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Ford Focus vs. Ford Fiesta: which is better?

The two iconic Ford hatchbacks go head-to-head to see which is better suited to you

left is blue focus and right is red fiesta

Pitting the Focus against the Fiesta would be a bit like mother Ford choosing her favourite son – it’s very difficult and will probably end in tears.

Thankfully, we aren’t the mother to any hatchback offspring, so we can put these two hatchbacks head-to-head to see which is right for you. 

Plus, there are plenty of used Ford models on offer for a reliable model at an impressive price.

Learn more in our used Ford Focus vs. Ford Fiesta comparison review.


left is blue focus and right is red fiesta

The main difference between these two hatchbacks is the size. In Ford’s model lineup, the Focus sits above the Fiesta in the rankings because it’s simply the larger car – but this doesn’t necessarily mean it's better. 

The Fiesta is a small hatchback that's welcome in an urban or countryside setting.

It’s a bit bigger than a city car such as the Fiat 500 or Ford KA – so in Goldilocks' terms, it’s just right. 

The Focus, on the other hand, is a larger hatchback that's better suited to small families or those who want a bit of extra rear legroom and a bigger boot. 

They share the same fundamental body styles because that’s how Ford designs its cars.

Newer models are a lot sharper-looking than designs of old, which were slightly more rounded.

But both the Focus and Fiesta have grown up nicely and are both styled in a way to attract the largest fanbase possible. 

What are they like to drive?

left is blue focus and right is red fiesta

While they make look a little similar, it’s a completely different story on the road.

There’s a reason the Fiesta is one of Britain’s best-selling cars, and that’s because not only does it appeal to a 17-year-old first-time driver, but it also suits a retiree.  

Ford engineers have always set out to make sure this small hatchback is suited to the unique challenges we face on British roads.

Sleeping policemen, potholes, and bumpy B-roads are all tended to in the Fiesta’s setup, meaning every variant feels at home here.  

In addition to its impressive suspension, the Fiesta also has great steering and a solid gearbox – both are light and easy to use, offering precise feedback with every turn and shift. 

As for the larger Focus, this trend continues.  The engineers clearly know how to make a car that’s fun to drive, nimble, and agile. 

The steering setup in the Focus will tempt you to take the longer route to enjoy the way it zips through corners on country roads – which is no bad thing, but it could make you late for work...  

Another thing Ford has nailed with the Focus is how well the cabin is insulated from outside noise, so even though it might be blowing a gale on the motorway, you'll arrive at your destination without knowing it. 

Interior and technology

left is focus interior and right is fiesta interior

When you move inside, you will be greeted with very similar interiors for both. 

Starting with the Focus, you'll be greeted with a slightly larger cabin than in the Fiesta because, well, it’s a larger car.

As well as the usual Apple CarPlay and Android Auto (which the Fiesta has too), you also get comfortable seats, a touchscreen infotainment system, air-conditioning, a digital radio, sporty-looking dials, and much more. 

As for the Fiesta, this offers an interior that has decent levels of equipment for its class, as well as plenty of space.

If this is your first car, then you’ve really lucked out.  

In 2017, the Fiesta’s cabin got a makeover that saw the introduction of better materials and overall equipment – and that’s just the basic models.

If you opt for the top-spec Vignale models, then you can expect extras such as heated leather seats and an eight-speaker B&O stereo. 

Newer models also get fewer buttons in the cabin, making them cleaner to look at and more aesthetically pleasing.

Its modern touchscreen system allows several features to be integrated into one place, offering phone connectivity and iPad-like control. 

Bootspace and practicality

left is focus interior and right is fiesta interior

Being hatchbacks, you shouldn’t be expecting SUV-like levels of boot space, but the Fiesta and Focus stack up pretty well in this department.  

The Focus (in hatchback form) offers 375 litres of boot space, whereas the smaller Fiesta gives you 311 litres of space.

There really isn’t much in it when you think about it, meaning that for a weekly food shop or carrying a few small suitcases, it shouldn’t be an issue.  

When you move into the rear seats, you will also be surprised at how much space there is available to you.

You may struggle to fit comfortably in the back if you’re over six-foot, but for most people, you should fit quite nicely – with more space available in the Focus, of course. 

As well, both cars are relatively easy and inexpensive to maintain. Ford parts are readily available, so it will be easy to keep on top of maintenance.

Read our in-depth car reviews:

Safety and reliability

When it comes to safety and reliability, you want to make sure that you are offering the best protection for you and your passengers – and luckily these two Fords do just that. 

In their most recent Euro NCAP crash tests, both scored a full five stars – offering up great driver and passenger protection. 

In terms of reliability, as with all the used cars we sell, you get a free 90-day warranty that can be extended using cinchCare to ensure the longevity of your vehicle. 


Ford Focus

Length: 4378mm

Width: 1825mm

Height: 1458mm

Boot space: 375 litres

Ford Fiesta

Length: 4048mm

Width: 1735mm

Height: 1484mm

Boot space: 311 litres

Verdict: Ford Focus vs Ford Fiesta: which should you buy?

So, you’ve read this, but perhaps still need a little guidance on which model to choose.

Well, this is quite simple because the Focus and Fiesta both suit slightly different people. 

When it comes to it, we’d recommend the Focus to anyone who does longer journeys, carries more people, or more luggage, or who generally just wants a bigger car. It offers all the Fiesta does but in a bigger package.  

The Fiesta might be better suited to those who enjoy driving the scenic route home or who don’t want a large hatchback.

It’s great for first-time drivers and those who don’t want the faff too.  

Read more about buying a used car: