Compact Titan: 2014 Ford Focus

Last month Ford unveiled the new 2015 Focus at the New York International Auto Show. You may be asking yourself, is this review not a moot point? The answer is yes, and no. While the new Focus is quite a refresh, the current model holds the title of best-selling car in the world. Twice. That’s not something we can easily overlook. So we booked the 2014 Focus as our ride to the NYIAS specifically to see what 1,097,618 found out last year. What’s it like to own a Focus?

Ford Focus 1

Our tester arrived wearing the Titanium trim level, the highest for any Focus excluding the ST. The 2.0L engine, despite lacking the turbocharger found on the ST, was pretty peppy. Output is a solid 160hp and 146 lb-ft torque. We thoroughly enjoyed the car as a package. The engine and transmission, a 6-speed automatic with manual control, worked well together. Mated to a lively chassis, the Focus was the most fun car we have driven in the segment. We have yet to drive the ST version. The ride was smooth on the pock-marked roads of New York. The suspension, however, did have a bit of trouble in corners. Rougher roads could unsettle the car mid-corner, thus making some corners a little less confidence inspiring.

Ford Focus 2

Inside the Focus Titanium had just about every amenity you might want. The only complaint came from the leather seats that were a little short and slightly off-center. The Focus has a slightly awkward driving position that we couldn’t get used to after a week. The MyFordTouch with navigation worked well, and we’ve become used to SYNC’s ease of use with voice command. The system might be a little slow, but it’s more accurate than others we’ve tested. Some of the dash and door materials look a bit dated, but don’t feel overly cheap. A lot of the interior fit and finish is getting an update as we saw in New York, so if you’re looking for the latest and greatest, keep an eye out for 2015.

Ford Focus 11

If you’re in the market for a new compact car, the Focus is a great choice. It’s practical, efficient, and more fun to drive than much of the competition. We put over 800 miles on the Focus between New York and back, averaging an impressive 32.9mpg. If value is also key, our Titanium trim level tester rang in at just over 25,105. If you’re seriously interested, dealers will be eager to open up some space for the 2015’s arrival. So if you’re looking for a fun and somewhat sporty car for a reasonable price, then the 2014 Ford Focus Titanium may be the way to go. We can definitely see it’s mass-market appeal.

2014 Ford Focus Titanium
Navigation System $795
Destination Charges $795
As Tested MSRP $25,105

2015 Ford Focus:

2015 Focus 3
Shortly after our ride with the 2014 Focus, Ford pulled off the covers of the 2015 model at the  New York Auto Show. Updated looks on the outside show off a trimmer, more uniform front end that brings the Focus in line with the rest of the Ford family. Around back, restyled taillights keep in line with the fresh look. Inside, the Focus is getting a new center stack and revised button layout. Also new are blind spot monitoring and lane keep assist. Perhaps the biggest news, however, lies under the hood with the addition of Ford’s 1.0L EcoBoost three cylinder. Ford aims for a significant improvement fuel economy and, when paired with a six-speed manual, hopes it will be the most efficient non-hybrid in its class. Ford intends on keeping the Focus’ global sales streak going, with the ability to churn out 2 Foci every second. Who knows? One of them could be yours.

-Scott Villeneuve

Go Your Own Way: 2013 Ford Fusion Titanium
King of the Hill: 2014 Ford Escape
Fiesta on Fire: 2014 Ford Fiesta ST

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