Ford Focus (2011 – 2014) Review

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Ford Focus (2011 – 2014) At A Glance

Refined and upmarket feel to the cabin. Comfortable and quiet on the move. More efficient petrol and diesel engines. Better ride quality. Excellent £750 Driver Assist Pack.

About 50 litres less bootspace than previous model. Engines all belt cam. Plagued with clutch problems and 1.0 EcoBoost degas pipe failures. Too many issues to hang on to 4 stars.

Insurance Groups are between 7–26
On average it achieves 76% of the official MPG figure

In the beginning was the Ford, and the Ford was a Focus. The rather unassuming hatchback has become the default choice for many and a car against which everything else is measured. Look up 'affordable family hatchback' in that imaginary dictionary everyone goes on about and you'll see a picture of a Focus. Probably a silver one.

In a way it's become the modern day 'peoples car'. A reliable, practical and affordable vehicle that's liked by everyone from families to pensioners to those who want something enjoyable to drive. In essence it is the perfect all-rounder that's even branched out to performance models with the ST and RS. So when a new Focus comes along, it's - not unsurprisingly - a big deal. No pressure then.

You'll doubtless read plenty of road tests of this generation Focus and many of them will go on about the original Focus (which replaced the unbelievably drab Escort in 1998) and how it 'set the benchmark' for hatchbacks and 'revolutionised' the way people thought about family cars.

They may be cliches but they're accurate. At the time the competition was - and lets be kind here - dire at best with alternatives like the Nissan Almera and Vauxhall Astra. Hardly stuff to get you excited. So when the Focus came along it blew everything else out of the water.

The general consensus of the third generation Focus is that it doesn't 'change the game' in the same way the original did. But then it was never going to. A lot has changed since the first Focus was launched, not least with the quality and comfort of small cars. The competition is now better than ever, driven by the high demands of customers, especially us in the UK. Instead Ford has taken the strengths that made the Focus a success and built on them.

So while this Focus may not as exciting to drive as the original, it still excels in nearly every other department. It's quiet and comfortable on the move, easy to drive, has a high quality interior and some mightily impressive (and efficient) engines. There's very little to criticise (aside from a cut in boot space) and much to praise. Okay, so it may not rock your world, but the Focus does everything you want it to and does it well.

We also covered this car as a live launch. Click here for a replay of what happened.

Our Cars Ford Focus Banner Copy

Ford Focus 2011 Road Test and Video

Ford Focus 2012 1.0 Ecoboost 125 Road Test

Ford Focus 2014 Facelift Road Test

Looking for a Ford Focus (2011 - 2014)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Ford Focus (2011 – 2014)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

76%

Real MPG

27–67 mpg

MPGs submitted

2455

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

My Ford Focus needs a new engine but wasn't serviced by Ford dealers - should they still fix it as part of the recall?
"I have a 2013 Ford Focus 1.0T. It is currently having a new engine fitted as there was a problem with the coolant, turbo and subsequent oil loss - which I had no warning lights for, or in fact any indication there was a problem. Ford have told me it was not part of the recent recall, yet it is for the exact same problem. I was hoping to get some advice on this. They also claim that because I did not take it directly to a Ford dealer, it would not be considered by the warranty/claims team. Any thoughts or advice you have would be greatly appreciated."
Unfortunately this is a consequence of having a car that develops a mechanical fault serviced independently of the Ford dealer chain. Had it been serviced by Ford dealers then the weakness in the degas pipe from the turbo to the expansion tank would have been corrected. See: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ford/focus-2011/good Ford should have issued a full-scale recall via the DVLA to save all 1.0 EcoBoost engines that were not being serviced by its dealers and because it didn't, there may be scope for a large class action against them.
Answered by Honest John
My 2013 Ford Focus needs a new engine - what are my consumer rights?
"My 2013 Ford Focus 1.0 suffered engine problems at 58,000 miles. Ford has diagnosed that it needs a new engine. Ford know this three-cylinder engine has problems, so what are my consumer rights?"
Common problem because the degas pipe carrying superheated steam from the turbo to the expansion tank can fail at a union and the engine then loses all its coolant. Well documented here: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/carbycar/ford/focus-2011/?section=good You might be able to use this to assert that the design of the car was fundamentally faulty and claim for a new engine on those grounds under the six-year rule: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/faq/consumer-rights
Answered by Honest John
How do I find out if my vehicle is involved in a recall?
"I see there is a safety recall on 2010 - 2014 Ford Focus, C-Max, Fiesta ST and Kuga for possible cracked cylinder heads, which could result in a fire. I've been unable to identify which engine is involved, do you know?"
The recall notice doesn't specify which engines are involved. The manufacturer should get in contact to discuss the remedial work with owners of affected vehicles, but if your car is second-hand or if your contact details aren’t up to date then the manufacturer might not be able to reach you. You can always ring a Ford dealership to check. For more info on how recalls work, check out our guide: https://www.honestjohn.co.uk/news/everything-you-need-to-know/2018-01/what-to-do-if-your-vehicle-is-recalled
Answered by Georgia Petrie
The engine of my Ford Focus has been destroyed by coolant loss - how do I proceed in getting it fixed?
"I have a 2012 Ford Focus 1.0. It had a catastrophic loss of coolant, which destroyed the engine. I tried getting the head gasket replaced, pressure tested, skimmed etc but it's just been an ongoing nightmare of new problems each step of the way. The garage are now saying that we may as well have a replacement engine instead and that a rubber hose becoming brittle and cracking led to the problem. Apparently it's quite a common problem on this model. Any ideas on how to proceed?"
This is a very common problem on the first few years production of 1.0 EcoBoosts, usually fixed with a new pipe under a TSB while the car is in a Ford dealers for service. If it hasn't been to Ford dealers for service then it's going to be very difficult to persuade Ford to take any responsibility.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Ford Focus (2011 – 2014) cost?

Buy new from £17,322 (list price from £20,670)
Contract hire from £179.77 per month