Impressive Compact Hatch with a Few Quirks
The Focus is an important vehicle for Ford. The compact car category continues to grow and the Focus is a solid seller within the segment. Offered in either sedan or hatchback body styles, the Focus features contemporary styling and a lot of unexpected technology for a compact car.
But this comes at a price and the Focus can get quite costly as the option boxes get checked off. Wanting to find out if the high feature content was worth the high price penalty for potential owners, we put our general car reviewer Amanda behind the wheel of one to find out her thoughts on the car.
Up for evaluation is a 2014 Focus SE hatchback that starts at a price of $19,450 after destination charges. Her test vehicle, however, came in at $25,560 thanks to the addition of options like the 201A group, automatic transmission, Sony & MyFord Touch package, winter package and parking sensor package. Painted in race red, the car includes 17-inch dark metal gray wheels and fog lights.
SEE ALSO: 2012 Ford Focus Review
Aside from the hyper Focus ST, all versions of Ford’s compact car come powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 160 hp and 146 lb-ft. Although a five-speed manual is available, Amanda’s test vehicle is equipped with the six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. This combination is good for fuel economy ratings of 28 MPG in the city and 38 MPG on the highway. During a week with the car though, her observed average was just 26.1 MPG.
How Does it Drive
An unfamiliar car on unfamiliar roads can be daunting, but that’s not the case with the Focus. Amanda immediately feels comfortable behind the wheel and finds it’s easy to drive. She has complete confidence piloting the Focus through city streets or on highways and really appreciates the ample power levels when merging onto a freeway.
The transmission however is a sticking point. The dual-clutch automatic hasn’t made many friends at the AutoGuide.com office and it’s the same story with her. During the constant on-the-gas, off-the-gas daily grind that is stop-n-go traffic, the transmission is jerky and slow to respond.