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 Hyundai Elantra GT doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.
Both the Focus and the Elantra GT have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee 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, rearview cameras, available lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, rear parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.
There are almost 4 times as many Ford dealers as there are Hyundai dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Focus’ warranty.
To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Focus has a standard 590-amp battery. The Elantra GT’s 550-amp battery isn’t as powerful.
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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.
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 Elantra GT, it requires you to depend on a temporary spare, which limits mileage and speed before replacement.
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 Elantra GT 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 Elantra GT’s suspension doesn’t offer front gas-charged shocks.
The Focus has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Focus flat and controlled during cornering. The Elantra GT base model’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer drift compensation steering.
The front grille of the Focus uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Elantra GT doesn’t offer active grille shutters.
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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
The power windows standard on both the Focus and the Elantra GT 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 Elantra GT 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 Elantra GT’s optional passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer an exterior PIN entry system, and its extra cost Blue Link can’t unlock the doors if the vehicle doesn’t have cell phone reception or the driver can’t contact the service.
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 Elantra GT only offers an automatic headlight on/off feature as an extra cost option.
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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer a heated steering wheel.
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 Elantra GT doesn’t offer an automated parking system.
The Focus was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 7 of the last 18 years. The Elantra GT 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 17 years. The Elantra GT has never been an “All Star.”