Jones Ford Verde Valley Compares 2008 Ford Focus VS 2008 Honda Civic Near Verde Valley, AZ

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2008 Ford Focus

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2008 Honda Civic

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Ford Focus are height adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Honda Civic Coupe doesn’t offer height adjustable seat belts.

To prevent wheelspin and loss of control under poor traction conditions, full range traction control is optional on the Ford Focus. The Honda Civic doesn’t offer traction control.

Both the Focus and the Civic have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive and available four wheel antilock brakes.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 38.5 MPH side impact tests on new cars. In this test, results indicate that the Focus is safer than the Civic:



Front Seat


5 Stars

4 Stars

Thoracic Trauma



Pelvis Deceleration

79 G’s

80 G’s

More stars indicate a better chance of avoiding serious injuries. Lower numbers indicate better actual numeric test results.

Warranty Comparison

The Focus comes with free roadside assistance for 5 years 60,000 miles. Ford will send help if you run out of gas, need a jump start, lock your keys in or need any assistance on the road. Honda doesn’t give free roadside assistance for the Civic.

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Honda dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Focus’ warranty.

Engine Comparison

The Focus’ 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (136 vs. 128) than the Civic’s standard 1.8 VTEC 4 cyl.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

For better stopping power the Focus’ brake rotors and drums are larger than those on the Civic:



Front Rotors

10.9 inches

10.3 inches

Rear Drums

11 inches

7.9 inches

Opt Rear Rotors


10.2 inches

The Focus with optional antilock brakes stops shorter than the Civic with antilock brakes:



70 to 0 MPH

190 feet

191 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Focus’ standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) which provides a stiffer sidewall than the Civic DX/Hybrid’s 65 series tires. The Focus’ optional tires have a lower 50 series profile than the Civic LX/EX’s 55 series tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

The Focus has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Civic’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

For better maneuverability, the Focus’ turning circle is .6 feet tighter than the Civic DX Sedan/Hybrid’s (34.2 feet vs. 34.8 feet). The Focus’ turning circle is 1.2 feet tighter than the Civic LX/EX’s (34.2 feet vs. 35.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

As tested by Car and Driver, the interior of the Focus SE Sedan is quieter than the Civic LX Sedan:



At idle

42 dB

42 dB


74 dB

79 dB

70 MPH Cruising

68 dB

72 dB

Passenger Space Comparison

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the Focus Coupe is rated a Compact car by the EPA, while the Civic Coupe is rated a Subcompact.

The Focus Coupe has 9.6 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Civic Coupe (93.3 vs. 83.7). The Focus Sedan has 2.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Civic Sedan (93.4 vs. 90.9).

The Focus Coupe has 1.2 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more rear headroom, 5.8 inches more rear legroom, 1.7 inches more rear hip room and 1.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Coupe.

The Focus Sedan has .9 inches more rear headroom, 1.5 inches more rear legroom and 1.3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Civic Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Focus has a much larger trunk than the Civic Coupe (13.8 vs. 11.5 cubic feet).

To allow full utilization of available cargo room, the Focus’ trunk lid uses gas strut supported hinges that don’t intrude into the trunk. The Civic’s useful trunk space is reduced by its intrusive beam hinge.

The Focus’ standard folding rear seats are split to accommodate bulky cargo. The Civic DX/LX’s standard single piece folding rear seat is not as flexible; long cargo and a passenger can’t share the rear seat.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Focus (except S) 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 Civic doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

The engine computer on the Focus automatically engages the starter until the car starts with one twist of the key and disables the starter while the engine is running. The Civic’s starter can be accidentally engaged while the engine is running, making a grinding noise and possibly damaging the starter and ring gear.

The Focus SE/SES’ available driver’s power window opens with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Civic’s standard power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to open it fully.

The Focus’ variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Civic DX/LX’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

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

The Focus’ optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Civic doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Focus has a standard center folding armrest for the driver and front passenger. A center armrest helps combat driver fatigue. The Civic DX doesn’t offer a front seat center armrest.

Wireless connectivity is optional on the Focus SE/SES, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Honda doesn’t offer wireless connectivity on the Civic.

Economic Advantages Comparison

Insurance will cost less for the Focus owner. The Car Book rates the Focus with a number 3 insurance rate while the Civic is rated higher at a number 3” to “5 rate.

The Focus is less expensive to operate than the Civic because of its lower insurance rate. Typical repairs cost less on the Focus than the Civic, including $114 less for a water pump, $138 less for a starter and $23 less for front struts.

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