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2018 Ford Focus Review

The 2018 Ford Focus sits near the top of our compact car rankings. It has engaging road manners, a wide range of available powertrains, and two body styles.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Two potent turbocharged engines available
  • Good predicted reliability rating
  • Cramped rear seat
  • Hesitant dual-clutch automatic transmission




Critics' Rating: 9.0
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.4
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2018 Ford Focus Overview

Is the 2018 Ford Focus a Good Used Car?

Yes, the 2018 Ford Focus is a great choice for those who want a sporty compact car. If you're looking for utility, however, it may not be the best option.

The 2018 Focus has many strengths:

  • Above-average predicted reliability rating
  • Spacious front seats
  • Comes in sedan and hatchback body styles
  • Excellent handling
  • Comfortable ride even over broken pavement
  • Strong available engines
  • Available all-electric trim

It has few weaknesses:

  • Limited leg and head room in rear seats
  • Some buttons are hard to see on the center stack
  • Unrefined dual-clutch automatic transmission
Why You Can Trust Us

We’ve analyzed 89 Ford Focus reviews, as well as performance specs, interior dimensions, fuel economy ratings, and more, to give you all the information you need to make a smart car-buying decision.

U.S. News & World Report has been reviewing cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of combined automotive industry experience. To remain impartial, we do not accept extravagant gifts from automakers, and an outside source handles our advertising.

How Much Is the 2018 Ford Focus?

Based on listings for the 2018 Ford Focus on our site, the average list price is $14,500, which is slightly above average for the class. Prices range from $12,200 to $19,000 and vary depending on the vehicle’s condition, mileage, features, and location.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2018 Ford Focus Cost to Own?

The 2018 Focus’s five-year costs for gas, insurance, repairs, and maintenance are projected to be $22,060, or $4,412 per year. That’s about average for a nonhybrid compact car.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Focus?

The 2018 model year marks the end of a Focus generation that started with the 2012 model. You can’t buy a newer Focus because Ford has discontinued this model.

There were a number of changes between 2012 and 2018, but shoppers should begin their search with the 2015 Focus. It gained refreshed interior and exterior styling, a standard rearview camera, and more available features, including blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, and a heated steering wheel. A Focus RS trim and the SYNC 3 infotainment system became available for 2016. There were no major changes for 2017 or 2018. We recommend looking for a 2016 model with the SYNC 3 infotainment system, which is much better than the system in the 2015 model.

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2018 Focus »

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2018 Ford Focus?

The 2018 Ford Focus has a good predicted reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power.

Read more about Focus reliability »

2018 Ford Focus Recalls

At the time of writing, there are two recalls for the 2018 Ford Focus:

  • Manual transmission clutch may fracture, potentially resulting in a transmission fluid leak
  • Canister purge valve may malfunction, possibly causing the engine to stall

Before buying any used vehicle, make sure all recalls have been addressed.

See more information on Ford Focus safety recalls »

Which Used Ford Focus Trim Is Right for Me?

The 2018 Ford Focus comes in sedan and hatchback body styles, and there are seven trims.

The S, SE hatchback, SEL, and Titanium trims come equipped with the standard four-cylinder engine, which has a good amount of power for most shoppers. Two performance-oriented trims with turbocharged four-cylinder engines are also available: the 252-horsepower ST and the 350-horsepower RS. Fuel-conscious shoppers should consider the SE sedan for its efficient three-cylinder engine. There's also the Focus Electric, powered by an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery.

The S trim sedan is a solid pick, but those looking for more refinement should consider purchasing the SEL trim. Not only is it available in the hatchback body style, but it comes with the upgraded SYNC 3 infotainment system with smartphone integration technology.

  • Ford Focus S Sedan: A 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, a five-speed manual transmission, and front-wheel drive are standard in the base S trim; a six-speed automatic transmission is available. Additionally, it has a rearview camera, and Ford's SYNC infotainment system with a 4.2-inch display, Bluetooth, a USB port, four speakers, and voice recognition.
  • Ford Focus SE: The SE trim adds cruise control, satellite radio, a six-speaker audio system, a center armrest with storage, rear-seat heat vents, rear climate control, and power windows throughout the car. SE hatchback models come with a four-cylinder engine, while SE sedan models come with a fuel-sipping three-cylinder engine. A six-speed manual gearbox is standard in this trim, and a six-speed automatic is available (standard in the hatchback).
  • Ford Focus SEL: The SEL trim features a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, rear parking sensors, dual-zone automatic climate control, and a moonroof. It also comes with a SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, HD Radio, a 10-speaker Sony audio system, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay.
  • Ford Focus Titanium: The Titanium trim includes leather upholstery, heated front seats, an eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat, a heated steering wheel, a rear-seat center armrest, a proximity key, and push-button start.
  • Ford Focus ST and Focus RS: Both performance-oriented trims feature a six-speed manual transmission, a sporty suspension system, a sport exhaust, and a flat-bottom steering wheel. The RS trim also comes with all-wheel drive, trim-specific drive modes, and Recaro leather-trimmed seats.
  • Ford Focus Electric: The Focus Electric has a single electric motor, a lithium-ion battery, and a single-speed automatic transmission. It comes equipped with cloth seats, navigation, a nine-speaker Sony audio system, and many of the Titanium trim's interior features.

See 2018 Ford Focus trims and specs »

What Does Ford's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Ford offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Ford extends the original new-car powertrain warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. These vehicles also get a one-year/12,000-mile limited warranty after the original three-year/36,000-mile new-car warranty expires. Each Ford CPO vehicle must pass a 172-point inspection. Additional benefits like vehicle history reports, towing, and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Ford warranty page carefully.

Ford does not have one of the better CPO programs among affordable carmakers. Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

See the best CPO programs »

How Safe Is the Focus?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2018 Focus sedan the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the driver-side small overlap front crash test.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the 2018 Focus an overall rating of five out of five stars, with five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in a rollover test.   

Standard advanced safety features:

  • rearview camera

Available advanced safety features:

  • blind spot monitoring
  • rear cross traffic alert
  • rear parking sensors
  • lane departure warning
  • automatic high beams
  • active park assist

See Focus safety scores »

2018 Ford Focus Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2018 Ford Focus or 2018 Honda Civic?

The 2018 Honda Civic is a top-ranked vehicle in the compact car class. Available as a sedan, hatchback, or coupe, the Civic has a generous amount of passenger space in both the first and second rows. Additionally, the Civic's hatch and sedan models have more cargo space than the Focus. The Civic is just as fun to drive as the Focus, and it also has two performance-oriented models available. However, the Focus has a better predicted reliability rating and a much lower average list price. These two are pretty close in our rankings, so you'll have to decide which model is right for you.

Which Is Better: 2018 Ford Focus or 2018 Toyota Corolla?

The 2018 Toyota Corolla and the Focus are neck and neck in our rankings, making personal preference the determining factor in your buying decision. The Focus has a more enjoyable ride and a nicer interior than its Toyota rival. But for many folks, the bottom line is that the Corolla has a reputation for being one of the most reliable vehicles on the road. It also boasts excellent fuel efficiency and a roomy, comfortable cabin. Additionally, the Corolla comes standard with more safety tech than the Focus, including lane departure warning and automatic emergency braking.

Compare the Focus, Civic, and Corolla »

2018 Focus Performance

How Does the 2018 Ford Focus Drive?

The 2018 Focus's base four-cylinder engine has sufficient power for most shoppers. There are also plenty of other Focus powertrains available, including a fuel-sipping three-cylinder engine, exciting 252- and 350-horsepower four-cylinder engines, and even an all-electric powertrain.

Driving enthusiasts will appreciate the manual transmissions for their smooth shifts and short throws. However, the dual-clutch automatic transmission is hesitant to downshift at times. 

The Focus delivers one of the most engaging rides in the class via its sharp steering and athletic handling.

  • Base engine: 160-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder (S, SE Hatchback, SEL, Titanium)
  • Available powertrains:
    • 123-horsepower 1.0-liter turbocharged three-cylinder (SE Sedan)
    • 252-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder (ST)
    • 350-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four-cylinder (RS)
    • 143-horsepower single electric motor and a lithium-ion battery (Electric)
  • Drivetrain: standard front-wheel drive; available all-wheel drive
  • Transmission: standard five-speed manual (S only); six-speed manual; six-speed dual-clutch automatic; single-speed automatic (Electric only)
Does the 2018 Ford Focus Get Good Mileage?

The Focus' fuel economy depends on its powertrain. The base four-cylinder motor and the more-potent engines get below-average fuel economy for the class. On the bright side, the three-cylinder gets better-than-average fuel economy, and the Focus Electric gets good ratings compared to other EVs.

  • S, five-speed manual: 25/34 mpg city/highway
  • S and SE hatchback, six-speed automatic: 26/38 mpg
  • SE sedan, six-speed manual: 30/40 mpg
  • SE sedan, six-speed automatic: 27/38 mpg
  • SEL and Titanium: 24/34 mpg
  • ST: 22/30 mpg
  • RS: 19/26 mpg
  • Electric: 107 MPGe combined
2018 Ford Focus Alternative Fuels and Charging

The Focus Electric features a lithium-ion battery and a single electric motor that combine to make 143 horsepower. On a single charge, the electric Focus can drive up to 115 miles.  

The charging time depends on the method used:

  • 240-volt charging station: 5 hours and 30 minutes
  • 120-volt household-style power outlet: overnight

Read more about Focus performance »

2018 Focus Interior

How Many People Does the 2018 Focus Seat?

The 2018 Focus seats five people in two rows. There's a good amount of space up front, but the back row feels a bit cramped, so it’s not an ideal place for adults to sit. The seats are supportive, but the front arm rests are thinly padded.

Standard seating features:

  • cloth upholstery

Available seating features:

  • Recaro leather seats
  • eight-way power-adjustable driver's seat
  • heated front seats
  • heated steering wheel
  • leather-trimmed shift knob
How Many Child Car Seats Fit in the 2018 Ford Focus?

The 2018 Focus has two complete sets of LATCH child car-seat connectors on the rear outboard seats and an upper tether on the rear middle seat. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Focus' LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for ease of use. The system is fairly easy to use, but the lower anchors may be too deep in the seats.

2018 Ford Focus Features

The standard SYNC system works nicely, but the available SYNC 3 infotainment system is much better. It comes with a larger display with touch functionality, allowing you to use pinching and swiping gestures like you would on a smartphone. SYNC 3 also includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration technology.

  • Standard infotainment features: SYNC with a 4.2-inch display, four speakers, a USB port, Bluetooth, and voice recognition
  • Available infotainment features: SYNC 3 with an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment system, a 10-speaker Sony audio system, HD Radio, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay
  • Other available features: proximity keyless entry and push-button start

See 2018 Ford Focus specs »

Read more about Focus interior »

2018 Ford Focus Dimensions

Ford Focus Cargo Space

The 2018 Focus' cargo capacity depends upon the body style and trim. All Focus sedan models have a 13.2-cubic-foot trunk, which is pretty small for a compact car.

Most Focus hatchback models provide 23.3 cubic feet of space behind the second row and 43.9 cubic feet of space when the 60/40 split-folding rear seats are down. These figures are a little low for a compact hatchback.

The Focus Electric has 14.2 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats and 33.2 cubic feet of space after you fold them down. 

These cargo dimensions are for comparative purposes. There is no substitute for visually examining the storage area in any car you’re considering.

2018 Ford Focus Length and Weight
  • Length: 14 feet, 3 inches to 14 feet, 11 inches
  • Curb weight: 2,919 to 3,214 pounds

Where Was the 2018 Ford Focus Built?

Ford built the 2018 Focus in Michigan and China.


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