Globally, the Ford Focus is the best-selling nameplate in the world, and for 2015 the car receives a mid-life refresh that adds revised styling, modern technologies, and a new, more fuel-efficient engine option.
Starting with exterior changes, the 2015 Focus gets a new hood, restyled grille, revised headlights and taillights, freshened bumpers, and modified trunk and hatchback designs. The goal was to better align this model's styling with the smaller Fiesta and the larger Fusion, and Ford has succeeded.
Inside, the new Focus boasts what Joe Hinrichs, Ford executive vice president and president of The Americas, claims is "the most high-tech interior in the class." New materials and switchgear, satin chrome accents, and improved storage areas in the form of a redesigned center console and glove box highlight the upgrades to the car's cabin.
A reversing camera is standard equipment for the 2015 Ford Focus, and buyers will be able to upgrade with a blind-spot information system and a lane-keeping system that provides a vibration through the steering wheel similar to a rumble strip in order to notify drivers when they veer from the intended path of travel. If the driver fails to heed this tactile warning, the lane-keeping system is designed to bring the car back into the lane by actively applying steering torque. Drivers who signal a lane change will not experience these corrections, as the system will assume that the driver intends to move to the adjacent lane or shoulder of the road.
In addition to these safety features, the 2015 Ford Focus will be available with a new heated steering wheel, a next-generation MyFord Touch infotainment system with an 8-inch color touch-screen display, and a new version of Sync AppLink offering 60 different applications compatible with iPhone and Android smartphone systems.
Mechanically, Ford is making adjustments to the 2015 Focus model's chassis and suspension tuning in order to improve the car's ride and handling qualities. A new, more fuel-efficient engine will also be available in the form of a turbocharged, 1.0-liter 3-cylinder motor that is expected to give the car a combined-driving fuel-economy rating of about 35 mpg.
Officially, Ford says this engine will be offered with a 6-speed transmission, not clarifying whether this is a manual gearbox, the automaker's dual-clutch automated manual gearbox, or a traditional automatic. Unofficially, industry reports claim that a 6-speed manual gearbox will be the only choice.
When the 2015 Focus goes on sale in the United States in the middle of 2014, it will continue as a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback. Prices and additional details will be available closer to that time.