2012 Ford Focus to Get 38 MPG


As gas prices jump higher with every news report, the mileage wars are back on in a big way. Even before the most recent pain at the pump, automakers were trying hard to bump their mileage figures on new cars, especially compacts.

While Ford announced the mileage for the Focus’ high-efficiency model last week, today the company has given us the official fuel-economy numbers for the rest of the Focus lineup, which is slated to go on sale later this month.

When equipped with an automatic transmission, which most consumers select, the Focus will return 28 mpg in the city and 38 mpg on the highway for a combined figure of 31 mpg. With a manual transmission, the Focus will return 26/36/30 mpg city/highway/combined.

The mileage falls short of the 2011 Hyundai Elantra, which is rated at 29/40/33 mpg with an automatic, but it easily bests the Chevy Cruze’s 24/36/28 mpg with its automatic.

Honda’s redesigned 2012 Civic, which is coming this spring, is expected to return 39 mpg highway.

While the Focus’ numbers don’t match those of the Elantra, the Focus is a heavier vehicle that impressed Cars.com senior editor Joe Wiesenfelder. You can read his full review here.

By David Thomas | March 2, 2011 | Comments (28)
Tags: Ford, Ford Focus



It's kinda funny. If this were GM bringing out the Cruze at this point in the game, with numbers that didn't best the competition, everyone would bag on them hardcore about failing to deliver. I could've sworn it was only a few months ago that someone was saying the Focus was going to hit 40MPG on all trims....I doubt anyone will say anything about that though.


Pretty good mileage but you suffer big time if you want a manual. Since the cruze was being targeted here I suppose the lack of mention of the cruze eco was on purpose. Eco auto gets 26/37 which is only slightly under non sfe focus. To be honest, I don't see why ford bothered with the sfe model- its pointless. The cruze eco actually gives you a notable edge over the standard auto equipped cruze.

I wonder why the corolla wasn't mentioned. Focus beats the toyota. In mileage but the #1 seller somehow gets skipped over.

didn't mention eco mileage like I didn't mention SFE mileage. Most buyers (think 90%+) won't buy either trim.

Paul Moody

The Eco Cruze gets its mileage with shorter weld flanges and thinner sheet metal. Do you sacrifice safety for gas miles? I dont.


I haven't had a Ford since 1990, so I cannot tell how it has improved now. However, based on what I read and hear, Ford seems to make decent cars these days. However, one of the things that still stops me from visiting their showrooms is the design. IMO, their vehicles are not exactly beautiful to look at (at least the ones being sold in the US). The new Focus is not an exception. It looks cheap. Somehow, its front reminds me of the previous generaton Kias.



Do you really think safety was compromised with the eco? The overall structure and number of airbags is unchanged. Poor excuse.


I read that chevy expects the eco to become volume leader. Why would you say 10% of owners will buy eco? You really think the base ls or ltz will be top sellers? Either way, the mileage of the sfe focus seems pointless now. Who is going to buy a special trim to gain 2mpg highway? As I said, the is no reason corolla should go unmentioned here. Its got less power and less efficiency than focus. It, not the cruze is top dog in this segment.


Prospective buyers should remember that when fuel economy gets up to these heights, a separation of 2-3 MPG doesn't make much real-world cost difference to the average driver (10,000-15,000 miles per year). I'm too lazy to do the math right now, but there's noticeably less of a gas cost difference over (for example) 12,000 miles per year in a 38 vs. 40 MPG vehicle compared to a (for example) 18 vs. 20 MPG vehicle.

There's no denying the impact to marketing, though. "Best-in-class fuel economy," etc.


Sheth--if nothing else, the SFE could be used just to throw out "40 mpg" and get people into dealerships. Just like on Black Friday "OH MY GOSH LOOK BEST BUY HAS A $198 LAPTOP"
...well yeah, but only 5-15 people get it, and it's not exactly what most people would want/need in a laptop.

I don't believe anywhere has GM said Eco will be volume leader no. I think you're thinking of the Ecotec engine being the mass seller which would be correct.


Re: Sheth

The Cruze Eco with automatic gets only 1-2 mpg over a Cruze in 1LT trim (auto standard), yet costs $1450 more. Maybe Eco makes more sense for manual buyers (who only have a choice between the barebones LS and the Eco). But then manuals aren't as likely to be volume sellers (in the US).

The Focus' SFE package may only add 2 mpg highway, but it only costs $495, and also adds 4 wheel disc brakes to the SE trim (only trim SFE is available on).


To follow on what Wraith just said, does anyone find it odd that the base model and SE have rear drum brakes??? Isn't it about time everything had 4-wheel disc standard? The Cruze and Elantra are standard 4-wheel disc. Corolla and Civic are rear drum also, but I give the civic a little slack since it's redesign is up. This is a consideration for anyone looking for a safe compact.


Cruze has drum rear up to 2LT with 17" wheels.

The type of brake, drum or disc, doesn't make a car safe or unsafe.



You aren't telling whole story, the cruze with eco and auto comes with another package that adds 525 to the price. I agree the the gap between the cruze auto eco and the standard car is small for 925 and I don't see much of a point in the auto model.


If you look at the price and features of the eco its positioned to be a volume seller. They offered the most common features on the eco while omitting luxury features like leather, nav and premium audio. I fail to see why the eco wouldn't be one of the more popular trims. Same is probably true for focus se.


H is correct, disc brakes offer better resistance to fade but are no better at stopping in real world conditions. They also reduce unsprung weight. Its not a safety issue at all.


The Focus also comes with a more powerful 2.0L engine and 12 more HP, more torque, much better design and technology, along with the option of a 4-door or hot 5-door. Just a more solid car.

The Elantra comes with a dinky 1.6L, 146hp engine. Put 5 adults in that and prepare yourself for a 0-60 of.... tomorrow.



Didn't notice that. The Build & Price tool doesn't alert you when another option is added based on other selections. Strange. So the gap with the 1LT is only $925, if you add the same pack to both (how many automatic buyers forgo cruise control). But it's required on the auto Eco.

If you don't see the point in the auto, chances are most buyers won't, either, and those looking at an automatic will skip the Eco in favor of one of the LT trims.


Well I'm not sure 1lt and eco have exact same equipment. For example, the eco has 17s standar while 1lt doesn't. At the end of the day the price gap isn't huge and it depends on what dealers order. They may stop ordering 1lt trims altogether in favor of the eco.



The Focus might have higher HP and torque but it is heaavier than the Elantra..around 160+ lbs difference.

Check out the acceleration tests on the 2011 Elantra and 2012 Focus by CAR AND DRIVER.

You will see why the Focus isn't that much faster than the Elantra. Weight and Aerodyamics simply give Elantra the edge.



Funny how many midsize cars just 5 years ago had only 160 horsepower or so (and 1-2 less gears). 10 years ago a lot of them had horsepower in the 130s. I think 148 and six gears will be plenty for a car of that size/price.


i agree that 160 hp should be plenty. it seems every car today must be as fast as a v-8 powered mustang or camaro from the 1990s...which is why fuel economy really didn't increase during the past decade in spite of technological advances in engine and transmission design. focusing on increasing horsepower instead of economy and adding weight kept fuel economy numbers low.


Per car and driver the focus is about a second faster than the elantra to 60. I doubt any other compact with an auto is faster than the focus. Even the 170hp jetta isn't faster. That said, the elantra offers acceptable acceleration.



"The type of brake, drum or disc, doesn't make a car safe or unsafe."

Foolish statement. disc brakes do make car more safe because they stop you better. As a matter fact, it makes you more safe then the airbag because they may cancel the need to deploy the airbag


ESP can work better with rear discs than drums.


Ford says 38. This is hard to believe. Why? Because caranddriver did a road test on this car, and they observed 21. Wow. Ford, are you being honest?


I don't believe that goes up to 38 mpg honestly .. Ford and Gas Saver - sounds impossible to me !


Poor Tony, read what I said. The type of brake doesn't make a car safe or unsafe. Did I say anything about being more or less safe...no.

Mike b

I'm averaging 33.9 mpg, thats city& highway, in my 5speed manual focus hatch back. I've driven 943 miles so far. I purposely drive with a light foot to maximize my MPGs.


I'm averaging 33.2 mpg in my auto hatchback with around 660 miles. I have 5 leaves on the Speed and Anticipation panels but should I expect the leaves on the MPG panel to turn green eventually?

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