Ford’s new Focus is “so radically improved” from the previous U.S. model that “it’s surprising the name stayed the same.” This impressive compact has a few minor flaws—namely a rear seat that won’t fold flat and the slight pokiness of the six-speed auto transmission at lower speeds. But that’s about it. The Focus “has vaulted from forgettable to formidable in one fell swoop.” It’s now the “sportiest” car in the small-car class and maybe the best overall.
Car and Driver
We like the looks of the five-door hatchback, so “consider yourself free to ignore the slightly frumpy sedan”—even though the price of the hatchback runs about $1,800 higher. Interior surfaces in either model are “an order of magnitude richer” than in the old Focus, “easily matching what’s now offered” by such worthy rivals as the Mazda 3 and the new Chevy Cruze and Hyundai Elantra.
To attain the 40 mpg that Ford’s ads are touting, you’ll need the “Super Fuel Economy” package. But no model feels like budget class, and options include a backup camera and self-parking electronics. In a highly competitive market, this fun, handsome new Ford is bringing “a lot of stuff” to the fight.