A Class Of One: 2016 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback

Front 3/4 view of 2016 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback
The 2016 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback.
You're probably wondering exactly what that headline means..."A Class Of One".  There are a lot of small cars on the market.  But the Ford Focus Titanium is something different---a premium American compact.

Rear 3/4 view of 2016 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback
2016 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback.
Disclosure:  We haven't driven the new Chevy Cruze, but are eager to.  Still, Chevy's products don't quite have that European vibe that the Focus comes by honestly---it is truly a world car, and with this generation, Ford in the U.S. began building for us the Focus that Europe gets rather than softening it for American tastes.

The Dodge Dart is technically European...a Fiat under the skin...but it's on its way out with no plans for a replacement, as is the Buick Verano.  And that leaves the Focus.

Interior of 2016 Ford Focus Titanium
2016 Ford Focus Titanium Hatchback interior.
The Focus, especially the Titanium Hatchback we tested, is the one American compact we can picture driving home to a neighborhood filled with VW Golfs, Audi A3s and BMW 228is and not having to make excuses. The 2.0-liter four feels more powerful than its 160 horses would suggest, the six-speed automatic shifts smoothly but precisely, and the car handles like it's an extension of your brain.  Think it and you're there.  And the fuel economy is a major strong spot: 26 city/38 highway.

The Ford Focus Titanium, for the base price of $23,275, comes remarkably well-equipped (see the list of features here). Our tester packed an additional $3,250 in options, including the Blue Candy tinted clearcoat paint ($395), 18-inch wheel package ($625), technology package including blind-spot warning and lane-keeping alert ($795), voice-activated navigation ($795), active park assist ($395) and exterior protection package ($245).

With $875 destination and delivery, the bottom line was $27,850.  Not cheap.  In fact, that money can buy you a decently-equipped car the next size class up...the Phoenix Bureau tested a Fusion last year that rang in at only 40 bucks more.  But the days of buying cars by the pound are over. Sometimes big-ish money for a small car makes sense.  And the Ford Focus Titanium, especially a loaded one like ours, is a great example of that.