2015 Ford Focus vs. 2014 Ford Focus
2015 Ford Focus Sedan Review: Updated With Familiar Styling
A quick glance at the 2015 Ford Focus will make you think that only the grille has changed compared to the outgoing model. A closer look reveals several changes that make the Focus resemble other models in Ford’s global line up. Despite being the same shape and size as the 2014 model everything else on the exterior of the 2015 Ford Focus is new. While most automakers are putting oversized grilles on their models it’s refreshing to see Ford doing the opposite with the Focus. Gone is the huge air intakes and inverted ‘fangs’ in favour of an Aston Martin-inspired trapezoid. A new, refined hood includes crease lines that lead toward a relocated, and surprisingly smaller Ford emblem. It’s an elegant styling change that makes the Focus appear mature, like its bigger brother, the Fusion. Symmetry dominates the redesigned Focus. Round fog lights have been replaced with rectangular slots in the bumper that resemble the shape of the new headlights. The lower grille also looks like a mirror image of the full grille, just cut in half. Sleeker tail lights, and a restyled license plate area complete the exterior changes.
The cabin structure of the 2015 Ford Focus is similar to the 2014 model; dashboard gauges are identical except for different colour accents and font style. Air vents and their placement are also unchanged. The rest of the interior, however, is a pleasant improvement. A redesigned steering wheel includes less buttons that are now clearly labeled and easier to understand. On the centre console Ford got rid of the tiny number pad and reorganized keys for a cleaner, more ergonomic feel. Temperature controls have one less dial and are more visually friendly. A cubby hole for your phone has also been added next to the USB and power outlets for easy connectivity. It’s important to note that the centre console on the SE trim differs slightly to the Titanium package. The latter has more technology features and includes an eight-inch touchscreen. We’ll focus on the Titanium package from here on.
A Suite of Driver Assist Technologies is standard on the Titanium trim. Ford’s Hill Launch Assist eliminates fear of rolling backwards or burning out your clutch, while the rear-view camera paired with the eight-inch touchscreen makes backing up very clear. BLIS, a system that uses radar sensors around the sedan tells you when there are vehicles where you can’t see them, like in your blindspots. The downside is that it only detects motorized vehicles, excluding bicycles, pedestrians, and other objects. BLIS comes with three warning signals that may cause anxious moments until you get used to the chimes, lights on the mirror, and messages on the dashboard. Radar sensors also make parking a cinch; press a button and the Focus does everything for you, including finding the right parking spot. All you have to do is put the Focus in Reverse, Drive, and Park when instructed. SYNC with MyFord Touch is standard on the 2015 Focus Titanium trim. Unfortunately, SYNC 3 won’t be available until next year, and then only on select 2016 models. Nevertheless, the current SYNC lets you keep your eyes on the road and hands on the wheel because you can answer your phone, choose music, and send and receive text messages with the sound of your voice. The voice-activated navigation system also helps you focus on the road instead of trying to type an address riddled with spelling mistakes. SYNC does have a few glitches but it’s easy to get past the annoyances, and enjoy a safe drive. One of my favourite features on the 2015 Focus Titanium is MyKey. If you have children and want to ensure they drive safe when you’re not in the passenger seat you can program MyKey to control radio volume and driving speed. Whoever you entrust with MyKey won’t be able to experience the sedan’s full speed and performance, nor Sony’s 10 speaker audio system at full blast, but at least they will arrive at their destination. Only the driver with the master key has full control over the vehicle. MyKey also warns the driver when they’re approaching certain speed limits, which gives them time to adjust and avoid getting pulled over. Low fuel reminder is also helpful for those who don’t realize cars need gas to go. MyKey is engaged as soon as the key holder sits in the driver’s seat by reminding them to buckle up or else the radio will not turn on. Whoever thought of incorporating the radio as a safety feature is a genius since driving and listening to music go hand in hand like peanut butter and jelly.
Power on the Titanium trim comes from a 2.0L, inline four cylinder engine paired with a standard six-speed automatic transmission with SelectShift. Shifting into the S position gives you the power to change gears when you want to using either the gear selector or paddles on the steering wheel. The automatic transmission does take over when the RPMs are too high or too low, so you’ll never have to worry about stalling. If you don’t fear the clutch and would prefer full control of the gears an optional five-speed transmission is your best bet. Although it’s one of the most powerful engines in its class the 2015 Ford Focus has competitive fuel economy. Your best fuel saver is the six-speed gearbox as it gets 8.9/6.2 L/100 km (city/highway). The five-speed manual transmission comes in at 9.3/6.7 L/100km (city/highway). 2015 Ford Focus Titanium is for those who want to stay connected and take advantage of the latest technology. It also comes with a higher price tag. Starting at $26,249, it’s almost $10,000 more than the base Focus. Regardless, the vast amount of goodies and gadgets are well worth the upgrade. Take one for a test drive or visit the 2015 Ford Focus website for more information.