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2018 Ford Focus Titanium Review By John Heilig

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By John Heilig
Senior Editor and Bureau Chief
Mid-Atlantic Bureau
The Auto Channel

REVIEWED MODEL: 2018 Ford Focus Titanium
ENGINE: 2.0-liter I-4
TRANSMISSION: 6-speed automatic
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 160 hp @ 6,500 rpm/146 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm
WHEELBASE: 104.3 in.
LENGTH X WIDTH X HEIGHT: 178.7 x 57.8 x 60.6 in.
TIRES: P215/50R17
CARGO CAPACITY: 13.2 cu. ft.
ECONOMY: 24 mpg city/34 mpg highway/31.5 mpg test
FUEL TANK: 12.4 gal.
CURB WEIGHT: 2,919 lbs.
TOWING CAPACITY: Not recommended
COMPETITIVE CLASS: Chevrolet Cruze, Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla
STICKER: $27,430 (includes $875 delivery, $2,380 options)
BOTTOM LINE: Ford Focus is a worthy competitor in the crowded compact car segment.

If you’re in the market for a compact car these days, you have a plethora of choices, both “standard” gasoline powered to “normal” hybrid to partial electric to full electric. Our tester is the Ford Focus that falls into the first category, although economy-wise it competes well with hybrids.

The bottom line is that the Focus is a nice compact car. Unfortunately, there’s nothing other than design and very good fuel economy to distinguish it from a vary crowded segment.

1. Under the hood is a good engine. The 2.0-liter inline four delivers a reasonable 160 horsepower that is plenty for this fairly light sedan. The engine is somewhat buzzy on hard acceleration, but then again, what four isn’t?

2. Handling is very good. That’s one feature that’s great among almost all of the compacts. We drove the Focus on our two favorite hills that contain both tight and gradual curves and had a ball. Additionally, the one hill to the special ice cream stand was great because the smaller Focus fit in the crowded parking lot better than larger vehicles.

3. Ride quality is very good, a feature lacking in many compacts. The ride is very good on most road surfaces, although PennDOT will challenge anyone. My only issues were those as with any small car - shorter wheelbase and light weight. Front seats are comfortable. Rear seats are flat and have cozy leg rom, aided by indents in the rears of the front seats. The front console/arm rest is small, but it has inside 12-volt and USB outlets.

4. The HVAC system is good. We had weather “issues” between stifling heat and humidity and reasonably cool (sub 60 degrees). The HVAC handled all so well that the Focus was a pleasant oasis.

The instrument panel is clear, with an information panel in the center that is very informative. It listed overall economy, fuel range, instantaneous economy (useless information, if you ask me), etc. Of course, there’s the standard speedometer, tachometer, fuel and water gauges.

There’s plenty of driver assists, including blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, park alert, and a back-up camera with a variation of a 360 degree “overhead” view.

Only one assist handle over the front passenger door is one more the required because the Focus is a good size for easy entry and exit. Hanger hooks are installed over the rears doors, although the one on the right can tend to obstruct vision if it’s used.

I was pleasantly surprised by the trunk, and here is where the Focus may gain an edge. Since we had to lower the rear seat backs after a trip to Costco, I assumed I’d have to lower them again for my golf bag. But no, the bag fit quite nicely into the standard setup.

Overall, the Ford Focus is a good compact car with several attributes. Buyers choice probably depends on brand loyalty and style choice.

(c) 2018 The Auto Page Syndicate

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