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2014 Ford Focus Sedan | Heels on Wheels Review


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2014 Ford Focus Sedan Titanium

HEELS ON WHEELS: 2014 FORD FOCUS REVIEW
By Katrina Ramser
San Francisco Bureau
The Auto Channel

INTRO TO THE FOCUS VEHICLE
Completely revised just two model years ago, the 2014 Ford Focus continues to entice compact sedan and hatchback shoppers with its sportier design, technology, and class-leading fuel economy at 37 miles-per-gallon highway.

I drove a 2014 Ford Focus sedan with the 160-horsepower 2.0-liter Ti-VCT gasoline direct-injection four-cylinder engine mated to the six-speed manual transmission. Available in an S, SE, Titanium, the sportier St and Electric trim (see all specs below review), my Titanium test drive came with the following standard equipment: leather-trimmed upholstery; heated front seats; programmable MyKey technology; an upgraded Sony audio system; SYNC with MyFord Touch; a reverse sensing system; push-button start; seventeen-inch wheels; and fog lamps. Total vehicle price with options came to $23,075.

Standouts for the Focus are its technology, a sportier ST trim choice, and an all-electric sedan model. Competitors include the Honda Civic, Kia Forte, Chevrolet Cruze and Mazda3.

HEELS ON WHEELS REVIEW CRITERIA

Stylish But Comfortable Results: Ford has reshuffled the trims and expanded the standard options, making my Titanium test drive feel pretty complete without the need for more packages – just a $795 navigation system was added. The Focus interior is thoughtful, with a left side cup holder near the steering wheel and other well-placed cargo pockets. SYNC with MyFord Touch continues to receive mixed reviews for its software, which can be prone to be slow and have glitches; however it does connect with smartphones instantly and the screen is intuitive to navigate.

Reliability & Safety Factor: The 2014 Ford Focus four-door sedan is a Top Safety Pick by The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) with ratings of “Good” in all crash-test areas. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gives the model year an overall four-star crash test rating.

Cost Issues: The base 2014 Ford Focus starts at $16,810 with the top-of-the-line Titanium trim at $23,075. The sportier St is $23,625 and the Electric version is $29,170. A base Honda Civic LX starts at $18,390; he base Kia Forte sedan LX trim is $15,900; and the base Toyota Corolla L is $16,800.

Activity & Performance Ability: Handling for the 2-liter is responsive, with quick off-the-line acceleration thanks to the six-speed automatic transmission and variable value timing engine technology. Much of the powertrain improves were done a couple model years back, so drivers and feel confident the Focus is receiving a far amount of engineering care. The Focus is an attractive choice for parents buying their driving child a new car – the standard MyKey technology can restrict the vehicle’s top speed to 80 miles-per-hour and limit the audio volume.

The Green Concern: The Focus delivers 27 miles-per-gallon city and 37 highway for a combined 31. And under those numbers, you’ll get spirited driving results. That class-leading fuel economy at 40 miles-per-gallon highway is if you opt for the SE trim with an SFE Package – which stands for Super Fuel Economy – and includes unique aero wheel covers, low-rolling resistance tires and rear disc brakes. Many compacts are coming out with these specially modified exterior packages as a ways to save a few extra miles-per-gallon.

FINAL PARTING WORDS
The Focus makes good economic sense for commuters and younger drivers, with two body styles, a varying choice of trims, and dozens of technology upgrades to craft this compact into a ride that can meet a twenty-first century lifestyle.

©2014 Katrina Ramser