Ford’s Little 1-Liter EcoBoost Focus
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Published on Sat, Oct 10, 2015
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
The new Ford Focus 4-door sedan shows the new face of Ford cars with a restyled grille with chrome surround, slimmer front halogen headlamps and rectangular fog lamps at end side of the lower bumper. It also features a new hood and trunk lid, new rear lamp clusters and a more wedge shape for better aerodynamics. Our test Focus SE 1.0 liter EcoBoost also comes with the appearance package, featuring a lower full-perimeter aero body kit, rear spoiler at the end of the trunk lid, aero-styled deep lower side extensions for better straight-line stability, new lower rear diffuser, rear steel disc brakes, and 17X7 inch slingshot styled aluminum alloy wheels wrapped with Cooper 215/55R17 inch Zeon RS3-A tires.
The 1.0 liter turbocharged EcoBoost 3-cylinder engine features dual overhead cams, direct gas injection, variable valve timing constructed with a cast iron block and aluminum head. It generates 123 horsepower at 1,400-6,350 rpm and 148 pound-feet of torque at 1,400-4,500 rpm. It is an efficient engine getting high miles per gallon and is a lot of fun to drive because it is only available with a very smooth shifting 6-speed manual FWD transmission. The manual allows one to rev the first 3-gears near redline to increase acceleration and keep up with more powerful vehicles at launch when that red light changes to green. Also coming standard is automatic Stop/Start electronics that shuts the engine down when stopped, then restarts when the clutch is activated, which helps the Focus to achieve its 40mpg/highway and 29mpg/city ratings. At the end of the seven-day test drive the trip computer showed a combined rating of 37.8 mpg.
Driving the new Focus SE with the small EcoBoost engine is fun and easy. The suspension features re-valved shock absorbers for better handling and a smooth ride over poorly paved road surfaces. Up front is a MacPherson strut setup with a 23.5mm stabilizer bar, and a Control Blade multi-link independent rear setup with a 19mm stabilizer bar all working together to keep body lean to a minimum during hard cornering. I’m pleasantly surprised with the ride and handling of the new Focus SE. Working in tandem with the suspension system is the electric power-assisted rack & pinion steering system that exhibited quick reaction to my inputs with excellent on-center feel.
Quickly slowing the new Focus SE 1.0 EcoBoost sedan down from speed are powerful brakes. Up front are 10.9 inch vented rotors clamped with large single-piston calipers and in the rear are 10.7 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers. Standard ABS and AdvanceTrak/ESC traction control systems are now calibrated to be less intrusive allowing me to let the rear slide out a bit when coming out of a steep curve. This new Focus is surprisingly fun to drive. The new styling, Magnetic paint job and lower aero bodykit the car looks positively menacing, which goes well with the other ‘fun factors’ in the package.
The new interior shows soft-to-the-touch dashboard and instrument panel with satin chrome detailing on the dials and instrument cluster surrounds. The center stack is newly designed with the placement of audio/climate/Synch buttons in separate spaces. The manual adjustable front bucket seats were thick cloth in my test SE yet very comfortable and very supportive. The test SE came with a 3-spoke leather-wrapped tilt/telescopic steering wheel with cruise control, audio and the 4X2 inch TFT driver information screen set between the speedometer and tachometer. The open dual cupholder fit large cups/water/soda bottles and the storage box/armrest had plenty of storage space. The rear seats are also comfortable and feature 60/40 split folding to enlarge the trunk’s storage.
The standard equipment list for the Focus is long (which is pretty much the norm these days, and that is a good thing) and includes a raft of things that we have all come to expect and can’t live without. Options included with this test Focus SE were the EcoBoost Package-$1,495.00, and a reverse-sensing system-$255.00 helping the standard reaview camera.
Inside and outside, the new 2015 Ford Focus SE with the 1.0 liter, 3-cylinder direct fuel injected EcoBoost engine is fun and easy to drive with competent handling.
© Words and pictures by Harvey Schwartz
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Name of vehicle:
2015 Ford Focus SE 4-Door Sedan
$20,210.00 (as tested, including destination charge)
EPA fuel economy rating:
29 mpg city/40 mpg highway
1.0 liter EcoBoost (turbocharged) DOHC 16-valve three-in-line with variable valve timing
123 at 1,400-6,350 rpm
148 pound-feet at 1,400-4,500 rpm
Transmission: Six-speed manual Steering: Power assisted rack and pinion Drive configuration: Front-wheel drive Suspension Front: MacPherson strut setup with a 23.5mm stabilizer bar Rear: Control Blade multi-link independent rear setup with a 19mm stabilizer bar Brakes: Front 10.9 inch vented rotors clamped with large single-piston calipers Rear 10.7 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers. Standard ABS and AdvanceTrak/ESC traction control systems Wheels and tires: 17X7 inch slingshot styled aluminum alloy wheels and Cooper 215/55R17 inch Zeon RS3-A tires Dimensions Length: 178.5 inches Width: 71.8 inches Height: 57.7 inches Curb weight: 2,907 pounds