Review and Photos by Peter Bleakney

Quick! What is the world’s best-selling car?

If you said the Ford Focus, you cheated and looked at the picture. Or maybe you were hip to this bit of automotive news. I wasn’t.

Suffice to say, Ford sells a gajillion of these things – well over 600,000 expected for 2013 with the burgeoning Chinese market accounting for 30 percent of those sales.

However, you can safely bet the majority of those Focuses aren’t spec’d as this premium Titanium five-door that lightens the billfold by a tick over 30 large here in Canada.

2013 Ford Focus Titanium2013 Ford Focus Titanium
2013 Ford Focus Titanium. Click image to enlarge

It seems like just yesterday when this new “world car” Focus was the darling of the compact car scene. It reset the bar for the sub-Golf crowd, delivering European solidity, sharp moves, a boldly sculpted interior and even an available six-speed twin-clutch automatic – something not seen in this class of car. And granted, that gearbox had its teething problems but it seems they’ve been largely sorted out if this Blue Candy Metallic Titanium is anything to go by.

That said, the compact car game has been moving at the speed of light, with manufacturers rolling out new, better, bigger, more fuel efficient, and prettier hardware in hopes of capturing a larger piece of the pie.

2013 Ford Focus Titanium
2013 Ford Focus Titanium
2013 Ford Focus Titanium
2013 Ford Focus Titanium. Click image to enlarge

And so this generation Focus is now somewhat the elder statesman, even though it’s only been on sale for three years.

How is it holding up?

The Focus in five-door trim still cuts a sharp profile, looking angular, purposeful and nicely resolved. It’s a pleasing design with a just-right stance, especially on these multi-spoke 17-inch rims.

Jump in, close the door and it swings home with a reassuring Germanic thunk that spells substance. The leather seats are firm but well contoured and prove to be your ally on a long journey.

The dash is a pretty flashy affair – aggressively styled and constructed with quality materials save for a bit of cheapish silver plastic around the base of the console. This being the Titanium model, we’re treated to the MyFord Touch interface, which has taken its fair share of flak from the media and consumers alike for slow response time and fussy ergonomics. Ford has massaged it a bit over the years, and like any of these systems, familiarity is a big key to functionality.

To avoid the distracting rigmarole of changing radio stations, voice commands work great. Redundant controls for HVAC (including seat heater control) and the audio keep this compact pretty user friendly.

I’ve always appreciated the Focus’s clear gauges and bright graphics. A central multi-information display between the major gauges is accessed via buttons on the steering wheel.

Ah yes, the steering wheel. It’s a nicely contoured leather wrapped affair, but boy, does it have a lot of buttons. And no shift paddles. If you want to play with the gears in this six-speed twin-clutch auto, there is a little toggle switch on the side of the shift lever. You’ll try it once, and that will be about it.

Same with the $600 Automatic Parking System that performs a pretty snazzy party trick. It scans for a suitable parallel parking spot then steers the hatch in. All you do is operate the gas and brakes. But seriously, does anybody really utilize these things on a regular basis?

Connect with