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2013 Ford Focus Pros, Cons, Prices
And How To Get The Best
(Related: "How To Buy A New Ford At The Lowest Price")
With last year's total redesign, the Ford Focus has become one of the very best small cars available. The 2013 model brings more of the same to a standout level in a versatile and solidly-constructed package. It simply exudes the character and class of a car which should be more expensive.
It's an impressive package indeed, offering sleek exterior styling, a surprisingly upscale cabin for the price, engaging road manners, excellent gas mileage and a host of available high-tech and convenience features. But that's not all. It also offers both sedan and hatchback body styles, an all-electric model (BEV) and a high-performance variant (ST) ... a little something for everyone.
2013 Ford Focus ST Hatchback
All that said, before making a final buying decision, prospective owners should not only consider a vehicle's appealing qualities, but measure the possible impact of its drawbacks as well. And if one then decides to proceed with a possible purchase, it's essential to also have a rock-solid plan for getting the best possible price (see the "How To Get The Lowest Price" link below).
Athletic handling: The 2013 Focus is a capable and nimble handler. In fact, it's quite European in its overall feel and performance on the road, tuned with a nice balance between sharp handling and a refined ride quality. The electrically assisted steering is precise and responsive, while there is also brisk acceleration and very little body roll when cornering. It's clearly a car with an engaging and "fun-to-drive" personality.
Under the hood of all but the performance-oriented ST model is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces a lively 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. Also available is the Titanium Handling package which adds an upgraded sport-tuned suspension and 18-inch wheels.
In independent performance tests, an automatic Focus Titanium was timed from a standstill to 60 mph in 8.7 seconds, on the faster side for this segment. And this time gets trimmed to 8.3 seconds with the manual transmission. (The ST does this same sprint even faster - see below.)
Refined drive: The Focus also offers a quiet and refined ride. Its very capable suspension balances the car's inherent athleticism with a smooth and solid-feeling highway performance as well. With the Focus's European roots, its overall driving performance is actually along the lines of an Audi or BMW.
ST model: The high-performance 2013 ST model is downright dynamic. Under its hood is a powerful 2.0-liter inline-4 turbocharged engine (Ecoboost) that pumps out an impressive 252 horsepower and 70 pound-feet of torque. Outfitted with a 6-speed close-ratio manual transmission, this particularly athletic handling Focus can zoom to 60 mph in just 6.2 seconds.
Good gas mileage: Even with its above-averagel handling prowess, the new Focus still offers very good fuel economy. The EPA estimates the gas mileage for an automatic at 28 mpg city and 38 mpg on the highway, while the manual comes in at 26 and 36, respectively. Opting for the optional Super Fuel Economy package boosts those numbers to 28 city and 40 highway.
Even the high-powered Focus ST gets a rating of 23 mpg city and 32 mpg highway, making it one of the best among suped up hatchbacks.
In terms of the Focus Electric, the EPA gives it an energy efficiency equivalent rating (MPGe) of 110 mpg city and 99 mpg highway, slightly besting the Nissan Leaf. However, it should be noted that actual results could be impacted by one's own environment and driving style.
2013 Ford Focus Titanium Sedan interior
Upscale interior: The cabin is attractively designed and well-built with best-in-class materials. The overall look and feel is much more expensive looking than one would expect in this price range.
High-tech goodies: There is a long list of available upscale and high-tech features not typically offered in this segment that set the Focus apart from the competition. Examples range from an automated parallel parking system to a rearview camera to the Sync voice controlled "infotainment" system to HD radio to the MyFord Touch configurable control screens.
The Focus Electric (BEV),: The Focus Electric is 100% battery-powered and will compete with the Nissan's Leaf. It's powered by a 107-kilowatt electric drive motor that produces 143 horsepower and is fueled by a 23kWh lithium-ion battery pack. As noted above, its fuel economy is slightly better than the Leaf, while it can be recharged in about half its time with the available 240-volt charger (approximately 4 hours).
Rear legroom: While the front seats are supportive and comfortable, even on long trips, the rear seats provide enough headroom but slightly lack the legroom provided by some of its larger rivals.
Automatic transmission hesitation: The 6-speed automatic transmission is technically a dual-clutch automated manual they call "Powershift". As such, it is different from a traditional automatic and can sometimes slightly roll back on inclines or hesitate when edging forward when parking. It's kind of a momentary disengagement that feels like the car has been shifted into neutral for a second. This is a slight downside as, overall, this transmission is excellent and provides brisk acceleration and excellent fuel economy.
Complicated high-tech features: The Sync infotainment system, while impressively useful and convenient, takes some practice and getting used to. There is a learning curve on its user-friendliness and the control and gauge layout is a bit complicated. The MyFord Touch system also provides some cool customization capabilities, but also takes some time to master as its virtual buttons can be hard to quickly identify and can also be easily pressed by accident.
The compact sedan/hatchback niche is crowded with worthy competitors. Yet, the new Ford Focus stands out for it highly refined nature, fun-to-drive personality, excellent gas mileage and, perhaps most impressive of all, the looks, features and performance of a more expensive car.
Even so, it's always a good idea to check out other top rivals before making a final buying decision as they all have their own individual pros and cons. Those worth a look would likely include the Chevy Cruze, the Honda Civic ,the Hyundai Elantra, the Mazda 3 and the Volkswagen Jetta.
Best negotiating tactic?
Well, there's definitely a 'best way' when it comes to new car buying. If you want to get the best bottomline, out-the-door price you need to know exactly who to talk to at the dealership, how to make the contact and how to make this person eager to quickly drop prices as low as possible to get your sale.
Here's the details on exactly how to get the best price on a new Ford ... or any other car for that matter.
Good luck and all the best,