The 2018 Ford Focus

2018 Ford FocusThe 2018 Ford Focus is irony on wheels: it comes in a dizzying range of models, of which the SEL and ST are our picks.
The 2018 Ford Focus has broad appeal, maybe too broad to digest at a glance. Commuting daily? There’s a Focus for that. Into the gas-mileage lifestyle? There’s one of those, too. How about shredding tires as a part of your daily ablutions? Check.

The Focus family runs the gamut from miserly sedans and hatchbacks to legitimate track weapons. The S, SE, and SEL tilt toward the latter, while the ST  delivers a huge turbocharged kick in the pants.

 

 

The 2018 Ford Focus

2018 Ford FocusFord still stamps and folds the Focus’ sheet metal as it has since 2012. Its design still holds a smart appeal, though hatchbacks have more pert bodies.  Ford sells a parsimonious 3-cylinder turbo Focus, and for commuters who value fuel economy ratings, it’s not a bad choice at all. Still, more commonly, the Focus has a 4-cylinder engine with a choice between manual and automatic and dual-clutch transmissions. Acceleration is moderate, shift quality fine on all, steering is quick, and ride quality is quite firm without being brittle.

The Focus ST sharpens its skill set with a 252-hp turbo-4 and a 6-speed manual. It’s the Focus for everyday enthusiasts.

 

The 2018 Ford Focus

2018 Ford FocusAll Focus hatches and sedans have well-shaped front seats, while ST models have more confining sport buckets. All models have a rearview camera. Other standard features include USB and Bluetooth audio, and in a charming retro throwback, a CD player. Top trims get navigation, leather, a clear and easy-to-use infotainment system, and Sony audio.

Extroverted sheet metal still gives the Ford Focus an athletic appeal, The Ford Focus has been flouting the economy-car rules since the 2012 model year—that is, if you think the rules dictate economy cars have to be plain and boring.

The Focus is neither of those. It’s a sharp-looking hatchback or a decently styled sedan, with an interior that puts complexity over functionality.

 

 

The 2018 Ford Focus

2018 Ford FocusNew in 2012, the Focus had its last makeover in 2015. It still cuts a dashing figure, particularly in its hatchback body style. Ford melds curves and creases behind a simple front end, and relies on a rising window line to give the shape its wedgy, dramatic appeal.

Opt into performance models, and Ford twists the eyeball dial to 10. The stance gets lower, the wheels get bigger, the aero add-ons more numerous. Inside, the Recaro seats get colorful stitching and lots of logos, which seem to have been on sale by the pound.

 

 

 

Ford sells its Focus sedan in S, SE, SEL, and Titanium versions. Hatchbacks run the gamut from the SE, SEL, and Titanium, to the enthusiast ST model.

All versions have power features, air conditioning, 15-inch wheels (at least), steering-wheel audio controls, a rearview camera, and AM/FM/CD audio with Bluetooth streaming. The Focus S makes remote start available at a cost.

The Focus SE gets 16-inch wheels, foglights, cruise control, and Ford’s MyKey system. Options include a power driver seat, leather, rear disc brakes, a sport package, a moonroof, rear parking sensors, navigation, satellite radio, Sony audio, and heated seats. SEL cars have 17-inch wheels, ambient lighting, and the Sync 3 infotainment system.

Sync 3 is Ford’s latest touchscreen-based setup, with pinch-and-swipe control, smart-charging USB ports, and connectivity with smartphone apps. It’s a much cleaner user interface, and it’s a huge improvement over the previous MyFord Touch setup.

 

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