Greene Ford Compares 2013 Ford Focus VS 2012 Honda Civic Near Flowery Branch, GA

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2013 Ford Focus

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2012 Honda Civic

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Ford Focus have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Honda Civic doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Focus Titanium has standard parking sensors to help warn drivers about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of their vehicle. The Focus Titanium also has a standard backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The Civic doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

The Focus’ blind spot mirrors use wide-angle convex mirrors mounted in the corner of each side view mirror to reveal objects that may be in the driver’s blind spots. The Civic doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

The Focus (except S) offers optional SYNC ®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Civic doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Focus and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Honda Civic:





5 Stars

5 Stars




Leg Forces (l/r)

203/82 lbs.

405/545 lbs.



4 Stars

4 Stars

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Leg Forces (l/r)

408/285 lbs.

594/231 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Honda Civic:




5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat


4 Stars

3 Stars

Abdominal Force

277 G’s

348 G’s

Hip Force

384 lbs.

625 lbs.

Rear Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars




Spine Acceleration

64 G’s

73 G’s

Hip Force

805 lbs.

882 lbs.

Into Pole


5 Stars

4 Stars

Spine Acceleration

37 G’s

50 G’s

Hip Force

474 lbs.

878 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Warranty Comparison

The Focus comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Honda doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Civic.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Focus’ warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Focus has a standard 590-amp battery. The Civic’s 410-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2012 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Honda vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Honda is ranked 12th.

Engine Comparison

The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 20 more horsepower (160 vs. 140) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 128) than the Civic’s 1.8 VTEC 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Focus is faster than the Honda Civic (manual transmissions tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.6 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.6 sec

As tested in Popular Mechanics the Ford Focus is faster than the Honda Civic (automatics tested):



Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

9.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.8 sec

17 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.6 MPH

81.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Focus has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Civic doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Focus’ brake rotors and drums are larger than those on the Civic:



Front Rotors

10.95 inches

10.3 inches

Rear Drums

9 inches

7.9 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

10.2 inches

The Focus stops much shorter than the Civic:



70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

133 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

158 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Focus Titanium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Civic (235/40R18 vs. 205/55R16).

The Focus Titanium’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 40 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Civic EX’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Focus Titanium offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Civic’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.

The Focus Titanium offers an optional full size spare tire so your trip isn’t interrupted by a flat. A full size spare isn’t available on the Civic, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Focus has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Civic’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Focus is 2.2 inches wider in the front and .9 inches wider in the rear than on the Civic.

The Focus’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.5% to 41.5%) than the Civic’s (60% to 40%). This gives the Focus more stable handling and braking.

The Focus Titanium Sedan handles at .88 G’s, while the Civic HF Sedan pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Focus Titanium Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Civic HF Sedan (27.2 seconds vs. 28.7 seconds).

Chassis Comparison

The front grille of the Focus uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Civic doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Focus Sedan is quieter than the Civic EX Sedan:



At idle

37 dB

43 dB


73 dB

78 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus Sedan has 3.4 inches more front hip room, .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.3 inches more rear hip room and .4 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Focus Sedan has a larger trunk than the Civic Sedan (13.2 vs. 12.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The engine computer on the Focus automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Civic’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The power windows standard on both the Focus and the Civic have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Focus is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Civic prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Focus’ standard driver’s power window opens with one touch of the switch, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Civic’s standard power window’s switch has to be held the entire time to open it fully. The Focus Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches. With the Civic LX/HF/EX’s power windows, only the driver’s window opens or closes automatically.

The Focus’ standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. The Civic DX doesn’t offer power locks.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the available exterior keypad. The Civic doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

Intelligent Access standard on the Focus Titanium allows the driver to unlock the doors, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the car in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Honda Civic doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Focus’ variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Civic DX/LX/HF’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

The Focus has standard power remote mirrors. The Civic DX doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Focus’ optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Focus (except S)’s optional dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Civic doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

The Focus (except S)’s optional automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Civic doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

Optional SYNC for the Focus (not available S) allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations and other online activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Civic doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Focus Titanium’s optional Active Park Assist can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Civic doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Focus will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Focus will retain 60% to 63% of its original price after two years, while the Civic only retains 52% to 58%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Focus is less expensive to operate than the Civic because typical repairs cost much less on the Focus than the Civic, including $63 less for a water pump, $68 less for fuel injection, $343 less for front struts, $65 less for a timing belt/chain and $85 less for a power steering pump.

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