Ford Focus Reliability [How Reliable Are They?]

The Ford Focus is one of the best-selling vehicles worldwide. While some drivers say it is an excellent car, some say they are not dependable enough. This is because we have different vehicle preferences, even regarding reliability. So, how reliable is the Ford Focus?

According to the data released by RepairPal, it gave the Ford Focus a rating of 4 out of 5, placing it in 27th place out of the 36 compact vehicle models tested for reliability. The Ford Focus is also on the list of the top 20 worst vehicles released by It ranked the 2014 and 2012 models in the 9th and 12th spots.

This shows that the reliability of the Ford Focus may differ, depending on its model.

Read on to learn more about Ford Focus’ reliability, including its pros and cons.

Ford Focus Reliability

Ford Focus Reliability

The website RepairPal gave Ford Focus a rating of 4 out of 5. A Top 20 Worst Vehicles List released by included the 2014 and 2012 models as the 9th and 12th placers, respectively. These results mean that the reliability of the Ford Focus varies, depending on what model it is.

Pros of Owning a Ford Focus

Let’s start this article by talking about the advantages of owning a Ford Focus. Some of the reasons are the following:

  1. Best Selling Vehicle Worldwide
  2. High Quality Materials
  3. Sporty Exterior Design
  4. Superior Road Handling
  5. Comfortable Cabin and Seats
  6. Smooth Ride
  7. Clean Design
  8. Good Fuel Economy
  9. Good Front and Rear Vision
  10. Safety Features

Let’s briefly discuss each one of these:

1. Best Selling Vehicle Worldwide

There’s no denying that the Ford Focus is a well-known vehicle worldwide. It is one of the best-selling and most popular vehicles in the world. It is even known as one of the best compact cars.

The Ford Focus is one of the car models that first introduced a steering wheel with mounted audio controls. It is also one of the first cars that launched wireless phone connectivity and outside temperature displays.

2. High Quality Materials

There may be some drivers who are doubtful of the Ford Focus’ reliability. But many drivers can also attest to its reliability. I can only guess that it is because of the high-quality materials used in making this car. It also has soft-touch surfaces.

3. Sporty Exterior Design

This car never failed to attract people for its European-inspired sporty exterior design.

2014 ST

The 2014 ST is, in fact, one of the most attractive Focus models due to its unique features. It has a specific grille design with several features:

  • 18-inch wheels specifically for the ST model,
  • Dual exhaust tips,
  • A high rear spoiler
  • Side moldings,
  • Front fascia, and
  • HID headlights.

Ford has also made significant upgrades to its electric model trim:

  • Has a piano-black front grille featuring chrome accents,
  • Its headlights turn on and off automatically and have LED accents. The same goes for the LED taillights,
  • Features 17-inch wheels and a rear spoiler, and
  • Its front fender has an illuminated power charger.

The SE, ST, and Titanium Ford Focus models allow buyers to get 16-, 17-, or 18-inch wheels.

4. Superior Road Handling

Drivers of the Ford Focus vehicle never fail to have fun while driving this car. This is because of its great driving dynamics. It impressively features superior handling while on the road.

When it comes to this car’s Titanium trim model, buyers have an option to get the handling package. This provides an additional unique sport-tuned suspension that matches its high-performance tires and 18-inch wheels.

5. Comfortable Cabin and Seats

Those who have experienced driving and riding the Ford Focus know how comfortable their cabin and seats are. It has ample room for five people. The seats are comfortable even for a full-day road trip.

The standard model features cloth seats, but buyers can upgrade them to Recaro leather seats, heated front seats, or an 8-way power-adjustable driver’s seat. Upgrades such as a leather-trimmed shift knob and a heated steering wheel are also available.

6. Smooth Ride

Every driver or passenger aims to experience a smooth ride, which you can experience with the Ford Focus.

Impressively, this car offers excellent balance as you glide down the highway or as you traverse through curvy landscapes. Even if you are in the middle of stop-and-go city traffic, you will experience a smooth ride.

Buyers can get the sport-tuned suspension feature which further improves the vehicle’s handling capability. So, when it comes to a smooth ride in all kinds of driving situations, the Ford Focus is one reliable car.

7. Clean Design

The Ford Focus features a sweeping wrap-around layout that results in its clean design. It is one of its most essential features that any driver would surely appreciate.

8. Good Fuel Economy

In terms of fuel economy, you will appreciate the Ford Focus. You even can get the Super Fuel Economy package which improves fuel efficiency to more than 40 mpg.

9. Good Front and Rear Vision

One of the best features of the Ford Focus is that it provides good vision. The front and rear windshields are designed to bring convenience to the driver and the passengers.

10. Safety Features

Discussing the reliability of the Ford Focus will not be complete if we don’t mention its safety features. This car features seven airbags, including an occupant sensing airbag and a driver’s knee airbag.

The 4-wheel anti-lock brakes of all its trim models feature:

  • Electronic stability,
  • Driveline traction control,
  • Brake assist,
  • 4-wheel independent suspension, and
  • Anti-roll bars for both the front and the rear.

Since 2014, the Ford Focus has featured the following:

  • Rear window defroster,
  • Low tire pressure warning system, and
  • An ignition, disable, and panic button.

You will also see perimeter approach lights on its hatchback model trims.

There’s no denying that the Ford Focus is indeed a reliable car with all these features.

Again, Ford Focus reliability – is Ford Focus reliable? The Ford Focus’s reliability rating is 4 out of 5, putting it in the 27th spot out of 36 compact cars. On average, its repair cost is around $569. Its repair needs are also quite average than competitors.

Cons of Owning a Ford Focus

ford focus reliability rating

There are also Ford Focus owners who have, unfortunately, encountered problems with their units. Let’s talk about some of these problems, which include the following:

  1. Engine RPM Fluctuation
  2. Steering Issues
  3. Problems with the Exhaust and Fuel System
  4. Transmission Issues
  5. Low Speed Pre Ignition
  6. Engine Stall
  7. Ignition Key Issues

Let’s discuss each of these items:

1. Engine RPM Fluctuation

Between 2011 and 2015, there were reports of PowerShift transmission issues but have since then been resolved. With the 2018 model, there were issues with the transmission.

In general, the Ford Focus has maintained a decent reputation. But you will still hear some owners complaining about engine issues.

Some owners say that the revolutions per minute (RPM) would jump after shifting the gear to “park.” Some say that the RPM rises even after depressing the clutch pedal.

2. Steering Issues

With the 2012 Ford Focus, the most common issue encountered by owners was with the steering system. This was one of the serious complaints received by Ford.

There were reports that its electronic power-assisted steering system would suddenly shut down while on the road. This occurrence prevents the driver from steering the wheel and increases the risk of road accidents.

Also, there were reports that the steering wheel would suddenly lock up after turning on the ignition.

3. Problems with the Exhaust and Fuel System

The exhaust system of several Ford Focus models released between 2012 and 2018 had a bad purge valve. This resulted in the decision of Ford to recall units sold because such an issue could damage the unit’s fuel tank.

Many people reported issues that involve the exhaust and fuel system problem.

Some of these include:

  • Engine’s failure to restart after a stall,
  • Fuel gauge malfunction, and
  • Power loss.

Ford reprogrammed the recalled vehicles, and they replaced the affected parts.

Those recalled specifically included the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2017 Ford Focus models. These, according to Ford, did not undergo proper software updates and had to undergo additional reprogramming.

4. Transmission Issues

Ford also encountered complaints about the transmission system of Focus units. This particularly began in 2011 when Ford added the PowerShift automatic transmission feature.

The problem was still present in the 2016 Ford Focus models. But the worst year model involved the 2014 model wherein Ford encountered the most number of transmission complaints.

5. Low Speed Pre-ignition

The reliability of the Ford Focus ST model is quite good in terms of its manual transmissions. In other words, it had great reviews as opposed to what 2014 Focus owners experienced.

EcoBoost Engine

This model features an EcoBoost engine. Despite a downsized engine, the performance is comparable to bigger engines. But the EcoBoost engine is more fuel-efficient and generates lower emission levels.

Turbochargers That Improve Engine Operating Pressure

The ST model also features turbochargers that improve engine operating pressure. In essence, it has many advantages. However, there are ST owners who also encountered issues with their units.

Unfortunately, the downsized and turbocharged engines are susceptible to low-speed pre-ignition. In which case, even before the ignition system fires off the spark plug, the fuel-air mixture in the cylinder already starts to ignite.

Pistons and Other Internal Parts Can Get Damaged

If there is an issue of low-speed pre-ignition, the pistons and all other internal parts can get damaged. You can, however, prevent this by not accelerating when the car is in high gear at low RPM.

6. Engine Stall

Ford received engine stall complaints with their 2000 Ford Focus models. Owners claimed that the engine would die while the car was in motion. But there were also reports of blown engines and ignition key issues.

7. Ignition Key Issues

I have earlier mentioned that several Ford Focus owners encountered PowerShift automatic transmission issues.

But there were not as many as those who complained about ignition key issues. Most complainants said that the key failed to turn in the ignition, while some said their keys got trapped in the ignition. This problem was encountered in the 2003 model.

Frequently Asked Questions – Reliability of the Ford Focus

ford focus recall check

Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the reliability of the Ford Focus:

Is Ford Focus a Reliable Car?

RepairPal released data stating that the reliability rating of the Ford Focus is 4 out of 5. This puts it in 27th place out of the 36 compact cars tested.

This car has average ownership costs since its average annual repair cost is $569. In essence, the severity and frequency of its repairs are fairly average when you compare it with other cars.

Do Ford Focus Cars Last Long?

It still all boils down to how well you take care of your Ford Focus when it comes to lifespan. You have to strictly follow its regular maintenance schedule and avoid abusing your unit.

It can generally last between 200,000 and 400,000 miles or even longer than that. An abused unit will most likely reach 50,000 to 150,000 miles only.

Which Is the Best Ford Focus to Buy?

The best models are the Ford Focus ST-Line and the Ford Focus Titanium. The Titanium is ideal for families or for those who prioritize comfort.

Conclusion – Ford Focus Reliability

The website RepairPal rated the Ford Focus 4 out of 5.

A Top 20 Worst Vehicles List released by included the 2014 and 2012 models as the 9th and 12th placers, respectively. These results mean that the reliability of the Ford Focus varies, depending on what model it is.

Despite these issues, Ford is known to act on them immediately as they prioritize the satisfaction of their customers. Overall, the Ford Focus is one reliable car, and you can make it last for years as long as you also know how to take care of it.

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