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SAFETY | 9 out of 10
'Good,' all categories; Top Safety Pick
Five stars overall, four stars frontal; five stars side
The 2013 Ford Focus models offer some advanced safety features and safety-tech options that are unusual in mass-market small cars. But in addition to that, they're built on a solid structure that does well in crash tests.
Front, side, and Safety Canopy curtain bags are included, as well as standard electronic stability control and anti-lock braking. And a torque vectoring control system helps keep power delivery stable when accelerating out of corners.
Outward visibility is quite good compared to in some other small cars, although rearward vision can be tough in some instances. A rear-view camera is available on upper trims. Furthermore, an active park assist feature helps by actually steering the car into a parking space--freeing you up to keep an eye out for obstacles.
The Ford Focus was developed as a world car, which means that its structure wasn't merely engineered to do well on one particular safety test. Last year it missed the top five-star rating in federal NCAP tests (it gets a mix of four- and five-star ratings), but for 2013 it's earned a top five-star NCAP (new-car assessment program) Overall Score it earns, it's worth pointing out that the model doesn't receive top scores in all subcategories—something the Cruze does achieve.Among compact sedans—other than the Focus and the Chevrolet Cruze—the 2013 Dodge Dart and the 2012 Honda Civic also earn the top-tier combination of five-star Overall NCAP results and IIHS Top Safety Pick status.
The Focus does also did manage to earn top scores in every category from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), as well as the IIHS Top Safety Pick designation.
The Focus offers impressive occupant protection and can be equipped with a few standout safety-tech features.