- Ford should consider bringing the Focus back to the US market, as it currently lacks a cheap compact car, making it unable to compete in the compact sedan and hatchback segments.
- Converting the Focus into a compact SUV could increase its appeal in the North American car market, as SUVs are popular and in demand.
- The Ford Focus has potential in the U.S. market with decently powerful and fuel-efficient mild hybrids that could appeal to fuel-conscious drivers.
Many buyers were understandably shocked when Ford back in 2018, decided to stop selling the beloved Focus hatchback and sedan on the American market.
While Ford doesn’t seem to have any plans to bring back the Focus or any of the other compact cars, hatchbacks, and SUVs that went with it, there are plenty of good reasons why the automaker should bring its “Focus” back to American soil.
For example, Ford doesn’t currently have a cheap compact car in the U.S. lineup, making it unable to compete in the compact sedan and hatchback segments. Also, since the Focus left America, it’s become more like a compact SUV than the tiny coupe, sedan, or hatchback it once was, which could boost its appeal in the competitive North American car market.
The decently powerful and fuel-efficient mild hybrid powertrains that Ford equips the Focus with in the UK could also prove popular if they return to the US
In 2019, Ford stopped production of the Focus hatchback in the US
The Ford Focus hatchback and sedan were among the best-selling cars in the world from the early 2000s to the mid-2010s.
The American automaker created the Focus as a replacement for the discontinued Ford Escort hatchback — after years of decline in the Escort’s popularity in the late 1990s.
The Focus was an incredible hit in the American, European and Asian car markets when Ford introduced it. At its peak in 2000, Ford sold more than 280,000 Focus units in America. It maintained this popularity in the country until 2012, when the automaker sold about 246,000 units according to CarSalesBase.
The Ford Focus Mk1 set a new standard for hatchbacks with its modern aerodynamic appearance and excellent handling. Most importantly, its relative affordability, practicality and compact size have proved popular with many car buyers around the world. Its high-performance version, the Focus RS hot hatch, has also become popular with many enthusiasts for its impressive performance, as has the Corolla 2023 GR hot hatch.
However, Ford Focus sales in America have been steadily declining since 2013. From selling about 230,000 Focus models in 2013, Ford sold about 113,000 of them in 2018. This forced the manufacturer to cancel the car in the US market, along with most other sedan and hatchback models such as the Ford Fiesta, Focus and Taurus in 2018 and 2019.
In addition to the decline in popularity of Ford sedans and hatchbacks in America, This is stated in the Ford press release that it discontinued its sedans and hatchbacks because larger crossovers, SUVs, pickup trucks and commercial vehicles were more profitable. Today, the only car in the American Ford line is the high-performance and sought-after Mustang.
Since 2019, the Ford Focus has turned into a compact SUV
After exiting the US market, the new fourth-generation Focus lived on in European and Asian markets with the same popular combination of affordability, great handling and modern looks until at least 2025. Recent reports have indicated that Ford will not be creating a replacement for the Focus after the 2025 model year.
Until then, buyers in Europe and Asia can still buy the current Focus model, which looks like a compact crossover SUV than the compact hatchback that was originally intended.
In the UK, Ford offers the Focus in two body styles – a shorter 5-door hatchback and a longer wagon. The difference between the two body types is mainly in the cargo space available behind the second row of seats.
According to Ford, the Ford Focus Estate (Wagon) has a 25.74 cu. ft. of cargo space, expandable to 57.21 cu. ft. of space with the second row of seats folded down. The shorter Ford Focus hatchback has 15.64 cu. ft. of cargo space, expandable to 46.62 cu. ft. of cargo space with the second row folded.
By comparison, Ford’s smallest crossover SUV in America, the 2023 Ford Escape, maxes out at 37.5 cu. ft. of cargo space behind the second row, expandable to 65.4 cu. feet
So, American car manufacturer buyers who don’t need the space of the much larger Escape can easily buy the more compact Focus below the Escape — especially since the automaker also discontinued the EcoSport subcompact SUV in the US.
Further sweetening the Focus Active’s deal are decent adventure and off-road features like a wet area in the cargo area for dirty boots and diving gear, a low tailgate height that makes loading cargo easier, and continuously controlled damping that modifies stability. car shock absorbers depending on the road surface.
The Ford Focus Hybrid and ST are competitive compact SUVs
All Focus trims that Ford sells in the UK, with the exception of the special high-performance ST, have the option of a mild hybrid transmission. It works in conjunction with electric motors and a 1.0-liter Ford EcoBoost engine that produces a total output of 123 or 155 hp.
Ford Focus hatchback mild hybrids get 43.5 mpg combined for the weaker engine and 48 mpg combined for the more powerful engine.
Those numbers are in line with some of the most efficient cars on the US market in 2023, such as the Honda Accord, which achieves 47 mpg combined, and the Kia Niro Hybrid, which achieves 50 mpg combined. That makes the Focus an extremely attractive option for fuel-conscious drivers who aren’t ready to buy an EV if Ford decides to bring it back to the U.S. market.
The Focus ST can also be a worthy competitor to the Toyota GR Corolla and Honda Civic Type R, although it is no longer as extreme as the discontinued RS. The Focus ST, which Ford went on sale in the UK in 2023, has a 2.3-litre internal combustion engine that produces 276bhp. and 310 lb-ft of torque, and accelerates the car to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds.
Although it is not as fast as Toyota and Honda hot hatch offers By comparison, the track-oriented 2023 GR Corolla and 2023 Civic Type R accelerate to 100 km/h in 4.9 seconds and have more powerful engines.
It features sporty 19-inch black wheels, 14-way adjustable Ford Performance front seats, 6-speed manual or 7-speed automatic transmission, custom ST front fascia, optional 18-inch Brembo brakes and optional Pirelli P – Tires Zero Corsa, optimized for traction.
The Focus could become Ford’s affordable compact car in the US
Before Ford discontinued the Focus in the U.S. market in 2018, it was one of the cheapest cars in its lineup, with a starting price of $19,920 for the base sedan and $21,415 for the base hatchback. Prices rose up to
$26,540 for the ST trim and $41,995 for the RS trim according to Kelly’s Blue Book.
Although it was not the cheapest car in the Ford line at the time, with the price According to Kelly Blue Book, the 2018 Ford Fiesta starts at $15,080, Ford’s 2023 lineup doesn’t have the affordable cars or SUVs that the Focus once did. The cheapest SUV in Ford’s North American lineup is the Ford Escape at $29,345, and the cheapest vehicle in the lineup is the Ford Maverick pickup truck at $23,400.
That means buyers looking for a compact or affordable car don’t have many options at North American Ford dealerships. Ford doesn’t have a direct competitor for the cheapest cars on the market today, like the $17,075 2023 Nissan Versa, which is the cheapest 4-door sedan on the market.
Bringing the Focus back to American soil will give Ford a chance to compete with other manufacturers with smaller, more affordable sedans and hatchbacks — especially if the American automaker can maintain prices similar to the affordable 2018 Focus.