Sporty handling, relatively low noise, and a well-done interior make the Focus feel more like a small sports sedan than a humdrum compact. Though not blazingly fast, the Focus does get good fuel economy: We recorded 29 mpg overall in our tests for both the four-cylinder and three-cylinder turbo. Several flaws keep it from being one of our top-rated small cars, though.
Alerts
There are 5 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit.
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags available. ESC available 2001-2003, 2009; standard from 2010. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2008.
Road Test

Sporty handling, relatively low noise, and a well-done interior make the Focus feel more like a small sports sedan than a humdrum compact. Though not blazingly fast, the Focus does get good fuel economy: We recorded 29 mpg overall in our tests for both the four-cylinder and three-cylinder turbo.

Several flaws keep it from being one of our top-rated small cars, though. The most irksome of those is the PowerShift automatic transmission, which stumbles at low speeds. While updates have improved refinement, this transmission is still hesitant in stop-and-go traffic and sometimes transmits drivetrain vibrations through the cabin. Rear-seat space is tight for this class, with little leg room for two adults and very cramped quarters for three people. A more minor consideration is the radio controls, which are needlessly confusing.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
AWD , Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
4-door hatchback
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 6-speed Automatic
  • 6-speed Sequential
  • 1-speed Direct
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 6-speed Manual
Engines Available
  • electric (143 hp)
  • 1-liter 3 turbo (123 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 turbo (252 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 (160 hp)
  • 2.3-liter 4 turbo (350 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2017 Ford Focus owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

Clutch adjustment

"Less than smooth shifting"

Dave S., MB (2017 Ford Focus SE SFE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"delayed movement and hesitant shifting gears"

Anonymous, NY (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Rough shifting

"Made odd noise while shifting, but dealer says that noise is common for transmission and within dealer parameters."

Thomas H., IN (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"It was a recall twice that was recently fixed."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Ford Focus)

"Change in transmission type makes it drive differently from previous models. Causes minute stalls when starting from stop"

Anonymous, IA (2017 Ford Focus)
Slipping transmission

"Bucks when you stat from a stop"

Frank C., MA (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"transmission slipped on inclines, stuttered when driving, not sure if it would continue functioning; Ford said no problems. Traded it in on a Jeep to ensure our safety."

Anonymous, TX (2017 Ford Focus)

"The transmission simply failed to engage. I believe they said the clutch actuator had to be replaced and the dealer said that was the first time they had seen that happen but another car came in with the same problem that same day."

Anonymous, WI (2017 Ford Focus)

"the transmission slips when shifting. It is especially bad from 1st to 2nd and then 2nd to 3rd. It really delays the acceleration and starting from a stop."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"This is a case of a new automatic transmission design not fully explained by the dealer. We were told the erratic accel and shift conditions noticed during the new car test drive would go away over time as the car's computer learned our driving style. In actuality I studied up on the trans and learned it has dual clutches (no torque converter) and have learned to tolerate it and how to operate it. For example: when parked on a slope, keep your foot on the brake until you press the throttle to start moving the car otherwise when you take the trans out of park the car will start to roll downhill just like a manual trans with the clutch depressed. We have had 2002 and 2009 model year Focus which were great cars getting 40+mpg on the highway with no significant issues. Our 2017 is close to the 40mpg highway number but has disappointed us with the trans/clutch operation, rattle above passenger sun visor and rattly noise from chassis on rough road."

Anonymous, AZ (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission computer

"Rough shifting."

Carlos H., GA (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

What Owners Say

Cylinder head

"Service bulletin issued so I took it in and work was completed."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Head gasket

"Mandatory safety recall to inspect the head gasket. Mine did not have any issues upon inspection, but I lost use of the car for a week during the recall."

Anonymous, MI (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Ford had a recall to replace faulty head gaskets."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"The car was recalled with the possibility of a head gasket failure. Checking (five hour pressure test), showed the gasket needed to be replaced which eventually was. I used a free rental during the repair. It turns out my brother with a similar car had both the head and gasket replaced."

Geoffrey S., NY (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Factory service bulletin was issued so I took it in."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"There was a recall for the head gasket. It took over a week to replace. (This was no failure.)"

Anonymous, PA (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Ford Motor issued a service campaign for either a cylinder head replacement or a cylinder head gasket depending on a cooling system pressure test."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"From the factory, the wrong head gasket was installed in most RSs made between 2016-2017 which lead to some cars having their engines blow. After a threat of a class action lawsuit, Ford finally acknowledged there might be a problem. There was a customer satisfaction program not a recall that all RSs had to go back to the dealership to have their cylinder heads pressure tested. After much confusion about what to do from dealership to dealership, a protocol was finally issued by corporate. If the engines lost more than 4psi, they had to boroscope the cylinder head to see if coolant leaked into the cylinder head. If they found coolant in the head, the RS would get a new head gasket and new cylinder head. If no coolant was found, only the head gasket would be replaced on all RSs. In addition, a new high pressure fuel line and bolt would also be installed in all RSs. My car only needed a new head gasket, fuel line and bolt. Total time I was without a car was 5 days. Ford paid for a rental car for 4 days."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"Dry clutch was a flop with Ford. They bought back my 2014 and gave me a great deal on the 2017 only to have the same replacement issue"

Todd M., MO (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"delayed movement and difficulty changing from 2nd to 3rd gears."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Had to replace the clutch pack on the autoshift transmission at approx. 22,000 miles under warranty. Transmission was shifting roughly and clutches were slipping as they rengaged after a shift."

Anonymous, IN (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Dual clutch automatic sucks."

Anonymous, GA (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The vehicle experience slipping transmission and clutch issues almost immediately after driving it the 1st few months. The transmission received digital computer corrections and after 1 year of back order the clutches and seals were replaced. The transmission still hesitates and shift awkwardly."

Anonymous, NY (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Ford did not honor warranty after major transmission failure"

Randall H., PA (2017 Ford Focus ST 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

Display screen freezes up

"Display has horizontal lines across it making it difficult to read and operate"

Anonymous, MI (2017 Ford Focus Titanium 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Stereo interface and controls were awful"

Randall H., PA (2017 Ford Focus ST 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)
Speakers

"Front-driver side speaker started buzzing and crackling when playing music at normal volumes"

Anonymous, CA (2017 Ford Focus ST 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

What Owners Say

Emission control devices (includes EGR)

"In early December of 2018 we received a recall letter from Ford notifying us of an issue with the vehicle. The letter indicated that a valve in the emissions system may get stuck open, generating a vacuum in the fuel tank, causing the tank to deform, which would allow the vehicle to suddenly loose fueling without warning. The temporary fix was to keep the gas tank over halfway full according to the gauge, and the letter indicated we would be notified of a fix when available. It's now the end of May 2019, and after six months of fueling up twice as often, we are still waiting for the solution to the problem."

Anonymous, CO (2017 Ford Focus ST 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

"Recall of control valve for carbon canister (?). Parts on back order for approximately 4 months. Still waiting for car to be repaired."

Larry W., (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling)

"the paint just scratches easily"

Anonymous, CT (2017 Ford Focus)

"The car arrived with dull paint patches on the hood. The dealer subsequently identified that and other problems. The hood, roof and hatch were repainted paid by the manufacturer (Ford Motor Company)"

Geoffrey S., NY (2017 Ford Focus RS 2.3-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine knock or ping

"After less than 23000 miles the engine developed a misfire, generating sputtering and stuttering on cold start and throwing a check engine light. Car was taken to a dealership, where the spark plugs were swapped out (and sent back to Ford) and the ECU was flashed, under warranty. There was a technical service bulletin on this particular issue, indicating it is a known issue."

Anonymous, CO (2017 Ford Focus ST 2.0-L 4 Cyl turbo)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

Steering linkage (includes rack and pinion)

"the front suspension failed completely causing the car to veer out of control to the right and caused a major accident with bodily injuries and a complete totalling of the car."

Anonymous, CA (2017 Ford Focus Electric Electric)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

A/C compressor

"compressor failed. dealer replaced it for free since under warranty. completely satisfied."

Anonymous, NJ (2017 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Squeaks or rattles

"On delivery, car had a loud noise that was eventually traced to a rear brake caliber retainer. Still has a rattle in the electronics pod on the windshield. Still there after 2 tries to fix."

Anonymous, MI (2017 Ford Focus Titanium 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

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