Review: Ford Focus (2014 – 2018)
Relaxed but still enjoyable to drive. Flexible 1.0-litre EcoBoost and 1.5-litre TDCi engines. Interior improved over old Focus. Useful safety and convenience technology.
Small load area. 1.0-litre EcoBoost doesn't do well in Real MPG. Larger wheels reduce ride quality. Unusual number of drivetrain problems.
Ford Focus (2014 – 2018): At A Glance
- New prices start from £31,680, brokers can source from £16,149
- Contract hire deals from £179.77 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 10–26
- On average it achieves 72% of the official MPG figure
It might not be a brand new Focus, but the 2014 facelift has changed a lot over the outgoing car. There are cleaner engines (and an all-electric version), an improved interior and a neater exterior. But that’s not all – there are tweaks to the chassis and steering, plus improvements in safety technology, bringing the Focus up to date with competitors.
The revised car is noticeably different to its predecessor even at a glance, with a neater lines and slimmer lights giving a classier look. The cabin has had the same treatment – the seemingly random smattering of buttons on the centre console is gone, with a simpler arrangement in its place. There’s also an easy-to-use new touchscreen infotainment system.
As before there are plenty of safety and convenience technologies on offer. The emergency braking system, called Active City Stop, now works at up to 30mph instead of 20mph while the automatic parking system can cope with bay parking as well as parallel spaces. There is also a new traction control system designed to prevent skids, rather than intervene when they are detected.
The engine range has been revised with greater economy in mind. The lion’s share of Focus models are expected to be sold with either the 1.0-litre EcoBoost petrol or new 1.5-litre TDCi diesel engine. Both are offered with two power outputs – the petrol with 100PS or 125PS and the diesel with 95PS or 120PS.
These engines offer a good blend of useful performance and affordable running costs, with low emissions and competitive official fuel economy figures. For those who want a bit more power, another new addition is a 1.5-litre EcoBoost petrol with 150PS or 182PS, plus there are engines carried over from the previous Focus, meaning there is something for all tastes.
Ford has listened to customer feedback when it comes to handling. Changes have been made to the steering system and suspension to improve comfort and make the Focus easier to drive. It’s successful – the updated Focus is effortless over all kinds of roads, plus it is quieter than before thanks to better soundproofing.
It may only be an update rather than an all-new car, but Ford’s changes to the Focus are sufficient to bring it back into contention with the best family hatchbacks, like the Volkswagen Golf. It’s good to drive, fairly practical and it feels well made. Factor in the improved cabin and high-tech features and the Focus is a great choice of family car.
What does a Ford Focus (2014 – 2018) cost?
Ford Focus (2014 – 2018): What's It Like Inside?
The biggest change inside the new Focus is a revised centre stack. The outgoing car had masses of confusing buttons, but these have been removed and replaced with a much cleaner and more intuitive layout. A five-inch infotainment screen is standard (except in basic Studio trim), but it’s worth upgrading to the larger touchscreen Sync 2 system, which is standard on upper trim grades.
This is an easy-to-use system that has a simple layout and takes very little getting used to. Everything is sensibly displayed in quadrants on the screen. You can also use voice commands, though these are a little hit-and-miss unless you know precisely what to say.
Aside from the revised centre stack, Ford has changed the steering wheel and fitted new, more comfortable seats. Aside from that there is little difference compared to the old car, but that isn't really a bad thing. Material quality is good throughout, while space in the back is enough for a family – though it’s by no means class-leading.
The same can be said of the boot, which at 316 litres is good enough but far from great. If you opt for a full-sized spare wheel this drops to 277 litres, or alternatively you can choose a tyre repair kit and boost space to 363 litres, but this seems quite a compromise. Folding the seats down frees up a maximum of 1148 litres with the tyre repair kit option, or 1101 litres with a space-saver spare.
There are plenty of different trim levels to choose from, kicking off with the very competitively priced Studio model. This is only offered with the basic, dated 1.6-litre petrol engine, but it does get alloy wheels, air conditioning and hill start assist. The range proper kicks off with Style trim, which gets a broader range of engine options and a colour touchscreen, plus DAB, aux and USB input.
Zetec trim offers the best compromise between price and equipment, with some nice extras among the standard gear including a Quickclear heated windscreen and heated mirrors. Key optional extras include various styling packs, a reversing camera, a heated steering wheel and the Sync 2 Touchscreen infotainment system.
Studio trim comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, front electric windows, Easy-Fuel capless refuelling, remote central locking, torque vectoring control, hill start assist, CD-player with USB-in, steering wheel audio controls, Ford MyKey, tyre pressure monitoring. It is only offered with 1.6-litre 85PS petrol engine.
Style models gain an alternate 16-inch alloy wheel design, alarm system, 4.2-inch display, Aux-in, DAB radio, silver roof rails and a broader engine range.
Zetec trim adds a Quickclear heated windscreen, heated door mirrors, front fog lights, sports-style front seats, leather-trimmed steering wheel, front arm rest and halogen lights with black surrounds.
Zetec S trim adds 17-inch alloy wheels, Zetec S specific exterior styling, sports pedals, sports suspension, keyless start, sliding armrest, LED running lights and LED rear lights.
Titanium trim gains (Over Zetec trim) 16-inch alloy wheels, Sync 2 8-inch touchscreen, Active City Stop, automatic lights, automatic wipers, rear parking sensors, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control, chrome grille surround, cruise control, speed limiter and keyless start.
Titanium X is the top trim and gains (over Titanium) 17-inch alloy wheels, automatic parking system, rear-view camera, adaptive xenon headlights, LED running lights, LED tail lights, power folding door mirrors, partial leather interior upholstery, heated front seats, power operated driver’s seat, front and rear floor mats plus multi-colour interior ambient lighting.
Child seats that fit a Ford Focus (2014 – 2018)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Ford Focus (2014 – 2018) like to drive?
- Engines range from 1.0T EcoBoost 100 to 2.0 TDCi 150 Powershift
- Readers report Real MPG to be between 25–70 mpg
The updated Ford Focus is available with a few new engines, plus there are several carried over from before. The 1.5-litre diesel, available with 95PS or 120PS, is expected to be the strongest seller. It is effectively a heavy revision of the old 1.6-litre TDCi, but with a host of fuel-saving improvements.
It is the best in the range when it comes to CO2 emissions and fuel economy, with both the 95PS and 120PS versions producing 98/km and achieving official economy of 74.3mpg. Just as popular as the 1.5-litre diesel is the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol, available with 100PS or 125PS. This also offers low emissions of between 105g/km and 111g/km.
Official economy for the 1.0-litre EcoBoost is between 58.9mpg and 61.4mpg, but Real MPG users tend to report between 40-50mpg in real world driving. That shouldn’t put you off, though – the EcoBoost is a flexible, responsive engine that really suits the Focus well – and while its economy might not match the official figures it is far from bad.
Ford is offering the Focus with a new 1.5-litre EcoBoost engine, producing 150PS or 182PS. It is ideal for those who want a bit more performance, with plenty of grunt for overtaking and motorway driving – though we would expect the 182PS version to produce more than 240Nm of torque. It feels a little lacking in low-down punch for such a powerful engine.
On the plus side it has decent emissions and economy. Regardless of power output the 1.5-litre EcoBoost produces 127g/km of CO2 if specified with start/stop and official economy of 51.4mpg. Ford has also carried over some older engines, including the 1.6-litre petrol auto, 1.6-litre TDCi and 2.0-litre TDCi.
The Focus has a reputation for being fun-to-drive, but this has been dialled down a little with the latest update, with a greater emphasis on comfort and refinement. There’s not much in the way of wind or engine noise while the suspension has been tweaked to deliver better ride quality – but that’s not to say the Focus is boring.
In fact, the suspension still communicates the road surface well, but it does so without crashing uncomfortably over poor British roads. It isn’t quite as plush or smooth as something like a Skoda Octavia - especially if you opt for larger 18-inch wheels - but the payoff is keen cornering ability and little body roll, helped further still by revised power-steering that is well-weighted and precise.
Away from tight country roads the Focus is a relaxed car. Motorways are effortless, while light controls make town driving easy. Parking the Focus is easy enough, but if you’re not confident the optional automatic parking system has been improved to allow for both bay and parallel parking, while a reversing camera is now a much cheaper extra, or standard on some trim levels.
Other helpful tech includes a lane departure warning and a new traction control system, which pre-empts potential skids before they happen, rather than intervening after a wheel breaks traction. This improves stability in emergencies, such as when swerving to avoid a hazard. The Active City Stop emergency braking system has been improved too, now working up to 30mph rather than 20mph.
|1.0T EcoBoost 100||61–66 mpg||12.5 s||99–105 g/km|
|1.0T EcoBoost 125||60 mpg||11.0 s||108 g/km|
|1.0T EcoBoost 125 Automatic||51 mpg||12.0 s||125 g/km|
|1.0T EcoBoost 140||58 mpg||10.4 s||112 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 105 ECOnetic||83 mpg||11.9 s||88 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 120||74 mpg||10.5 s||98–99 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 120 Powershift||67–74 mpg||10.8 s||99–109 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 150||71 mpg||8.8 s||105 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 150 Powershift||64 mpg||8.7 s||115 g/km|
|1.5 TDCi 95||74 mpg||12.0 s||98–99 g/km|
|1.5T EcoBoost 150||51 mpg||8.9 s||127 g/km|
|1.5T EcoBoost 150 Automatic||46 mpg||9.2 s||140 g/km|
|1.5T EcoBoost 182||51 mpg||8.6 s||127 g/km|
|1.5T EcoBoost 182 Automatic||46 mpg||8.9 s||140 g/km|
|1.6 105||48 mpg||12.3 s||136 g/km|
|1.6 85||48 mpg||14.9 s||136 g/km|
|1.6 Powershift||45 mpg||11.7 s||146 g/km|
|1.6 PowerShift||45 mpg||11.7 s||146 g/km|
|1.6 TDCi 115||67–74 mpg||10.5–12.0 s||98–109 g/km|
|1.6 TDCi 95||67 mpg||12.5 s||109 g/km|
|2.0 TDCi 150||71 mpg||8.8 s||105 g/km|
|2.0 TDCi 150 Powershift||64 mpg||8.7 s||115 g/km|
|2.0 TDCi 185||71 mpg||8.8 s||105 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Ford Focus (2014 – 2018)
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.
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.
What have we been asked about the Ford Focus (2014 – 2018)?
Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.
What is the Real MPG fuel economy of the Ford Focus EcoBoost?
What Cars Are Similar To The Ford Focus (2014 – 2018)?
Unclear on what your next car should be? Use our Car Chooser to pick something that suits your needs.
What do owners think?
Our view gives your our opinion, based on driving hundreds of cars every year, but you can't beat the views of someone who lives with a car day-in, day out.
- 5 star 33%
- 4 star 33%
- 3 star 17%
- 2 star
- 1 star 17%