2017 Focus New Car Test Drive
The Ford Focus is an extroverted and upscale compact that works for a number of different kinds of drivers, depending on the model and powertrain. It comes as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback.
Every Focus handles well and gets good fuel mileage. There's even a Focus Electric model.
The 2017 Ford Focus is in its seventh year. It was lightly restyled for 2015 (and is expected to be redesigned for 2018).
The most common engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with direct injection and variable vale timing, making 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. Those numbers aren't big, but there's plenty of pep. The transmission is either a 5-speed manual or 6-speed dual-clutch automatic that we're not fond of.
There's also a turbocharged three-cylinder with tiny displacement of 1.0 liters, that is slower but more fuel efficient. It comes with either a 6-speed automatic or manual.
If it's performance you want, the Focus ST, with its 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, makes 252 horsepower and accelerates to 60 miles per hour in just 6.3 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 155 mph. It uses only a 6-speed manual gearbox.
And if that's not enough, for a breathtaking price jump of more than $11,000, the Focus RS with its 2.3-liter turbo makes 350 horsepower. To handle that power in the curves, it uses torque-vectoring all-wheel drive with driving modes including Track and Drift.
The EPA rates the Focus with 1.0-liter three-cylinder 6-speed manual at 30/40 mpg City/Highway, or 34 mpg Combined. Focus 2.0-liter automatic is rated 26/38/31, nearly the same as the 1.0-liter with automatic. Focus ST is rated 22/30/25 mpg and uses Regular gasoline. Focus RS is rated 19/25/22. The Focus Electric, with limited availability, achieves 105 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent).
The NHTSA gives the Focus five stars in its crash tests. The IIHS gives it the top Good scores for most of its tests, but only Acceptable in the difficult small-overlap test.
The 2017 Ford Focus S ($16,775) is reasonably well equipped, with power windows/locks/mirrors, air conditioning, Bluetooth, AM/FM/CD, adjustable steering wheel with controls, and rearview camera. The torque-vectoring system also comes standard on the front-wheel drive. (Prices are MSRP and do not include destination charge.)
It's a big jump up to the Focus SE hatchback ($19,765), which adds larger 16-inch steel wheels, cruise control, fog lamps, and Ford's MyKey system. Options include leather, a power driver seat, rear disc brakes, rear parking sensors, a sport package, a moonroof, navigation, heated seats, satellite radio, and Sony audio. There's also an available Sport package.
Focus SEL hatchback ($21,675) gets 17-inch wheels, rear disc brakes, a moonroof, ambient lighting, rear parking sensors, and the Sync 3 infotainment system.
The Focus Titanium ($24,075) gets dual-zone climate control, leather, Sony audio, HD and satellite radio, sport suspension, sport seats, and summer performance tires on sport wheels. Options include automatic parking assistance (parks itself, using cameras).
The high-performance Focus ST ($24,775) and Focus RS ($36,120), in addition to their speed upgrades, get styling kits and 18- or 19-inch wheels. Options include navigation, Recaro seats, and a carbon-fiber accent package.
Available safety equipment on higher models includes blind-spot monitors and lane-keeping assists. There are no available forward-collision or automatic-braking systems.