2015 Ford Focus

Starting MSRP: $17,170 - $29,170

Estimated MPG: 26 city / 36 hwy

2015 Ford Focus Review

The 2015 Ford Focus is one of the best-selling car models in the world and for good reason: From basic economy car to potent pocket rocket, this compact people hauler brings affordability and performance to a segment and does so in a sporty package.

By Matt Keegan
Last Updated 05/03/2016

The Ford Focus is a compact front-wheel drive car that’s available in four-door sedan and five-door hatchback configurations. The current Focus debuted as a 2011 model, and is prized for its superior styling, refinement and fuel economy.

The Focus gains a few notable updates for 2015, including a new engine option, revamped interior and exterior styling and newly available driver assistance features. S, SE, Titanium and high-performance ST trims are offered, along with the Ford Focus Electric.

Exterior

Exterior
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The 2015 Ford Focus offers a sporty face that’s marked by a gaping horizontal grille along with sleek headlamp assemblies. A large lower grille opening and stylish housings for the available fog lamps are also present. A sharply creased hood rounds out the sporty look up front.

From the side, the Focus has distinct upper character lines and lower body sculpting along with available sport wheels. A slightly rising beltline and a sloping roofline add to this model’s sporty presentation. On the hatchback, that roofline drops sharply. 

From the rear, the Focus sedan features an available spoiler, wraparound combination lamps and reflector lights. The hatchback has an integrated spoiler, its own wraparound combination lamp design and reflector lights.

Choose the 2015 Focus ST you’ll find numerous design embellishments, including a unique front grille, automatic quad-beam halogen headlamps, racing stripes, a body kit and a high-mounted liftgate spoiler.

Interior

Interior
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With room for five, the 2015 Focus offers nearly as much interior room as midsize cars of 15 years ago. In the sedan, interior volume measures 103.9 cubic feet, while the hatchback has 90.7 cubic feet. The sedan has a 13.2 cubic foot trunk. The Focus hatchback offers 23.8 cubic feet of storage space, which expands to 44.8 cubic feet with the rear seat folded.

The Focus’ instrument panel is composed of two large analog displays — tachometer and speedometer — as well as a pair of half shell displays for oil temperature and fuel level.

The center of the panel houses a digital display for driver information that’s controlled by switches located on the face of the steering wheel.

From top to bottom, the center stack is composed of a color display and audio and climate controls. At the base of the stack is an open storage compartment to hold a smartphone, with connectivity points included. The transmission shifter, two cup holders and an armrest performing double duty as a storage compartment are between the front seats.

Both models offer bucket seats up front and a 60-40 split-folding bench seat in the rear. All models come with air conditioning (dual-zone automatic climate control in the Titanium), power accessories, a tilt-and-telescopic steering column, one or two power points, two USB ports, Bluetooth and an auxiliary input jack.

Aside from the basic S sedan, every model includes a leather-wrapped steering wheel, illuminated sun visors, an overhead console and cruise control. Available equipment includes a moonroof, a rear armrest with a storage compartment, remote start, a heated steering wheel and heated side mirrors. All models come with bottle holders in the doors and in-door storage compartments.

Choose the Focus ST and there are several important enhancements in place, including the available Recaro seats. Ford outfits the ST with a redesigned instrument panel and includes a flat-bottom steering wheel.

Performance

Performance
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Ford offers three engines with the 2015 Focus, including the segment’s only three-cylinder engine. That three-cylinder engine is a turbocharged 1.0 liter and comes paired with a six-speed manual transmission. This engine makes 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque. The three-cylinder Focus is EPA-rated at 29/40 mpg city/highway.

A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is standard and comes paired with a five-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.

The 2.0-liter engine makes 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. Models with this engine are rated at up to 27/40 mpg city/highway.

Ford also makes available the Focus ST, which is a performance model powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine paired only with a six-speed manual transmission. This model makes 252 horsepower and 270 pound-feet of torque.

As tested, a Ford Focus ST was offered, which is a five-door hatchback and special project of Ford Performance. This model provides numerous enhancements over the Focus models, including redesigned front and rear fascias, special alloy wheels, Recaro seats, a revised center console and unique colors.

The Focus ST compares favorably with the Volkswagen GTI, offering excellent off-the-mark acceleration, enhanced handling and optimum driving characteristics. A short-throw transmission and tight gear ratios enable quick and effortless movement up and down the gear range.

Copious amounts of torque steer is present, owing to the tremendous amount of power sent to the front wheels. Yet, the feeling makes for an interesting drive as you hold tight to the steering wheel with your left hand while deftly working the pedals and managing the shifter with your right hand. This model handles curvy roads eagerly and tops 60 mph from zero in about six seconds.

Technology

Technology
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All Focus models are equipped with a rearview camera with a standard 4.2-inch display screen or an available 8-inch color display with MyFord Touch.

For 2015, Ford updated its Sync AppLink smartphone integration to include more connected apps, improved voice-command recognition and automatic notifications. As far as the Sync interface goes, this model would benefit from the third-generation system rolling out in most 2016 and later Ford vehicles.

Safety

Safety
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The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) tested the Focus sedan and gave it Good ratings in moderate overlap front and side crash tests, as well as in testing for roof strength and the head restraints and seats. Good is the institute’s highest score. The Focus sedan also achieved an Acceptable rating in small overlap front testing.

Ford equips all 2015 Focus models with stability and traction control, four-wheel anti-lock brakes, a suite of six air bags and the previously mentioned rearview camera. Driver-assistance features are also available, including lane keeping assist and blind spot alert.

Cost-Effectiveness

Cost-Effectiveness
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Ford prices the 2015 Focus from $17,110 for the sedan and from $18,960 for the hatchback. The sedan is available in S, SE and Titanium editions.

The hatchback comes in SE, Titanium and ST editions. A fully loaded sedan will set you back by about $23,000. Add $500 for a top-of-the-line Titanium hatchback.

The Focus ST, when equipped with its two top equipment packages can cost you more than $31,000. 

The Focus ST offers options like the 401A equipment group ($2,990), which brings in cornering lamps, HID headlamps, Recaro seats and an upgraded audio system with Sync with MyFord Touch. The 402A equipment group ($4,680) adds in a heated, three-point steering wheel, voice-activated navigation, four-way head restraints, heated side mirrors and an overhead console.

Overall

Overall
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Numerous competitors would love to have the Focus’ market share. The top-seller in this segment is the Toyota Corolla. The Honda Civic, Nissan Sentra, Chevrolet Cruze and Dodge Dart are also notable players. Other models include the Volkswagen Jetta, Kia Forte, Hyundai Elantra and Mazda3.

Despite the strong competition, the Focus has something for everyone. It ranges from a low-budget sedan to a high-performance hatchback with much to consider in between.