Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.
The 2015 Ford Focus is able to compete against best-selling rivals such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla thanks to its diverse lineup. Available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, this compact car can be had with everything from a 3-cylinder or 4-cylinder fuel-sipper to a 252-horsepower rocket or even an all-electric plug-in vehicle.
You'll Like The 2015 Ford Focus If...
The 2015 Ford Focus deserves a look if you’re in the market for a fuel-efficient compact with style, technology, comfort and a fun-to-drive nature. Drivers seeking a pocket rocket will find it in the 2015 Focus ST, while those wanting an all-electric can have it in the Focus EV.
You May Not Like The 2015 Ford Focus If...
If you want the 1.0-liter EcoBoost 3-cylinder with an automatic transmission, you’re out of luck, since it’s only available with a 6-speed manual. The Focus isn’t exactly a price leader, with competitors such as the Chevrolet Cruze and Kia Forte arguably offering a better value. Need all-wheel drive? Go with a Subaru Impreza.
The 2015 Ford Focus is available with a 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine that earns up to 42 mpg. All models get styling tweaks that include a new nose and tail to make it look more like the larger Ford Fusion sedan, a new interior designed to be quieter and more driver-friendly, and a new SE Sport Package.
The 2015 Ford Focus comes with a host of interior upgrades to enhance usability. For example, there’s now a small cubby and USB port ahead of the shifter, perfect for your phone. The climate controls are easier to use, buttons on the new 3-spoke steering wheel are easier to use, and the door-lock switch has moved to the doors. With additional sound deadening, the 2015 Focus should also be quieter. The overall pros and cons remain. With expensive-feeling materials, the Focus boasts the look of a pricier, but it’s not the roomiest in its class.
For 2015, the Focus adopts an exterior design that’s much closer to the Fusion midsize sedan, with sedan models in particular resembling a smaller Fusion. Yet the parts we love about the Focus remain: The sleek aerodynamic look, raked windshield and tastefully flared fenders give the Focus a substantial look that belies its price. Both the sedan and hatchback can be outfitted with wheel and tire packages ranging from 15-inch steel wheels on the Focus S to 215/55 tires with 17-inch aluminum rims on Titanium models; Titanium models also offer an 18-inch wheel package with a sport-tuned suspension.
The 2015 Ford Focus follows in the footsteps of its predecessors. As a "world car," with similar versions sold in multiple countries, the Focus is designed to appeal to just about everyone in the world, really. So it’s not surprising that the Focus delivers a first-class driving experience. All models combine a comfortable ride with confidence-inspiring driving dynamics. The top-level Titanium with its sport suspension rides a little firmer, but with even better handling. With front disc/rear drum brakes on the Focus S and 4-wheel discs on higher-trim levels, the brakes deliver sure stops. Even the Focus Electric can be considered fun to drive. If you’re looking for the ultimate Focus driving experience, the Focus ST is your ticket. With a 252-horsepower engine and sport-tuned suspension, it’s the sportiest Focus you can buy, and a blast.
With the 2015 Ford Focus’ diverse trim choices comes an equally wide range of prices. At its least expensive, a base Focus sedan has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting just under $18,000. Hatchback variants are slightly more. The performance-oriented Ford Focus ST that’s only available as a hatchback starts just over $25,000. The all-electric Focus EV, also only in hatchback form, starts just shy of $30,000. Unlike some electric cars, the Focus EV is available in all 50 states, and incentives can potentially be worth thousands of dollars. Prices on most models of the Focus are in line with those of rivals such as the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla sedans, but remain more expensive than base versions of the Kia Forte and Mazda3. Before buying, be sure to check the KBB.com Fair Purchase Price to see what others in your area are paying for their new Focus. The Focus’ resale value has traditionally been fair, but below leaders such as the Subaru Impreza and Honda Civic.
All 2015 Ford Focus models now get Ford’s MyKey as standard equipment, allowing owners to limit maximum speed and other settings for young drivers. This adds to an already generous standard-equipment list, which includes air conditioning, tilt/telescoping steering column, keyless remote entry and AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio, all of which come standard on base S models. SE models get standard SYNC with MyFord Driver Connect, cruise control, a folding rear seat, 4-wheel disc brakes, and 16-inch tires on alloy wheels. Titanium models add leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, push-button starting, and MyFord Touch; Focus Electric models get eco-fabric seat covers and voice-activated navigation.
The 2015 Ford Focus benefits from several new option packages. SE models can get a new Sport Package, which adds exterior styling enhancements, paddle shifters for the automatic transmission, revised suspension settings and 17-inch wheels. Also available are a blind-spot-warning system and lane-keeping system. Focus buyers can also order the new 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine for maximum fuel economy. Additionally, Ford’s SYNC AppLink is now available in the Focus, allowing Focus drivers to interact with more than 60 AppLink-enabled apps on their phones through the car’s SYNC technology. Active Park Assist, handling and winter packages, and navigation are also available.
HEAD-TURNING STYLEIt’s hard to find inexpensive cars brimming with style. Yet here we are, with a small car that resembles one of the best-looking midsize sedans available, the Ford Fusion. Like the Fusion, the 2015 Focus has styling elements, such as the grille, that pay homage to Aston Martin.GREAT DRIVING EXPERIENCEJust because a car is entry-level doesn’t mean it has to be a drag to drive. Ford engineers understood this when putting together the Focus, and if you appreciate good road manners, this car might be the perfect fit.
Under the Hood
To take fuel economy to a new level, the 2015 Ford Focus can be equipped with a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine. Dressed in its most frugal form, the 3-cylinder Focus SFE is rated at 42 mpg in highway driving. Only a manual transmission is available with this engine, however. Most 2015 Ford Focus models use a 160-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, with either a 5-speed manual transmission or a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic. On the SE with Sport Package and Titanium models, the automated-manual transmission adds SelectShift paddles on the new steering wheel. Focus Electric models get a 143-horsepower permanent-magnet motor and a range of about 75 miles. The 2015 Focus ST uses a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine that makes 252 horsepower and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. All Focus models are front-wheel drive.1.0-liter turbocharged inline-3123 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm148 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 29/40 mpg, 30/42 mpg (SFE model)2.0-liter inline-4160 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm146 lb-ft of torque @ 4,450 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/36 mpg (manual), 26/38 mpg (automatic), 27/40 mpg (SelectShift automatic)2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 (Focus ST)252 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm270 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/32 mpgSynchronous electric motor/generator (Focus EV)23kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack107kW/143 horsepower184 lb-ft of torqueProjected range on a full charge: 76 miles
The compact-car market is one of the most competitive, and it’s the details that make a car a winner. The 2015 Ford Focus hones in on those details with exterior styling that won’t look old in 12 months, while its modern interior boasts numerous usability upgrades across trim levels. The 2015 Ford Focus remains available as a 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchback, and has a variety of powertrains that span from an efficient 1.0-liter 3-cylinder to the ferocious 252-horsepower Focus ST, and even an all-electric variant in the Focus EV. Though not the least-expensive compact car, the Focus holds its own against the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla and Mazda Mazda3.