I worked for a rental car company in the past so I’ve had the opportunity to drive a large variety of vehicles including Ford. The company has made huge improvements over the past six years and the Ford Focus has come a long way. The compact cars of today are not even in the same game as they were only a few years ago. We recently got to spend a week in the 2014 Ford Focus SE hatchback. Although not as fun as the Focus ST we test drove, the Focus SE hatchback is a fantastic daily driver.
Having owned a 2013 Ford Fiesta and driven other Ford vehicles, getting into the 2014 Focus was somewhat of a familiar territory when it comes to the options and layout of the interior. Although the Ford Focus SE is the base model, it was anything but basic featuring 17-inch alloy wheels, six-speed automatic transmission, Sony & MyFord touch package, a respectable six-speaker audio system, power windows, and a few other option I’ll mention along the way.
Our $1,600 ‘Plus Package’ on this vehicle also included fog lamps, ambient interior lighting, leather-wrapped steering wheel, leather shift knob, a perimeter alarm, and Sirius satellite radio. The base Ford Focus SE comes with rear drum brakes but our test mule had disc-brakes. Although not very sporty, the vehicle is fun to toss around though. The suspension offers plenty of damping making for a comfortable drive while the electronic steering feels fairly direct. Unlike the entry-level Fiesta, the Focus feels a lot more solid when driving and build quality is top-notch. The materials used throughout the cabin of the vehicle are among the best in this class and there are plenty of soft surfaces.
In our Ford Focus ST review, we complained that the cabin was too quiet as we wanted to hear the exhaust note but this quietness works perfectly for a car that is intended to be a compact family vehicle. Our 2014 Ford Focus SE hatchback features a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing a decent 160 horsepower which is not a lot in the grand scheme of things but plenty for the vehicle of this size. To get the most out of the engine, a manual gearbox would be preferable. The Focus SE has no issues with merging on to the highway and performing passes is a breeze.
Hatchbacks have been making a comeback and I really like the exterior styling of the Ford Focus. There are many options in this segment of cars so the updated exterior styling should benefit the Ford Focus. Ford does offer an SE appearance package for those looking for a sportier look.
I never like sitting in the back passenger seats of vehicles when it comes to compact hatchbacks but two adults in the back should fair well and survive a long distance trip. The seats can also be folded down and the rear compartment of the vehicle can be filled right up to the brim. Why bother upgrading to a small SUV?
The base price of our 2014 Ford Focus SE is $19,699 but with a number of options we had, the total price comes to $28,564. Some of these options include the Ruby Red tinted clearcoat, SE Plus package, six-speed transmission, MyFord Touch package and Dual Zone electronic temperature control, Winter Package with heated seats and power/heated mirrors, Parking Technology package, and Navigation.
Overall, this is a great vehicle for a couple or for a small family that is just starting life. Depending on the options you want, the 2014 Ford Focus SE hatchback is still considered to be a good value for money.