Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2014 Ford Focus VS 2013 Toyota Prius Near Avondale, AZ

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2014 Ford Focus

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VS

2013 Toyota Prius

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 Toyota Prius c doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Focus are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota Prius c doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Focus (except S) offers optional Reverse Sensing System 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 Prius c 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 Prius c 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 Prius c 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 Prius c have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front-wheel drive, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Ford Focus weighs 435 to 545 pounds more than the Toyota Prius c. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Lighter cars are also affected more by crosswinds.

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 Toyota Prius c:

Focus

Prius c

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

179

359

Neck Injury Risk

28%

37%

Neck Stress

188 lbs.

401 lbs.

Neck Compression

42 lbs.

262 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

287/307 lbs.

316/452 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

276

292

Chest Compression

.4 inches

.6 inches

Neck Stress

157 lbs.

270 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

345/45 lbs.

373/348 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 Toyota Prius c:

Focus

Prius c

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Front Seat

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

95

216

Chest Movement

1.3 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

212 G’s

276 G’s

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

314

374

Spine Acceleration

52 G’s

90 G’s

Hip Force

566 lbs.

991 lbs.

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

HIC

182

198

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

49 G’s

Hip Force

698 lbs.

922 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, side, rear impact, and roof-crush crash tests, and an “Acceptable” rating in the newer small overlap frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Focus its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus,” a rating only granted to 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Prius c has not been fully tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

There are over 3 times as many Ford dealers as there are Toyota dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Focus’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 61 more horsepower (160 vs. 99) and 21 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 125) than the Prius c’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Popular Mechanics the Ford Focus is faster than the Toyota Prius c (automatics tested):

Focus

Prius c

Zero to 60 MPH

8 sec

11.3 sec

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

The Focus has 2.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius c (12.4 vs. 9.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Prius c doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Focus’ brake rotors are larger than those on the Prius c:

Focus

Prius c

Front Rotors

10.9 inches

10 inches

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 Prius c. 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 Prius c:

Focus

Prius c

80 to 0 MPH

210 feet

321 feet

Road & Track

60 to 0 MPH

110 feet

125 feet

Motor Trend

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Focus has larger standard tires than the Prius c (195/65R15 vs. 175/65R15). The Focus Titanium’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Prius c (235/40R18 vs. 195/55R16).

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 Prius c’s optional 55 series tires.

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

The Ford Focus’ wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Toyota Prius c only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

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 Prius c, 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 Toyota Prius c has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

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

The Focus has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Prius c doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Focus’ wheelbase is 3.9 inches longer than on the Prius c (104.3 inches vs. 100.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Focus is 3.3 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Prius c.

The Focus’ front to rear weight distribution is more even (58.5% to 41.5%) than the Prius c’s (61% to 39%). This gives the Focus more stable handling and braking.

The Focus Titanium Sedan handles at .88 G’s, while the Prius c pulls only .83 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Focus Titanium Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.3 seconds quicker than the Prius c (27.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 29.5 seconds @ .54 average G’s).

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 Prius c doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus has 3.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius c (90.7 vs. 87.4).

The Focus Sedan has .2 inches more front legroom, 2.9 inches more front hip room, 3.3 inches more front shoulder room, 1 inch more rear headroom, 1.9 inches more rear hip room and 2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius c.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Focus 5dr Hatchback has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Prius c (23.8 vs. 17.1 cubic feet).

Ergonomics Comparison

The Focus automatic offers a remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Prius c doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The power windows standard on both the Focus and the Prius c 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 Prius c prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

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 Prius c’s 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 Prius c doesn’t offer an exterior keypad entry system.

The Focus has standard lighted power door lock, power window, power mirror and cruise control switches so that they are easily found at night. The Prius c doesn’t have lighted switches.

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 Prius c’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

Consumer Reports rated the Focus’ headlight performance “Good,” a higher rating than the Prius c’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Focus SE/Titanium has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Prius c doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

The Focus’ power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Prius c’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

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 Prius c 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 Prius c 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 Prius c doesn’t offer dual zone air conditioning.

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 Prius c 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 Prius c is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Focus is less expensive to operate than the Prius c because typical repairs cost much less on the Focus than the Prius c, including $14 less for an alternator, $158 less for fuel injection, $152 less for a fuel pump, $95 less for front struts, $772 less for a timing belt/chain and $59 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Ford Focus and Toyota Prius c won five awards in Kiplinger’s 2013 car issue.

The Focus was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 7 of the last 14 years. The Prius hasn’t been picked since 2004.

The Focus was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 4 of the last 13 years. The Prius c has never been an “All Star.”

The Ford Focus outsold the Toyota Prius by 7815 units during the 2013 model year.

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