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2018 Ford Focus vs. 2018 Ford Fiesta: What’s the Difference?

  • The 2018 Ford Focus is considered a compact, while the 2018 Ford Fiesta is considered a subcompact.

  • Both offer exciting, sporty ST models.

  • The Focus offers driver assistance safety features; the Fiesta does not.

The Ford Focus and Fiesta are the two smallest cars offered by Ford. The Focus is considered a compact car, while the Fiesta is considered a subcompact. In addition, these two vehicles are further differentiated by a number of different body styles and trim levels. Below, we’ll take a closer look at the differences between the Focus and Fiesta to help buyers who may be deciding between the two. See 2018 Ford Focus models for sale near you

Both the current-generation Ford Focus and Fiesta were introduced for the 2011 model year. The Fiesta received a facelift for 2014, while the Focus was updated a year later for 2015. Both are available in sedan and 5-door hatchback body styles. See 2018 Ford Fiesta models for sale near you


The Focus is larger than the Fiesta in all dimensions. Focus sedan models are 178.5 inches long; hatchbacks are 171.7 inches long. All Focuses are 71.8 inches wide and 57.8 inches tall. The Fiesta sedan is 173.6 inches long, while the hatchback is 160.1 inches long. Both body styles are 67.8 inches wide and 57.2 inches tall. While both of these vehicles are pretty small, Fiesta will be slightly easier to maneuver in tight city spaces.

While the Focus is significantly larger than the Fiesta, the two also shave a number of visual differences beyond just their size. Both wear handsome, upscale front fascias, but the Focus is nicer overall, offering a more upscale appearance, in line with its higher price tag.

Both the Focus and Fiesta also offer sporty, performance-oriented ST versions that add more aggressive wheels and front and rear fascias, in addition to ST-specific colors.


In terms of appointments, both the Fiesta and Focus have somewhat humble interiors, although either can be optioned rather nicely. Both offer symmetrical center stacks with infotainment controls placed atop HVAC controls. Titanium models come with leather seats. Overall though, the Focus’ interior is simply nicer, employing a more attractive design, better materials and more features overall, which we’ll discuss below.


Regular Fiesta models offer a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine making 120 horsepower and 112 lb-ft of torque. Regardless of body style, this engine will earn 27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 31 mpg overall when paired with the available 6-speed automatic transmission.

Step up to the much-loved Fiesta ST, and buyers are looking at a sprightly turbocharged 1.6-liter EcoBoost engine making an impressive 197 hp and 202 lb-ft of torque, mated exclusively to a 6-speed manual transmission. Configured this way, the Fiesta ST will go from 0-to-60 in 7.0 seconds while still earning a respectable 29 mpg combined.

The Focus’ mainstream engine is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder making 160 hp and 146 lb-ft of torque. When paired with an automatic transmission, this engine earns the Focus 26 mpg city/38 mpg hwy/31 mpg combined. Offered only on SE trim levels is an optional turbocharged 1.0-liter 3-cylinder making 123 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. Equipped with an automatic transmission, this pint-sized turbo earns 27 mpg city/38 mpg hwy/31 mpg combined.

Focus ST models receive a 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder EcoBoost engine making 252 hp. Like its Fiesta counterpart, the Focus ST is only available with a 6-speed manual transmission. The Focus ST sprints to 60 mph in around 6.3 seconds and manages 25 mpg combined.

There’s also the mighty, low-production Focus RS, which offers 350 hp and all-wheel drive, but the RS falls outside of the scope of this comparison.


The Focus offers front seat occupants 38.3 inches of headroom and 43.1 inches of legroom, while the Fiesta offers 39.1 inches of headroom and 43.6 inches of legroom. That’s right — the Fiesta offers slightly more room up front. The Focus makes up for this when it comes to the back seat, though. Second-row Focus occupants get 38.0 inches of headroom and 33.2 inches of legroom to the Fiesta’s 37.2 inches and 31.2 inches. In their cargo areas, the Focus hatch offers 23 cu ft. with the second row up, and 44 cu ft. with the second row folded. The Fiesta hatch offers only 10 feet with the second row up, and 25 feet with it folded.


The Focus offers more available features than the Fiesta. While both offer heated seats and an available Sony audio system, only the Focus offers an available power driver’s seat, heated steering wheel and keyless access with push-button start.


Both the 2018 Ford Focus and Fiesta are available with Ford’s SYNC 3 infotainment system, regarded by most as being pretty good. While Focus S and SE models come with a simple 4.2-inch screen, SEL and Titanium models get an 8.0-in touchscreen offering Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

The Fiesta delivers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality as standard, although it’s delivered through a humble 6.5-in touchscreen.

Both the Focus and Fiesta offer two USB ports and two 12-volt outlets.

Through the Sync 3.0 infotainment system, both vehicles offer integration for Amazon Alexa and Waze navigation services, along with the FordPass concierge app. Neither offers 4G LTE or Wi-Fi connectivity.


Overall, both the Focus and Fiesta score generally well in crash testing conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. While both receive scores of God in moderate front-overlap, side, roof strength and head restraint and seat testing, neither scores particularly well in driver side small front-overlap testing, with the Focus receiving a score of Acceptable and the Fiesta earning a Marginal.

The 2018 Focus can be optioned with automatic high beams, blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, parking assist and rear parking sensors. The Fiesta doesn’t offer any available active safety features.


Both the Focus and Fiesta should have similar quality on par with the average new vehicle. Both come with Ford’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic and 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty, which is on par with the rest of the industry.


The Focus is the larger vehicle here, which should help to make it pretty easy when deciding between the two. Both vehicles offer comfortable Titanium trim levels, along with sporty ST versions. Regardless of trim level, the Focus is better suited for individuals who need space, and whose transportation requirements may involve some highway driving. The Fiesta, on the other hand, offers subcompact maneuverability, making it great for around-town transportation in a big city — but you may find yourself wishing for a larger, less vulnerable-feeling vehicle anytime you take to the interstate.

The Focus offers more available creature comforts, along with better safety ratings and available driver assistance safety features. While the Fiesta is lacking when it comes to safety tech, it does offer a standard touchscreen and standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which many will see as a great value. When looking at either of these vehicles, we recommend the hatchback body style for its added practicality. Find a Ford Focus for sale or Find a Ford Fiesta for sale

Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill
Chris O'Neill is an author specializing in competitive analysis, consumer recommendations, and adventure-driven enthusiast content. A lifelong car enthusiast, he worked in the auto industry for a bit, helping Germans design cars for Americans, and now lives in Salt Lake City, Utah. He runs an Instagram account, @MountainWestCarSpotter, which in his own words is "actually pretty good", and has a... Read More about Chris O'Neill

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  1. Ford is one of my favorite trademarks. I want to sell my old car and to buy a new one. But there’s a lot of questions you have to be prepared to answer on. Sometimes a potential buyers can be really annoying when they ask a bunch of stuff despite they already decided that they do not want to buy this very car. But frankly speaking I can really understand them. When you buy a used car you have to make sure that everything is ok with it. That’s why a good friend of mine recommended me to get report on FAXVIN to be able to guarantee buyers that it’s not a stolen car, to show them is mileage, operational history etc.

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