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2015 Ford Focus

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 5/21/2015 Stefan Ogbac

New for 2015

Refreshed for 2015, the Ford Focus gains a revised exterior styling, standard rearview camera, and an updated Sync interface with Applink, which enables owners to use apps from their mobile devices. Blind spot warning and a larger eight-inch touchscreen are new for the 2015 model year. The most notable addition is the new turbocharged 1.0-liter EcoBoost I-3 with 123 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque mated to a six-speed manual transmission.

Electric models gain four new colors: Magnetic, Tectonic Metallic, Performance Blue, and Ruby Red.

ST models gain LED signature lighting in all models, standard HID headlights in ST2 and ST3 grades, a new optional 18-inch wheel design with red brake calipers, a new exterior color called Magnetic Metallic, a redesigned instrument panel center stack with revised climate controls, a center console media bin with a fast charging USB port, a new flat-bottom steering wheel, updated suspension, and revised steering. An eight-way power-driver's seat and a heated steering wheel are also now available on the 2015 Focus ST.

Vehicle Summary

The 2015 Ford Focus is a compact car available as a sedan or four-door hatchback. A performance-minded ST variant is also available along with an electric model that has up to 84 miles of range.

Overview

In addition to the new EcoBoost I-3, the 2015 Ford Focus is also available with a 2.0-liter I-4 rated at 160 hp and 146 lb-ft (paired to a five-speed manual or six-speed twin-clutch automatic). In Focus ST form, the car is powered by a turbocharged 2.0-liter EcoBoost I-4 making 252 hp and 270 lb-ft on premium gas mated to a six-speed manual. Fuel economy is competitive for the class, with 2.0-liter equipped models achieving 26/38 mpg with the automatic and 26/36 mpg with the manual. When equipped with the SFE Package, the 2.0-liter equipped Focus with the automatic is rated at 27/40 mpg. For those who prioritize fuel economy, the EcoBoost I-3-equipped model gets 29/40 mpg in its base guise and 30/42 mpg with the SFE package, both with a six-speed manual. The performance-minded Focus ST returns respectable gas mileage at 23/32 mpg.

Handling is a 2015 Focus strong suit thanks to its communicative chassis and sharp steering especially with the available Titanium Handling package. Acceleration from the base 2.0-liter I-4 and the EcoBoost I-3 is respectable, with decent power for passing and merging; however, the 2.0-liter needs to be revved more than the EcoBoost I-3. For those looking for optimum performance in their Focus, consider the ST, the high-performance hot hatch with strong acceleration, and impeccable handling. However, ride quality in that model is not as good as in less potent Focuses due to the car's summer performance tires and rigid chassis. Additionally, the Focus's front-drive configuration means that the ST also has a lot of torque steer during off-the-line acceleration.

Space inside the Focus is more generous in the hatchback, which has a maximum volume of 44.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded. Passenger seating, on the hand, is snug in the rear due to the sloping roofline. Fit and finish is top notch with plenty of high-quality materials used throughout the car. Tech features are plenty and include updated versions of the Sync interface and MyFord Touch, navigation, a Sony sound system, and blind spot warning.

The NHTSA has not crash tested the 2015 Ford Focus but in IIHS evaluations, the car received a Good score in four categories and Acceptable in the small overlap front test (Good is the highest possible score).

What We Think

Among compact cars, the 2015 Ford Focus remains a good choice especially with the addition of the EcoBoost I-3. Handling remains one of its strengths due to its well-tuned chassis and an improved electric power steering system that responds with plenty of immediacy. In a First Drive review on a European spec model, we said that the low-end torque makes it easy to drive around town and impressively low NVH levels for a three-cylinder engine even when revved close to its redline; the base 2.0-liter I-4, however, needs to be revved to get the most out of it. In a First Drive review, we noted that the available six-speed twin-clutch automatic transmission on base Focuses isn't the best gearbox with its slow responses compared to competitors' automatics.

You'll Like

  • Available hatchback body style
  • Great handling
  • Well-trimmed cabin

You Won't Like

  • Stiff ride in Titanium and ST models
  • Sung rear seats
  • Clunky and unrefined automatic transmission

Key Competitors

  • Honda Civic
  • Toyota Corolla
  • Mazda3
  • Kia Forte
  • Volkswagen Golf

Rating

4 star

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