Taking a closer look at the changes

After seven years on the market, the third-generation Focus was finally retired in 2018 and replaced with a new model redesigned on a clean sheet. Highly popular in the U.S. and Europe, the third-gen Focus leaves a big legacy behind. The outgoing hatchback was a high seller, it spawned the best ST model yet, and marked the return of the RS nameplate. Whether the new Focus will be able to fill the big shoes or not is hard to predict at this point, but we can compare the two cars inside and out to see what changed and which is ultimately more appealing. Let’s have a closer look below.

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The Exterior

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The new grille steps away from the angular design of the previous generation that many associated with Aston Martin sports cars

The new Focus is obviously an evolution of the previous design, but Ford reshaped plenty of features. The restyling follows in the footsteps of the recently unveiled Fiesta, especially when looking at the front grille. Not only bigger, the new grille steps away from the angular design of the previous generation that many associated with Aston Martin sports cars. It was definitely a "love it or hate it" element, but now it’s gone. The new grille is pretty much an upside-down version of the previous design, but Ford also gave it rounder edges. The horizontal bars were replaced with a honeycomb-like pattern, the go-to feature for automakers that want a sportier look. I’m not a big fan of the new grille to be honest, but it definitely looks better than the wedge-style design element from the past. At least the Focus no longer has that awful 1990s vibe to it.

2019 Ford Focus Exterior Interior
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The wider center grille, the bigger side vents, and the small flicks at the corners give the Focus an aggressive stance

But while the grille is far from impressive, I really like what Ford did with the bumper. The wider center grille, the bigger side vents, and the small flicks at the corners give the Focus an aggressive stance even in standard trim. The engine hood has more character too, with two distinct pairs of lines adding more muscle. While the outer character lines were carried over from the previous model, the inner lines sit farther from each other, adding more width to the front fascia. Finally, we have a new pair of headlamps that are bigger and taller. They aren’t as long as the previous ones though, a sign that Ford just got sick of the extremely swept-back light units (a similar change can be seen on the new Fiesta too).

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Like the Fiesta, the Focus adopted horizontally oriented taillights that extend well into the tailgate

The profiles of the two cars are very similar upon first glance. Take a closer look and you’ll notice that the new Focus has a more pronounced dent on the lower front door and that it doesn’t have a quarter window. The lack of a quarter window gives the hatchback a more modern look, but at the same time it makes for a less sportier glasshouse arrangement. The more aerodynamic mirror caps and the two-tone wheels add to the new hatchback’s fresh look.

The new rear end is actually a significant departure from the outgoing model. Much like the Fiesta, the Focus adopted horizontally oriented taillights that extend well into the tailgate. The outer edges still run close to the rear doors, but they no longer feature the sharp extension. The tailgate has also been redesigned and it’s slightly wider now, which provides a wider opening area for the trunk, meaning you can fit bigger objects easily in there. The bumper is a big evolution too, now incorporating a massive diffuser-like element and faux vents with red lights onto the sides. By comparison, the old rear bumper looks boring to say the least.

Inside the Cabin

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The new dashboard design no longer looks as if it's going to bury the front passenger below the waist

As it happens with new-generation models, the latest Focus is clearly the better-equipped car in terms of features and tech. But we’re not here to discuss that. This comparison is all about the looks so we’re going to ignore every fancy feature or gadget you can find in the redesigned model. Thankfully, the new Focus delivers in the design department too.

While the outgoing model stood well on its own compared to the competition, it began to look dated in recent years. The plastic on the dashboard looked cheap, the center stack was way too cluttered for modern standards, while the instrument cluster needed an update to a digital display. Ford fixed all these issues for the current generation, starting with a new dashboard design that no longer looks as if it’s going to bury the front passenger below the waist.

2019 Ford Focus Interior
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The center stack no longer looks cluttered, mainly due to several controls being moved on the infotainment touchscreen

No longer inclined toward the seats, the dashboard provides a lot more knee room and gives the lower cabin more roominess. The same effect is present on the driver’s side, with the steering wheel sitting a bit farther from the seat. The center stack no longer looks cluttered, mainly due to several controls previously accessed via buttons and knobs being moved on the infotainment touchscreen. The display was also moved atop the dashboard, so the center stack is much narrower now. The center console is wider and cleaner, especially on automatic models with the rotary knob. It also gained two cup holders for enhanced convenience.

The steering wheel doesn’t look too different, but it’s definitely more refined. The buttons seem more ergonomic, while the rim is thicker for better grip. Behind it, there’s a digital instrument cluster that displays a lot more information than the previous unit. The counters are also more legible due to the bright lights. No longer integrated into a wraparound design with the dashboard, the door panels seem to provide a bit more elbow room. All told, the new Focus is significantly above the existing Volkswagen Golf in terms of interior design and feel.

References

2019 Ford Focus Exterior Interior
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Read our full review on the 2019 Ford Focus.

2015 Ford Focus High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Read our full review on the 2015 Ford Focus.

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Read more Ford news.

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