Compact car; Built in USA
  • 4-door hatchback
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $5,800 – $12,700*


2014 Ford Focus Electric


2014 Ford Focus Electric


2014 Ford Focus Electric


2014 Ford Focus Electric

Pros:
  • Acceleration
  • Fuel economy
  • Handling
Cons:
  • Price
  • Rear-seat comfort

Focus Electric is among the more rewarding pure-electric vehicles to drive. And, for the most part, it feels like a conventional Focus. When new, prices were high compared to the Chevrolet Volt and Nissan Leaf which had added options and lowered base prices for 2013. Still, if your goal is to be green and drive a car no one will suspect is electric, the Focus Electric is a fine choice.

Overview

The Focus Electric was Ford’s first mass-production full-electric vehicle. The company adapted its manufacturing plant in Michigan to assemble both conventional and electric Focus vehicles on the same line, which helped reduce cost and complexity.

Focus Electric came only as a 4-door hatchback. Its battery pack could be charged via a 120- or 240-volt outlet. The Ford-branded charging station, available at extra cost, was designed to be easily removable in case owners changed residences. Ford claimed a depleted battery could be fully recharged in 3-4 hours on a 240-volt connection, the car could achieve a top speed of 84 mph, and had about 100 miles of range on a full charge.

The electric model had equipment levels similar to that of the gasoline-powered Focus top-line Titanium. Included were rear-obstacle detection, dual-zone automatic climate control, navigation system, rearview camera, heated front seats, keyless entry/engine start, HD Radio receiver, xenon headlights, and Ford’s Sync infotainment system.

The specially designed version of Sync included remote charging and vehicle control programs that allowed owners to control certain aspects of the car over the Internet or from a supported smartphone.

Focus Electric was front-wheel drive. Its electric motor produced 143 horsepower, and it paired with a single-speed transmission that behaved like an automatic.

The 2013 Ford Focus Electric included a standard complement of expected and federally mandated safety features. Some features offered on the conventional Focus, such as blind-spot alert, were not available on the Electric.

Yearly Updates

2012 Focus Electric
2013 Focus Electric
Ford ramped up production for 2013 after a very limited run in 2012. There was nothing new to report as far as the car itself, but it was available in more markets.
2014 Focus Electric
The electric version of Ford’s mainstream compact car saw little change for 2014.
2015 Focus Electric
The electric version of Ford’s mainstream compact car saw several minor updates for 2015. The rear taillights, liftgate, rear fascia, and spoiler were redesigned, as was the instrument-panel center stack and center console. A rearview camera, rear-disc brakes, hill-start assist, and perimeter alarm were among the newly standard features.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Focus Electric is front-wheel drive. Its electric motor produces 143 horsepower, and it pairs with a single-speed transmission that behaves like an automatic.

electric electric1
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches)
Engine HP 143
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 184
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
single-speed

110/99

1. The EPA uses a formula called “Miles Per Gallon Equivalent” (MPGe) when calculating “fuel economy” of an electric car.

Road Test

Focus Electric is one of the sportiest electric vehicles we’ve driven to date. Throttle response is immediate and acceleration strong from any speed. Instant power from a stop helps make easy work of negotiating your way through heavy traffic.

The EPA uses a formula called “Miles Per Gallon Equivalent” (MPGe) when calculating “fuel economy” of an electric car. Focus Electric gets a rating of 110 city/99 highway. One gallon of gasoline is equivalent to 33.7 kilowatt-hours. It’s worth noting that Focus Electric is not equipped to accept Level 3 “fast charging.” Ford claims Focus Electric will charge fully in four hours or less using a Level 2, 240-volt charger. Consumer Guide has not yet been able to verify that claim.

Despite its additional weight, Focus Electric feels very much like a conventional Focus. That said, Focus Electric rides well for the class, absorbing most road imperfections with relative ease. Larger surface irregularities tend to register with greater authority than they do a convention Focus, however.

Though 600-plus pounds heavier than the convention Focus, the Electric feels very much the same from behind the wheel. Steering is accurate and direct, and cornering is drama free, though the Electric seems to lean a little more that the convention Focus during more aggressive maneuvers. The brakes feel strong and sure, and are mostly free of the regenerative surging that plagues many electric and hybrid vehicles.

Wind rush is kept well in check, however without any background noise from the engine road noise is more readily heard–though likely is not actually any louder than it is in a conventional Focus.

Like the conventional Focus, the Electric’s gauges put style before substance, though are easy enough to read once acclimated. Focus Electric comes only with Ford’s Sync and MyFord Touch suite of digital-interface tools which we largely reject as distracting and overly complicated. Like Ford’s hybrid vehicles, the Focus instrument panel includes helpful–or esoteric, depending on your perspective–aides to assist driver’s in maximizing driving range. Most useful is the “braking coach” which helps drivers reduce speed at rates that most effectively recharges the battery.

Like the conventional Focus, the Electric looks and feels well put together. Cabin materials are of high quality.

Focus is somewhat wider than it appears, and that extra space is put to good use inside the cabin. Even larger drivers will find plenty of room. Firmly padded seats with well defined side bolsters provide good long-distance comfort. We appreciate the small parabolic mirrors mounted within the outside mirrors which provide a useful expanded view of traffic to the side and rear.

Rear seat room is perhaps this compact Ford’s weakest attribute. Headroom sufficient for most adults, but leg room is in short supply.

Focus Electric is offered only as a hatchback; unfortunately a large box housing part of the battery consumes about half of the hatch-area floor. It runs the full width of the bay, too. The rear seats still fold flat, but the battery housing prevents easy loading of larger or longer items.

Ratings

Model Tested: N/A

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 6
60%
Fuel Economy - 10
100%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 6
60%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 7
70%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 3
30%

Other

Value - 5
50%

Total: 58

Specifications

4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
104.3 172.9 71.8 58.2 3624
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
NA 5.0
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
38.3 37.9 43.7 33.2
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2014 Focus Electric 4-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

Trouble Spots

Electrical problem
Description: A battery control module problem could result in the car failing to start. (2012-14)

Recall History

2012-13 Ford Focus Electric
Description: There is no chime when the door is opened while the car is operational, leaving the car more susceptible to theft.
2012-14 Focus Electric
Description: A software problem could cause a stall-like condition.
2015 Focus Electric
Description: The transmission differential pinion gear may overheat and fracture, causing loss power and parking brake.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.