Road Test Review – 2016 Ford FOCUS Titanium – By Tim Esterdahl

While all the attention these days is on its faster brother, the 2016 Ford Focus Hatchback Titanium isn’t so quickly overlooked. With its fun to drive size, quick acceleration and plentiful cargo room, the Focus is a great commuter or around town vehicle and probably not the best choice for long road trips.

Hatchbacks hold a special place in the automotive landscape with plenty of fans and critics of its size and styling. Fans love the size, fun to drive sporty aspect of it and its versatility of holding 5 with cargo room. Yet, critics see SUVs as better options for the dollar (our tester rings up at $28,045), question the harsh ride on various ride surfaces and don’t see it as fun to drive as fans do.

The reality for the Ford Focus is somewhere right in the middle. It is fun to drive since its smaller size feels pretty fast, it quicker responds to driver inputs and it corners fairly well. Plus, the 2.0L four-cylinder does a decent job off the line. There is also a smaller 1.0L turbo-charged EcoBoost engine available as well as the 252 HP/270 lb-ft torque engine offered in the sporty ST model.

It is also quite versatile with a good amount of cargo space while still offering room for 5 (4 adults) and it feels fairly roomy for small car. While an entry-level SUV like the Escape offers a bit more room, the starting price difference of nearly $6k makes the Focus more appealing.

And yes, there is quite a bit of difference in starting prices between the Focus and SUVs. For example, the Focus starts at $17,225 ($19,015 for the hatchback) for manual transmission version and can be easily upgraded with dealer and aftermarket options to fit your needs. Add in the fact it returns 26/30/38 city/highway/combined MPG, it can be quite the bargain for car shoppers.

Lastly, it rides about as well as you think for a sub $30k vehicle. On uneven pavement and highway speeds, you feel the bumps and hear plenty of road noise. However, crank up the music through the vastly improved Sync3 system and pick better roads, you can find a vehicle capable of providing a fun and enjoyable driving experience.

Our Titanium test model is one level above the base SE and includes leather seats, Sony 10 speaker system and push button start. It starts at $23,725 and our version was optioned up with $3,445 worth of goodies like navigation, 18” wheels, cold weather package (all-weather floor mats and leather-wrapped steering wheel) and active park assist. These features all make it a much better vehicle for cold-weather states with its higher stance and heated steering wheel (heated seats are standard). Plus, if you haven’t tried the active park assist, it is pretty handy for preventing parking lot dings and dents.

Overall, the 2016 Ford Focus Hatchback Titanium is a great option for combining a fun to drive vehicle with cargo room. With its updated Sync3 system, it is that much better.

Model: 2016 Ford Focus Hatchback Titanium

Engine: 2.0L Four Cylinder

Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic

Fuel Economy: 26/38/30 city/highway/combined


  • Ruby Red Tinted Clearcoat – $395
  • 18” Wheel Package – $625
  • Technology Package (Blind-Spot with Cross Traffic Alert, Lane Keeping Assist) – $795
  • Cold Weather Package – $195
  • Navigation Voice- Activated – $795
  • Active Park Assist – $395
  • Exterior Protection Package – $245

Price as Tested: $28,045 with $875 Destination and Delivery

2016 Ford FOCUS ST Gallery

Tim Esterdahl is a married father of three who enjoys all things automotive including wrenching on his collection of old pickups. You can find his work here and in print in Truck Trend magazine as well as on  Recently, he is growing a huge audience at his website

He also plays an absurd amount of golf. Like, really absurd.

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