Tuesday, June 16, 2015

2015 Ford Focus Titanium - thorough update for this model year



The updates were many barely a feature or touch point wasn't changed inside.  Outside its an entirely new front clip incorporating the now familiar trapezoidal grill first seen in the Fusion a few years ago.  Even the rear has new tail lamps on both the sedan and hatchback, the latter is my choice for a lot of reasons.

At the Open house I got to drive 3 versions of the Focus, the Titanium Hatch I liked best.  Creature comforts were all over the place as well as really nice tech features that made it a more enjoyable car than the volume leader SE, which in itself isn't a slouch when it comes to features.

Let's focus on the Titanium.  Above the well equipped SE you get Sync/Myford with navigation and the ability to voice command many of the features.  It pairs well with a smart phone and lets you control it via fingertip controls or voice commands.  Easily.  Roll in push button start/stop, HD radio, and Dual Zone climate control for more of a premium compact luxury sedan than not. Optional in a technology package includes goodies like Automatic High Beam Headlamps, BLIS® with Cross-traffic Alert and Lane-Keeping Aid (includes Lane-Keeping Alert) make it uber competitive with the likes of likes of Audi instead of main streamers like the Corolla from Toyota.

Where the Focus still shines is its 2.0L direct injected 4cyl putting out 160 horse power and 146 ft lbs or torque.  This little 4 pot really moves the Focus along with urgency and nary a huff or puff at steep grades.  My only caveat with this car is the Dual Clutch Transmission.  Early models, including my 2013 were plagued with premature failure and endless warranty repair and reprogramming visits.  Over the now famous 21 mile loop of mixed urban driving this Focus returned a  very respectable 29.1MPG.

The interior got a complete refreshing as well.  The dash is different, flatter less curves and bumps than the prior, but still the same quality high end material feel to it.  The dash layout changed.  Thankfully adding the USB port right to the center console rather than buried in the center armrest that you can't easily swap while driving.

Really, the Focus Titanium with its technology package is a viable alternative to the Audi A3 hatch on many levels.  The added bonus is that comparably equipped the Focus Titanium is a solid 9K cheaper.  Yes, I said it, the Focus Titanium is built with the luxury feel to compete with the likes of an entry level Audi and that's where Ford shines these days, premium quality cars able to compete in the near luxury market at a price we can afford.

As a final side note, Ford added in a lot of these same upgrades to the SE models.  The interesting addition to the SE was the 1.0L 3cyl (yes, THREE CYLINDER) EcoBoost.  Its an interesting powerplant churning out 123 Horse power and 123 foot lbs or torque mated to a nicely ratioed out 5 speed manual.  If MPGs and rowing your gears is what gets you going don't miss out on this combination.  It returned a commendable 35.6 MPG on the 20 mile loop in a very nicely equipped Focus SE.

More pics of the Titanium in high res detail in my flickr album for the Ford Open House.