Reviews

2017 Ford Focus Walk Around


The Focus is more handsome as a hatchback than sedan. Some see its shape as too swoopy, but at least its creases and curves contrast nicely with the big-mouthed grille. The rising window line adds drama, and the huge taillamps nicely frame the corners.

Focus ST and Focus RS are restrained, even with a lower stance, bigger wheels and lower bodywork. However there’s nothing restrained about the basket of logos stuck to the sheetmetal.

Interior

The overstyled Focus cabin used to feel sleek, but since the Honda Civic has re-invented compact car interiors, it feels dated. The standard info screen is just 4.2 inches. The vertical vents and pleasant sculpting are complex and original, which is nice in a crowded class of look-alikes, but the design makes the front feel cramped, and it uses a lot of plastic. Still, the seats and door trim are nicely tailored, especially in the Titanium, with its satin chrome.

Even in the S and SE models, the front seats are fairly supportive. The plusher Titanium seats offer good thigh and back support, and a bit more bolstering. The optional Recaro seats in the ST and RS are very snug, and don’t work with all heights.

The back seat is skimpy, with slim headroom and legroom. And with small door openings, ingress and egress is awkward. The hatchback is better than the sedan. The release to fold the rear seat can’t be reached through the hatch, and the headrests have to be removed to get the seatbacks all the way down.

The optional Sync 3 infotainment system is slicker and much improved over the previous unpopular MyFord Touch system. Sync 3 has a fully capacitive screen with pinching and swiping capability, a streamlined menu structure, smart-charging USB ports, and AppLink capability for on-screen operation of various smartphone apps. But Sync 3 also has issues. Response to the buttons is slow, and we had trouble switching between day and night modes on the touchscreen.

Forward visibility is good for a compact car, but rearward visibility can be tough. However, with a standard rearview camera, at least that isn’t an issue when the car is in reverse.

Interior noise is typical for this class, as coarse road surfaces intrude into the cabin.

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