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Ford Focus (2014-2018) Review logo

Ford Focus (2014-2018) Review

Ford Focus
Ford Focus
Ford Focus
Ford Focus
Ford Focus
Ford Focus
Ford Focus
Ford Focus
Ford Focus

1/8

Ford Focus

2/8

Ford Focus

3/8

Ford Focus

4/8

Ford Focus

5/8

Ford Focus

6/8

Ford Focus

7/8

Ford Focus

8/8

1 / 8

heycar review

      Launch year
      2014
      Body type
      Family hatch
      Fuel type
      Petrol, Diesel
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Hatch with focus for families

Best bits

  • All-round improvements
  • Simpler, cleaner dashboard layout
  • Still one of the best family hatchbacks to drive

Not so great

  • Boot space not as big as rivals
  • 1.0 Ecoboost not as economical as you’d hope
  • Firm ride from models with larger wheels

Read by

Ford Focus Front

Overall verdict

Ford Focus Interior

On the inside

Ford Focus Driving

Driving

Ford Focus Side

How much does it cost to run

Ford Focus Back

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict

"The Ford Focus is not perfect, and you need to pick your spec carefully to get the best one, but this 2014 model is, overall, an excellent family hatchback for the money. With increasingly tempting prices and some very well-equipped and stylish versions out there, you can’t go far wrong with a Focus."

Ford Focus Front

The 2014 Ford Focus wasn’t an all-new car, but it was a facelift so extensive and far-reaching, we think it should be treated as one. This was far more than the Blue Oval simply adding an ‘Aston Martin’ front grille to the 2011 Focus. It went through the entire vehicle with a fine tooth comb to help it take on the considerable challenge of talented rivals – including that perennial competitor, the Volkswagen Golf.


All the changes were based on customer feedback, something Ford researches tirelessly. Owners told the firm about the aspects they didn’t like and, rather than waiting for an all-new model to fix the flaws, Ford deemed it important enough to rush through this ground-up facelift just four years after launch, to get the Focus back to its best.


There’s no denying it looks better, with slimmer headlights and more contoured lights at the rear. That bold grille stood out when new, but now looks almost elegant, and makes the pre-facelift car appear dumpy.


Perhaps the biggest change came inside. The original model had a dreadful centre console layout, with a mass of buttons and a tiny infotainment screen. It was much-criticised (and rightly so) for being complicated to use and ugly to look at. Ford belatedly responded on this 2014 car by introducing a brand-new touchscreen incorporating its latest Sync infotainment system. It was a huge step forward.


Engines were improved, too. The range was concentrated on two popular versions: the 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol and new 1.5-litre TDCi diesel. The weaker choices from before were phased out, and new options introduced for those able to spend more, such as an excellent 1.5-litre Ecoboost turbo petrol. There was even an all-electric version. 


The Focus has long been famed for being brilliant to drive. Even here, the original 2011 car was somewhat off the pace, proving less of an all-rounder than a Golf or Vauxhall Astra. Again, it was back to the drawing board for the Ford engineers, who sharpened it all up and finally gave buyers a car they could fully enjoy driving. Crucially, the ride quality was improved as well.


Factor in better build quality thanks to improved interior trims and materials, more high-tech active safety features and the added bonus of improved economy, and the scale of Ford’s engineering work in creating the updated 2014 Focus is clear. It’s a facelift so extensive, we think it worthy of its own review. Read on to discover why the Focus with the Aston Martin grille is the one you really want.


If you're looking for the newer version, you need our Ford Focus (2018-) review.

Is the Ford Focus right for you?

Some things never change with the Focus. Ford didn’t mess up the core engineering and layout with this vehicle, so it still delivered a decent amount of interior space, plus a practical boot. It’s broadly as family-friendly as its direct rivals and won’t cause any particular headaches in daily use.


The reason keen drivers pick a Focus over an Astra or Golf was restored here: pin-sharp handling and more confidence behind the wheel. The Ford handles eagerly, steers beautifully and even the ride is more poised than before (although it did firm up noticeably on models with the largest alloy wheels). Enhanced engines were also an improvement, both in terms of reliability and drivability.


Factor in a better standard equipment, plus the colourful appeal of Ford’s Sync infotainment system, and it’s safe to say the Focus is well worth considering for family hatchback buyers after a bargain.

What’s the best Ford Focus model/engine to choose?

When new, the company fleet car focus of the, um, Focus meant that plenty of 1.5-litre TDCi diesels were sold. This improved engine replaced the earlier 1.6-litre TDCi and is still worth a look today, as it meets the most stringent emissions standards and won’t be excluded from any low emissions zone restrictions.


The ever-surprising 1.0-litre Ecoboost petrol is perennially popular, too. This is a big car for a small engine, but it works, with strong pulling power and a refined, smooth nature. The one disappointment might be fuel economy, particularly if you drive it with the enthusiasm it encourages. In this regard, the 1.5-litre turbo might actually prove a more efficient option.


Ford sold a basic Studio trim level, but this isn’t very appealing. Zetec should be your starting point, with the Titanium coming with an improved Sync 2 touchscreen. We especially like sporty-looking ST-Line models, introduced from 2016.

What other cars are similar to the Ford Focus?

We’ve already mentioned them, because they’ve been rivals for the Focus since it was introduced way back in 1998: the Volkswagen Golf and Vauxhall Astra. It’s easy to see why these three cars regularly appear in the UK’s top 10 best-sellers chart.


However, there are plenty of other cars similar to the Ford Focus out there: the Renault Megane, Peugeot 308, Honda Civic, Toyota Auris, Kia Ceed and Hyundai i30, for example. If you like a sportier take, try the SEAT Leon, while those who prefer practicality should check out the Skoda Octavia. Even Nissan got in on the act with the Nissan Pulsar, although it was arguably the success of class-leaders such as the Ford Focus that led to the Nissan being phased out a few years later.

Learn more

Ford Focus Interior

On the inside

Ford Focus Driving

Driving

Ford Focus Side

How much does it cost to run

Ford Focus Back

Prices, versions and specification

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