First Look: 2015 Ford Focus

By | February 23, 2014
Ford argues that its Focus compact car is the world's best-selling nameplate, putting plenty of pressure on the automaker to deliver on this new version. Thankfully, Ford brings the goods with crisper styling, a more refined interior, and a fuel-sipping 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine option. Debuting at this year's Geneva Motor Show, the 2015 Ford Focus reveals some dramatic changes. Watch for the Focus when it goes on sale globally in the second half of 2014.

What's New

Expect some significant cosmetic changes for the new model year. From the front, the Focus now looks a bit more like its older brother, the Fusion. Its restyled hood and grille give it a more compelling presence on the road. Interior touches now include chrome detailing, new seat trims, and more cubbies for added convenience. The car comes in four-door and five-door versions in the U.S.
But perhaps the most exciting news happens on the inside. Ford is offering its award-winning 1.0-liter EcoBoost engine. We can expect fuel economy to jump from the previous model, Ford says. The efficient engine complements key performance changes, including significant upgrades to the suspension and chassis. These changes, including a new shock absorber valve design, promise a quieter ride and an improved drive feel. The Focus will come standard with a rearview camera for the first time. Optional features include blind spot warnings and lane keeping safety systems. Also available is an improved Sync AppLink, giving drivers access to 60 apps from the smartphone into the car. Some new apps can read out notifications without the driver needing to touch the phone while others can provide real-time data on vehicle speed, acceleration, and location.

Engine and Drivetrain

Ford is offering the Focus with a 2.0-liter direct-injected engine or an optional 1.0-liter three-cylinder engine. This smaller displacement model is currently available in Europe and accounts for 32 percent of Focus sales in that market thanks to its high fuel economy.
Paired with a six-speed transmission, the new EcoBoost engine has significant potential for the U.S. market. According to Ford, Europe's version of the 1.0-liter EcoBoost in the Focus saves about 20 percent more fuel than a comparable 1.6-liter engine. This could mean some extremely high fuel economy numbers can be coming their way to the U.S. Focus in the future.

Our Thoughts

We have long been on Ford's case for the Focus' cheap interior and poor infotainment system, and we think Ford is bringing some long overdue changes to this car. Considering that some of its top competitors, including the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla, have been recently refreshed, it is about time the Focus received an update.
Normally, we may be concerned that the new tiny 1.0-liter engine would not provide enough power for consumers. But considering the powertrain currently is working in the new Fiesta in the U.S., we are confident some buyers will enjoy the fuel-sipping model. It may not be for everyone, but luckily Ford provides a range of performance options in the Focus lineup, all the way from the 1.0-liter to the sprightly 250-horsepower ST model.