2019 Ford Focus Visual Comparison: Out With The Old, In With The New

Ford has been hard at work rolling out new models lately. But few will be as important – to the manufacturer and to consumers – as the new Focus.

Just last year, Ford sold 158,385 examples of the Focus in the United States alone. That makes the compact model Dearborn’s second best-selling car, and a bigger seller than most of its trucks. (Only the Fusion, Explorer, Escape, and F-Series outsell it.) And that’s not even counting other markets overseas, where the Focus accounts for an even higher proportion of Ford’s sales.

And that’s after the current Focus has grown long in the proverbial tooth. The last time Ford replaced the model completely was in 2011. The following year, it sold nearly 246,000 of them, just in the US. In 2000, two years after the original’s introduction, it sold over 286,000.

Those are figures that the Blue Oval will undoubtedly be hoping to reach – if not exceed – with this all-new model… even in the current crossover-crazy market. And while the full picture has yet to come into, um… Focus, it’s clear just from looking at its design that the new Focus represents a marked improvement over the long-serving model it replaces.

Revolution Over Evolution

On the spectrum of redesigns, Ford has evidently favored a more revolutionary approach than an evolutionary one. It’s clearly a Focus, but it’s also immediately evidently that it’s a completely new one.

The automaker has resisted the urge to enlarge the new Focus to bloated proportions. But while the size hasn’t changed, the proportions have. With a cab-rearward design, the new model has a longer hood to give it a sportier profile. Yet the new Focus boasts more room inside for cargo and passengers, with easier ingress and egress.

Ford has draped that updated form with entirely new sheetmetal that looks more dynamic than the angular outgoing model. Where the third-gen Focus was all sharp creases, the new one has softer curves. Not quite the jellybean of the last Escort, but not as angular as the three iterations of Focus that have come between, either.

The new face is dominated by a larger trapezoidal grille. The lower openings in the bumper vary in style between the various trims, but look wider on most. The headlights are more shapely, and better frame the longer hood. The flanks are more sculpted, and from the rear three-quarter view especially, it looks decidedly more upscale than its mass-market position would suggest. Especially in the more premium trim levels, which start to more closely resemble a Mercedes A-Class or Infiniti Q30 than a budget hatchback.

Premium Feel For The Mass Market

The updated, upscale look and feel continue inside, where the Focus has been thoroughly reworked for the modern era. Instead of bland expanses of black plastic in an upright, vertical orientation, the new dashboard is broken up by wide horizontal forms in mixed materials for a more open environment.

The tiny enveloped screen in the dashboard is replaced by an 8-inch touchscreen protruding from the center. And where a conventional shifter was, the automatic transmission is now controlled by a low-profile rotary dial. The seats look more comfortable and supportive, the trim more up to date, and the overall environment decidedly higher-rent.

Add to that list more room all around, and the latest equipment one of America’s largest automakers can muster, and the new Focus looks like it’ll be in another league from the aging model it replaces.

More To Come

Ford’s already showcasing the new Focus in five-door hatchback and wagon bodystyles, and in four trims: Active, ST-Line, Titanium, and Vignale. We likely won’t get all those versions in America, where we’ll also likely see a sedan version. And we can look forward to ST and RS performance versions as well. But from what we can see so far, it looks like the new Focus has both sharpened and softened where appropriate. And it ought to serve both the automaker and its customers well for years to come.

  • Autoexperte
    • rodriguez256

      Not a fan of the euro interior. Prefer the US version much better.

      • j60dnl

        I’ve scrolled back n forth but not seeing much difference tbh

  • Honda NSX-R

    New > old personally

  • Randy Terpstra

    Out with the old American built one, in with the new Chinese built one.

    TBH, it already looks dated. It hatch really does look like a previous gen Mazda3. Honestly, did not see that ‘cross’ version coming, but it’s smart move given the times and market trends.

  • rover10

    One area where the old model looked awkward was the tail high profile. Though a good looking car, the new version relates to the ground in a more accomplished way. Even a low spec Focus will appear more planted and wider on the road compared to its forerunner. The ‘Active’ looks like creating a new customer benchmark, for Focus buyer’s, with its semi SUV stance. As for the Vignale, I’m convinced it will find buyers who want to downsize without losing sparkle and comforts. I’m impressed by this new range and with true sporty models in the wings, Focus is set to remain a favorite.

    • Stephen G

      The out going design is much better looking. The “tail high profile” makes for less glass for a sleeker design. The taller greenhouse on the new design looks awkward and very station-wagon. But that’s what the Chinese want.

    • rover10

      No Stephen, the outgoing car looked gawky at the rear. The new car is much better planted, to see what I mean go to ‘WorldCarFans’ and see just how good the car is in standard form. Rather than a tapered high riding rear, the car now looks low and wider, much improved proportions.

  • WG

    The new one is better than the old one exterior and interior wise. However, the new design lacks distinction. People online are claiming designs from Fiat Tipo, Kia, Hyundai, Aston Martin, and Volvo… and I agree with them.

  • MarketAndChurch

    It’s more upright, to allow for more interior room, but that does make it look very Mazda3-ish.

    • rodriguez256

      I agree and that’s not a bad thing.

  • Mr. Crankypants

    This isn’t revolutionary -not even evolutionary. It’s a bland rehash of the current design. Every line is still there, just mildly tweaked so that new ones won’t even be noticed. The craze of standing tablets on the dash is silly. They look like cheap aftermarket add-ons. The existing dash looks solid and expensive whereas the new dash looks plain and cheap. I don’t own a Focus, never have and never will…it’s just not a vehicle that fits my needs but if you need a generic econobox that lacks personality this could be your ride. Way to hit the snooze button, Ford.

    • Karl

      Troll much?

      • Mr. Crankypants

        If my honest opinion sounds like I’m trolling then yes.

        • Karl

          Your opinion is not worth your saliva! You stated that you don’t own,never have you and never will,so what exactly made you this expert on all things Focus? Here Ford presented an all new model with much better materials and execution yet you were able to pronounce final judgment without as much as a test drive,sounds like a troll to me! Please peddle your nonsense bias rants elsewhere buddy..

          • Mr. Crankypants

            Karl the internet cop LOL!
            BTW I don’t see your opinion of the car posted here or is it your job to only criticize other’s? Now THAT’S the definition of an internet TROLL.

          • Karl

            Quite the contrary Bud! 14:59!

    • Janar Siniväli

      I have owned a Focus II F/L for six years. I really liked the facelift because it made the boring Focus II a bit more exciting. I skipped Focus III because I just don’t like the design. And unfortunately I am not a fan of the new one either although I have been looking forward to new spy photos and pieces of information for the whole last year.

      I am sure that it would be great to drive but the design… It is not stylish in the grown-up way like Octavia or Golf. It is not stylish in the futuristic way like the Civic. It is somewhere between everything like the Auris. It just does not look expensive and finshed. Especially the dashboard.

  • Mr. Crankypants

    What’s really funny is how Ford ran the prototypes around under camouflage for a long time as if they were hiding something fresh and daring. A loaf of Wonderbread is more exciting!

  • PhilMcGraw

    I just can’t unsee the similarities between this and the new Hyundai i30. Even the trapezoidal tablet-style infotainment screen is similar.

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a9f028f340b5ae1cbcafbe5bf5510e9d61ad39767f10033c9a141c0cb8eef4a4.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/db67b2d5b26c595ea78d495962f25361cf56cfd83279278eae88579370d681eb.jpg

  • Autoexperte
  • smartacus

    can’t say i’m in love with it

  • john1168

    I like it a lot! Well done Ford! I love the giant moonroof. I wish they did that on the Fusion. Any word on engines and transmissions?

    • SmartAss💁🏾‍♂️

      8 speed auto…ditching the DCT.

  • klowik

    I praise Ford this time has done a good job to improved on the overall design, esp the front fascia, With more sculpted and sophisticated folds on the front bumper and finally got rid of the Japanese inspired weird looking shaped tail-light. The lines and folds are more pleasing to the eyes on this new model. Also, I hate the old interior center console which looked hidden and squashed in the middle. The new one is more natural and like many others on the markets.

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    I’ve been a fan of the Focus since its early years. The current generation’s interior looked awful and not very intuitive. I applaud Ford for its efforts on this new design, albeit, most on here are saying they copy all these others cars. IMO, the auto industry is pretty much doing the same thing, which is playing it safe on what sells. i.e, Nissan Juke, totally different from the rest, but its now being discontinued due to lacking sells. “me too” designs sell, different ones don’t.

  • Vassilis

    The front looks so weird. Like, raised or something.

  • S3XY

    Sweet puny touchscreen propped at the top of the dash. Who the heck chose to put that there and who the heck okay’d it

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