Greene Ford Compares 2017 Ford Focus VS 2017 Chevrolet Sonic Near Cleveland, GA

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2017 Ford Focus

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2017 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.

The Focus SEL/Titanium has standard Reverse Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Sonic doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

To help make backing safer, the Focus Titanium’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Sonic doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems and blind spot warning systems.

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:







5 Stars

5 Stars

Neck Stress

239 lbs.

262 lbs.

Neck Compression

54 lbs.

60 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

168/250 lbs.

328/406 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 Chevrolet Sonic:





Front Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.1 inches

Hip Force

293 lbs.

366 lbs.


Rear Seat


5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

626 lbs.

761 lbs.


Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




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.

Warranty Comparison

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

There are over 29 percent more Ford dealers than there are Chevrolet dealers, which makes it 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 Sonic’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Focus’ standard 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.

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




Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.9 sec

24.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

85 MPH

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




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 SE Sedan SFE gets better fuel mileage than the Sonic:







1.0 3 cyl./6-spd. Manual

30 city/40 hwy

28 city/38 hwy

1.4 turbo 4 cyl./Manual


1.0 3 cyl./6-spd. Auto

27 city/38 hwy

27 city/36 hwy

1.4 turbo 4 cyl./Auto


2.0 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

26 city/38 hwy



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







2.0 4 cyl./5-spd. Manual

25 city/34 hwy

25 city/33 hwy



2.0 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

26 city/36 hwy

24 city/34 hwy


In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Focus 1.0 ECOBoost’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Sonic doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

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 offers optional antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Sonic. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Focus stops much shorter than the Sonic:





80 to 0 MPH

210 feet

223 feet

Road and Track

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

124 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Focus’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Sonic (215/50R17 vs. 205/55R16).

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.

The Focus’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Sonic doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

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 Hatchback handles at .83 G’s, while the Sonic Premier Hatchback pulls only .81 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Focus Titanium Hatchback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver quicker than the Sonic Premier Hatchback (26.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 27.6 seconds @ .61 average G’s).

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

The Focus Sedan has 1.3 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front hip room, 2.2 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom and 1.2 inches more rear hip room than the Sonic Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Focus Hatchback has a much larger cargo area than the Sonic Hatchback with its rear seat up (23.3 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/Premier.

The Focus Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close with one touch of the switches. The Sonic ’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully.

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 PIN entry system. The Sonic doesn’t offer an exterior PIN 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.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Focus Titanium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Sonic doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

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 Titanium has a standard 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 SEL/Titanium’s standard 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 SEL/Titanium’s standard 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/SEL/Titanium has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Sonic doesn’t offer rear vents.

The Focus SEL/Titanium’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all 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

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 $86 less for a water pump, $309 less for an alternator, $50 less for front brake pads, $46 less for front struts and $121 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

The Focus was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 7 of the last 17 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 16 years. The Sonic has never been an “All Star.”

The Ford Focus outsold the Chevrolet Sonic by over three to one during the 2016 model year.

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