Ford Focus

Ford Focus

Year after year the Ford Focus is a top seller both new and used. For shoppers looking for a safe, reliable compact car with good gas mileage, the Focus is a sporty choice that offers a lot of bang for the buck.

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Used Ford Focus Owner Reviews

2003 Ford Focus
Clean car, low mileage, right price, 1st car for 18 year old daughter
by CKW

Model Overview

The Ford Focus debuted in North America in 1999 as a replacement for the Ford Escort. The following year it made the Car and Driver Ten Best list. Since then, more than 9 million of the sedans, hatchbacks, sport, and Titanium editions  have been sold globally.  Over the years, Ford has continually improved build quality and slowly beefed up the features. Though the car has gotten bigger, it’s also gotten more fuel efficient. The 2014 Focus S Sedan automatic gets an EPA estimated 26/36 mpg. In comparison, the 2000 model was rated at 23/30 mpg. The Focus is popular with daily commuters, people on a budget, and practical drivers who also appreciate its sleek design.

Used Ford Focus vehicles can be found in several body styles including sedans, sports coupes, wagons, 3-door hatchbacks and 5-door wagons. Ford now offers six versions including S and SE sedans starting at ($16,810 MSRP), the SE hatchback, Titanium Sedan ($18,125 MSRP) and Titanium Hatch ($23,575 MSRP). For those looking for a little more zip, the ST offers a 6-speed manual transmission, independent rear suspension with stabilizer bar, and sporty styling ($23,625 MSRP).

If you can spend a little more, the Titanium sedan and hatchback editions offers a Sony® 10-speaker Audio system, leather trim, 17” alloy wheels, programmable entry keys, a reverse sensing system for backing up and other options designed to enhance the overall driving experience. For the environmentally conscious and for California zero emissions laws, Ford has developed the Focus Electric (BEV). It’s powered by a 3kWh liquid-cooled lithium ion battery, to achieve an impressive 101 highway/99 city MPG equivalent. Don’t look for it, however, at your local Ford dealer, since it is only available from Ford Certified Electric dealers.

When shopping for a used Ford Focus it helps to know when the car saw major design changes. The second generation of the car was produced between the 2005-2010 model years. During that time period, the Focus grew significantly in size and weight, gaining an inch in wheelbase, and 6.6 inches in length for roomier cabin space and a bigger trunk. Keyless entry, adaptive lighting, and Bluetooth appeared on the features list. For 2008, the design got a facelift with the deletion of moldings on the doors, the addition of sharp creases to body panels, a sweeping back of the headlights, and a lowering and expansion of the front grill. These changes were part of Ford’s “kinetic design” philosophy of showing energy in motion. The third generation Focus arrived for 2011, as the coupe version was mothballed.


All versions of the 2014 Ford Focus boast dual airbags and side curtain airbags, plus anti-lock brakes and stability controls. In crash tests the vehicle was rated “Good” for major safety scores such as roof strength, side impact, moderate front impact, and head restraint by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).


  • The Focus is a popular choice for the green crowd. It was the first car from Ford to achieve the stringent third-party Greenguard certification that measures how well a car limits emissions of more than 10,000 volatile chemical compounds. Kelley Blue Book listed it as a Top Ten Green Car for 2011.
  • Even though the Focus is priced to be an affordable compact, the Ford Motor Company has managed to include technology found in larger and more expensive cars by controlling manufacturing costs. Under Ford’s “One Ford” strategy, the Focus uses 80% of the same parts across all global versions of the car.
  • Are you looking for a connected car that can access the Web? The software-based connectivity available in the Focus such as Bluetooth and USB input led to Fast Company magazine naming Ford a Top 10 “most innovative companies in mobile technology.”
  • If you care about build quality, it should ease your mind to know that Ford’s Michigan assembly plant producing the Focus uses precision laser-guided robots to meet rigorous standards for fit and finish. Ford even allows the robots to shut down the assembly line if tolerances are exceeded from spec.
  • Safety is one of the car’s selling points. It was one of six small cars in 2012 to receive a Top Safety Pick accolade from the IIHS for offering “superior crash protection.” Side impact safety performance as measured by the IIHS measurably improved for the 2008 model year.

All in all, the Ford Focus represents a good value on the used car market, especially for those produced since 2005. Don’t forget that you can take advantage of CARFAX vehicle history criteria to narrow your search on CARFAX’s used car listing.