Ford Focus (2011 – 2014) Review

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

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


Real MPG

27–67 mpg

MPGs submitted


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

Ford Focus Titanium 2013 Powershift Gearbox failure - is this a common problem?
"I bought a 2013 Ford Focus from a main dealer in 2018. The car only had only 56,000 miles on it. It now has 67,000. The garage has told me that the wet clutch gearbox needs replacing. It is a sealed unit and cannot be repaired. It will cost £5,200 to fix. To say I am gutted is an understatement. On ringing around various gearbox repair garages the reply is the same, they average two calls a week with the same problem. If this is the case, and Ford are no longer installing these gearboxes, why are Ford unwilling to help? Why did Ford not do a recall? "
Ford say they don't have a history of this being an issue and nor have any recalls been issued. Unfortunately, due to the age of the vehicle they are unable to help as the vehicle is out of warranty so this is an issue you will have to take up with the dealer you bought the car from.
Answered by Sarah Tooze
Why is the fuel economy in my Ford Focus 1.0-litre EcoBoost so much worse than official figures?
"I've just bought a 2013 Ford Focus Estate 1.0-litre EcoBoost Titanium. It is giving me about 33mpg, when the advert for urban driving says it should be giving over 47mpg. On the motorway at 70mph it also gave me 44mpg when its advertised at 67mpg. This is a huge difference. Can you advise me on this please."
Your experience is typical of many Ford Focus owners. The old EcoBoost engine never had a particularly good reputation for real world fuel economy. The problems were compounded by the fact this version of the Focus - sold from 2011 - 2014 - was assessed using the old and outdated NEDC fuel and emissions test. Few NEDC tested cars will meet their advertised fuel figures. According to Real MPG submissions, an average of 40-42mpg is the best you can expect:
Answered by Dan Powell
Should I buy a Ford Focus with a history of problems?
"I'm interested in a 2012 Ford Focus 1.0 EcoBoost that's covered 52,000 miles but has had a replacement turbo and dual mass flywheel. Should I be wary?"
Unless it's dirt cheap, I'm not sure it's worth the risk. The Ford Focus is a very popular car and there are hundreds for sale on the used market, which means you do not need to take a chance on a car with a history of major problems. Turbo failure can be caused by a range of things (oil seal problems, piston ring failures etc). I'd be concerned that the underlying cause(s) have not been resolved. This generation of EcoBoost was also subject to a recall for its coolant pipe - the owner should have paperwork to show this has been replaced. If they haven't, you could face some large repair bills if the pipe fails. For all reported problems with this generation of Focus, see:
Answered by Dan Powell
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: 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
More Questions

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