feature that allows owners to limit maximum speed and other settings for young drivers. Other standard features for the Focus S include air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering column, keyless remote entry and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio. SE models get standard Sync with MyFord Driver Connect, cruise control, a folding rear seat, rearview camera and 16-inch tires on alloy wheels. Titanium models add leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker Sony audio, push-button starting, and Sync 3 with MyFord Touch; Focus Electric models get eco-fabric seat covers and voice-activated navigation.

Notable Optional Equipment

Ford’s new Focus benefits from several option packages. SE models can be equipped with the Sport Package, which adds exterior styling enhancements, paddle shifters for the automatic transmission, revised suspension settings and 17-inch wheels. Also available are a blind-spot-warning system, a lane-keeping alert system and rear cross-traffic alert. Additionally, Ford's Sync AppLink is available, allowing Focus drivers to interact with more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps on their phones through the car's Sync technology. Active Park Assist, which can practically parallel park the car for you, handling and winter packages, and navigation are also available. The Titanium trim level adds desirable amenities including rear parking sensors.

Under the Hood

Most new Ford Focus models use a 160-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, with either 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 paddles. To take fuel economy to the next level, the 2018 Ford Focus SE Sedan is equipped with a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine. That model is rated at 40 mpg in highway driving. Focus Electric models get a 143-horsepower permanent-magnet motor and a range of about 75 miles. The 2018 Focus ST uses a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine that makes 252 horsepower and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, while the RS gets a 350-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and standard all-wheel drive.

1.0-liter turbocharged inline-3
123 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm
148 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/40 mpg (manual), 27/38 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter inline-4
160 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm
146 lb-ft of torque @ 4,450 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (manual), 26/38 mpg (automatic), 27/38 mpg (SelectShift automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4
252 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm
270 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg

2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4
350 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
350 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg

Synchronous electric motor/generator (Focus EV)
23-kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack
107-kW/143 horsepower
184 lb-ft of torque
Projected range on a full charge: 76 miles

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Pricing Notes

A base 2018 Focus S sedan has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $19,000. Hatchback variants are about $2,500 more. The performance-oriented Ford Focus ST hatchback starts around $26,000. The all-electric Focus EV hatchback starts right around $30,000, while the new RS pushes the price to around $42,000. Unlike some electric cars, the Focus EV is available in all 50 states, and incentives can potentially be worth thousands of dollars. Prices on most Focus models are in line with those of rivals such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla sedans, but remain more expensive than base versions of the Kia Forte and Mazda3. Do check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Focus. The Focus' resale value has traditionally been fair, but below leaders such as the Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic.

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