The hatchback first appeared in Europe during the early sixties, and some examples even date back to the late thirties and pre-WWII. It took them a while and a little bit of good fortune, but they finally migrated to North American markets in the early seventies. Of course, global downsizing in the car industry imposed by the oil crisis of 1973 played a major role in that; suddenly, the practical yet cumbersome station wagon (mostly powered by V8 engines) became a heavy burden on the average car owner’s budget. Hatchbacks were smaller, much more economical and still more practical than the favorite American body style: the sedan. The same philosophy works today as well, more or less, which is why we’ve gone through the trouble of rounding up the best hatchbacks 2019 is bringing our way, which we’ve also already done for MY 2018.
The Blue Oval hatchback hasn’t been fully redesigned since the third generation’s debut in 2012, and that’s more than evident. With competition already freshened up, the Focus has definitely fallen out of…well, focus. It’s aging rapidly and the new model couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment. The 2019 Ford Focus won’t offer that many changes overall, though; the shape remains mostly unchanged as if it’s yet another mid-cycle refresh we’re talking about and not a full makeover. The new car will be slightly longer and wider, and it’ll sport an entirely new interior – something past generations have struggled with. What’s more, the Blue Oval will source the hatchback from their new assembly in China instead of building it in Mexico as was originally intended. The current Ford Focus is still being built in Wayne, Michigan.
The powertrain lineup should remain the same. This means that all Ford Focus hatchbacks will continue offering EcoBoost engines. The sporty ST model should be available straightaway, but the RS might skip MY 2019 altogether. The question that remains unanswered is: will the Blue Oval stick with the 6-speed automatics or will they offer something more complex in that regard? That’s something we’ll have to wait a bit longer to find out. For now it would seem they’ve played it safe, but that doesn’t mean the new model won’t be better than the current Focus.