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Car and Driver: Previously Manual-Only Ford Focus 1.0L EcoBoost Now Available with Automatic

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As much as we like the idea of a car that’s only available with a manual transmission, it’s not exactly a solid sales strategy in the U.S. So it’s probably smart of Ford to add an automatic-transmission option to the 1.0-liter three-cylinder-equipped Ford Focus for 2016. Previously available with only a six-speed manual transmission, this diminutive optional EcoBoost engine can now be had with a six-speed automatic for both Focus 1.0L sedan and hatchback models (the smaller Fiesta 1.0L is still manual-only).

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The transmission that pairs with the turbocharged three-cylinder is a conventional six-speed automatic, as opposed to the six-speed dual-clutch that’s offered on Focus models with the standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder. Opting for an automatic eliminates some of the fuel economy benefit of the smaller engine, as the automatic 1.0-liter car gets 28/40/32 mpg (city/highway/combined) compared to the manual’s 30/42/35 mpg. That’s still slightly higher than the 2.0-liter automatic, though, which is rated at 27/40/31 mpg (city/highway/combined). Regardless of transmission choice, the 1.0-liter engine makes 123 hp and 125 lb-ft of torque—a manual 1.0L Focus sedan we tested last year recorded a 0-to-60-mph time of 9.4 seconds, around two seconds slower than the equivalent 2.0-liter Focus.

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The 1.0-liter engine, available only for the SE trim level, costs just $495 extra on its own, but the newly available automatic option adds quite a bit of cost on top of that. In addition to $1095 for the automatic transmission itself, the automatic requires the $895 SE EcoBoost Appearance Package, which adds 16-inch wheels, fog lights, rear disc brakes, and some LED lighting accents. That brings the total cost of a Focus 1.0L EcoBoost with an automatic to $21,380 for the sedan or $21,880 for the hatchback, including destination.

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With the automatic-equipped Focus 1.0L costing more and returning lower fuel economy than its stick-shift equivalent, we’d still advocate for the manual, of course. But if you truly can’t stomach the idea of a clutch pedal, you might appreciate the new powertrain option.

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