Ford Focus Review
The 2013 Ford Focus ranks 1 out of 39 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 61 published reviews and test drives of the Ford Focus, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Ford Focus is ranked:
The 2013 Ford Focus ranks near the top of its class for its high fuel economy ratings and good cargo space. However, many reviewers are disappointed with the Focus’ interior tech, which is excellent for the class but hard to use.
Excluding the all-new Focus ST, all Focus models have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Reviewers enjoy the base engine, and say it has performance and fuel economy ratings that are comparable to its rivals. The base Focus with an automatic transmission averages 27/38 mpg city/highway, while models with a special fuel economy package average 28/40 mpg. Both of these ratings rank the Focus at the top of its class. Reviewers say that the Focus ST is the obvious choice for shoppers who want a lot more horsepower and torque than the base model, but still want a quiet, smooth highway ride. Test drivers say that the Focus has good handling and little body lean, regardless of the model they tested. There are, however, complaints that the Focus’ turning radius is too wide for a small car.
The 2013 Ford Focus is the 2013 Best Compact Car for the Money because it has the best combination of ownership costs and positive reviews in its class.
According to many car reviewers, the Focus has a quality interior with materials, passenger space and cargo room that are appropriate for its price and class. Like many of its competitors, critics say that the Focus’ front seats are comfortable, though the rear seats don’t have enough legroom. Both the sedan and hatchback models offer good cargo space, but neither model has as much room as the Chevrolet Cruze sedan or Honda Fit hatchback. Many test drivers say the Ford Sync and MyFord Touch infotainment systems are hard to use at first, and using the controls on the base model can also be complicated.
- "Thankfully, Ford completely revamped the Focus last year, bringing about a much-improved interior, higher fuel economy and new features. As such, the 2013 Ford Focus stands as one of the best small cars you can buy." -- Edmunds
- "Solidly built, lots of fun to drive, and very comfortable, the ST confirms Ford as player in the hot hatch crowd." -- MarketWatch
- "The Ford ST is not exactly a world-beater in terms of refinement, handling balance, or ergonomics. But it does offer a lot of car and performance for the money, it scores an undisputed ten on the entertainment scale, and it won't fall apart when pushed to the limit." -- Automobile Magazine
Other Cars to Consider
Budget-minded shoppers who value performance should test drive the Mazda3, which receives a lot of reviewer praise for its crisp handling and strong engines, even on the base model. Though reviewers say that the Mazda3 has a small screen for the navigation system, cramped second-row seats and less cargo space compared with the Focus, its impressive performance and high fuel economy ratings make it a worthy choice.
The Ford Focus doesn’t have many standard tech features, so if you want a few more, consider the Hyundai Elantra, which has a standard USB port and satellite radio. With the Elantra, you also get a large back seat, a huge trunk and some of the highest fuel economy ratings in its class. The Elantra doesn’t have a model comparable to the Focus ST, but it is available as a coupe and a hatchback and makes a good commuter car.
Details: 2013 Ford Focus
The 2013 Ford Focus is available in S, SE, and Titanium trims, which come in sedan and hatchback body styles. The S and SE trims come with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. A six-speed automatic transmission is optional on S and SE trims and is standard on the Titanium trim. This year, Ford introduced the Focus ST, which is only available as a hatchback, has a more powerful EcoBoost engine and comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission. There is also an electric model, which is reviewed separately. Tech features like an infotainment system and navigation, as well as safety features that help you parallel park and set limits on your teen’s driving habits, are optional. Since the Focus was redesigned last year, this review uses research from the 2012 and 2013 model years.
Next Steps: Ford Focus
Get the U.S. News Best Price for the Ford Focus
To get local pricing, enter your zip code: Get Best Price Cancel
- Search used Ford Focus for sale (11,149 listings)
- Find low financing rates for the Ford Focus
- See what others paid for the 2013 Ford Focus
- View Ford Focus Photos
- See Affordable Small Cars rankings