What Is It?

The 2015 Ford Focus is a refreshed version of the current Focus, which debuted for the 2012 model year. It offers several updates over today's model, ranging from revised styling and new features to the biggest change: a newly available 1.0-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine.

Offering around 120 horsepower and 150 lb-ft of torque, the 3-cylinder has been available since 2012 in European Focus models, where it accounts for nearly a third of all sales. Ford says the engine is popular because it combines 4-cylinder acceleration with 3-cylinder gas mileage. While fuel economy numbers haven't been released, we expect the Focus model's numbers to be stellar. This is partly because the engine will only be offered with a fuel-saving manual transmission.

Other updates to the 2015 Ford Focus aren't as significant, though they're still important to shoppers interested in the compact car. Revisions include a new front end designed to more closely resemble other Ford models, along with an updated trunk lid and taillights. The Focus also adds new safety technology, such as a standard rearview camera and an available blind spot information system.

How Much?

While Ford hasn't announced pricing, we don't expect the price on the 2015 Focus to increase much from today's figures. Expect a starting price around $18,000 with shipping, with upscale Titanium models starting closer to $25,000.

When Can You Get It?

Second half of 2014.

Add It to Your Shopping List Because?

The Focus is already an excellent contender in the compact car realm, and changes for 2015 promise to make it even better. We're excited to try out the car's new 3-cylinder engine, especially as it promises to do everything a 4-cylinder can -- only with improved fuel economy. And we're pleased to see that Ford is adding cutting-edge safety technology to one of its smallest, least-expensive vehicles.

Other Cars to Consider

Dodge Dart -- There's no electric version, and there's no hatchback. But if you're interested in a competent, well-equipped compact sedan, the Dart should be on your shopping list. That's especially true when you consider its excellent infotainment system and long list of available features.

Kia Forte -- Thanks to a 2014 redesign, the compact Kia Forte is now an excellent challenger to the Ford Focus. There's a hatchback or a sedan, and the Forte is available with a lot of equipment at a reasonable price.

Mazda3 -- The Mazda3 is often considered one of the best compact cars around. Like the Focus, it also comes as a sedan or a hatchback, and it boasts a long list of cutting-edge safety equipment. The Mazda3 also boasts excellent handling.

author photo

Colin Ryan has driven hundreds of cars thousands of miles while writing for BBC Top Gear magazine, Popular Mechanics, the Los Angeles Times, European Car, Import Tuner and many other publications, websites, TV shows, etc.

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