Can you have luxury and an efficient compact car in one package? We didn’t think so until we drove the Ford Focus Titanium this week. The top-of-the-line Titanium is a sporty compact car that has a lot to offer those looking for a fun city run-about. It comes with extras that will make life a little more comfortable.
Here is what we found when test driving the 2016 Ford Focus Titanium 5-Door Hatch this week.
What’s New For 2016
The 2016 Ford Focus gets an improved Sync 3 infotainment system. Sync 3 replaces the much-criticized, non-intuitive MyFord Touch interface. Sync 3 has a capacitive screen, streamlined menus, smart-charger USB ports, and AppLink capability.
Features & Options
The top-of-the-line luxury Focus Titanium hatchback ($23,725) includes the 2.0-liter engine, HD radio, tilt/telescopic steering wheel, leather upholstery, automatic transmission, foglamps, auto Halogen headlights, and push button start. It even comes with heated front seats. Other standard features include 8-way power driver’s seat, dual-zone climate control, 10-speaker Sony audio, Sync 3, HD radio, heated mirrors, and rear view camera.
The Titanium Technology package ($795) gets you automatic high-beam headlight control, a blind-spot warning system with rear cross-traffic alert, and lane-departure alert. Active Park Assist ($395) was also included. Rounding out this Titanium’s options are 18-inch alloy wheels with a full-size spare, heated steering wheel, and navigation.
Total MSRP including destination: $28,045.
Ford paid attention to detail inside the Focus Titanium. It reminded us of a more expensive European sports hatch. The design is contemporary with classy looking trim and the complex lines keep your interest. The leather seats and trim have a special appeal too. This is seen in extras like the heated seats and steering wheel that add a luxurious touch inside.
The sport seats were well-bolstered and comfortable for our more spirited driving this week. There’s easy to understand controls for the climate control and radio, plus they are within easy reach of the driver. The cabin is “space-efficient” which makes for tight knee room but overall, a larger driver can find a comfortable driving position, especially with the tilt/telescoping steering wheel.
Rear seats are effectively contoured, though legroom will be tight for adults. The seats fold 60/40 and fold flat for more cargo carrying ability, although we found they are not easy to lower. Plus, the headrests get in the way.
However, the rear hatch model has greater utility over the Focus sedan.
Engine & Fuel Mileage Specs
The Ford Focus Titanium comes powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. It’s coupled with a 6-speed automatic transmission. This powertrain returns EPA fuel economy estimates of 26/38 city/highway and 30 combined mpg with the automatic transmission.
The Ford Focus is ideal for city commuting because it’s easy to maneuver around town, especially in tight spaces. There’s fairly good visibility and the back-up camera was a big help this week. It’s above average on the fun-to-drive meter and engagement is high even with the automatic transmission.
Its 6-speed gearbox is a welcome change over the continuously variable transmissions (CVT) of the world.
It offers nimble handling that doesn’t come at the expense of ride comfort. We found the 2.0-liter engine to be sufficiently powered for just about any driving situation we encountered this week. During mountain driving it had enough power to move us along with the faster traffic, and in town the quick maneuverability helped us out of gridlock more than once. The 6-speed automatic keeps engine revs high, ready to be used when you need it.
We think the Focus is one of the better handling compact cars in its class. The power steering is nicely weighted and ensures a more precise control in the corners. The Ford Focus has a firmer suspension giving it sporty driving dynamics, but its not too firm as to make the ride unbearable over the bumps.
As with most compacts, there is some road, wind, and tire noise at highway speeds.
The 2016 Ford Focus Titanium brings more premium amenities to the compact segment at a reasonable price. The Focus does a lot of things well and is an ideal city commuter. The hatchback model offers more utility and the Titanium’s interior is above the rest in comfort and luxury. It offers agile handling with a sporty, athletic attitude, which are both big advantages in our book.
*Denis Flierl has invested over 25 years in the automotive industry in a variety of roles. Follow his work on Twitter: @CarReviewGuy
Video courtesy of Capitol Ford, 919 Capitol Expressway Auto Mall, San Jose, CA 95136
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*Some 2015 models shown in above photographs