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2017 Ford Focus Review

Agile handling and an upscale cabin make the 2017 Ford Focus appealing, but limited rear-seat legroom and an unimpressive predicted reliability rating hold it back. The Focus places in the middle of our compact car rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Agile handling
  • Upscale cabin
  • Smooth ride (in S, SE, SEL, and Electric models)
  • Potent turbocharged engine options
  • Clumsy dual-clutch automatic transmission
  • Cramped rear-seat legroom
  • Below-average predicted reliability rating




Critics' Rating: 9.1
Performance: 8.2
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.2
Safety: 9.5
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2017 Ford Focus Overview

Is the 2017 Ford Focus a Good Used Car?

The 2017 Ford Focus is a solid choice in the competitive compact car class, but it has about the same number of pros as cons. The Focus delivers some of the sportiest handling in the class, and there are two racy hatchback models with powerful turbocharged engines. However, its available dual-clutch automatic transmission feels unrefined. Inside, the Focus has a high-end interior, but it lacks adequate rear-seat legroom. It also has a poor predicted reliability rating, and driver assistance features are in short supply.

Why You Can Trust Us

To give you a complete overview of the 2017 Focus – and make your car-shopping experience easier – we analyzed 86 Ford Focus reviews alongside reliability ratings, safety scores, and more.

U.S. News Best Cars has been ranking and reviewing vehicles since 2007, and our crew has more than 75 years of combined experience in the auto industry. To ensure our objectivity, we do not accept expensive gifts from carmakers, and an external company manages the ads on our site.

How Much Is the 2017 Ford Focus?

Based on about 2,160 listings for the 2017 Ford Focus on our site, prices range from $12,200 to $21,600. The average list price is $14,600. How much you spend depends on the vehicle's condition, mileage, features, and location.

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How Much Does the 2017 Ford Focus Cost to Own?

As of this writing, five-year estimated costs for the 2017 Ford Focus' fuel, insurance, maintenance, and repairs are projected to be roughly $21,000 – or $4,200 per year. Comparatively, expenses for the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze and 2017 Subaru Impreza are expected to be about $23,150 and $22,680, respectively.

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Focus?

There are no major changes for the 2018 Ford Focus, which means you could opt for the cheaper 2017 Ford Focus and get an almost identical vehicle.

Read about the new Ford Focus »

If you're looking for a 2018 model that's comparably priced to the 2017 Ford Focus, consider the 2018 Ford Fiesta. Like the Focus, the Fiesta delivers solid performance for its class. Its handling is agile, and its steering is accurate. The Fiesta also has a similarly nice interior. Keep in mind, however, that the Fiesta sits in the smaller subcompact car class, so there's even less space than in the Focus.

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Which Model Year of the Ford Focus Is Best?

The 2017 Ford Focus is part of a generation that debuted with the 2012 model year. The 2013 model year added an available performance-oriented ST model and discontinued the SEL trim. The 2015 model year saw a midcycle refresh. The 2016 model year added an available SYNC 3 infotainment system and the high-performance Focus RS model. We recommend the 2016 Focus; it’s similar to the 2017 model, but it will likely cost you less. 

Compare the 2015, 2016, and 2017 Focus »

How Reliable Is the 2017 Ford Focus?

The 2017 Ford Focus has a predicted reliability rating of 2.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is low among all cars. Three out of five is average.

Read more about Focus reliability »

2017 Ford Focus Recalls

At the time of this writing, the 2017 Focus has two safety recalls. The rear passenger-side seatback frame may have an insufficient weld, which could result in increased risk of injury to the seat’s occupant. The hatch in hatchback models may accidentally unlatch with a single press of the release button, increasing the risk of injury to passengers in the rear who are not properly buckled in. If these recalls affect the model you are considering, make sure the issues have been resolved before you buy. 

See more information on Ford Focus safety recalls »

Which Used Ford Focus Model Is Right for Me?

The 2017 Ford Focus comes in six trims – S, SE, SEL, Titanium, ST, and RS – and in sedan and hatchback body styles. A Ford Focus Electric model is also available. The base Focus S model will be sufficient for most buyers. It comes standard with a rearview camera, two USB ports, Bluetooth, and the SYNC infotainment system with voice recognition. In addition, the base engine has a good amount of power, and this model is the most affordable option. Opt for either an ST or hot-hatch RS model if you're looking for the best performance.

See 2017 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. According to our analysis, Chevy, GMC, Honda, Kia, and Mazda all have better programs.

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How Safe Is the Focus?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2017 Ford Focus sedan the highest rating of Good in four crash tests and the second-highest rating of Acceptable in the small overlap front driver’s side test. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave the Focus sedan and hatchback five stars in frontal and side crash tests and four stars in rollover tests for a five-star overall rating.

The Focus comes standard with a rearview camera and the Ford MyKey teen driver safety system. Some models may feature rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, rear parking sensors, and high-beam assist.

See Focus safety scores »

2017 Ford Focus Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford Focus or 2017 Chevrolet Cruze?

The 2017 Chevrolet Cruze's infotainment system features a larger screen and more standard technology features than the Focus, like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and a built-in 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot. In addition, the Cruze has a better predicted reliability score, additional passenger and cargo space, and higher fuel economy estimates. The Focus has sportier driving dynamics and a slightly lower average list price, but the Cruze is still a superior choice.

Which Is Better: 2017 Ford Focus or 2017 Subaru Impreza?

Both the 2017 Focus and the 2017 Subaru Impreza sit in the middle of our compact car rankings. The Impreza has better crash test ratings, a roomier interior, and standard all-wheel drive, but its interior materials are subpar, and the only engine it comes with doesn't have a lot of power. Conversely, the Focus is more fun to drive, and it has a nicer cabin with higher-quality materials. Both vehicles have low predicted reliability ratings. Choosing between them comes down to which strengths you prioritize.

Compare the Focus, Cruze, and Impreza »

2017 Focus Performance

How Does the 2017 Ford Focus Drive?

The 2017 Focus is powered by a 160-horsepower four-cylinder engine that delivers adequate acceleration. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but most models will likely come with the available six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission. The dual-clutch transmission isn't ideal for slow-moving traffic because there is a delay in movement when you take your foot off the brake.

Sedan SE models come with a 123-horsepower, turbocharged three-cylinder EcoBoost engine that delivers lackluster acceleration. It features either a six-speed manual transmission or an available six-speed automatic transmission. The ST hatchback is powered by a potent 252-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder that is paired with a six-speed manual. RS hatchback models have a 350-horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Lastly, Focus Electric models feature a 123-horsepower electric motor paired with a single-speed automatic transmission.

Does the 2017 Ford Focus Get Good Gas Mileage?

The 2017 Ford Focus sedan delivers 26 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway with the dual-clutch automatic transmission – an average rating in the class. Models with the manual transmission have 1 mpg less in the city and 4 mpg less on the highway. Comparatively, the 2017 Chevrolet Cruze sedan and 2017 Subaru Impreza sedan deliver 30/40 mpg city/highway and 28/38 mpg city/highway with their respective automatic transmissions.

Read more about Focus performance »

2017 Focus Interior

How Many People Does the 2017 Focus Seat?

The 2017 Ford Focus seats five in two rows of cloth seats. The front seats have a good amount of space and comfort, but the rear seats aren't very accommodating – especially for long-legged passengers. Nonetheless, the Focus' cabin has high-quality materials and a pleasing design. Some models may feature leather upholstery, heated front seats, and a heated steering wheel.

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2017 Ford Focus?

Two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors are included in the 2017 Ford Focus. The middle rear seat features an upper tether and the ability to borrow lower anchors from the adjoining outside rear seats when they are not in use. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Focus an Acceptable overall rating for ease of use, as some of the lower anchors are buried too deep in the seat.

2017 Ford Focus Features

The 2017 Focus' standard features include two USB ports, a 4.2-inch infotainment display, a SYNC infotainment system, voice recognition, a four-speaker audio system, and Bluetooth. Some models may feature satellite radio, a 10-speaker premium audio system, navigation, HD Radio, a SYNC 3 infotainment system with an 8-inch touch screen, remote start, and dual-zone automatic climate control.

See 2017 Ford Focus specs »

Read more about Focus interior »

2017 Ford Focus Dimensions

Ford Focus Cargo Space

The 2017 Ford Focus sedan has 13.2 cubic feet of trunk space, which is below-average for the class. Focus Electric models jump up to 14.2 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 33.2 cubic feet of space with them folded. Opt for a Focus hatchback model if you're looking for the most possible cargo space. It has 23.3 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats (19.9 cubic feet in RS hatchback models) and 43.9 cubic feet of cargo space with the rear seats folded (43.8 cubic feet in RS hatchback models).

2017 Focus Length and Weight

The 2017 Focus is more than 14 feet long and weighs between roughly 2,900 and 3,600 pounds.

Where Was the 2017 Ford Focus Built?

The 2017 Focus was built in Wayne, Michigan.


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