2013 Ford Focus Review

December 17, 2014
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The 2013 Ford Focus is one of the key players in the competitive compact car market. Credit goes to its stylish packaging, class-leading tech features and excellent driving dynamics. With the complete redesign in the previous year, the already noteworthy Focus is made even better. And with its reasonable pricing, it is all the more desirable to shoppers.

NEW FOR THE 2013 FORD FOCUS

o    Discontinuation of SEL trim level and SE Sport Package
o    Availability of a five-speed manual transmission on the Titanium trim level
o    Introduction of high-performance ST trim

UNDER THE HOOD

The front-wheel drive 2013 Ford Focus comes equipped with a 2.0-liter direct-inject four-cylinder engine that is good for 160 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque. On S and SE models, this engine is paired with the standard issued five-speed manual transmission, while on Titanium models it is hooked to six-speed automatic transmission, which also happens to be available as an option for lower models. Official EPA fuel economy ratings for this powertrain stand at 28/38 mpg with automatic transmission and 26/36 mpg with manual transmission. These figures go up to 28/40 mpg when the Super Fuel Economy package is availed.

A turbocharged version of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is added to the Ford Focus ST models. Linked to a six-speed manual transmission, this powertrain is able to deliver 252 horsepower and 270 lb-ft of torque and receives an EPA fuel economy rating of 23/32 mpg.

ON THE ROAD 

The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found under the hoods of most of the 2013 Focus is willing and provides ample acceleration, allowing them to deliver a competitive performance, while keeping fuel economy in check. Between the two transmissions, the five-speed manual makes for a better choice as it lends the Focus a sportier feel. The six-speed automatic works pretty well on high revs, but feels a bit rough at low speeds.

Meanwhile, the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder is an ideal pick for those wanting impressive peak power. Combined with a different steering and suspension setup, the Focus ST gets a nice oomph, allowing it to run swiftly without sacrificing fuel economy and user-friendliness.

Generally, the 2013 Focus handles better than most of its competitors. Its electric power steering is nicely weighted, offering precise control and good road feel, and there is minimal body roll when it slices through corners. Ford also did a good job in keeping the Focus’ ride quality compliant, though this suffers a bit when you move up to higher models.

INSIDE THE 2013 FORD FOCUS

The 2013 Ford Focus looks good on the outside, but it gets better on the inside. Whether you opt for the sedan or hatchback, its cabin has the look and feel of a premium car. Reinforcing that character is the abundance of soft-touch materials and classy trims and finishes within the space.

However, some reviewers find the layout of gauges and controls a bit complicated, especially on lower trims, while others think it gives the Focus a high-tech look. The optional MyFord Touch system, though highly customizable, is somewhat difficult to operate.

When it comes to accommodations, both body styles have supportive and comfy front seats and a back seat that has enough legroom and headroom to fit even taller passengers. Cargo capacity is on par with rivals, with the sedan offering 13.2 cubic feet of space and the hatch providing 23.8 cubic feet of storage area behind the rear seat and 44.8 cubic feet when the rear seat is folded down.

KEY FEATURES

The 2013 Ford Focus can be had in either sedan or body style. From there, buyers get to choose from four trim levels namely S, SE, Titanium and ST. There is an electric version of the Ford Focus, but this is reviewed separately.

The entry-level S trim sedan is quite basic, but it does offer a good set of features that include power locks, mirrors and front windows, air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering wheel, height adjustable driver’s seat, audio system with four speakers, CD player and auxiliary input, keyless entry and 15-inch steel wheels.

The SE trim gains steering wheel-mounted audio controls, Ford Sync voice-activated phone and audio player interface, six-speaker audio system, trip computer, cruise control, power rear windows, automatic headlights and 16-inch steel wheels. Hatchback SEs share the same standard equipment as their SE sedan counterparts and add a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and cargo cover.

The SE trim can be upgraded with different packages. These include the SE Appearance package, which contains leather upholstery, six-way power driver’s seat, satellite radio, rear center armrest, ambient interior lighting, fog lights, automatic transmission, rear disc brakes and 17-inch alloy wheels; the SE Winter package, which bundles heated front seats and mirrors; the Super Fuel Economy package (for SE sedans only), which delivers a rear spoiler, rear disc brakes, 16-inch steel wheels with aero covers and low-rolling-resistance tires; and the MyFord Touch package, which adds a dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system and Sony audio system.

The Titanium trim is equipped with the items found in the SE’s Appearance, Winter and MyFord Touch packages (save for the navigation system) and further adds a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, upgraded trim for the exterior and interior, keyless ignition and entry and 17-inch alloy wheels. Optional to this trim is a navigation system, sunroof (also optional for SE), automated parallel-parking system and the Titanium Handling package, which brings full-size spare summer tires, sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels.

The performance-focused ST trim is endowed with features like performance-tuned steering and suspension, unique leather steering wheel and instrument cluster, aluminum pedals and shifters, ST front grille and fog lights, plus a number of other interior and exterior trim distinctions. Optional equipment that can be had on the ST trim includes LED interior ambient lighting, automatic temperature control and Recaro seats.

Photo credit: thecarconnection.com

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