Overview

Overview

The 2013 Ford Focus is a five-passenger compact car available in hatchback and sedan body styles, a well-trimmed and comfortable cabin, responsive handling, high fuel economy, numerous available convenience features, multiple trim levels including electric and high-performance versions. The Focus, completely redesigned for 2012, returns unchanged for 2013, with the exception of the addition of the Focus ST, an all-new model.

What Experts Think

In a field crowded with competition from the likes of the Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Subaru Impreza and Hyundai Elantra, most automotive reviewers feel that the 2013 Ford Focus offers an impressive blend of performance, style, high-tech features and good fuel economy. Essentially, there is a Focus for almost every need, from the high-fuel economy SFE to the super-green Focus Electric, to upscale Titanium and the sporty, high-performance Focus ST.

"Delivering an outstanding mix of style and substance, the 2013 Ford Focus enriches its fundamentally solid and efficient basic package with the availability of class-leading technologies, including MyFord Touch, Active Park Assist and a PowerShift dual-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission - as well as offering a pure electric alternative." (Kelley Blue Book)

"Focus is a sporty, fun-to-drive small car that's available with some unexpected high-end features, such as hands-free parallel parking.... Overall, the Focus is a fine compact car and one that deserves a prominent place on your shopping list." (Consumer Guide)

"The new Focus is a huge leap in refinement over its predecessor. Ride, handling, and refinement are a class above the rest of the segment. The four-cylinder provides decent power and stellar fuel economy. In the spring, the turbocharged ST will debut for those craving more power." (Car and Driver)

"The Focus has sporty handling and is fun to drive. Its supple and controlled ride, relatively low noise levels, and solid interior make it feel substantial...We think the Focus EV is the nicest affordable electric. It can go about 80 miles on a charge, and charges relatively quickly." (Consumer Reports)

"The well-rounded, well-built 2013 Ford Focus stands as one of the top choices in an increasingly competitive segment." (Edmunds)

"The Ford Focus ST is not exactly a world-beater in terms of refinement, handling balance, or ergonomics. But it does offer a lot of car and performance for the money, it scores an undisputed ten on the entertainment scale, and it won't fall apart when pushed to the limit." (Automobile)

What Owners Say

On review sites, such as Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, AOL Autos, Yahoo Autos, MSN Autos, and Cars.com, owners are quite open in revealing how well they like certain features or not, as well as pointing out particularly appealing attributes of the 2013 Ford Focus. Even among those who have some complaints, most owners say they like the car (with a few exceptions).

Among the owner accolades for the 2013 Ford Focus, many include favorable comments about the car's responsive handling, good fuel economy that is near the advertised mpg, easy-to-reach and clearly displayed controls, interior quietness, style, features, acceleration, reliability, quality, and, with the Focus Electric, absolutely no range anxiety.

Gripes include "rock hard" seats that feel like "sitting on a park bench," seats not very ergonomic, disappointing gas mileage (2.0-liter automatic), problems with technology in Titanium trim, reliability problems in 2.0-liter (including bad grounding wires and faulty fuel pump), difficulty programming Sync, navigation system malfunctions, lack of space, road noise, and transmission problems.

Model/Trim Lineup

The 2013 Ford Focus is a compact car that is available in two body styles: sedan and hatchback. Available trim levels include S, SE and Titanium, as well as Focus Electric and the high-performance Focus ST. The SEL model has been discontinued.

For starters, the Focus S is only available as a sedan. Standard equipment includes 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, power front windows, power locks and mirrors, air conditioning, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver's seat and a four-speaker sound system with CD player and auxiliary audio jack.

In the sedan SE trim, standard equipment includes 16-inch steel wheels, automatic headlights, power rear windows, a trip computer, cruise control, a six-speaker sound system, satellite radio, Ford's Sync system, and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. The hatchback SE equipment level is similar with the inclusion of a 60/40-split-folding seatback in place of the sedan's solid-folding seatback, and a removable cargo cover.

For consumers looking for the Super Fuel Economy (SFE) package, that's optional only on the SE sedan. Included are 16-inch wheels with aerodynamic wheel covers, low-rolling-resistance tires, rear spoiler and rear disc brakes. Another option is MyFord Touch, which includes an eight-inch touchscreen display, a navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control and a 10-speaker Sony audio system.

Moving up to the Titanium trim adds the following as standard equipment: the SE Appearance package, the Winter package and the MyFord Touch package (minus navigation). Other Titanium standard features include 17-inch alloy wheels, rear parking sensors, a rearview camera, and upgraded exterior and interior trim.

There is also the Titanium Handling package with adds 18-inch wheels, a full-size spare, summer tires, and an upgraded sport-tuned suspension. The navigation system is optional in the Titanium, while a sunroof is optional on both SE and Titanium. An automated parallel parking system is optional on Titanium.

As for the Focus Electric, it has equipment similar to the Titanium, except that leather upholstery and power driver's seat are optional. Exclusive xenon headlamps and LED taillamps are standard.

Performance

The 2013 Ford Focus, in the view of most automotive reviewers, delivers nimble handling with "European-style suspension tuning," a quiet and refined ride, and a lively engine. The front-wheel drive Focus has a 150-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that puts out 146 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission on the entry-level Focus is a five-speed manual, while a six-speed automatic that Ford calls "Powershift" is optional. The Powershift is actually a dual-clutch automated manual transmission. The automatic is standard on the Titanium trim, although the manual transmission is still available.

EPA-estimated fuel economy on the 2.0-liter manual is 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30 mpg combined. With the six-speed automatic, the numbers are 28/38/31 mpg. With the SFE option package, fuel economy estimates increase to 28/40/33 mpg.

The Focus Electric is equipped with a 143-horsepower (107-kilowatt) electric drive motor drawing power from a 23kWh lithium-ion battery pack. The EPA gives the Focus Electric an energy efficiency equivalent rating (MPGe) of 110 mpg city/99 mpg highway/105 mpg combined. The company says that the Focus Electric has an effective range of about 76 miles between charging. With a 240-volt home charger, the Focus can be recharged in four hours.

The Focus ST features the EcoBoost turbocharger added to the 2.0-liter in-line four-cylinder engine. This boosts horsepower to 252 and torque to 270 pound-feet. The turbo four is mated to a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission. No automatic is available, even as an option. EPA estimates for the Focus ST are 23 mpg city/32 mpg highway.

As for what the auto critics have to say about the 2013 Ford Focus ST, here is a sample from Edmunds: "Achieving this blend of performance, comfort and refinement is unheard of in this segment. The Ford Focus ST is the real deal. It took whatever arbitrary limitations we once placed on hatchbacks and burned them in a towering funeral pyre for all to witness. But above all, it's just plain fun."

Interior

While not considered as the roomiest in its compact class, most reviewers have positive things to say about the interior of the 2013 Ford Focus. The consensus is that the Focus looks and feels like a more expensive car, reinforcing the initial impression with high-quality, soft-touch materials on the surfaces and plenty of sound-deadening materials throughout.

Instrumentation is thought to be well-positioned and legible in all models, helped by the eight-inch full-color touchscreen in Titanium models with MyFord Touch.

Where some in the reviewing press have some quibbles is with room in the rear seat, saying it is "scaled" for two mid-sized adults, but "decently padded" for three kids.

Cargo space is 13.2 cubic feet in the regular sedan, but this can be increased by folding rear seatbacks to a semi-flat position. In the hatchback, with the rear seats semi-folded, cargo space increases from 23.8 cubic feet to 44.8 cubic feet. There is quite a difference in cargo space in the Focus Electric, note the critic, due to the presence of the battery pack.

Many test drivers feel that the Ford Sync and MyFord Touch infotainment systems are difficult to use at first. They also complain that controls on the base model can be complicated.

Safety & Reliability

Auto critics applaud the long list of important safety equipment included as standard in the 2013 Ford Focus. These include front seat airbags and side curtain airbags, stability control, and antilock brakes (rear drums on S and SE, rear disc on other models).

Optional safety equipment (some available in packages) includes hands-free parallel parking and a rearview camera.

Reviewers note that the available Ford Sync system includes an emergency crash notification feature that automatically dials 911 when paired with a compatible cell phone. The Ford MyKey system, which is standard on every Focus except Focus S, can be used to set certain parameters for teen drivers, such as limitation on top speed and volume levels.

In government crash testing by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the 2013 Ford Focus received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, four stars for overall frontal impact and five stars for overall side impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gave the Focus its highest possible "Good" rating in frontal-offset, side and roof strength tests and awarded it with a Top Safety Pick designation.

The 2013 Ford Focus has a three-and-one-half Power Circle score in the J.D. Power Predicted Reliability rating. This means the Focus is between better than most and about average in terms of reliability.

 

 

Trim Style Engine Drive Train MSRP
Hatchback - FWD
5dr HB Electric Motor FWD 39200
SE 5dr HB SE 4 Cylinder FWD 19200
Titanium 5dr HB Titanium 4 Cylinder FWD 24200
ST 5dr HB ST 4 Cylinder FWD 23700
Sedan - FWD
S 4dr Sedan S 4 Cylinder FWD 16200
SE 4dr Sedan SE 4 Cylinder FWD 18200
Titanium 4dr Sedan Titanium 4 Cylinder FWD 23200

Comparison of 2013 Ford Focus with Similar Cars

2013 Ford Focus MSRP Invoice
2013 Ford Focus $16,200 $15,269
Similar Cars to Consider MSRP Invoice Compare
2013 Toyota Corolla $16,230 $15,338 2013 Ford Focus VS 2013 Toyota Corolla
2013 Nissan Sentra $15,990 $15,423 2013 Ford Focus VS 2013 Nissan Sentra
2013 Hyundai Elantra $16,695 $16,208 2013 Ford Focus VS 2013 Hyundai Elantra
2013 Volkswagen Jetta $15,545 $14,923 2013 Ford Focus VS 2013 Volkswagen Jetta
2013 Mazda Mazda3 $16,700 $16,229 2013 Ford Focus VS 2013 Mazda Mazda3

Car Rankings

Interested to see how the 2013 Ford Focus ranks against similar cars in terms of key attributes? Here are the 2013 Ford Focus rankings for MPG, horsepower, torque, leg room, head room, shoulder room, hip room and so forth.

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