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2018 Ford Focus Sedan

$17,950 - $24,270
Price Range (MSRP)
Ford Focus Sedan

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Review

by Jared Rosenholtz

The 2018 Ford Focus Sedan, along with its hatchback counterpart and the Ford Fiesta, make up the last of Ford's small-car guard, clearing the way for Ford's impending crossover SUV onslaught. The compact four-door sedan is a well-rounded and satisfactory no-frills commuter. Within the 2018 trim lineup, there's the option of either a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with outputs of 160 horsepower and 146 lb-ft of torque or a turbocharged 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine producing 123 hp and 125 lb-ft. Transmission options are limited to a five-speed manual in the base trim and the choice between a six-speed manual or automatic on upper-level trims, all directing power to the Focus' front-wheel-drivetrain. The Focus's segment is, regardless of the crossover SUV's overshadowing popularity, still a competitive one, with the prevailing Honda Civic leading the pack and the ever-popular Volkswagen Jetta also up to the challenge.

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Changes: What’s the difference vs 2017 Focus Sedan?

It's more of a pared-back lineup for 2018 as Ford looks to reduce costs before killing off the Focus entirely. The previous year's SE EcoBoost Appearance package is now dubbed the SE Appearance package, and is available on the SE model regardless of its powertrain configuration. The four-way adjustable headrests in the S, SE, and SEL have been swapped out for two-way adjustable units, the turn-signal indicators on the mirrors of SE trim have been removed, and the auxiliary input jack and door-release handle ambient lighting elements in all models have also been deleted. The driver's side seatback map pocket has been removed from the standard equipment list for the SE and SEL, and the single-disc CD player is no longer a base feature on the S and SE models.

Pros and Cons

  • Favorably engaging drive
  • Communicative steering
  • Comfortable ride quality
  • A plethora of appealing options
  • Potent turbocharged engine
  • Subpar overall build-quality
  • Low to middle-class interior
  • Aging design and architecture
  • Jerky dual-clutch transmission
  • Cramped rear seats

Focus Sedan Exterior

The Focus Sedan is discernible by its placid-yet-sporty aesthetic, aerodynamic body, and outstretched hood; at the front of which sits a grille that looks more fish-like than car-like. Riding on 15-inch steel wheels is the S trim while 16-inch alloys adorn the SE; the SEL and Titanium variants roll on 17-inch alloys with varying finishes. The SEL and Titanium are exclusively fitted with LED headlamps, dedicated LED daytime running lights, and front fog lamps while the lower-end trims receive standard halogen projectors.

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Front View
2018 Ford Focus Sedan Rear View
2018 Ford Focus Sedan Side View
See All 2018 Ford Focus Sedan Exterior Photos

Dimensions

The Focus Sedan doesn't differ too much in its dimensions compared to its hatchback counterpart. The only difference really is in its overall length, which at 178.7 inches is seven inches longer than the hatchback. Otherwise, the shared dimensions are its height of 57.8 inches, a width of 71.8 inches, and a wheelbase of 104.3 inches. Curb weights start at 2,935 lbs and increase marginally depending on engine and transmission configuration.

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Exterior Colors

  • Outrageous Green Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • Hot Pepper Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat
  • White Platinum Metallic Tri-Coat
  • Shadow Black
  • White Gold Metallic
  • Magnetic Metallic
  • Lightning Blue Metallic
  • Ingot Silver Metallic
  • Oxford White
  • Blue Metallic

Focus Sedan Performance

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Front View
2018 Ford Focus Sedan In Motion
2018 Ford Focus Sedan Rim

Engine and Transmission

Two engines are available on the Focus, but both, are held back by the Focus's weight and don't deliver any tangible level of liveliness. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine found in the S, SEL, and Titanium trims, develops 160 hp and 146 lb-ft and is mated to either a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic gearbox depending on the trim selected. Available solely on the SE is a 1.0-liter turbo three-cylinder developing 123 hp and 125 lb-ft, mated to either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The outputs are enough to get the sedan steadily by within city confines, but power delivery from the mid-range onward is excruciatingly average. Fortunately, the five- and six-speed manual transmission options help to provide some driver engagement and add to the Focus's fun-to-drive character. The automatic transmissions and the six-speed dual-clutch in particular, are significantly unrefined, disconnecting the driver from the vehicle and delivering sluggish shift times and jerkiness at low speeds.

The Focus SE trim in standard guise, with the turbo 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine mated to the six-speed manual transmission, strikes the best balance of the lot. It's the most efficient pairing with some healthy turbocharged thrust, and while it might not be all that fast, it gets a sweet-shifting manual with which to row the gears at least, avoiding the clunky dual-clutch automatic.

  • Engines
    1.0-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas, 2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmissions
    5-Speed Manual, 6-Speed Automatic, 6-Speed Manual
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The Focus Sedan is enjoyed for its fun-to-drive character, which has been nicely balanced with its efficiency-minded core. It's one of the more enthusiastic sedans at this level to hustle down a twisty road, as its adeptly-tuned suspension accords it with some surprisingly playful and agile handling dynamics - albeit with some body roll still present. Its light steering effort is suited to low-speed maneuvers and its responses are keen, while at higher speeds there's a good amount of feedback without overwhelming the driver. Its brakes are efficient and reassuring, and easy to modulate in everyday use. But it's the Focus's talent for easy cruising that truly makes it a fan favorite, with its compliant ride and an isolated cabin that makes it one of the most comfortable sedans in this price range. The chassis is rarely unsettled as the suspension effectively absorbs most road imperfections and typical undulations, while at the same time providing a consistent sense of control.

Focus Sedan Gas Mileage

In this segment, efficiency is the name of the game, and though respectfully economical, the Focus Sedan is no class-leader. Equipped with the 1.0-liter turbo engine and six-speed manual gearbox, the SE Sedan is the most efficient of the lineup, with EPA estimates of 30/40/34 mpg city/highway/combined. Opting for the six-speed SelectShift automatic gearbox drops economy to 27/38/31 mpg. With the five-speed manual mated to the 2.0-liter four-pot engine, the S trim returns 25/34/28 mpg in its lease economical guise, which is similar to the economy offered with the six-speed automatic in the SEL and Titanium. With the six-speed automatic in the S and SE, the 2.0-liter returns 26/38/31 mpg. With the most efficient Focus's 12.4-gallon gas tank filled, it offers a maximum drive range of around 420 miles.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    12.4 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 25/34 mpg
* 2018 Ford Focus S Sedan

Focus Sedan Interior

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Dashboard
2018 Ford Focus Sedan Steering Wheel
2018 Ford Focus Sedan Steering Wheel Controls
See All 2018 Ford Focus Sedan Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

There is seating for five occupants in the Focus Sedan, but with three in the back, the room in the middle rear seat is only going to suit a child. Comfort is limited even without full occupancy in the rear seats, and the Focus is bested by most rivals in the segment for comfort and spaciousness. It's also been a long while since the Focus has had any level of an interior redesign, and its age is beginning to show with its simple styling and widespread use of low-grade materials and hard-plastic surfaces. The cabin upfront is otherwise roomy, ergonomically laid-out, with easy-to-use controls.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Focus Sedan Trunk and Cargo Space

The Ford Focus Sedan's trunk capacity is just above average for the segment. With 13.2 cubic feet, a deep load floor, and minimally protruding wheel arches, there's enough room for all your monthly grocery shopping bags. If more room is required for larger or odd-shaped cargo items, the 60/40 split-folding rear seats provide some utility. Storage solutions within the cabin comprise supersize dual cupholders between the front seats, along with a small open compartment below the dash, and a small center console bin which is located beneath the armrest from the SE trim upward. The front doors feature wide door side pockets with bottle holders, while the rear doors make do without the holders. The passenger-side glovebox is average in size.

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Interior Overview
2018 Ford Focus Sedan Rear View
2018 Ford Focus Sedan In Motion
  • Trunk Volume
    13.2 ft³

Focus Sedan Infotainment and Features

Features

A remote keyless entry system and a six-way manually-adjustable driver's seat are featured across the lineup, except in the Titanium. The S and SE are outfitted with manual climate control, while the SE and SEL are equipped with a power moonroof and feature dual-zone automatic climate control, ambient interior lighting, and a reverse sensing system as standard. The Titanium is equipped with keyless entry with push-button start, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, heated front seats, and a leather-wrapped heated steering wheel and shift knob. Available for the Titanium trim only, is active park assist, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and a lane-keeping assist system. All trims are outfitted with an integrated rearview camera as standard.

Infotainment

Delivering infotainment in the S and SE trims is a 4.2-inch color LCD screen installed with SYNC capabilities; this includes voice recognition, 911 assist, and Applink connectivity. While the S is fitted with an AM/FM stereo with a four-speaker audio system and a single USB port, the SE receives a six-speaker setup and the addition of a 12V power outlet. The SEL and Titanium feature an eight-inch color LCD capacitive touchscreen with SYNC3 capability, which adds Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functionality. A ten-speaker Sony audio system with a single-CD player and HD Radio technology is featured in the SEL and Titanium, along with two USB ports and a 12V power outlet. A voice-activated navigation system with pinch-to-zoom capability, and integrated SiriusXM Traffic and Travel Link with a five-year subscription is optional for the two upper-tier trims.

Focus Sedan Problems and Reliability

There have been two recalls commissioned for the 2018 year model of the Ford Focus Sedan pertaining to a possible manual transmission clutch fracture that could potentially result in a transmission fluid leak, as well as a potentially malfunctioning canister purge valve that could cause the engine to stall. Nevertheless, J.D. Power gives the 2018 Focus Sedan a predicted reliability rating of four out of five. Ford covers the Focus Sedan with three-year/36,000-mile bumper-to-bumper coverage and a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty.

Focus Sedan Safety

The 2018 Ford Focus Sedan's safety ratings aren't too impressive for the segment. The NHTSA did accord the model with a typical five out of five-star overall rating, but the IIHS only awarded the Focus a top rating of Good in four of their five standard evaluations, whereas core rivals scored better, and in more crash tests. Standard safety and driver-assist tech are little to none for the Focus; seven standard airbags are installed across the lineup including a driver's knee airbag, as well as a rearview camera. The SEL and Titanium come standard-fit with a reverse sensing system, while blind-spot assist and lane-keeping assist are available for the Titanium only.

Verdict: Is 2018 Ford Focus Sedan a good car?

The Ford Focus Sedan's fun-to-drive character and handling precision allow it to stand out from the rather bland and predominantly sedate segment; and impressively so, as it's lively capabilities come at no major compromise in terms of ride quality. Though its engine options are lackluster in power delivery and slow to accelerate, it's economy that's focused on in this sub-ST model. Decent city MPG figures, along with its handling prowess, make the Focus suited to its city-slicker M.O. It offers decent practicality with its large trunk and suitable in-cabin storage solutions, and though its safety ratings are just adequate for the class, it could do with more than just a rearview camera to cover its standard driver assists. The Focus Sedan is an economical, practical, and suitably comfortable daily commuter that offers some driver enjoyment in a typically bland segment.

What's the Price of 2018 Ford Focus Sedan?

The base Focus S trim is priced at $17,950, a good option for fleet owners or driver service companies as an affordable, bare-bones option. The Focus SE, at $19,245, is still budget-friendly but a little better equipped and more comfortable, while the well-equipped Focus SEL sees an asking price of $21,870. The range-topping Titanium trim is slapped with a sticker price of $24,270. These prices are all excluding tax, registration, and licensing fees as well as Ford's $875 destination charge.

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Models

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S Sedan
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
5-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
$17,950
SE Sedan
1.0-liter Turbo Inline-3 Gas
6-Speed Manual
Front-Wheel Drive
$19,245
SEL Sedan
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$21,870
Titanium Sedan
2.0-liter Inline-4 Gas
6-Speed Automatic
Front-Wheel Drive
$24,270
See All 2018 Ford Focus Sedan Trims and Specs

What Ford Focus Sedan Model Should I Buy?

The Focus SE equipped with the turbocharged 1.0-liter three-pot engine and six-speed manual transmission will be the favorable option in terms of drivability. The engine works best with the manual gearbox, although it remains underpowered for the weight of the sedan. It is, however, scarce on features and options, in which case the SEL would be the more appealing option. The 2.0-liter engine manages the sedan's weight better, but the automatic gearbox is a painful drawback. It comes with a greater selection of features as standard, and at not much extra cost over preceding trims. Along with the SEL we suggest including the Cold Weather Package for the heated front seats and leather-wrapped steering wheel, as well as the SE Appearance Package for the LED lighting upgrades and exterior cosmetic enhancements.

2018 Ford Focus Sedan Comparisons

2018 Ford Focus Sedan
2018 Ford Focus Sedan

2018 Ford Focus Sedan vs Honda Civic Sedan

The Honda Civic is the compact car segment's class-leader and the Focus Sedan's fundamental benchmark. The models offer driving dynamics that are both highly enjoyable, but in terms of outright performance, the Civic's more powerful turbocharged engine options imbue it with superior zest. Furthermore, the Civic's powertrain setups turn out to be considerably more economical than the Focus'. At the base level, the Civic offers slightly more value with more comfort-focused features such as automatic climate control and a larger five-inch infotainment screen. Every Civic trim also has availability to Honda's Sensing safety package which adds active safety and driver-assists that only the top-tier Focus has access to. The higher-level Civic trims see even more standard safety and driver-assist features to boot. It's no surprise that the Civic's safety ratings are also better than the Focus. The Honda Civic outranks the Focus Sedan in every regard, from daily drivability to livability, and in its basic value for money.

See Honda Civic Sedan Review

2018 Ford Focus Sedan vs Volkswagen Jetta

The Volkswagen Jetta is similarly priced to the Focus Sedan and is an on-par segment alternative in most aspects. It annihilates the Focus in outright performance, but once the road starts twisting, the Ford's responsiveness, engagement, and handling shine through in response. The Jetta does, however, offer greater comfort in its ride, and boasts more features along with superior safety in the way of standard assists. It has a more practical amount of trunk and passenger space too, further augmenting its passenger comfort. The Volkswagen Jetta is a better all-round daily driver, offering more comfort, convenience, and better levels of safety; but, the Focus offers a more enjoyable drive, and is thus a better option for those who don't mind the sacrifice in luxury for the Ford's fun-to-drive nature.

See Volkswagen Jetta Review

Ford Focus Sedan Popular Comparisons

2018 Ford Focus Video Reviews