2023 Ford Focus: What can you get for that money


Built on the outskirts of Detroit—for another year or so—and with a well-deserved spot in driveways across the country, the Ford Focus is as American as apple pie. During its journeys, the Focus has accumulated many gifts, and it has bestowed them on the American consumer; among them are lithe handling and impressive fuel efficiency. Unfortunately, these gifts come with some compromises.

The Focus is outclassed by larger rivals that offer more passenger space, larger cargo holds, and more modern features. Still, it's an easy car to recommend, and its two body styles—hatchback and sedan—offer broad appeal. There are even high-performance ST and RS versions and a plug-in electric model, but we review those models separately.

Note that the Focus has ceased production; 2018 was the last year it was made.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

None of the Focus's powertrains are particularly inspiring. The standard four-cylinder is not as punchy as the turbocharged engines available in many competitors, while the tiny, efficient turbo three-cylinder available on the sedan is overmatched by the Focus's weight.

The Focus is one of the more amusing cars in its segment to hustle down a twisty road. Its fun-to-drive nature doesn't come at the expense of comfort, either, as the Focus boasts a composed ride and a relatively isolated interior that make it feel more expensive than it is.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The Focus makes up for its lackluster power with impressive efficiency. It's among the best fuel sippers in its segment, outperforming its average EPA ratings—and most of its competitors—in our real-world testing with a result of 38 mpg. If you're seeking maximum fuel efficiency, the turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder with the standard six-speed manual is the setup to choose. It comes standard with an engine stop/start system and is rated at 40 mpg highway by the EPA.

Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

The Focus has gone a long time without an interior overhaul, and its widespread use of plastic trim and outdated-looking cabin are clearly weak points. At least the controls are mostly straightforward and easy to use. Your friends and family won't enjoy being stuffed into the small rear quarters of the Focus, as legroom for back-seat passengers is sorely lacking compared with nearly all of its rivals.

Small windows don't help alleviate the claustrophobic feel of the interior.

The optional touchscreen infotainment system—called Sync 3—is refreshingly easy to use, with well-organized menus and large on-screen buttons. The base setup uses a much smaller screen and offers far fewer connectivity features. We recommend stepping up to either the SEL or Titanium trims, which have the more advanced system with an 8.0-inch touchscreen. Sync 3 is simple to use and supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone integration.

Practicality is not the Focus's strong suit. While its cargo-carrying numbers are average, storage space for small items in the cabin is lacking. In our testing, it fit four of our carry-on suitcases with the rear seats in use and 15 carry-ons with the rear seats folded.


Is 2018 Ford Focus a reliable vehicle?

The 2018 Ford Focus has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Did the 2018 Ford Focus have transmission problems?

Similar to other Ford products of the era, the 2018 Ford Focus commonly has transmission problems. Among the most common issues with the Focus are transmission troubles that range from shifting to tremors that may affect the way your car drives and could leave you on the side of the road.

Are there any recalls on 2018 Ford Focus?

Summary: Ford Motor Company (Ford) is recalling certain 2016-2018 Ford Focus vehicles equipped with a 1.0L Fox GTDI engine and a 6-speed manual transmission. The clutch may fracture, resulting in damage to the transmission assembly and possibly a transmission fluid leak.

How long does 2018 Focus last?

How long does a Ford Focus last? Based on customer reports, the Ford Focus can last up to 200,000 to 250,000 miles. If you drive 15,000 miles per year, you will get between 13 to 16 years of service life from the average Ford Focus car.