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Top Features of Base Model
- Crisp driving feel, superior handling and road-holding
- Excellent fuel economy with 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine
- Lots of available features on high-end trims
- Recent model years haven’t changed much
2018 Ford Focus: Everything You Need to Know
About the Focus:
The Ford Focus is a compact sedan or hatchback sold from 2000 through the 2018 model year, when it was discontinued. With the exception of the subcompact Fiesta, which sold in lower numbers, the Focus hads been Ford’s mainstay small car. It was popular with private owners and fleets, and was built in Michigan from 2012 on.
The European roots of the Focus design show in better handling and road-holding than average for the segment. While it was never the cheapest compact, the interior of the generation launched in 2012 was made use of higher-quality materials than competitors. Top-end models were known for a wide range of available premium features.
Over time, the reputation of mass-market Focus versions was dimmed by persistent complaints about its PowerShift automated manual transmission. It was the subject of multiple updates and several consumer lawsuits for unreliability.
What’s New in the Current 2018 Ford Focus?
With the exception of some minor equipment changes, the Ford Focus has changed little between 2015 and 2018. It is was available as a five-door hatchback or a four-door sedan.
- Engines are a 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder rated at 123 horsepower, or a 2.0-liter four-cylinder at 146 horsepower.
- Transmissions include five- or six-speed manuals, the six-speed PowerShift dual-clutch automated manual, and a six-speed automatic (available only on the SE Sedan with 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder engine)
- EPA gas-mileage ratings range from 28 mpg combined (2.0-liter engine, automatic) to 34 mpg combined (1.0-liter engine, six-speed manual).
- Trim levels run from the base S sedan up through SE, SEL, and Titanium.
- Separately, the sporty Focus ST and the pricey, snarling, hairy 350-horsepower Focus RS are only offered as hatchbacks.
- The ST has a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, while the raucous RS has a 350-horsepower 2.3-liter turbo four. They’re rated at 25 mpg and 22 mpg combined, respectively.
- A Ford Focus Electric, powered only by a 33.5-kilowatt-hour battery pack, was offered in low numbers in a handful of states. Its EPA range rating wasis 115 miles.
What Does the 2018 Ford Focus Compete With?
The Ford Focus was the oldest model among many compact passenger cars offered in the U.S. market. It’s one of two that have now been discontinued for good. Competitors include:
- Chevrolet Cruze
- Honda Civic
- Hyundai Elantra
- Kia Forte
- Mazda 3
- Nissan Sentra
- Subaru Impreza
- Toyota Corolla
- Volkswagen Jetta
- Volkswagon Golf
These have tended to serve as entry-level vehicles for first-time buyers, commuter cars, and basic transport for thrifty drivers.
Exterior Design of the 2018 Ford Focus
The Focus was an early example of the trend away from upright, boxy small cars toward more expressive styles. The hatchback is a more cohesive design than the sedan, which has a large trunk that appears awkwardly tacked on. The 2015 redesign considerably improved the car’s frontal appearance, giving it a low, racy version of the simple, multi-sided grille opening found across the Ford family.
With four separate trim levels, from the S—definitely Sspartan—up to top-end Titanium, standard equipment varies enormously. The lowest-end Focus has painted metal wheels with plastic covers, while higher models have a variety of alloy wheels. More chrome, a moonroof, and other dress-up items are available as you work up the trim levels and option list.
Interior Style in the 2018 Ford Focus
Inside, the 2018 Focus is comfortable for four people, as long as they are willing to negotiate between front and rear for rear-seat legroom. The front seats are particularly supportive, as a driver’s car should be.
Interior materials and fabrics were impressive for 2012, but other makes have caught up, and the Focus is now only about average. The dash layout remains busy, with seemingly dozens of controls, as well as a 4.2-inch central touchscreen that’s small for the segment. (An 8.0-inch touchscreen comes on better-equipped models.) Cargo space in the hatchback is 23.3 cubic feet, rising to 43.9 cubic feet with the rear seat folded. Trunk volume in the sedan is 13.2 cubic feet.
What Technology Comes in the 2018 Ford Focus?
More than a decade ago, the Ford Focus was one of the very first cars to offer Ford’s Sync system for voice control, with Bluetooth pairing for music players and mobile phones. The 2018 model has the Sync 3, a third generation of that system. It includes touchscreen control with pinch and swipe motions, connectivity with some smartphone apps, and smart-charging USB ports. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are standard.
Navigation is an extra-cost option on top trim levels, though many drivers will likely run Google Maps or the like on their phones whether or not they connect it to the car’s own display and audio system.
Aside from the limited-availability Focus Electric model, there’s not much else notable about the in-car technology of a Focus, reflecting the fact it’s now seven model years old.
What Kind of Safety Features are in the 2018 Ford Focus?
The 2018 Ford Focus gets a five-star overall safety rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and a top rating of “Good” overall from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It only received an “Acceptable” rating on the tough IIHS small-overlap front crash test, though, so it’s not a Top Safety Pick.
A rearview camera is standard, and blind-spot alerts and active lane control are available as options. The Focus does not, however, offer either adaptive cruise control or automatic emergency braking. Both are increasingly common now, even in compact cars. Automatic parking assist is an option on the top-level Titanium trim.
What is the 2018 Ford Focus Like to drive?
The Focus has always been known for its crisp, predictable driving feel and excellent road-holding. It’s one of the main qualities that set it apart from Asian rivals, which often delivered less steering feel and more uncontrolled suspension behavior. It’s simply more fun to drive. Visibility out of either Focus body style is about average.
Ford’s manual gearboxes are light and shift fast and smoothly. That’s the good news. The bad news is that the PowerShift automated manual gearbox used on most non-manual Focuses feels and behaves differently than a conventional automatic does. It’s effectively a manual gearbox that the car shifts itself.
But to deliver the so-called idle creep that U.S. drivers expect in an automatic car, PowerShiftit has to slip the clutch in first gear. It can engage abruptly, and it just isn’t the smooth power flow other automatics provide. Ford has updated the control software numerous times over the car’s transmission’s life, but many drivers will notice the difference—and not in a good way.
Should I Buy a Current 2018 Ford Focus?
Remaining 2018 Focus models are still likely available at some dealerships. They’re now a year old, so they may be offered at quite reasonable prices. If you’re comfortable foregoing the active -safety systems found on newer models, the Focus may be a good choice. And if you like driving, any Focus with a manual gearbox delivers more active and engaged on-road behavior than many competitors.
Should I buy a Used 2018 Ford Focus? Are There Any I Should Avoid?
Confining ourselves to the current generation of Focuses, sedans make up a majority of production. But hatchbacks were less likely to have been used as rentals or in other fleets. The restyled version in 2015 and later still looks modern, while the 2012-2014 design now appears dated.
Avoid, if at all possible, any used Focus with the notorious “PowerShift” dual-clutch automatic transmission. It’s an automated six-speed manual gearbox, with different idling and shifting patterns than regular automatics. Worse, it has been the subject of multiple updates and a number of consumer lawsuits over its lack of reliability.
How Much Does the New 2018 Ford Focus Cost?
Prices for the 2018 Ford Focus start just under $18,000 and can run into the high 20s twenties for a thoroughly optioned Titanium version. Then there are the special models: the sporty ST starts just above $25,000, while the snarling, no-holds-barred RS starts above $41,000. Finally, the Focus Electric carries a base price just above $29,000 (but qualifies for a $7,500 federal income-tax credit).
The Focus was never the cheapest compact on the market, but its build quality, and road-holding ability, and the Ford name helped justify a slight premium. Now that it’s an orphan, deals on remaining new 2018 models likely abound.
Pros and Cons of the 2018 Ford Focus
- Handling, and road-holding are better than average, especially on the ST
- Focus RS is a true hot- hatch for boy racers
- Three-cylinder engine option is truly fuel-efficient, but rare
- Hatchback offered even when it wasn’t cool
- Dense dealer network gives easy service availability
- Now dated against most compact competitors
- Overly fussy, convoluted dashboard
- Active-safety features largely missing
- Focus Electric only sold in a few states
- Discontinued model
The History of the Ford Focus: Two Decades of Focus
The Ford Focus launched as a 2000 model in North America, and existed remained in the market after through the 2018 model year. That period spanned two different generations of Focus, each with an update in the middle. For most of its life, the Focus has been offered as a five-door hatchback and a four-door sedan. No wagon was sold in the U.S., but an all-electric Focus hatchback was sold available in certain states at very low volumes starting in 2013.
The first Focus generation ran from 2000 through 2007, with a major restyle of the car that covered 2008 through 2011. For that restyle only, the hatchback was replaced with a two-door Focus coupe. The 2012 model was entirely new, and it returned to a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback range configurations. This second U.S. generation of the Focuses was restyled for 2015.
Specs & Key Features of the 2018 Ford Focus
- Body Style
- 2.0L I-4 GDI Ti-VCT
- 160 hp
- 5-Speed Manual
- Passenger Doors
- Passenger Seating
- Front Wheel Drive
- City MPG
- Hwy MPG
- Air Conditioning
- Back Up Camera
- LCD Monitor
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Tinted Glass
- Engine: 2.0L I-4 GDI Ti-VCT
- Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
- 50-State Emissions System -inc: Standard equipment on all Focus trim levels
- Front-Wheel Drive
- 3.82 Axle Ratio
- 590CCA Maintenance-Free Battery w/Run Down Protection
- Gas-Pressurized Shock Absorbers
- Front And Rear Anti-Roll Bars
- Electric Power-Assist Steering
- 12.4 Gal. Fuel Tank
- Single Stainless Steel Exhaust
- Strut Front Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Short And Long Arm Rear Suspension w/Coil Springs
- Front Disc/Rear Drum Brakes w/4-Wheel ABS, Front Vented Discs, Brake Assist and Hill Hold Control
- Brake Actuated Limited Slip Differential
- Wheels: 15" Steel w/Silver-Painted Cover
- Tires: 195/65R15
- Steel Spare Wheel
- Compact Spare Tire Mounted Inside Under Cargo
- Clearcoat Paint
- Body-Colored Front Bumper
- Body-Colored Rear Bumper
- Black Side Windows Trim and Black Front Windshield Trim
- Black Door Handles
- Black Power Side Mirrors w/Convex Spotter and Manual Folding
- Fixed Rear Window w/Defroster
- Light Tinted Glass
- Variable Intermittent Wipers
- Fully Galvanized Steel Panels
- Black Grille w/Chrome Accents
- Trunk Rear Cargo Access
- Fully Automatic Aero-Composite Halogen Headlamps w/Delay-Off
- Radio: AM/FM/MP3-Capable -inc: 4 speakers, speed-sensitive volume control and redundant steering wheel audio controls
- Radio w/Seek-Scan, Clock and Radio Data System
- Integrated Roof Antenna
- 1 LCD Monitor In The Front
- Driver Seat
- Passenger Seat
- 60-40 Folding Bench Front Facing Fold Forward Seatback Cloth Rear Seat
- Manual Tilt/Telescoping Steering Column
- Gauges -inc: Speedometer, Odometer, Engine Coolant Temp, Tachometer, Trip Odometer and Trip Computer
- Manual Rear Windows
- Front Cupholder
- Rear Cupholder
- Remote Keyless Entry w/Integrated Key Transmitter and Panic Button
- Manual Air Conditioning
- Glove Box
- Driver Foot Rest
- Interior Trim -inc: Chrome Interior Accents
- Full Cloth Headliner
- Cloth Door Trim Insert
- Urethane Gear Shift Knob
- Cloth Front Bucket Seats -inc: 6-way manual driver (up/down, fore/aft, recline), 4-way manual passenger (fore/aft, recline) and removable adjustable head restraints (2-way)
- Day-Night Rearview Mirror
- Driver And Passenger Visor Vanity Mirrors
- Full Floor Console w/Covered Storage, Mini Overhead Console w/Storage and 1 12V DC Power Outlet
- Fade-To-Off Interior Lighting
- Full Carpet Floor Covering -inc: Carpet Front Floor Mats
- Carpet Floor Trim
- Cargo Area Concealed Storage
- Cargo Space Lights
- FOB Controls -inc: Trunk/Hatch/Tailgate
- SYNC Communications & Entertainment System -inc: enhanced voice recognition, 911 Assist, 4.2" LCD display in center stack, AppLink, 1 smart charging USB port, and Bluetooth, SYNC AppLink lets you control some of your favorite compatible mobile apps w/your voice, It is compatible w/select smartphone platforms, Commands may vary by phone and AppLink software
- Instrument Panel Bin, Driver / Passenger And Rear Door Bins
- Power 1st Row Windows w/Driver 1-Touch Down
- Delayed Accessory Power
- Power Door Locks w/Autolock Feature
- Systems Monitor
- Trip Computer
- Analog Display
- Seats w/Cloth Back Material
- Manual Adjustable Rear Head Restraints
- Securilock Anti-Theft Ignition (pats) Engine Immobilizer
- 1 12V DC Power Outlet
- Air Filtration
- Electronic Stability Control (ESC)
- ABS And Driveline Traction Control
- Side Impact Beams
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Seat-Mounted Side Airbags
- Low Tire Pressure Warning
- Dual Stage Driver And Passenger Front Airbags
- Curtain 1st And 2nd Row Airbags
- Airbag Occupancy Sensor
- Driver Knee Airbag
- Mykey System -inc: Top Speed Limiter, Audio Volume Limiter, Early Low Fuel Warning, Programmable Sound Chimes and Beltminder w/Audio Mute
- Rear Child Safety Locks
- Outboard Front Lap And Shoulder Safety Belts -inc: Rear Center 3 Point, Height Adjusters and Pretensioners
- Back-Up Camera