A fuel-efficient car does not have to be expensive—and look cheap. Starting at just below $17,000, the 2014 Ford Focus offers good handling, refined ride, and upscale styling. It could be the best economy sedan or hatchback you can find in the market this year.
UNDER THE HOOD
The 2014 Ford Focus is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission comes standard on the S and SE models. The Titanium model is equipped with a 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual which Ford calls Powershift. The 5-speed manual is optional, though.
Based on the EPA-estimated gas mileages, the 2014 Ford Focus can manage 26 mpg city/36 mpg highway/30 mpg combined with a manual transmission and 27 mpg/38 mpg /31 mpg with an automatic.
ON THE ROAD
The 2014 Focus was tuned to provide drivers with sharper handling and passengers with a smooth and comfortable ride. Some reviewers even likened it to how a European car feels.
The 2.0-liter engine does not give stunning performance but it is undoubtedly not the average engine in the segment. The fuel economy it delivers is also impressive. The Focus feels sportier this year and that’s because of the 5-speed manual transmission. The Powershift works fine but you have to keep in mind that it works and feels differently than a truly automatic gearbox. It comes, though, with acceleration and fuel economy benefits.
INSIDE THE 2014 FOCUS
The Ford Focus does not look like an economy car inside and out. Exterior styling is attractive but the cabin is even more stylish, both in the sedan and in the hatchback. The materials do not look and are not really cheap, making the Focus stand out in the class.
But the MyFord system is not that user-friendly. Many reviewers agree that the controls look complicated and are quite hard to identify.
The Focus has comfortable seats, though, which are good for long trips. But legroom is smaller than what other vehicles in the class have. The Focus sedan has a 13.3-cubic-foot trunk while the hatchback opens a 23.8 cubic feet of cargo space. That can be 44.8 when the rear seats are folded down.
The Ford has four models namely, the S, SE, Titanium and ST. The Ford Focus S comes standard with manual climate control with air filtration system, rear coat hooks, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 sound system with audio jack, manually adjustable cloth front seats, folding rear seat, blind spot mirrors, capless fuel filler, electronic brake assist and power steering, 15-inch steel wheels, and remote keyless entry.
The Focus SE gets power windows, cruise control, first-row floor mats, MyKey, trip computer, 6-speaker audio system, voice command technology, MyFord Driver Connect, automatic headlights, and 16-inch aluminum wheels.
The Focus Titanium features dual-zone automatic climate control, keyless access with push-button start, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, overhead console, second-row floor mats, ambient lighting, rear armrest with storage, 10-speaker Sony audio system, HD radio, SYNC with MyFord Touch, satellite radio, leather heated front seats with 6-way power-adjustable driver seat, fog lights, rear spoiler, rearview camera, 17-inch aluminum wheels, and anti-theft alarm.
The high-performance ST boasts of ST badges, unique leather steering wheel and instrument panel, card ticket holder, mini analog gauge cluster, aluminum pedals and shifters, ST front grille and fog lights, rear windshield wiper, sport suspension, and 18-inch aluminum wheels with red brake calipers.
Photo credit: thecarconnection.com