Jones Ford Casa Grande Compares 2017 Ford Focus VS 2016 Nissan Versa Near Casa Grande, AZ

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2017 Ford Focus

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VS

2016 Nissan Versa

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 Nissan Versa Note doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The Focus Titanium’s 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 Versa Note doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Focus Titanium’s optional blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Versa Note doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.

To help make backing safer, the Focus Titanium’s optional cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Versa Note doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.

The Focus (except S) offers optional SYNC®, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to get turn-by-turn driving directions or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Versa Note doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the Focus and the Versa Note 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 and available rear parking sensors.

The Ford Focus weighs 405 to 634 pounds more than the Nissan Versa Note. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Lighter cars are also affected more by crosswinds.

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 Nissan Versa Note:

 

Focus

Versa Note

OVERALL STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

 

Driver

STARS

5 Stars

3 Stars

HIC

201

333

Neck Injury Risk

31.3%

47%

Neck Stress

239 lbs.

363 lbs.

Neck Compression

54 lbs.

140 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

168/250 lbs.

807/1020 lbs.

 

Passenger

STARS

4 Stars

2 Stars

HIC

207

404

Chest Compression

.6 inches

.6 inches

Neck Injury Risk

39.5%

68%

Neck Stress

173 lbs.

248 lbs.

Neck Compression

41 lbs.

141 lbs.

Leg Forces (l/r)

404/227 lbs.

428/846 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 Nissan Versa Note:

 

Focus

Versa Note

 

Front Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

HIC

125

136

Chest Movement

1 inches

1.2 inches

Abdominal Force

218 G’s

225 G’s

Hip Force

293 lbs.

403 lbs.

 

Rear Seat

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Spine Acceleration

60 G’s

67 G’s

Hip Force

626 lbs.

842 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

17 inches

HIC

182

195

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

Warranty Comparison

There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Nissan 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 Versa Note’s 470-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Engine Comparison

The Focus SE Sedan’s standard 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. produces 14 more horsepower (123 vs. 109) and 18 lbs.-ft. more torque (125 vs. 107) than the Versa Note’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. The Focus’ standard 2.0 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 51 more horsepower (160 vs. 109) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (146 vs. 107) than the Versa Note’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Ford Focus 4 cyl. is faster than the Nissan Versa Note (automatics tested):

 

Focus

Versa Note

Zero to 30 MPH

3.2 sec

4 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

8.5 sec

10.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.7 sec

6.6 sec

Quarter Mile

16.5 sec

18.2 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

87.5 MPH

78.7 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the Focus SE Sedan SFE gets better fuel mileage than the Versa Note Manual (30 city/40 hwy vs. 27 city/36 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Focus 1.0 ECOBoost’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Versa Note doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The Focus has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Versa Note (12.4 vs. 10.8 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

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 Versa Note doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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

 

Focus

Versa Note

Front Rotors

10.9 inches

10.02 inches

Rear Drums

9 inches

8 inches

Opt Rear Rotors

10.7 inches

The Focus offers optional antilock four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Versa Note. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.

The Focus stops much shorter than the Versa Note:

 

Focus

Versa Note

 

60 to 0 MPH

105 feet

122 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

141 feet

149 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Focus has larger standard tires than the Versa Note (195/65R15 vs. 185/65R15). The Focus’ optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Versa Note (215/50R17 vs. 195/55R16).

The Focus’ optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Versa Note SR/SL’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Focus offers optional 17-inch wheels. The Versa Note’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.

The Ford Focus’ wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Versa Note only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.

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 Versa Note, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Ford Focus has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Versa Note has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.

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

The Focus’ drift compensation steering can automatically compensate for road conditions which would cause the vehicle to drift from side to side, helping the driver to keep the vehicle straight more easily. The Versa Note doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Focus’ wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the Versa Note (104.3 inches vs. 102.4 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Focus is 2.9 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Versa Note.

The Focus Titanium Hatchback handles at .90 G’s, while the Versa Note SR pulls only .76 G’s of cornering force in a Motor Trend skidpad test.

The Focus Titanium Hatchback executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 2.1 seconds quicker than the Versa Note SR (26.8 seconds @ .64 average G’s vs. 28.9 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Ford Focus amounts to more than styling. The Focus has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .295 Cd. That is lower than the Versa Note (.308) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Focus get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Focus has 1.8 inches more front legroom, 5.4 inches more front hip room, 3.9 inches more front shoulder room, 4 inches more rear hip room and .7 inches more rear shoulder room than the Versa Note.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Focus Hatchback has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the Versa Note with its rear seat up (23.3 vs. 18.8 cubic feet). The Focus Hatchback has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat folded than the Versa Note with its rear seat folded (43.9 vs. 38.3 cubic feet).

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 Versa Note doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Focus has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Versa Note doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.

The Focus’ standard power windows allow the driver or passenger to lower and raise the windows without leaning over or being distracted. Power windows are only available on the Versa Note SV/SR/SL.

The power windows standard on both the Focus and the Versa Note have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Focus is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Versa Note prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Focus Titanium’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Versa Note SV/SR/SL’s power window switches have to be held the entire time to close them fully. Only its driver’s window opens automatically.

The Focus’ standard power locks allow the driver or passenger to lock or unlock all the doors at a touch without leaning over, or reaching to the back seat. Power locks are only available on the Versa Note SV/SR/SL.

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 Versa Note doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system.

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 Versa Note S/S Plus/SV’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 Versa Note’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

The Focus has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Versa Note doesn’t offer automatic headlights.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the Focus Titanium detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Versa Note doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

The Focus’ standard side window demisters help clear frost or condensation from the side windows in the winter. The Versa Note doesn’t even offer side window demisters, so the driver may have to wipe the windows from the outside to gain side vision.

The Focus’ power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Versa Note’s power mirror controls are on the dash, hidden behind the steering wheel, where they are awkward to manipulate.

On extremely cold Winter days, the Focus’ optional (except S) heated steering wheel provides comfort, allowing the driver to steer safely and comfortably before the car heater warms up. The Versa Note doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.

The Focus SEL/Titanium’s standard dual zone air-conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. The Versa Note doesn’t offer dual zone air-conditioning.

The Focus SEL/Titanium’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Versa Note doesn’t offer automatic air-conditioning.

For greater rear passenger comfort, the Focus SE/SEL/Titanium has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Versa Note doesn’t offer rear vents.

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 Versa Note 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 Versa Note because typical repairs cost less on the Focus than the Versa Note, including $10 less for an alternator, $43 less for front brake pads, $43 less for a fuel pump, $67 less for front struts and $5 less for a power steering pump.

Recommendations Comparison

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

The Ford Focus outsold the Nissan Versa by 27% during the 2016 model year.

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