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2013 Ford Focus Electric Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2013 Ford Focus Electric was new.


Performance: 7.5

Many reviewers like that the 2013 Ford Focus Electric has good acceleration, but like many electric cars, they complain about the brakes. Some critics think they’re a little too grabby, but say they aren’t the worst regenerative brakes they’ve ever used. On the bright side, reviewers find that it drives a lot like the gas-only model.

  • "So, it looks like a Focus, is as nicely refined inside as a Focus, and - surprise, surprise - it drives like a Focus, too. That is to say, it's smooth, predictable and easy to manage, while offering a surprising amount of driver engagement." -- Autoblog (2012)
  • "While the dynamic performance of Ford's first-ever electric car can best be described as adequate, Ford has done a superior job of integrating electric propulsion into a normal package." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)

Acceleration and Power

The Ford Focus Electric has an electric motor that makes 143 horsepower. It also has a single-speed automatic transmission. Once charged, the EPA says the Focus Electric can achieve 110/99 mpg-e (mpg-equivalent) city/highway. Ford says it can travel 76 miles on a fully-charged battery.

Most reviewers think the Focus Electric has strong acceleration from a stop, which can be attributed to its 184 pound-feet of torque.

  • "Off the line acceleration was also impressive, and it was too easy to squeal the tires, being used to four-cylinder gas engines without a lot of down-low torque. Though this isn't the car's mission; instead, it's a by-product of the electric motor's might." -- Left Lane News
  • "And thanks to impressive refinement and all that instant torque on tap, the Focus Electric can offer at least a genuinely enjoyable way of passing the time." -- Edmunds (2012)
  • "The Focus electric's acceleration is outstanding, but the top speed is limited to 84 m.p.h." -- The Detroit Free Press (2012)
  • "Acceleration has the slow grace of a Lincoln Town Car." -- Car and Driver (2012)

Batteries and Charging

The Ford Focus Electric can be charged at home, either from a typical 120-volt home outlet or an optional quick charging station. With a 120-volt outlet, it should take about 20 hours to charge the Focus Electric. Charging time decreases significantly with the 240-volt charging station. Ford says it should take four hours to charge the Ford Focus Electric. On a fully-charged battery, the Focus Electric can travel 76 miles.

Handling and Braking

Some reviewers think the steering is accurate and makes the car a fun to drive, and others note that there isn't much body roll during cornering. Critics report that the brakes are a little touchy and light, but more than one auto writer thinks the regenerative brakes aren’t as grabby as the ones found in other electric vehicles.

  • "With the independent multilink rear suspension, no untoward body motions are observed. The ride is perfectly acceptable, thanks to recalibrations made necessary by the extra weight." -- Automobile Magazine (2012)
  • "We immediately noticed that the electric Focus acts a lot like any other Focus. You get the regular car's solid chassis, refined manners, precise steering, and playful character." -- Car and Driver (2012)
  • "But when it's time to slow things down, the brakes aren't super touchy like some hybrids and EVs with overly obtrusive regenerative braking." -- Autoblog (2012)
  • "The brakes aren't as grabby as we expected, but they do take some getting used to." -- Left Lane News
  • "The only shortcoming I sensed was a matter of taste: The Focus Electric's braking effort was too light for me, sort of a latter-day analogue of original ‘power brakes.’" -- Road and Track (2012)

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