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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
Five stars, front impact (coupe); four stars, front impact (sedan); three stars, side impact (coupe); four stars, side impact (sedan)
Good," frontal offset impact; "acceptable," side impact
For 2010, antilock brakes and stability control are now standard on all trim levels
This year's 2010 Ford Focus model makes some improvements in the safety stakes. While last year there was a lot of criticism over the Focus' lack of standard ABS, Ford responds this year by including it as standard, among other safety improvements.
The Ford Focus offers mixed results in NHTSA crash tests. While the Ford Focus sedan earns respectable four-star ratings in both front and side impact tests, the Ford Focus coupe scores a meager three stars in the side impact category—the lowest that vehicles score currently. However, the 2010 Ford Focus coupe does earn a perfect five-star rating for front impact tests. Despite this, the IIHS still awards the Ford Focus its highest possible rating, "good," for frontal offset impacts as it does not differentiate between body styles. In the IIHS side impact test, the 2010 Ford Focus earns a second-best rating of "acceptable."
The 2010 Ford Focus doesn't offer too much in the way of standard safety equipment, except for six airbags, including standard side-impact and side-curtain airbags. Despite its economy car status, Ford takes steps to improve the Focus' safety credentials, chief among them the addition of standard ABS across all models. For 2010, all Ford Focus models also feature Ford's AdvanceTrak stability control system as standard—a big improvement considering that Cars.com found it disturbing that last year's model did not even have stability control "available as an option."
Ford includes its innovative MyKey system as a standard safety feature in all 2010 Focus models. The system "allows parents to specify limits for vehicle speed and stereo volume for their teenage drivers," according to Edmunds, and should give parents greater peace of mind when their teenagers begin driving.
One oft-overlooked safety characteristic is driver visibility, but reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show that the 2010 Ford Focus offers generous sightlines. MyRide.com reviewers point out that "the view all around is very good," while the "angle of the windshield relative to the driver provides an excellent view of the road."
The 2010 Ford Focus is a major improvement over last year's model in regard to safety—thanks to ABS, stability control, and MyKey fitted as standard on all models. That's not the case with most of its rivals.