Ford Fiesta vs Ford Focus

Ford Fiesta vs Ford Focus: used car comparison

Which is better, the Ford Fiesta or Ford Focus? Our comparison guide tells you everything you need to know.

Graham King Cazoo

By Graham King

Published: 19 June 2023

If you’re shopping for a used hatchback, the Ford Fiesta and Ford Focus may well be on your shortlist. They’re definitely worth your consideration but what’s the difference between them and which one would be best for you? In this guide, we’ll help you answer those questions by comparing the latest-generation Fiesta and Focus in the most important areas.

The current Fiesta has been sold new since 2017, the Focus since 2019. Both were updated in 2022 with fresh styling and upgraded tech.

Size and styling

There’s a big difference in size between the two cars – the Focus is more than 30cm longer than the Fiesta, and nearly 10cm wider. That difference alone makes it easy to tell the cars apart.

Both cars have a similar, broad line-up of trims to choose from, covering a range of budgets and equipment levels. Both also include a trim level called Active, which is styled to look more like an SUV, with raised suspension and extra trim around the wheel arches. The Focus is available only as a five-door model, either as a hatchback or estate. The Fiesta is available as a three- or five-door hatchback.

Ford Fiesta left; Ford Focus right

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Interior and tech

They may seem quite different on the outside, but the Fiesta and Focus look quite similar on the inside. Compare their user-friendly dashboards and it’s quite hard to tell them apart. The infotainment display protrudes from the top; below that there’s a row of shortcut buttons and stereo volume controls. 

Ford’s infotainment system is one of the best you’ll find in a mainstream-brand car. It’s packed with features and vehicle information and it supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. You can quickly learn where to find the features you use most often, the screen is responsive and the graphics look sharp.

Many Fiesta and Focus models also have built-in sat nav and a digital driver’s display that can be customised to show the information you need most. Other features fitted to all models include air con and cruise control, while top-of-the-range cars have extra luxuries like heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.

Ford Fiesta left; Ford Focus right

Boot space and practicality

With a capacity of 292 litres, the Fiesta’s boot is on the small side for a car of this size. It’ll hold a few large shopping bags or a big holdall, but not much more. The Focus has 375 litres of boot space, which is pretty average for a mid-size hatchback. It’s enough to accommodate the average family’s weekly food shopping, school bags and so on, although careful packing might be needed when you go on holiday. 

Both cars’ back seats fold down if you need to carry bigger loads but if that’s still not enough load-carrying ability for you, there’s always the Focus estate. Its 575-litre boot gives you a lot more space (if not as much as some rival estates) and a couple of Labradors should be perfectly happy in there. 

The Fiesta and Focus have similarly generous space in the front seats, with enough for you to get comfortable even if you’re tall and broad-shouldered. Being the bigger car, the Focus is much roomier in the back. Adults can fit in the Fiesta’s back seats, but they have space to stretch out in the Focus. You can just about get five adults in the Focus, too, which would be a struggle in the Fiesta. Both cars have plenty of room for kids in the back, but the view out of the Fiesta’s smaller back windows is fairly limited for smaller people.

Which is best to drive?

When it comes to everyday cars that are fun to drive, Ford leads the way. Both the Fiesta and the Focus feel nimble and engaging in a way that few rivals can match. Their steering is responsive, which is as valuable when scooting around town as it is zipping along a country road. Each also give you a ride that’s smooth even over the bumpiest roads.

Although they share a lot in character, the Focus’ extra size and weight help to make it feel a bit more comfortable, and it feels a touch calmer and more stable at higher speeds. The Fiesta, on the other hand, is slightly more at home in towns and cities, where it’ll squeeze into much smaller parking spaces. 

Both cars are available with a range of petrol and diesel engines. There are options to suit most needs, whether you want great fuel economy, high performance or a balance of the two. The 100bhp 1.0-litre ‘EcoBoost’ petrol engine is the Fiesta’s most popular, while a 125bhp version of the same engine is a top choice in the Focus.

Ford Fiesta left; Ford Focus right

Which costs less to own?

Despite their difference in size, there's little to choose between Fiesta and Focus in fuel economy. According to official figures, petrol Fiesta models can give you an average of between 40mpg and 57mpg and diesels can give 54mpg to 65mpg. In the Focus, petrol engines should give you between 39mpg and 56mpg and diesels 44mpg to 67mpg.

Similarly, car tax rates for these cars are pretty much interchangeable. The only real difference is that it’s possible to spend more than £40,000 on a brand new Focus, so you may come across the odd top-of-the-range model that incurs an extra annual charge until it’s six years old.

Although the Fiesta costs less to buy than a similar-spec Focus, running costs for these are likely to be fairly similar. Insurance is very reasonable on most models, although the most cost-effective Fiesta models fall into a lower insurance group than the entry-level Focus models.

Safety and reliability

Safety organisation Euro NCAP awarded a full five-star safety rating to both the Fiesta and the Focus, giving them excellent marks for protecting occupants in a crash. Both come with lots of driver-safety features. The Fiesta has lane-keeping assist and a speed limiter, and many models also have traffic-sign recognition. The Focus has those features plus automatic emergency braking.

Ford has a reputation for producing solid, dependable cars. It was ranked 9th out of 24 car brands in the J.D. Power 2019 UK Vehicle Dependability Study.


Ford Fiesta

Length: 4,040mm

Width: 1,941mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1,476mm

Boot space: 292 litres

Ford Focus

Length: 4,382mm

Width: 1,979mm (including door mirrors)

Height: 1,471mm

Boot space: 375 litres


The Fiesta and Focus are excellent cars, often ranked as the best in their categories – small hatchbacks for the Fiesta, mid-size hatchbacks for the Focus. Their different sizes and prices may be the deciding factor for which one is best for you, but in most areas the Focus is that bit better. It’s a lot more practical and running costs are hardly any higher, despite its larger size.

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