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3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Ford Focus

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Expert's Rating

4.8Excellent

MPG 26 City / 37 Highway
Pros
  • Easy to drive and maneuver
  • Sharp steering and handling feel
  • Excellent fuel economy
  • Outstanding value
Cons
  • Back seat might be too small for taller passengers
, Automotive Editor -
Ford's latest Focus has become one of the best selling compact cars in the country, and moved up from also-ran status to a class leader. Available as a four-door sedan or five-door hatchback, the Focus comes with fuel-efficient powertrains and a raft of available technology features that will attract shoppers who can't be too detached from their smartphones or other modern conveniences. Features like available active park assist will also wow the neighbors. But no matter how you option the Focus, it's a roomy, safe, fun to drive car suited to many lifestyles.

Introduction

All Focuses get a 2.0-liter 160-horsepower four-cylinder with either a five-speed manual or a six-speed dual clutch automated transmission. The base S trim is only available as a sedan, but comes well-equipped with 15-inch wheels, electronic stability control, power front windows, mirrors and locks with keyless entry. Also standard is a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, Ford's MyKey system, four-speaker audio system with AUX input and a full complement of airbags.

SE trim is also offered as a hatch and boasts cruise control, 16-inch wheels, trip computer, six-speaker audio with Ford's SYNC voice activation for phones and iPods with a USB connector and four power windows. Options include MyFord Touch, navigation and an appearance package with alloy wheels and a sports suspension. Top-rung Titanium cars get MyFord Touch standard, along with HD radio, keyless start, dual-zone automatic climate control, a power driver's seat and 17-inch alloy wheels. Options include active park assist, heated leather seats and a handling package with a sportier chassis setup.

The Volkswagen Jetta is more spacious and offers a clean diesel engine option, but has a cheap feeling interior on lower trims and can get very expensive. The Chevrolet Cruze offers a refined 1.4-liter turbo engine and a more comfortable ride, but no hatchback and isn't as fun to drive. The Honda Civic is fuel efficient and offers a sporty coupe, but has a cheap interior and unrefined driving experience. The Mazda 3 offers outstanding fuel economy and a spirited drive, but lacks the Focus' available technology features.

While the competition at this end of the market may be fierce, the Focus packs a big punch with its choice of body styles and long list of options. Every Focus, though, has fun-to-drive characteristics with a fuel-efficient drivetrain. That is what a lot of shoppers are looking for as they try to avoid paying a lot for gas, but don't want to give up attributes of bigger vehicles. For those customers, the Focus should be high on the shopping list.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Ford Focus
Starting price
$8,990

2013 Ford Focus S

Recommended for: Shoppers sticking to a budget

While the Focus S is at the bottom of the range, it doesn't come without plenty of standard features. Available only as a four-door sedan, the S gets the same 2.0-liter 160 horsepower four-cylinder as more expensive cars. It comes with a five-speed manual, though the six-speed dual clutch gearbox is optional. Also standard are power front windows, power door locks with remote entry and power mirrors. Fifteen-inch steel wheels are standard. Options include Ford's SYNC system for phone pairing and the six-speed Powershift dual-clutch automatic.

2013 Ford Focus
Starting price
$8,990

2013 Ford Focus SE

Recommended for: Customers looking for a good-looking sedan or hatchback

The SE builds on the S by adding to the basic features and offering more bodystyles and technology options. All SEs get standard SYNC and cruise control, four power windows, a front armrest, six-speaker audio system with USB, automatic headlamps, foglamps and 16-inch alloy wheels. Optional on SE sedan is the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) Package, which adds aerodynamic exterior tweaks and revised gearing for the automatic to bring fuel economy up to 40 MPG highway. The MyFord Touch package includes Sony premium audio, while the SE Appearance Package adds 17-inch alloy wheels, leather seats, alarm, Sirius radio and other exterior changes. The Winter Package includes all-season floor mats and heated front seats and outside mirrors. Other available features include dual-zone automatic climate control, the Powershift automatic transmission and a navigation system.

2013 Ford Focus
Starting price
$8,990

2013 Ford Focus Titanium

Recommended for: Buyers who want the latest technology in a compact package

The Titanium is loaded with features typical of a premium small car, such as MyFord Touch, keyless start and entry, 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control and Sony premium audio system. Other features include a leather-wrapped steering wheel, ambient lighting, map lights, rear armrest, HD radio, Sirius and leather seats with 4-way power adjustment for the driver. Options include the Titanium Handling Package, which includes a sports suspension and 18-inch alloy wheels, the Winter Package, navigation and active park assist.

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