THE PROS & CONS
- What’s Best: Advanced safety features, handling and infotainment features.
- What’s Worst: The rear seats are a bit tight for three adults but it is a compact sedan after all.
- What’s Interesting: The Focus Titanium comes with all the bells & whistles you would normally only expect in a full size sedan.
This, the third generation Ford Focus, has been with us since 2011 with a minor facelift to the front end in 2014.
Even with only minor changes in its six years it still remains stylish, practical and more importantly – popular. Spread out over a number of trims as well as being available in both a hatch and sedan makes it one of the most versatile cars in Ford’s line up.
Ford, like most of the other manufacturers, have seen a customer shift from full size sedans to either the SUV market or people stepping down to the compact sedan market.
For those that have made the decision to move to the compact market doesn’t mean that, just because they are moving to a smaller car, they are willing to give up creature comforts and technical enhancements normally associated with a full size car.
This is where the Focus Titanium trim level seems to hit the mark.
Internally this particular Titanium sedan hits all the marks with fit and finish.
Seats and steering wheel are covered in soft touch black leather and are both heated with the remainder of the trim on the consul and doors being a soft touch plastic. The seats are finished off with white stitching that gives it a more refined look.
The instrument cluster is bright and easily read and contains an illuminated information display that is easily controlled from the steering wheel.
The information displayed includes engaged gear, odometer, compass, outside temperature, digital speedometer, fuel economy numbers, distance to empty, visual graphic of parking sensor warnings, driver-assist settings and trip computer settings.
The dash is crisp and modern with the main focus being on the centrally mounted eight-inch touch screen that controls Fords Sync 3 infotainment system.
This particular Focus came with the optional voice-activated navigation system ($800), but as with other such systems I couldn’t try it due to my rather strong Scottish brogue – it seems that any technical gadget that involves speech is not exactly Scots’ friendly.
The screen works like most hand held devices and is easily operated by swipe and pinch finger movements.
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It is compatible with both Android Auto and Apple Carplay. The apps displayed are big and easily read; reducing the time your eyes have to leave the road ahead.
The Titanium is fitted with a 2.0-litre direct injected four-cylinder engine that pushes out a respectable 160 hp and a 146 lb/ft of torque.
It is nicely matched to a six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission with SelectShift. This combination wont break any quarter mile records, but it is more than capable of getting you up to highway speeds in a timely manner, after all the Titanium is built more for comfort and leaves the athletics to its speedy cousins the SE and RS models.
On the road the Focus is quiet, even when stomping on the accelerator the engine seems to handle the necessity to perform without overdoing the noise levels leaking into the cabin.
The gearshifts from the twin clutch were smooth and timely without any harshness. Cruising at highway speeds was actually pleasurable with the ride being quiet and comfortable.
Handling was tight with the ride comfort being attributed to its fully independent suspension (front McPherson struts/rear control blade). Standard torque-vectoring (borrowed from the RS) helps in cornering by automatically engaging the brake on the inside rear wheel to reduce understeer.
On city streets the Focus is agile and much less demanding in tight spots than a full sized sedan.
Parking was a breeze especially as it came with the optional Active Park Assist ($400). The electric steering was crisp and direct although the turning circle could be a little tighter for the size of the car.
Also included with this Titanium was the Optional Technology Package ($750) that includes; Blind Spot Information System (BLIS) with cross traffic alert and Lane keep alert and assist. Also included was the optional Engine Block Heater ($100).
Over all I liked the Focus Titanium. It is easy to drive in the city, comfortable on the highway and way more quiet than I was expecting.
The styling is still attractive and pleasing to the eye. The colour matched door handles, keyless entry and pushbutton start sets it aside from its peers.
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2017 Ford Focus Titanium
BODY STYLE: Five passenger, compact sedan.
DRIVE METHOD: Six-speed PowerShift automatic transmission with SelectShift
ENGINE: 2.0-litre Ti-VCT, direct injected four-cylinder engine (160 hp, 146 lb/ft)
FUEL ECONOMY: (Regular) 9.2/6.6/8.0L/100 km city/highway/combined
CARGO: 374 litres
PRICE: Base: $26,708 As Tested $28, 858 (destination fee: $1,650)