The Ford Focus is the automaker’s compact offering in sedan and four-door hatchback forms. They range in styles from the high-volume four-cylinder S and SE, to the upscale Titanium, and the performance-oriented ST model, though all Focus models tend to be sportier than the competition.
The compact Ford Focus is available in a variety of different forms, from the simple S sedan, to the miserly SFE. The Focus S, SE, and Titanium all come with a 2.0-liter I-4 that produces 160 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque with an EPA-estimated 26-27/36-37 mpg city/highway. A six-speed automatic is available on the S, SE, and Titanium while the SE I-4 is offered with an SFE package that bumps the EPA estimate to 28/40 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission. The S is only available as a sedan, but the SE and Titanium can be had in either body style.
The high-performance Focus ST gets a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4, which delivers 252 hp and 270 lb-ft of torque with an EPA estimated 23/32 mpg city/highway and comes exclusively with a six-speed manual transmission and only as a four-door hatchback.
The 2014 Ford Focus has a five-star overall rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars). The IIHS designated the sedan and hatchback Top Safety Picks for 2014. The Focus is the first vehicle in its class to offer Active Park Assist, which can identify a parallel parking space and maneuver into it, with minimal driver input.
The Ford Focus Electric comes only as a four-door hatchback and has an automatic transmission. It gets a 107kW electric motor, fed by a 23kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery that will fully charge on an at-home 240V charging station in about four hours. It can reach 84 mph, has an EPA-estimated range of 76 miles on a single charge, and gets and EPA estimated 110/99 mpg-e city/highway.
New for 2014
The Ford Focus now has an SE Sport Package that includes sport cloth seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and an available rear spoiler. The high-end Titanium trim level now has an optional five-speed manual transmission.
What We Think
The 2014 Ford Focus appeals to a wide audience with its many trims and powertrains, and we enjoy the sporting side that’s brought out by a manual transmission. We noted in the First Test of a 2014 Focus Titanium that “the Focus feels right at home on curvy back roads, where its chassis feels planted and solid, even through mid-corner bumps.” The automatic transmission leaves something to be desired, but it’s adequate for commuting with the occasional spirited driving. Front leg room and trunk space are in line with the competition, but as we noted in a First Test of the Titanium, rear seat leg room is noticeably less than the Civic and Corolla.
In a Focus ST First Test, we said it “is one of the best-handling front-wheel-drive cars ever built.” That being said, in the same test the editor notes, “I haven’t felt torque steer like this in a very long time. In fact, I’ve driven GTIs with 400 hp at the wheel that were more docile than this Ford.” That 270 lb-ft of torque are available right at 2,500 rpm, which makes for quite an exciting launch. In a comparison against the Subaru BRZ the Focus ST was faulted for its excessive torque-steer, lack of steering feel, and a difficult to handle nature when near the limit. While entertaining for the boy-racer segment, the ST lacked the refinement of the BRZ.
In a First Test of a 2012 Focus SFE, the SE with the Super Fuel Economy package, we noted that while the SFE makes significant fuel economy improvements over the standard Focus lineup, it’s not the most fuel-efficient car at that price point, as it’s beaten by the Prius C and the Honda Insight (discontinued after the 2014 model year).
- There’s a flavor for everybody
- Manual-transmission models
- Turbocharged fun of the ST’s 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4
- Torque-steer on the ST
- Automatic transmission for spirited driving
- Smaller than average rear-seat leg room
- Honda Civic
- Volkswagen Golf
- Toyota Corolla
- Chevrolet Cruze