Jones Ford Buckeye Compares 2016 Ford Focus VS 2016 Volkswagen Jetta Near Surprise, AZ

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2016 Ford Focus

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VS

2016 Volkswagen Jetta

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 Volkswagen Jetta 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 Jetta doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

Both the Focus and the Jetta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, front and rear parking sensors 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 Volkswagen Jetta:

Focus

Jetta

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

201

230

Neck Injury Risk

31.3%

32%

Neck Stress

239 lbs.

342 lbs.

Neck Compression

54 lbs.

87 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

168/250 lbs.

734/639 lbs.

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

207

325

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

39.5%

41%

Neck Stress

173 lbs.

213 lbs.

Neck Compression

41 lbs.

114 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 Volkswagen Jetta:

Focus

Jetta

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Abdominal Force

218 G’s

223 G’s

Hip Force

293 lbs.

321 lbs.

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

347

423

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

18 inches

HIC

182

204

Spine Acceleration

39 G’s

54 G’s

Hip Force

698 lbs.

720 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

There are over 6 times as many Ford dealers as there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much 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 Jetta’s 540-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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 Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Ford 12th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 16 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 23rd, below the industry average.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Motor Trend the Ford Focus 4 cyl. is faster than the Jetta 1.4T 1.4 turbo 4 cyl. (automatics tested):

Focus

Jetta

Zero to 60 MPH

8.1 sec

9.4 sec

Quarter Mile

16.2 sec

16.9 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.7 MPH

82.8 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Ford Focus uses regular unleaded gasoline (premium recommended with the 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. engine for maximum performance). The Jetta Hybrid requires premium, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

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

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Focus stops much shorter than the Jetta:

Focus

Jetta

80 to 0 MPH

210 feet

257 feet

Road & Track

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

182 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

151 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 Jetta (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 Jetta, 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 gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Jetta’s suspension doesn’t offer front gas-charged shocks.

The Focus Titanium Sedan handles at .88 G’s, while the Jetta pulls only .77 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Focus SE Sedan performs Popular Mechanics’ emergency lane change maneuver 9.2 MPH faster than the Jetta TDI (60.66 vs. 51.5 MPH).

The Focus Titanium Sedan executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.7 seconds quicker than the Jetta TDI (27.2 seconds @ .62 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

For better maneuverability, the Focus’ turning circle is .4 feet tighter than the Jetta’s (36 feet vs. 36.4 feet). The Focus’ turning circle is 2.1 feet tighter than the Jetta GLI’s (36 feet vs. 38.1 feet).

Chassis Comparison

The Focus Sedan is 4.6 inches shorter than the Jetta, making the Focus easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while at idle, the interior of the Focus Sedan is quieter than the Jetta (37 vs. 38 dB).

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus has .1 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more front legroom, .4 inches more front shoulder room and .9 inches more rear headroom than the Jetta.

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 Jetta doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Jetta doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost Car-Net can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.

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

On extremely cold Winter days, the Focus SE/Titanium’s optional heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Jetta doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

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 Jetta 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 Jetta because typical repairs cost much less on the Focus than the Jetta, including $423 less for a water pump, $404 less for an alternator, $13 less for front brake pads, $250 less for a starter, $125 less for fuel injection, $56 less for a fuel pump, $298 less for front struts and $102 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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

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

The Ford Focus outsold the Volkswagen Jetta by 45% during the 2015 model year.

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