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Honda Civic vs. Ford Focus

Honda Civic vs. Ford Focus

At a Glance

The Ford Focus has a significantly lower starting price than the Honda Civic, but the prices begin to even out as you add more options. The Civic is an eye-catcher among small cars and boasts a bit more power.

Ford and Honda, along with VW, top the family hatchback sector and both have new flagship models: the new Ford Focus and the new Honda Civic. These two cars have an excellent pedigree built on the previous versions, but how do the new models line up against each other? The Civic has previously won many prestigious car of the year awards, notably North American Car of the Year in 2006. By the same yardstick, the new diesel Focus won Best Medium Diesel Car from Diesel Car Magazine in 2012. Interestingly for such highly decorated family cars both have an excellent track record in the world of touring car racing, but what are they like to own day to day?


First off the bat, how do they compare on price? In this competitive market and in current economic conditions this really is a primary consideration. The Civic comes in three basic guises, a 1.4 i-VTEC Petrol, a 1.8 i-VTEC Petrol and a 2.2 i-DTEC Diesel. The range starts at £16,995 and goes up to around £26,850. This is compared to the extensive Focus line up with engines from 1.0 litre to 2.0 litres in both diesel and petrol. Prices go from £13,995 to £25,495. The range also includes Ford’s ECOBoost engines which provide an MPG figure of around 58.9 (compared to a 52.3 from the closest equivalent Civic). The Civic diesel does out perform the Focus however, so be aware when considering petrol or diesel.


Space in the Civic is excellent. There is plenty of legroom for all passengers and importantly, the boot is spacious with a simple folding rear seat mechanism. This results in a full capacity of 1,210 litres if needed, pretty generous for a car in this sector. The Focus competes with a respectable 1,101 with the seats down but this is not quite as easy as in the Civic. Both cars have exceptional safety features and are very difficult to split. There are airbags in all the right places and good pedestrian safety features in-line with current regulation. The Focus has an excellent stability management system (ESP) which, with its “torque vectoring” technology makes for exceptional ride quality and handling.


Both the Focus and the Civic score highly here, apart from the lowest (84 bhp) powered Ford engine, all versions provide enough power to feel confident in any driving situation. The road handling from this pair is also worthy of top marks, with the Ford feeling slightly more robust due to its clever ESP system but it is a close contest. One word on reliability, brilliant. Honda and Ford have a track record of excellent service and solid mechanics. Nothing to worry about here.

Equipment and Styling

As with most modern cars there is an extensive options list and it is easy to get carried away. Entry level models do come packed with features (all the Fords come with air conditioning) but it is the mid range models where you will see the best returns. All have modern features like Bluetooth and great sound/technology platforms. Interior fixtures and fittings are as you would expect with a mix of materials, but both have a higher level of quality plastics than you would traditionally think. The Civic is the most impressive to look at, however be aware that the fussy rear end of the car does impact visibility when you are in the drivers seat.

These cars are truly worthy updates of what were already great additions to the market. The mix of technology, comfort and practicality make them stand out in the class, and for the money, certainly two of the cars to beat for other manufacturers.

Image via Wikipedia.