2014 Focus ST New Car Test Drive
One of the most popular compacts on the market, the Ford Focus has a sharp, futuristic look that leaves behind old stereotypes of small, affordable American cars. Completely redesigned for the 2012 model year, the Focus makes its claim as the technology and fuel-mileage leader in its class. The 2013 Focus lineup adds two new models: the sporty Focus ST and the all-electric Focus Electric.
The Ford Focus comes in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback models.
The most popular 2013 Focus models come with a 2.0-liter engine with direct injection and twin variable valve timing. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard and a 6-speed automatic is optional, with SelectShift manual mode an option for the automatic. The standard 2.0-liter engine makes 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque.
EPA fuel economy estimates for the 2013 Ford Focus are 26/36 mpg City/Highway with 5-speed manual, 28/38 mpg with 6-speed automatic.
The new 2013 Focus ST features a more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine that cranks out an impressive 247 horsepower and 250 pound-feet of torque. Focus ST comes with a 6-speed manual gearbox and sport-tuned suspension. Focus ST comes as a hatchback only with a special body kit. The sporty Focus ST is rated 23/32 mpg City/Highway.
The Focus Electric is powered by a 107-kilowatt electric motor that has an estimated range of 76 miles per full charge and an EPA energy efficiency equivalent rating of 110 MPGe City and 99 MPGe Highway or 105 MPGe Combined. It's an electric car, so gas stations are a thing of the past. You charge it up at home. With a 240-volt home charger, Ford says the Electric can be recharged in four hours, half the time it takes the Nissan Leaf to get fully juiced. The Focus Electric competes most closely with the Leaf, although the Mitsubishi i-MiEV is a smaller, less expensive all-electric alternative. Government subsidies, perks and kickbacks make the Focus Electric more attractive to buyers.
The Ford Focus models have nice interiors for the class. The soft materials are clearly high quality, while the hard trim looks slathered on. There's excellent legroom in front, but rear legroom is only moderate. The gauges are easy to read and include a big tachometer and speedometer with cool blue needles.
The 2013 Focus uses the MyFord Touch connectivity interface powered by Microsoft's SYNC. The system uses twin high-resolution screens, including an 8-inch touch screen in the center console, to communicate with your car. The driver uses three senses: see, hear, touch. Ford says the system is designed to be simple and completely intuitive for the driver, and maybe it was designed that way, but it doesn't always work that way. We found this latest version of MyFord Touch difficult to use.
On the road, the Focus is exceptionally quiet. A lot of productive effort went into making the cabin silent, with luxury-levels of sound insulation practically everywhere, including the doors, windshield, carpet and headliner. Ride quality was smooth and soft. We found the standard engine extremely smooth with plenty of power. However, we thought the 6-speed automatic was imprecise in its shifting, while the 5-speed manual felt ropey.
The 2013 Ford Focus competes with the Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic, Chevrolet Cruze, Subaru Impreza, Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Kia Forte and Volkswagen Jetta.
The 2013 Ford Focus comes in sedan and Hatchback versions. Focus comes standard with a 2.0-liter engine. A 5-speed manual transmission is standard, a 6-speed automatic optional.
Focus S Sedan ($16,200) is equipped with cloth upholstery, climate control with air filtration, power door locks and front windows, full center console, 110-watt four-speaker AM/FM/CD3/MP3 sound system, fold-flat rear seat, tilt-telescoping steering wheel, 15-inch steel wheels, halogen headlamps, and black grille, mirrors and door handles. No cruise control or USB port or Bluetooth, rear windows are rollup and rear brakes are drum.
Focus SE Sedan ($18,200) and SE Hatchback ($19,200) come with cloth bucket seats with four-way power driver's seat, body-color mirrors and door handles, floormats, foglamps, auto headlamps, illuminated entry, compass and temp display, steering-wheel audio controls, power rear windows, and 16-inch aluminum wheels. Still no USB port or Bluetooth, and rear drums. With the Hatchback you also get a 60/40 rear seat, rear wiper and liftgate spoiler.
Focus Titanium Sedan ($23,200) and Titanium Hatchback ($24,200) come loaded with leather-trimmed bucket seats with four-way power driver's seat with manual lumbar, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker Sony sound system with HD Radio, Sirius XM Satellite Radio, 8-inch touch screen, SYNC voice-activated communications and entertainment system, MyFord Touch system with touchscreen display, pushbutton start, sport-tuned suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, 17-inch aluminum wheels. Navigation with SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link is optional. Other options include heated front seats, remote start system, cargo area protector.
Focus ST hatchback ($23,700) features the more powerful 2.0-liter EcoBoost engine, 6-speed manual transmission, and sports suspension. Focus ST comes with cloth seats.
Focus Electric ($39,200) features an electric motor and a single-speed direct-drive transmission. The Focus Electric comes with cloth upholstery, heated front seats, dual-zone climate control, 60/40 folding rear seats, MyFord Touch and MyFord Mobile interfaces, with two unique driving screens, rearview camera, Reverse Sensing System, MyKey, rain-sensing wipers, and 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Safety equipment in all Focus models includes six airbags with the latest technology, electronic stability control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution and Brake Assist, rearview camera, tire pressure monitor.