Shopping for a new Ford Focus?
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Here at FamilyCarGuide, the 2012 Ford Focus earns a 8 out of 10. While the new Focus reaches new heights of style, sophistication, handling, safety, and available tech options, it's not always the best model in its class for families simply looking for the most interior space, comfort, or value.
The Focus' interior is about par for this class—meaning that the back seat isn't quite adult-caliber but will do just fine for shorter trips. Nice leather upholstery, with exposed stitching, is available, but the standard cloth is also a good choice. Titanium models optioned with the Sport package get upgraded front seats with deeper bolstering; we really like them for their more comfortable, glovelike feel.
We like the added utility of the five-door hatchback best. However, you can't release the back seats from the cargo area, as you can with many small cars, and the rear seatbacks don't fold completely flat. You'll also need to scoot the front seats forward when doing it, otherwise the rear headrests get in the way.
Overall, the Focus feels like a more expensive car on the inside. Even in base S or SE models, there's a sense of solidity and hefty build quality, and materials and trims feel both upscale and capable of withstanding hard family use. And with top-notch safety features and an IIHS Top Safety Pick accolade, it really is one of the most secure small-car picks.
The base Focus isn't priced much higher than rival models, but it sure isn't the typical econocar. With features like MyFord Touch (an iPad-like touch-screen system), an excellent nav system with live traffic, high-end Sony audio, and an active parking system all available, the you can option the Focus SEL or Titanium models like a luxury-brand vehicle. Factor in Ford's MyKey system, which will help you monitor teen drivers in the family, and the Focus could make a great second or third vehicle for larger or grown-up families.