Spoiler Alert: Your Teen Will Feel Spoiled By the 2014 Ford Focus, But You’ll Feel Secure
My daughter wants a car. And I want a beach house. So giving her our old Toyota is the perfect solution, right?
But then, I would have to buy a new car, because the Toyota is my daily drive. Sounds like we all win, right?
And then I think about it: Do I really want my precious teen darling driving around in a used car—a safe, well maintained car of course—with more than 100K miles? And with no hands-free phone capability? And with no hands-free navigation system? And with an older sound system that isn’t as loud as those in newer cars?
A New Car For A New Driver: Really?
OK, that last one might be a winner. And while I don’t want my little angel to be spoiled, I do want her to be safe. So I have to rethink this passing-down-the-old-car thing again.
The main thing that weighs on my mind are the number of well priced, well outfitted cars on the market right now that are great for teens and young drivers. Among them, the 2014 Ford Focus. I recently spent a week driving a Focus Titanium hatchback, and wow: maybe I will give my daughter the Toyota and keep the Focus. It was a blast.
But here is what would make me feel guilty about that.
First, the Focus, priced at just $25K, is outfitted with just about every nice little touch you could imagine: comfortable leather seats, smart key with push button start, remote start, a cute, sporty look and rear seats that fold for more cargo space. iI’s small and agile so it’s easy to drive and park.
And the Focus comes with the sweet Ford suite of technology: MyTouch infotainment system with Sync phone connectivity.
10 Reasons Why This Car is Great for a Young Driver
But here are the top 10 reasons why your teen or 20-something will love this car (and you’ll love it for her):
- There’s no place for your phone other than in the cup holder, center console or in your handbag (no shelf, holder or other space for it), which means as soon as you get into the car, you sync your phone, stow, and go.
- Hands free voice activated commands, via Bluetooth or USB, that include making phone calls, reading your texts, setting climate control and playing music from your phone or other device.
- Voice activated turn by turn navigation; just tell the nice lady where you want to go and she’ll guide you.
- Active park assist, an available option, will sense a spot and automatically park the car for you. If your teen failed or wasn’t tested on parallel parking, the Focus will do the job for him.
- My Key, which lets you, the “administrator” set a number of limits, including: a top speed (65, 70, 75 to 80 MPH), set a top radio volume, set a warning when the fuel level falls to 75 miles to empty, mute the sound system when seat belts are not in use, set the phone to ‘do not disturb’ to block incoming calls and texts, and block stations labeled as explicit on SiriusXM.
- Ford’s center information cluster, which puts all information right in the driver’s line of sight and lets the driver scroll through with buttons on the steering wheel.
- Intelligent Access smart key, which unlocks the drivers door if the key is in your pocket or purse, has a push button start (no key to insert and turn), and comes with a remote starter, which is really, completely fabulous when it’s really hot out, or in the depths of winter. You can start your car and it warms up (or cools down) before you get in. Also, having the engine run for a few minutes first helps the engine to perform more efficiently.
- A safety package that includes blind spot detectors, rear view camera, tire pressure monitoring system and so many air bags even her manicure will be protected in a crash.
- 911 assist, which allows you to set up a paired phone to automatically call 911 if the airbags are deployed.
- Good gas mileage. Of course!
She will also love that Ford’s MyTouch media system is easy to use and program, so her favorite stations or playlists are easy to access, that the front seats are heated, and that when she has friends in the back seat (you know, when she’s 40) they will be able to charge their devices with a rear power port.
And just to make sure she doesn’t feel too spoiled by getting a new car over my old one, perhaps we’ll not opt for the sunroof and we’ll limit the SiriusXM membership to the 6 month trial period that comes with the Focus.
What We Loved
- Comfortable, roomy interior with leather seating
- Hands free everything: phone, music, climate, navigation, texting and more
- Top safety features such as blind spot monitor and rear view camera (these might actually help your teen to improve her driving!)
- Ford’s programmable My Key (this will certainly improve her driving)
- Intelligent Access smart key with remote and push button start
- Phone needs to be stored out of view
- Plenty of charge ports, including two USB and two cigarette style ports
- Capless gas tank
- Sporty look with a hatchback that gives more flexibility to cargo needs
What You Need to Know
- MSRP ranges from $16k-$35K; price of the model we tested, about $25K
- Available in a variety of power trains, including an all electric model
- Gas mileage for the Titanium edition we tested: 27 MPG city/37MPG highway; we averaged about 30 MPG
Disclosure: Ford provided the Focus for my review; all opinions are purely my own.