In 2010 the then-new Ford Focus helped kickstart the premium compact market, and for 2015 the Focus gets a new corporate nose and more standard technology. This includes a fast-charging USB port for your cellphone, and the addition of the SYNC infotainment system standard.
The 2015 Ford Focus gets a front fascia that could have been peeled off the front end of the new Ford Fusion, though the changes are more than skin deep. The much-ballyhooed 1.0 liter, three-cylinder EcoBoost-equipped Focus is finally coming to U.S. shores, though buyers will have to shift for themselves as a six-speed manual is the only transmission option. Ford says they did this because U.S. customers aren’t used to driving cars with such small engines, causing them to complain about the frequency of shifting in Ford’s automatic transmissions.
So customers wanting the most fuel economy and the smallest engine will only have a six-speed manual to pair with the 1.0 liter EcoBoost. It’s a rare victory for those of us who champion the manual transmission option, an increasingly rare choice on the U.S. market, though it could seriously hinder sales of the EcoBoost models if dealers are unconvincing with their sales pitch. In Europe though, nearly one-third of customers opt for Ford’s smallest engine in the Focus, which is rated at 49 MPG on the Euro testing cycle.
Other upgrades for the 2015 Ford Focus include new technology offerings, with a rearview camera being standard on a 4.2-inch LCD screen, or an 8-inch screen with the upgraded MyFord Touch system. A new USB phone charger also recharges your phone in half the time of conventional USB outlets, something us Millennials are always in need of. For you Nervous Nellies out there, Ford is also adding available blind spot and lane departure warning systems, adding more technology to arguably the highest-tech compact car on the market. One of the only remaining questions is fuel economy, which could be helped by a rumored plug-in hybrid Focus Energi model, but such a vehicle remains just a rumor for now. No mention of the other EcoBoost Focus, the Focus ST either, at least not yet, and the Ford Focus Electric is also MIA.
Can the 2015 Ford Focus EcoBoost match the 45 MPG of its smaller cousin, the Fiesta? That could ultimately be the deciding factor when determining the success or failure of Ford’s small-engine ventures in America. And no, we’re still not getting a wagon version. Boo.