• Ford Focus earns 5-star NHTSA safety rating
  • Rating applies to Focus sedan and hatchback
  • Several other compact cars also boast 5-star ratings

The 2014 Ford Focus has earned a 5-star safety rating from the federal government's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). The NHTSA recently announced the rating, which applies to both sedan and hatchback versions of the popular compact car.

According to the NHTSA, the Focus did best in the side impact assessment, which measures two separate side crashes. The first simulates a collision with a car travelling 38.5 miles per hour, while the other simulates an impact with a pole. The scores are averaged together for the side impact rating, which in the Focus model's case was a full five stars.

The Focus earned a 4-star rating in the NHTSA's other two tests. Those tests include a frontal impact assessment, which involves a 35-mph frontal crash into a barrier, and a rollover assessment, which measures a car's likelihood of rolling over during difficult maneuvering. By averaging all three scores, the NHTSA awarded the Focus a 5-star safety rating.

While the results are impressive, the popular model isn't the only compact car to earn a perfect 5-star score from the NHTSA. Other 5-star compacts include the Chevrolet Cruze, the Dodge Dart, the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. Several recently redesigned rivals, such as the Kia Forte and Mazda3, have not yet been tested.

Shoppers interested in safety will find a lot to like about the Focus. In addition to its recent high marks for safety, standard equipment includes front side airbags, side curtain airbags and anti-lock disc brakes. Optional safety features range from a reversing camera to MyKey, a programmable key designed to let parents set limits for teen drivers.

Largely unchanged from the 2013 model, the 2014 Ford Focus is on sale now. Drivers can choose between a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback, while engines range from miserly 4-cylinders to a powerful turbocharged powerplant in the Focus ST and a fully electric motor in the Focus Electric.

What it means to you: As the highly decorated compact car segment proves, new cars are safer than ever, and the Ford Focus is among the best of the best.

author photo

Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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