For the price of the 2012 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback, you could consider the Ford Fusion in the SE Trim.

It’s no secret that the latest Ford Focus is a hit.

Critically, negative comments are few and far between. And the ones that are voiced generally surround Ford’s MyFord Touch system that tends to baffle some, frustrate others and comply with the rest.

Commercially, it appears to be doing well. Class competitors, including perennial bestseller Honda Civic, as well as the Hyundai Elantra, Mazda3 and Toyota Corolla all have better sales numbers so far this year, but the Focus is holding its own. (Aggressive starting prices from the competition, combined with these models having a consistent hold on the market over the past few years could be reasonable explanations.)

2012 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback Review

Also see: Ford Reviews

The third generation Focus will change perceptions though, and it will be no surprise if Ford is making the aforementioned automakers sweat in the next couple years.

All trim levels get the same 2.0L I4 engine that pushes out 160 HP

So, why is a hit? Well, lets start with design. The Focus is a global vehicle for Ford, meaning this is pretty much the same car you’ll get around the world. That’s a good thing, because with that brings some of the European styling we’ve been deprived of for years from Ford. The raked grilled in the front, the stylish arc just before the B-pillar, and the rounded back-end — high fives all around.

2012 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback Review

All trim levels get the same 2.0L I4 engine that pushes out 160 HP. This is paired with a five-speed manual transmission (standard except on the Titanium trim), or Ford’s six-speed dual clutch SelectShift transmission (standard on the Titanium, optional on the other trims). Overall, this setup did more than an adequate job (my tester had the SelectShift trans). Boosting up to speed on the highways was a cinch and puttering around town wasn’t too costly as the Focus sips a reasonable 7.3 L/100 km in the city (5.2 L/100 km on highways). Plus, handling is a joy – steering is tight with great feedback. The engine is a bit noisy, though. It made its presence known quite often when I pushed for a bit more power. It’s not a deal breaking point, but it was noticed throughout my week with the car.

Price could very well be the biggest story for the Focus

2012 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback Review

Price could very well be the biggest story for the Focus. The hatchback starts at $22,793 (the sedan starts at $18,667) — a decent entry price for a five-door hatch, especially one that boasts a great design and good ride. It’s well worth it at the price. However, my top-end Titanium trim begins at $28,022 and with all the extras ticked off on the option sheet (including Active Park Assist, Power Moonroof, Heated Leather-trimmed seats and Navigation), the final price sits at $30,859.

Wowzers. Is it worth that much? Yes and no. From the outside, this is essentially the same car as the entry trim, save for the wheels and some other minor changes. So, from that point of view, it’s not really worth it. Grab the SE trim and you’ll be very happy. The real changes happen on the inside, however. The amount of technology is seriously upped in the Titanium, with all of the added options. This car actually parallel parks itself. The voice-activated commands on the MyFord Touch system are quite robust. And, yes, they too work well. (The same can’t be said of the touch screen though, which doesn’t always have a consistent reaction to your inputs.) The leather-trimmed seats are a nice touch. And the moonroof is never a bad add-on. Are they needed? Nope. Do they make the Focus a more comfortable and convenient ride? Absolutely.

But for that price tag, you could jump into the all-new (and all gorgeous) Ford Fusion at its mid-level SE trim. Makes you think…

Learn more – Ford Focus

CONS:

  • The cost for the high-end Titanium trim
  • Noisy engine

2012 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback Specs:

Base price: $22,793, $28,022  CAD (Titanium trim)

Price as tested: $30,859

Type: Five-door, five-passenger hatchback

Engine: 2.0L I4

Horsepower: 160 HP @ 6,500 rpm

Torque (lb-ft.): 146 @ 4,550 rpm

Transmission: Six-speed dual clutch SelectShift

Fuel consumption: 7.3 L/100 km (city), 5.2 L/100 km (highway)

2012 Ford Focus Hatchback Gallery:

Note: all photos of the 2012 Focus SEL trim

 

Travis Persaud has contributed to a number of magazines across North America, including enRoute and Exclaim! He loves variety and it shows in the wide range of topics he’s covered: automotive to music, technology to travel, beer to real estate. He’s currently the editor of WHERE Ottawa (city travel guide), beer columnist for Ottawa Magazine, a frequent contributor to CAA Magazine and the former associate editor of Zoomer Magazine. Travis is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada.