Ace of - 2017 Ford Focus SE Hatch

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy
ace of 2017 ford focus se hatch

With fresh news showing up yesterday of Ford shifting production of the Focus to China, it seemed an opportune time to revisit the Blue Oval’s offering in the compact segment. Last time around, we *ahem* focused on the sedan version and found it lacking.

Today, we’ll take a look at the five-door hatch which, in base trim, is better equipped with more features.

Right off the bat, the five-door hatch trumps the four-door sedan by opening its bid with an SE trim, rather than the poverty-spec S. A 2.0-liter inline-four is under the hood, making 160 horsepower if you spin it to a lofty 6500 rpm. Annoyingly, the six-speed Powershift automatic is the sole transmission available in this configuration, which usually would’ve been enough to scupper this whole Ace of Base post if it weren’t late at night with a looming deadline.

Putting on my accountant’s cap for a second, the take rate on three-pedal SE hatches was probably dismal anyway. I need to take that accountant’s cap off now; it hurts my head. at least on small cars.

The rest of the car shows well for a base model. Airbags will protrude from the dash, side, roof, and towards the driver’s knees if the situation goes awry, while Ford’s AdvanceTrac and stability control attempt to keep things shiny side up in the first place. These are mundane considerations for most but critical for the target audience of new or young drivers who sometimes have a propensity for crashing into stationary objects or attempting to occupy the same corner of the space/time continuum as another vehicle. The standard backup camera will help, too.

Satellite radio is included here, something which cannot be said for some of its rivals at this price point. Heck, even some megabucks BMWs and Mercs don’t have SiriusXM as standard equipment. Buttons for cruise control and audio functions take up residence on the steering wheel on this SE, whose column adjusts for reach and rake. A brace of USB ports keep devices charged and rear heat vents keep the squad comfortable. It’s worth noting that the Ford Escort LX Hatch my parents bought in 1989 had none of these features even though, adjusted for inflation, its price was within shouting distance of this 2017 Focus, which stickers at $19,765. Progress is alright.

Styling will always be subjective, but this author does prefer the more angular front end found on Foci prior to the most recent refresh. A wide array of colors are available gratis, save for the tasty Blue Candy and Ruby Red which add $395 to the bottom line. You know my choice is the obnoxious Race Red shown above. A natty rear spoiler juts out over the hatch like a spoilt child’s bottom lip.

At a price of nearly twenty grand, the base hatchback Focus certainly makes a better case for itself than its base sedan brother. Head much further up the Focus Hatch food chain and it’s just as well to pop for an ST.

Will buyers be accepting of a small Ford whose VIN starts with ‘L’? We shouldn’t have to wait long for an answer once they start arriving on these shores.

[Image: Ford Motor Company]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones that have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selections.

The model above is shown with American options and is priced in Freedom Dollars absent of destination and incentives (which are not insignificant on a lease for this particular car as of this writing). Naturally, your dealer may sell for less.

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7 of 55 comments
  • Big Al from Oz Big Al from Oz on Jun 22, 2017

    The article regurgatates the Chinese Focus bullsh!t. I do believe it does not matter where the vehicle is manufactured. So long as it works and meets your needs. My mother is a Focus fan and just bought another new Michigan made Focus earlier this year. The reality is the Thai (and EU) built Focus has superior build quality. I would suspect a Chinese built Focus would offer the same better than Michigan made quality. As a cheap and cheerful vehicle goes the Focus appears to be acceptable. But why not be able to buy one cheaper and most likely of better quality. This will make it a better Ace of Base contender.

    • See 3 previous
    • HotPotato HotPotato on Jun 23, 2017

      You really think they're going to pass the savings on to you? Adorable.

  • Incautious Incautious on Jun 22, 2017

    Just rented a 2017 SE from Miami to Key west and back. There is indeed a huge difference with this car and previous years transmissions. It drove quite pleasant with the automatic transmission performing flawlessly. Even with the A/C on there was plenty of pep too. For those that have never driven the Overseas Highway. It is a 113-mile mostly two lane road connecting the mainland to the Keys. Although the speed limit can reach 55MPH, most of the locals seem to drive a very leisurely 25MPH. UGH. The few areas where it goes to 4 lanes for passing are far and few, yet this car had plenty of pep for passing grandpa or lolly gaggers sightseeing. This car also has a European feel to its driving dynamics not unlike our late model A5, which I would take any day over most Asian vehicles.

    • Higheriq Higheriq on Jun 22, 2017

      Except that the Maxima has a CVT; not an automatic.

  • Alan Many of the comments reflect a poor attitude of who should be f@#ked over with little thought on why the fines are imposed. Humans have used a system of penalties/imprisonment for centuries and it doesn't work. What does work is limiting a persons freedoms. If their is a compliance issue, ie, VW with its Dieselgate and huge fines doesn't alter the way VW operate (I'd bet VAG is still finding ways to circumvent the system). This is human, if we know there is no or little chance of a genuine effort to conform things will stay the same, until electronic devices are used to regulate speed. Then we will here the whining about freedumbs. When your behaviour impacts anothers' freedom it isn't freedom anymore. Like guns as well, as well as white collar crime, etc. Controls and regulations tend to protect the rich, even driving regulations, so just remove the driving licences of serial offenders, their freedom. If they persevere imprison them.
  • MaintenanceCosts The Thunderbird SVE used a supercharged version of the 2-valve Mod, not the 4-valve one at issue here.There were nonstop rumors in the early 90s that the 4-valve engine would end up in the P71, making a true competitor to the LT1-powered bubble Caprice, but it never happened.
  • MaintenanceCosts Removing hardware that is already present in a physical machine you bought is theft. Someone affected should sue Tesla for conversion.It's just one more example of the sort of sharp business practices that you expect with Elmo at the helm..
  • Theflyersfan Needed an updated picture of Philadelphia to replace the rather nice ones above.
  • Arthur Dailey Any vehicle with a continental hump, even if vestigial, gets a thumbs up from me.