2012 Ford Focus

The latest Ford Focus may be the nth incarnation in a line of Ford cars that date as far back as the year 2000, but the updated version is a force to reckon with under the affordable small car category. Outfitted with new exterior and interior features and other amenities, the 2012 Focus is Ford’s answer to the surge of dynamic small car brands that have flooded the market and has given the Focus serious competition.

The solid track record of the Ford Focus makes it one of the most popular car models in the American automobile market since its debut more than a decade ago, but the newest Ford Focus is a result of a first ever complete redesign and overhaul for the Focus. Ford is set to offer two versions of the Focus: a 4-door sedan model and a 5-door hatchback variant, following global standards pegging the 2012 Focus equivalent to 10 models scheduled for distribution all over the world.

Engine & Performance

The 2012 Ford Focus that is meant for the US market will run on a 160 HP, 2.0-liter four-cylinder direct injection engine using six-speed automatic transmission. Although fuel economy estimates are yet to be announced, features that are meant to enhance MPG— such as electric steering and active grill ventilation—will be available in the latest Focus which will make it not only fun but also practical to drive.

Although reviewers and test drivers don’t consider the 2012’s performance superior, the new Focus, however, is impressive in maneuverability and more appealing in terms of handling compared to its predecessors. Both sedan and hatchback 2012 Focus variants come in four unique trims (S, SE, SEL and Titanium levels).

On the outside the latest Focus looks edgier and sportier than the earlier Focus models. The new Focus is also first of its kind to possess a torque vectoring control that elevates automobile stability by supplementing brake force to wheels on one side while being driven around corners—making the new Focus a prospective leader in the economical small car pack.

Exterior, Interior, & Safety

It’s also worth noting that the Ford Company packs the new Focus with innovative and state-of-the-art interior features. The 2012 Focus’ MyFord system is the updated version of Ford’s infotainment system that allows users to download apps and personalize the controls and interface. The MyKey feature, on the other hand, lets a user program a car’s speed limit and audio controls. To govern internal functions users can manipulate the MyFordTouch system which is a central control panel touchscreen.

Other all-new features of the 2012 Focus include a keyless push-button engine/entry start, a camera in the rear and a hands-free semi-automatic parallel parking system. Suffice to say, curtain-side and front side airbags, ABS, antiskid system and traction control are the safety features of the 2012 Focus.

Buyers interested in the SE model can avail of a Sport package that includes innovative trims (exterior and interior), 16-inch alloy tires, a sport suspension, and 4-wheel disc breaks. 18-inch summer wheels, a full-size spare tire and a performance suspension comprise a Handling package standard in Titanium models.

Pros & Con

A comprehensive evaluation of the 2012 Focus by reviewers and test drivers reveals that the new Focus praiseworthy when it comes to engine performance—acceleration in particular—and handling/road-handling performance. A look at the latest Focus from the inside out, shows that its rear-seat cabin room isn’t at par with its competitors, even though advanced computer systems make the Focus chic and high-tech.

The Competition

Utility, interior room and performance are all important criteria when judging between affordable small car options. But how does the 2012 Ford Focus fare against its rivals? Experts agree that the Mazda3(MSRP $15,800; 25 city / 33 hwy) and the Honda Fit (MSRP $15,100; 27 city / 33 hwy) are promising contenders when it comes to top rankings in the sedan category.

The two other alternatives are much more budget-friendly (e.g. the Fit sedan variant is $1,200 less than the 2012 Focus sedan) and even possess more interior room. The hatchback version of the new Focus also faces serious competition from Chevrolet’s Cruze (MSRP $16,525; 26 city / 36 hwy) which is deemed more stylish and has more carrying and seating capacity than the new Focus. The edge of the 2012 Focus, however, lies with the cutting-edge technology that Ford equips the latest Focus with.

Overall Rating
71 out of 100

What others say:

“The ride is firm yet supple but the car is still noisy and interior quality is lackluster.”Consumer Reports

“With the 2012 Focus, Ford shows that small cars don't have to feel so banal, with charismatic compacts that are more satisfying to drive, more luxurious, and better-equipped.”The Car Connection

“It is sportier and more fun to drive than most of the competition, may be the most refined entry in its segment, and does most things quite well. "Consumer Guide

“The 2012 Ford Focus gets a clean-sheet recasting that brings a new look, enhanced quality, more features, and upgraded options in a slightly larger but far more dynamic package.”KBB

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Compact Sedan Base Price: $16,500.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 12.4 gallons Miles Per Gallon: 26 city / 36 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 178.4 in. (453 cm) Width: 71.8 in. (182 cm)
Height: 57.7 in. (147 cm) Weight: 2623 lbs (1190 kg)
Wheel Base: 104.3 in. (265 cm) Ground Clearance: NA
Luggage Capacity: 13.2 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5
Performance
Engine: 2.0L Ti-VCT GDI I4 Displacement: 2.0Liters (121.99 cc)
Horsepower: 160 hp Max RPM: 6500 rpm
Torque: 146 lb-ft @ 4450 rpm Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
0-60 mph: NA 1/4 Mile: NA
Available Trims & Engine
Option:SE Sedan – 2.0L Ti-VCT I4 MSRP: $17,400; MPG: 26 city / 36 hwy
Option:SE 5-Door - 2.0L Ti-VCT I4 MSRP: $18,200; MPG: 26 city / 36 hwy
Option:SEL Sedan - 2.0L Ti-VCT I4 MSRP: $20,300; MPG: 27 city / 37 hwy
Option:SEL 5-Door - 2.0L Ti-VCT I4 MSRP: $21,100; MPG: 27 city / 37 hwy
Option:Titanium Sedan - 2.0L Ti-VCT I4 MSRP: $22,200; MPG: 27 city / 37 hwy
Option:Titanium 5-Door - 2.0L Ti-VCT I4 MSRP: $22,700; MPG: 27 city / 37 hwy

  • ralph_w

    A mere review on paper, and it can’t even get the basics right. Why is this comparing the Focus to the Fit, and not the Civic? The subcompact Fiesta, not the Focus, compete with the subcompact Fit. Also, Cruze is not available in hatch, only sedan, and I’ve never heard of anyone calling the Cruze stylish.