Friday, September 19, 2008

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus comes with a base 2.0-liter engine that will pleasantly surprise you with its power.
In addition to that, the fun to drive factor is greatly enhanced by really keen handling and sharp steering.
You only wish Ford had paid as much attention to its marketing of the Focus as it did with the driving experience. That might seem strange --U.S. car companies usually have the opposite problem, touting cars that really weren't well made.
But in this case, Ford created something that is really neat, but seems determined to keep it a secret.
Since small cars are selling very well these days, it might seem difficult to spark interest in the Focus, since it might not be on most people's radar screens already and must play some catch-up. But it probably can be done anyhow, because when people get a look at and get behind the wheel of the Focus, they will see that this is a car to be reckoned with.What makes it so nice?The thing we were most fond of was the driving experience. That little 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder cranks out 136 horsepower, which sounds quite modest. But these are 136 ponies that are raring to go. We had the five-speed manual transmission, which was smooth shifting and went through its progressions nicely. We also absolutely loved the gas mileage. The Focus had an EPA rating of 27 mpg city, 37 mpg highway with the manual. In a mix of city and highway driving, we got about 29 mpg. Additionally, we were thrilled to be in a small car that had such great interior space. Taller drivers and passengers will be quite comfortable in the front seats. Tall folks might have a little tougher time settling into the rear seats, but folks of average height or below will be just fine back there. The interior design was very basic -- no fancy bling here. But the controls were exactly where you would have placed them and they were easy to use. Overall, it was really nice to drive the Focus and be reassured that yes, American car companies can still produce something good that is not a pickup or SUV.
Now they'll have to figure out how to spread the word among consumers.
The Focus that was test driven had a sticker price of $17,375.

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