Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2017 BMW 3 Series VS 2017 Ford Focus Near Phoenix, AZ

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2017 BMW 3 Series

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VS

2017 Ford Focus

Safety Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Focus RS doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The 3 Series Sedan has standard Active Head Restraints, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Active Head Restraints system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The 3 Series Sedan offers optional City Collision Mitigation, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Focus RS doesn't offer collision warning or crash mitigation brakes.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Focus RS only offers a rear monitor.

The 3 Series Sedan has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Focus RS 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 3 Series Sedan and the Focus RS have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights, available all wheel drive and blind spot warning systems.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, and with its optional front crash prevention system, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the 3 Series Sedan the rating of “Top Pick” for 2017, a rating granted to only 108 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Focus RS has not been tested, yet.

Warranty Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan comes with a full 4 year/50,000 mile basic warranty, which covers the entire car and includes 24 hour roadside assistance. The Focus RS’ 3 year/36,000 mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

The 3 Series Sedan’s corrosion warranty is 7 years longer than the Focus RS’ (12 vs. 5 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the 3 Series Sedan for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Focus RS.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the 3 Series Sedan has a standard 900-amp battery. The Focus RS’ 590-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

The battery on the 3 Series Sedan is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures which can degrade battery life. By keeping the 3 Series Sedan’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Focus RS’ battery is in the hot engine compartment.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in their 2016 Initial Quality Study. The Focus RS isn’t in the top three in its category.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that BMW vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW fifth in initial quality, above the industry average. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that BMW vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks BMW 14th in reliability, above the industry average. With 62 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

On the EPA test cycle the 3 Series Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Focus RS:

 

 

3 Series

Focus RS

 

RWD

320i/Manual

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

330i/Manual

21 city/32 hwy

n/a

 

 

340i/Manual

19 city/29 hwy

n/a

 

 

320i/Auto

23 city/35 hwy

n/a

 

 

330i/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

n/a

 

 

340i/Auto

21 city/32 hwy

n/a

 

AWD

340i/Manual

19 city/29 hwy

19 city/25 hwy

2.3 Turbo/Auto

 

320i/Auto

23 city/34 hwy

n/a

 

 

330i/Auto

23 city/33 hwy

n/a

 

 

340i/Auto

21 city/31 hwy

n/a

 

Regenerative brakes improve the 3 Series Sedan’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The 3 Series Sedan Diesel’s standard fuel tank has 1.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the Focus RS (15 vs. 13.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The 3 Series Sedan’s standard fuel tank has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Focus RS (15.8 vs. 13.9 gallons).

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard front and rear disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The rear discs on the Focus RS are solid, not vented.

The 3 Series Sedan stops shorter than the Focus RS:

 

3 Series

Focus

 

80 to 0 MPH

206 feet

208 feet

Road and Track

60 to 0 MPH

116 feet

120 feet

Road and Track

Tires and Wheels Comparison

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the 3 Series Sedan can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Focus RS doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the 3 Series Sedan’s wheelbase is 6.3 inches longer than on the Focus RS (110.6 inches vs. 104.3 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the 3 Series Sedan is 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Focus RS.

The 3 Series Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the Focus RS’ (59.4% to 40.6%). This gives the 3 Series Sedan more stable handling and braking.

For better maneuverability, the 3 Series Sedan’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Focus RS’ (37.1 feet vs. 38.7 feet). The 3 Series Sedan xDrive’s turning circle is .3 feet tighter than the Focus RS’ (38.4 feet vs. 38.7 feet).

Passenger Space Comparison

The 3 Series Sedan has 5.5 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Focus RS (96.2 vs. 90.7).

The 3 Series Sedan has 2 inches more front headroom, 1.9 inches more rear legroom and 2.5 inches more rear shoulder room than the Focus RS.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

A low lift-over trunk design makes loading and unloading the 3 Series Sedan easier. The 3 Series Sedan’s trunk lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Focus RS’ liftover is 28.2 inches.

With its sedan body style, valet key, locking rear seatbacks and remote trunk release lockout, the 3 Series offers cargo security. The Focus RS’ hatchback body style and non-lockable folding seat defeat cargo security.

A standard locking glovebox (which can’t be accessed with the valet key) keeps your small valuables safer in the 3 Series Sedan. The Focus RS doesn’t offer locking storage for small valuables.

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the 3 Series Sedan’s available trunk can be opened just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its trunk, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Ergonomics Comparison

When two different drivers share the 3 Series Sedan, the optional memory system makes it convenient for both. Each keyless remote activates different, customized memories for the driver’s seat position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a memory system.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) offers an available heads-up display which projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left down on the 3 Series Sedan w/Comfort Access the driver can raise them all using the key in the outside lock cylinder. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from outside the vehicle using the key in the outside lock cylinder or the keyless remote. The driver of the Focus RS can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

The 3 Series Sedan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The 3 Series Sedan’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Focus RS’ intermittent wipers change speed with vehicle speed, but can’t turn on and off or change speed based on changing rainfall.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are standard on the 3 Series Sedan to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Focus RS doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The 3 Series Sedan offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Focus RS doesn’t offer headlight washers.

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors available for the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Focus RS doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

To help drivers avoid possible obstacles, the 3 Series Sedan offers optional cornering lights to illuminate around corners when the turn signals are activated. The Focus RS doesn’t offer cornering lights. The 3 Series Sedan also offers optional adaptive headlights to illuminate around corners automatically by reading vehicle speed and steering wheel angle.

A power rear sunshade is optional in the 3 Series Sedan (except 320i) to help block heat and glare for the rear passengers. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a rear sunshade.

The 3 Series Sedan’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Ford charges extra for heated mirrors on the Focus RS.

When the 3 Series Sedan is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Focus RS’ mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

The 3 Series Sedan offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Focus RS offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Focus RS offer optional heated front seats. The 3 Series Sedan also offers optional heated rear seats to keep those passengers extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated rear seats aren’t available in the Focus RS.

The 3 Series Sedan has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Focus RS doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.

Both the 3 Series Sedan and the Focus RS offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the 3 Series Sedan has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Focus RS doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the 3 Series Sedan (except Manual/320i) offers an optional Active Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Focus RS doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.

The 3 Series Sedan (except 320i)’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Focus RS doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations Comparison

The BMW 3 Series Sedan has won recognition from these important consumer publications:

 

3 Series

Focus RS

Consumer Reports® Recommends

TRUE

n/a

Car Book “Best Bet”

TRUE

n/a

J.D. Power and Associates rated the 3 Series Sedan third among compact premium cars in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Focus RS isn’t in the top three.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Car and Driver’s “Top Ten” for 20 of the last 23 years. The Focus RS has never been a Car and Driver “Top Ten” pick.

The 3 Series was chosen as one of Automobile Magazine’s “All Stars” for 13 of the last 21 years. The Focus RS has never been an “All Star.”

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