KBB Logo Expert review written by the Kelley Blue Book vehicle review editorial team.

Editor's Overview

With an expansive lineup for 2017, the Ford Focus is a player in the compact segment. Ford offers the new Focus as an affordable sedan and hatchback and in two high-performance sports variants, the Focus ST and the new 350-horsepower all-wheel-drive Focus RS. There’s also an all-electric Focus that challenges the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen E-Golf for your green.

You'll Like The 2017 Ford Focus If...

…you like a little sizzle with your steak, the 2017 Ford Focus offers great styling, impressive handling and some of Ford’s best high-tech features. The 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine is an efficiency leader rated at 40 mpg on the highway, and the high-performance ST and RS offer awesome power and performance.

You May Not Like The 2017 Ford Focus If...

As appealing as it is, Ford’s 2017 Focus can’t match the low price and content of the Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra or Chevy Cruze. The only all-wheel-drive model is the high-performance Focus RS, which starts around $36,000, and if you’re seeking a coupe or wagon, you’ll have to look elsewhere.

What's New

Changes to the Ford Focus for 2017 are minimal. There’s a new SEL package that includes 17-inch aluminum wheels with black sections, fog lights, black headlight bezels and a power moonroof. There’s also a new color called White Gold.

Interior Features

Ford’s 2017 Focus compact comes with a host of interior upgrades to enhance usability. For example, there's a small cubby and USB port ahead of the shifter, perfect for your phone. The climate controls and steering-wheel buttons are easy to use, and the blue backlighting is both stylish and easy on the eyes. Optional features like a heated steering wheel help the Focus stand out in this segment, and ample sound-deadening helps make the Focus one of the quietest cars in its class. Unfortunately, the Focus’ rear-seat head- and legroom are now surpassed by a number of newer competitors.

Exterior Features

Its sleek, raked windshield and tastefully flared fenders give the new 2017 Ford Focus a substantial look that belies its price. The sedan is attractive, but the hatchback is the real looker. And it’s more versatile. Both 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 hot ST model and red-hot RS both wear aerodynamic enhancements that announce their intentions but don’t break out the bullhorn. They look racy but not ridiculous.

Driving Impressions

The 252-horsepower Focus ST is Ford’s VW GTI-killer, and it’s quite an impressive piece of work: fast, fun and comfortable. Although when equipped with the optional Recaro seats, anyone with more than a 30-inch waist may find himself wedged in place. The new high-performance 350-horsepower all-wheel-drive Focus RS is nothing short of the new benchmark in the hot small-car market, which also includes the Subaru WRX. It’s a rocket ship that still delivers the practicality of a 5-passenger hatchback. Most will like the ride delivered by the SE trim, which can be nicely loaded up and still remain well below $25,000. The Titanium brings even more bells and whistles, but its larger tires and sport suspension create a rather firm ride. The standard 160-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder in the S Sedan and SE sedan or hatchback is strong. Stopping power is impressive across the line, even the base model.

Pricing Notes

A base 2017 Focus S sedan has a Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starting around $18,000. Hatchback variants are slightly more. The performance-oriented Ford Focus ST hatchback starts just over $25,500. The all-electric Focus EV hatchback starts right around $30,000, while the new RS pushes the price to just under $37,000. 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 Focus models 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. Do 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.

Notable Equipment

All 2017 Ford Focus models come standard with MyKey, a feature that allows owners to limit maximum speed and other settings for young drivers. Other standard features for the Focus S include air conditioning, a tilt/telescoping steering column, keyless remote entry and an AM/FM/CD/MP3 radio. SE models get standard Sync with MyFord Driver Connect, cruise control, a folding rear seat, rearview camera and 16-inch tires on alloy wheels. Titanium models add leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker Sony audio, push-button starting, and Sync 3 with MyFord Touch; Focus Electric models get eco-fabric seat covers and voice-activated navigation.

Notable Options

Ford’s new Focus benefits from several option packages. SE models can be equipped with the 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 SE buyers can also order the economical 1.0-liter 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine for maximum fuel economy. Additionally, Ford's Sync AppLink is available, 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.

Favorite Features

SYNC 3

Ford consistently improves its Sync infotainment system and the 2017 Focus is equipped with the latest and greatest version. Not only is it easier to operate, it has a large 6.5-inch touch screen. It’s much better than the version it replaced, which was marred by too-small alphanumerics and latent response.

ECOBOOST ENGINES

The Focus offers three different smooth and powerful turbocharged engines: a 123-horsepower 1.0-liter 3-cylinder designed for maximum fuel economy, a 252-horsepower 2.0-liter 4-cylinder designed for maximum fun, and a 350-horsepower 2.3-liter monster for hard-core enthusiasts. But as is usual with turbocharged engines, lead-footed driving can run up fuel consumption.

Under the Hood

Most 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. To take fuel economy to the next level, the 2017 Ford Focus can be equipped with a turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder engine. Dressed in its most frugal form, the 3-cylinder Focus SE is rated at 40 mpg in highway driving. Focus Electric models get a 143-horsepower permanent-magnet motor and a range of about 75 miles. The 2017 Focus ST uses a 2.0-liter EcoBoost turbocharged engine that makes 252 horsepower and is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, while the RS gets a 350-horsepower 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine and standard all-wheel drive.

1.0-liter turbocharged inline-3

123 horsepower @ 6,350 rpm

148 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 30/40 mpg (manual), 27/38 mpg (automatic)

2.0-liter inline-4

160 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm

146 lb-ft of torque @ 4,450 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 25/34 mpg (manual), 26/38 mpg (automatic), 27/38 mpg (SelectShift automatic)

2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4

252 horsepower @ 5,500 rpm

270 lb-ft of torque @ 2,500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 mpg

2.3-liter turbocharged inline-4

350 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm

350 lb-ft of torque @ 3,200 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/25 mpg

Synchronous electric motor/generator (Focus EV)

23kWh liquid-cooled lithium-ion battery pack

107kW/143 horsepower

184 lb-ft of torque

Projected range on a full charge: 76 miles Note: Due to changes in EPA testing to more effectively reflect real-world conditions, some 2017 models show slightly lower fuel-economy scores than their 2016 versions.

Editors' Notes

Offering a wide assortment of trims (S, SE, SEL or Titanium), powertrains and price ranges, the 2017 Ford Focus sedan and hatchback compete in the crowded compact segment against such highly rated rivals as the Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra and Honda Civic. Fresh styling, along with Ford’s Sync 3 infotainment system and a sporty driving character are hallmarks to the popularity of the Focus, as is turbocharged horsepower. It starts with the extremely fuel-efficient 123-horsepower 3-cylinder EcoBoost engine in the SE. Then there’s the tire-scorching 252-horsepower Focus ST and the incredible 350-horsepower all-wheel-drive (AWD) Focus RS. If green is more your thing there’s also an all-electric Focus that challenges the Nissan Leaf and Volkswagen e-Golf and offers about 80 miles of range.

Road Test Video Reviews

2017 Ford Focus Owner Reviews

4.33
332 Reviews
51% 36% 11% 2% < 1%
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I would recommend this car for anyone who travels and to be comfortable.

2017 Ford Focus

All together my car is a great car. Amazing gas mileage for long distance, which is perfect because I do drive a lot. The Bluetooth feature is amazing, works well. However, because it is Bluetooth is does sometimes lags especially when skipping songs on your playlists. Other features that are also awesome is the screen that shows how many miles until empty which really helps. . And the screen could also show your speed digitally which is good for those people who have a hard time reading a speedometer. The talk feature works well, have not had any issues with that. Now comfort, the front seat has decent room comfortable for traveling. But the back could have been a little bigger. To put three people in the back they are really squished. Also for those who has kids after the car seats are in then it is a tight squeeze. The side mirrors do have the blind spot mirror on the mirror which I am thankful for. Definitely easier transferring lanes without the fear on not seeing someone next to you. Another good feature would be you can pump your driver seat up or down depending on how you or short you are and the same with the steering wheel, you can move up or down. The trunk is a decent size no complaints there. Which two of the back seats do fold down which adds more room for the trunk. The floor mats snap in the front seats which helps so dirt does not slide underneath. There is a cruise control setting also. The radio is good. The speakers get loud and so does the bass which is one of the things I looked for when looking for a car, have to have a good radio. Now my one problem I have had with my car from day one is my car shakes. And only when you are stopped and then go. For some reason when I accelerate no matter how fast or slow I go my car shakes. Sometimes it is a little shake and sometimes it is a bigger shake. Now it does not do it all the time but most of the time it does. But I have talked to people with the same car and it does it to them also. But it is just annoying because it shouldn't do that. All together I love my car. It is high tech it rides so smooth and only one issue out of everything.

- Hope W

Don't waste your time or money

2017 Ford Focus SE

This car has been very frustrating. I noticed issues with the transmission almost immediately after purchasing it. Slipping, racing and lurching forward unexpectedly. After a struggle to arrange for it to be looked at by the Ford dealership, I was told by one of the mechanics that it was basically pointless to have it repaired, because the manufacturer had designed this car with a manual transmission in a car that is supposed to be automatic. They 'reset' the computer, allegedly, and that was it. A few weeks later, it began having the same issues again, and this time, a deep grinding/scraping sound could be heard whenever I accelerated. After another lengthy struggle to arrange an appointment with a Ford mechanic, I was told that the computer had been 'reset' again, and to just make sure that I 'babied' the car in the future, making sure not to accelerate or stop too quickly. Very frustrating. Right now I am having the same issues again, and I am looking at what options I have under Florida's Lemon Law. Aside from the transmission issues, the car is too small for my needs, which I guess is my fault for purchasing. The SE edition is very basic, with cloth seats, manual seat adjustment, and surprisingly for a 2017, a CD player. I do enjoy the rear back-up camera. The upholstery feels cheap and stains easily.

- Kara C

2017 Ford Focus - worth the buy

2017 Ford Focus SE

Haven't had any issues with the car. Have had several Focus in the past. A good size for a commuter car - I drive approximately 55 miles each way every day, and it's been good. Comfortable ride, good sound system to keep me entertained. The new feature of the cell phone syncing with the vehicle's sound system, so that you can talk over the phone hands-free is fantastic! Same with sound control - phone and radio volume can be controlled by thumb on the steering wheel. Back seat can lay down to allow large objects to be carried through the trunk space. (Or to allow easier access to items packed in the very front of the trunk, instead of emptying trunk to reach them.) Spare tire 'donut' (not a full-sized spare) is a bit of a pain - I wish there were space to have a regular size spare, but workable. Carrying a better, heavier-duty jack and a normal lug-wrench is a good idea - the ones included with the car are usable (just), but a lot easier with the normal-sized.

- Gerald M

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