Greene Ford Compares 2014 Ford Focus VS 2014 Chevrolet Sonic Near Atlanta, GA

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2014 Ford Focus

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VS

2014 Chevrolet Sonic

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 Chevrolet Sonic doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

Both the Focus and the Sonic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, height-adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, 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 Chevrolet Sonic:

Focus

Sonic

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Injury Risk

28%

31%

Neck Stress

188 lbs.

262 lbs.

Neck Compression

42 lbs.

60 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

287/307 lbs.

328/406 lbs.

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

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Ford Focus is safer than the Sonic Sedan:

Focus

Sonic

Overall Evaluation

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Restraints

ACCEPTABLE

MARGINAL

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Head injury index

133

199

Peak Head Forces

0

0

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Max Chest Compression

19 cm

19 cm

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

MARGINAL

Tibia index R/L

.58/.42

.61/.89

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 Chevrolet Sonic:

Focus

Sonic

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

566 lbs.

761 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

197

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

698 lbs.

885 lbs.

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

For its top level performance in the IIHS moderate overlap frontal impact, side impact, rear impact, roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rates the Focus as a “Top Pick” for 2014. The Sonic is not a “Top Pick” for 2014.

Warranty Comparison

The Focus’ corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Sonic’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Focus has a standard 590-amp battery. The Sonic’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (160 vs. 138) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 125) than the Sonic’s standard 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl. The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 22 more horsepower (160 vs. 138) than the Sonic’s optional 1.4 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Focus is faster than the Chevrolet Sonic turbo 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

Focus

Sonic

Zero to 60 MPH

7.4 sec

8.5 sec

Quarter Mile

15.9 sec

16.6 sec

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Focus is faster than the Chevrolet Sonic 1.8 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Focus

Sonic

Zero to 60 MPH

8.5 sec

9.3 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.7 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

17.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.5 MPH

82.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Focus SFE gets better fuel mileage than the Sonic 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. Auto (28 city/40 hwy vs. 27 city/37 hwy).

On the EPA test cycle the Focus gets better fuel mileage than the Sonic:

Focus

Sonic

4 cyl./Manual

26 city/36 hwy

26 city/35 hwy

RS turbo 4 cyl./Manual

n/a

27 city/34 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

27 city/37 hwy

25 city/35 hwy

RS turbo 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

25 city/33 hwy

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 Sonic doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Focus stops much shorter than the Sonic:

Focus

Sonic

80 to 0 MPH

210 feet

223 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Focus Titanium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonic (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 Sonic LTZ/RS’ 50 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Focus Titanium offers optional 18-inch wheels. The Sonic’s largest wheels are only 17-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 Sonic, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Focus has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Chevrolet Sonic has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

The Focus has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Focus flat and controlled during cornering. The Sonic’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Focus’ wheelbase is 4.9 inches longer than on the Sonic (104.3 inches vs. 99.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Focus is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 1 inch wider in the rear than on the Sonic.

The Focus’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.5% to 41.5%) than the Sonic’s (62.5% to 37.5%). This gives the Focus more stable handling and braking.

The Focus SE 5dr Hatchback handles at .83 G’s, while the Sonic LTZ Hatchback pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

Chassis Comparison

For excellent aerodynamics, the Focus has standard flush composite headlights. The Sonic has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

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 Sonic doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Focus 5dr Hatchback is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the Sonic Hatchback is rated a Small Station Wagon.

The Focus Sedan has .1 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 1.1 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sonic Sedan.

The Focus 5dr Hatchback has .1 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, 1.1 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Sonic Hatchback.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Focus 5dr Hatchback has a much larger cargo area than the Sonic Hatchback with its rear seat up (23.8 vs. 19 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Focus’ standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Sonic LT/LTZ/RS.

The Focus SE/Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Sonic LT/LTZ/RS’ passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

In case you lock your keys in your vehicle, or don’t have them with you, you can let yourself in using the Focus’ available exterior keypad. The Sonic doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system, and its OnStar ® can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

Intelligent Access standard on the Focus Titanium allows you to unlock the driver’s door, 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 vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Chevrolet Sonic doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

The Focus has standard power remote mirrors. The Sonic LS 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 Sonic doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Focus offers an optional center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Sonic doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

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 Sonic 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 Sonic doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Focus SE/Titanium has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sonic doesn’t offer rear vents.

The Focus’ available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Sonic’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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 Sonic doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Focus owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Focus with a number “3” insurance rate while the Sonic is rated higher at a number “8” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Focus is less expensive to operate than the Sonic because typical repairs cost much less on the Focus than the Sonic, including $251 less for an alternator, $69 less for front brake pads and $124 less for a fuel pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Ford Focus won two awards in Kiplinger’s 2014 car issue. The Chevrolet Sonic didn't win any award.

The Focus was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 7 of the last 15 years. The Sonic has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The Focus was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 4 of the last 14 years. The Sonic has never been an “All Star.”

The Ford Focus outsold the Chevrolet Sonic by almost three to one during 2013.

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