Alright, so a couple of years ago I wrote an article about the return of the hatchback, and return they have. Instead of just having a hatchback, car manufactures are opting to have both a hatchback or sedan version of models they produce. This is true in both the new Fords we have seen marketed—Fiesta and Focus. When it comes to the 2011 Ford Fiesta we have already sided with the hatchback being the best looking and most enjoyable to drive. The Focus isn’t the same car and with 160-hp on tap does it make more sense to have a five-door hatchback or a four-door sedan?

2012 Ford Focus

2012 Ford Focus

This might come down to pure opinion for some, but there are some reasons you might pick one over the other. First we have to take it from a style perspective because for a lot of consumers the “look” drives the process of checking out a new vehicle. Both cars have a significantly more aggressive look than their predecessors and have benefited from the “kinetic” design being developed for all of the global Ford platforms. As an aside, the “kinetic” design is basically a branded way of saying that Ford is trying to bring a sense of motion to the body lines—in essence making the car move while standing still. Kinetic design has elements, according to the Ford design center, like moving the wheels to the corners and a strong centerline. For us, the style is a draw, but if forced to choose, I would tend to lean toward the sedan because I like the integration of the rear fenders with the wrap around taillights. The sedan also felt like it had more visibility out of the greenhouse, which is always a plus in my book.

2012 Ford Focus

2012 Ford Focus

2012 Ford Focus

2012 Ford Focus

So to be fair, in the style department it is really a draw—or at least it is subjective at best. So what about in the performance department? Nope, same there too, Handling? Ah, here is where there is a little difference. The 2012 Ford Focus has more torsional rigidity than that of the sedan, which means it tends to handle the curves slightly better. Potentially, the hatchback will also be easier to part because it is almost seven inches shorter in total length. The other nice thing about the hatchback is that you really don’t loose anything by going to the sportier body—unless 0.1” of headroom really counts.

 

Bottom line—Ford has made this a hard decision to make on facts alone. Both vehicles are a pleasure to drive and are versatile for a variety of life styles. That leaves the last resort—price. Starting price of the sedan is $16,270 and you will have to shell out another G for the hatchback.

Be sure to check out our MyFord v. MyFord Touch article and our First Drive report right here at AllSmallCars.com. Have you followed us on Twitter? Check us out at our handle @allsmallcars.com or twitter.com/allsmallcars.

 

[Source: Ford]