Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2016 Ford Focus VS 2016 Dodge Dart Near Surprise, AZ

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2016 Ford Focus

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VS

2016 Dodge Dart

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 Dodge Dart doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Focus’ optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Dart doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Focus (except S) offers optional Reverse Sensing System to help warn the driver about vehicles, pedestrians or other obstacles behind or, optionally, in front of the vehicle. The Dart doesn’t offer a front parking aid.

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 Dart 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 Dart 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, available blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

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 Dodge Dart:

Focus

Dart

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

201

241

Neck Stress

239 lbs.

334 lbs.

Neck Compression

54 lbs.

107 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

168/250 lbs.

640/499 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

207

239

Neck Injury Risk

39.5%

42%

Neck Compression

41 lbs.

161 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

404/227 lbs.

453/340 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 Dodge Dart:

Focus

Dart

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Hip Force

293 lbs.

341 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

347

381

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

182

195

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

48 G’s

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

Warranty Comparison

The Focus’ 5 year corrosion warranty has no mileage limitations, but the corrosion warranty on the Dart runs out after 100,000 miles.

There are over 33 percent more Ford dealers than there are Dodge 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 590-amp battery. The Dart only offers a standard 500-amp battery.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Ford vehicles are better in initial quality than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 9 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 18th, below the industry average.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Ford vehicles are more reliable than Dodge vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 24th in reliability. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Dodge is ranked 26th.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Car and Driver the Ford Focus 4 cyl. is faster than the Dart Aero 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (manual transmissions tested):

Focus

Dart

Zero to 30 MPH

2.7 sec

2.8 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.5 sec

8.2 sec

Zero to 100 MPH

21.9 sec

23 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

89 MPH

86 MPH

Top Speed

121 MPH

120 MPH

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Focus 4 cyl. is faster than the Dodge Dart (automatics tested):

Focus

Dart Aero

Dart 4 cyl.

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

8.9 sec

8.7 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.8 sec

16.6 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.7 MPH

84.6 MPH

82.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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

Focus

Dart

1.0 turbo 3 cyl./6-spd. Manual

30 city/42 hwy

n/a

2.0 4 cyl./6-spd. Manual

26 city/36 hwy

25 city/36 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Manual

n/a

22 city/35 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Manual

n/a

23 city/33 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Manual (GT)

2.0 4 cyl./6-spd. Auto

26 city/38 hwy

24 city/34 hwy

2.0 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

23 city/35 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto

n/a

22 city/31 hwy

2.4 4 cyl./Auto (GT)

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

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Focus stops much shorter than the Dart:

Focus

Dart

80 to 0 MPH

210 feet

236 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

189 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

143 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 Dart (235/40R18 vs. 225/45R17).

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

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

The Focus SE Sedan performs Popular Mechanics’ emergency lane change maneuver 2.7 MPH faster than the Dart Aero (60.66 vs. 57.98 MPH).

The Focus Titanium Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.3 seconds quicker than the Dart Limited (27.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.5 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Focus’ turning circle is .5 feet tighter than the Dart’s (36 feet vs. 36.5 feet). The Focus’ turning circle is 1.7 feet tighter than the Dart GT’s (36 feet vs. 37.7 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Focus Sedan is 5.2 inches shorter than the Dart, making the Focus easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

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

Focus

Dart

At idle

37 dB

43 dB

Full-Throttle

73 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

69 dB

71 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus has .9 inches more front legroom, 1 inch more rear headroom and .2 inches more rear hip room than the Dart.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the Focus easier. The Focus’ trunk lift-over height is 28.2 inches, while the Dart’s liftover is 29.7 inches.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Focus 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 Dart Limited/GT’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

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. Power locks cost extra on the Dart.

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 Dart doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

The Focus has standard power remote mirrors. The Dart only comes with remote mirrors at extra cost. Without them the driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

Optional SYNC AppLink 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 connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The Dart 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 Dart 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 Dart because typical repairs cost much less on the Focus than the Dart, including $74 less for a water pump, $190 less for an alternator, $29 less for front brake pads, $103 less for fuel injection, $94 less for a fuel pump, $113 less for front struts and $848 less for a power steering pump.

Intellichoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Ford Focus will be $882 to $1372 less than for the Dodge Dart.

Recommendations Comparison

Both the Ford Focus and Dodge Dart won four awards in Kiplinger’s 2015 car issue.

Popular Mechanics performed a comparison test in its August 2012 issue and the Ford Focus SE Sedan won out over the Dodge Dart Aero.

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

The Ford Focus outsold the Dodge Dart by over two to one during the 2015 model year.

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