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2015 Ford Focus Electric Performance Review

Note: This performance review was created when the 2015 Ford Focus Electric was new.


Performance: 7.1

Critics say the 2015 Ford Focus Electric has strong acceleration around town. While some test drivers note that the Focus Electric isn't as agile as the gas-only Focus, they say it has sharp handling for an electric vehicle, and add that the Focus Electric has responsive steering, smooth brakes and a comfortable ride.

  • "Focus Electric is among the more rewarding pure-electric vehicles to drive. And, for the most part, it feels like a conventional Focus." -- Consumer Guide
  • "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 2015 Ford Focus Electric has a 143-horsepower electric motor and a single-speed transmission. According to the EPA, the Focus Electric gets 110/99 mpg-e (miles per gallon-equivalent) city/highway and can travel 76 miles on a fully charged battery. Those numbers are a bit low compared with the mpg-e ratings and electric ranges of other all-electric vehicles.

Auto writers report that the Focus Electric has responsive acceleration at lower speeds, which helps it feel peppy in city traffic. However, some note that acceleration is noticeably weaker at highway speeds.

  • "Its electric motor and direct-drive transmission result in silky-smooth power delivery. Acceleration is impressive at low speeds, but tapers off considerably as speeds rise." -- Edmunds
  • "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 (2013)
  • "Throttle response is immediate and acceleration strong from any speed. Instant power from a stop helps make easy work of negotiating your way through heavy traffic." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "With the equivalent of 141 horsepower, this is a very nicely powered compact car. And, perhaps, it might even be better than its gasoline brother." -- Chicago Tribune (2013)

Alternative Fuels/Charging

With a typical 120-volt household outlet, Ford says it takes about 20 hours to charge the Focus Electric. Charging time decreases to about four hours with the optional 240-volt charging station.

Handling and Braking

Though some test drivers say the 2015 Ford Focus Electric is less nimble than the gas-only Focus due to the extra weight from its battery pack, they think it is agile for an electric vehicle. They write that it feels safe during cornering and has precise, responsive steering and a comfortable ride. Critics also say that the Focus Electric's braking is smoother than the braking in many hybrid and electric competitors.

  • "Weighing in at 3,691 lbs., the Focus Electric is considerably heavier than its fossil fuel-sipping counterparts. The extra mass takes a toll on agility, although handling remains safe and predictable." -- Left Lane News
  • "Handling is noticeably dulled compared to a non-electric Focus, but compared with similarly priced EVs, the Focus Electric makes a good showing and was awarded a solid Edmunds.com 'B' rating." -- Edmunds
  • "Steering is accurate and direct, and cornering is drama free, though the Electric seems to lean a little more that the convention Focus during more aggressive maneuvers." -- Consumer Guide (2013)
  • "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)
  • "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)

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