September 19, 2011

Review: Ford Focus

It's not only foreign automakers who keep their most fuel efficient models off US roads: just look at the example of the Ford Focus. The hatchback model with the highest fuel economy available in US showrooms has a 2.0L engine and gets average mileage of 31mpg. European Ford dealers offer a 1.6L option that gets 40mpg in real life.

CelloMom's friend Debra had a Ford Focus for years, and CelloMom was always amazed and awed by how clean she kept it inside. When you get a ride with her, there's never any of that last-minute dusting, wiping, scraping of beeswax, and offering of apologies: it's always ready to receive a friend.

The Focus is 4.36m long, so it's called a "compact" car in the US. It holds five comfortably. The hectic start of the school year has so far prevented CelloMom from actually putting the cello into a Focus, but from the pictures it looks like it will fit in the back just fine.

To be quite truthful, for previous years the Ford Focus is one of those cars for which owners report a higher fuel economy than the showroom sticker suggests, by about 10-15%, so it's possible that you can get 34-36mpg out of the 2.0L model. On the other hand, the most frugal UK driver (of a 1.6L model) reported an average mileage of 44mpg. An automotive anthropologist would have a field day looking into things like this.


Ford Focus, same-model comparison, different engines.

Available in US Available in Europe
Type 2.0L 5dr 5-spd man 1.6L 5dr 6-spd man
Year 2012 2011
Emissions rating EURO5 "A"
MSRP US$ 18,995 € 16,392 (NL)
CelloMom Rating
Fuel Economy:
City/Hwy quoted 28 /38 5.1 / 3.7 (46 /64)
avg. quoted, l/100km(mpg) 31mpg EPA 4.2 (56)
avg. actual, (mpg) (40mpg) Honest John
Engine 2.0L Ti-VCT GDI 1.6L TDCi
Power 160hp @ 6500 rpm 115hp
Gears Auto 6-spd man
Fuel regular unleaded diesel
Length, mm(in) (172 in) 4358 mm
Width, mm(in) (81.1 in) 2010 mm
Height, mm(in) (57.7 in) 1484 mm
Weight, kg(lbs) 1516 kg

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