Ford Focus ZX4 SES Review
At least it’s packaged nicely. Ford’s second generation Escort-killer employs the same tall ‘n boxy design motif as its larger brother, the slow selling (or is that just slow?) Five Hundred. True, both cars could use a bold, Fusion-style makeover. But the Focus got the better end of the deal. While its diminutive size keeps the cute, the Focus’ sheetmetal radiates a bit of sporting intent– especially when viewed head on. The Focus’ flared fenders look the biz. Its butt-in-the-air stance doesn’t. Nor does the wannabe spoiler perched above the trunk. The aerodynamic addendum is a functionally useless throwback to a stupider time that gives the Focus Lamborghini-like rearward visibility. Forget parallel parking; you can’t even scope out hot chicks at stop lights.
Luckily, I got the Focus out of traffic and found some corners. Suddenly, I noticed that the steering wheel is fantastic. Fat, tiny, firm yet soft– I mean, it’s perfect. While the arm rest was probably skinned with Chinese political dissidents, (whatever is cheapest), it’s ideally positioned. There’s also a groove in the door for your left arm, complete with a grab handle, that’s wonderfully cosseting. It turns out Ford employed a driver– not a cost-cutting committee (with decontented engineers) — to design the really important bits.
Once underway, the Focus remains planted and focused– its well-sorted MacPherson (front) and SLA (rear) independent suspension (hear that, Mr. Mustang?) dismisses bumps and stifles lean. And then there’s a band between 75 and 85mph where things go all wobbly; the Focus inexplicably loses its "carma." Oddly, above 85mph the Focus returns you to normal programming. Warning! Do not take a Focus above 85mph. Around town the anchors do a worthy job of reining-in whatever speed you manage to eke out. On the highway… when some Scion-driving reprobate cut me off, I kicked hard and thought I was dead. Not that the brakes didn’t grab. They grabbed alright, but the Focus started convulsing, as the rear drums struggled. Wrong answer.
[Ford provided the vehicle reviewed, taxes, insurance and a full tank of gas.]
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- Kcflyer on one hand it at least wont have dirty intake valves like Honda's entire lineup of direct injection ice vehicles. on the other hand a CRV offers more room, more range, faster fueling and lower price, hmm
- Tassos BTW I thought this silly thing was always called the "Wienermobile".
- Tassos I have a first cousin with same first and last name as my own, 17 years my junior even tho he is the son of my father's older brother, who has a summer home in the same country I do, and has bought a local A3 5-door hatch kinds thing, quite old by now.Last year he told me the thing broke down and he had to do major major repairs, replace the whole engine and other stuff, and had to rent a car for two weeks in a touristy location, and amazingly he paid more for the rental ( Euro1,500, or $1,650-$1,700) than for all the repairs, which of course were not done at the dealer (I doubt there was a dealer there anyway)
- Tassos VW's EV program losses have already been horrific, and with (guess, Caveman!) the Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory growing by leaps and bounds, the future was already quite grim for VW and the VW Group.THis shutdown will not be so temporary.The German Government may have to reach in its deep pockets, no matter how much it hates to spend $, and bail it out."too big to fail"?
- Billccm I had a 1980 TC3 Horizon and that car was as reliable as the sun. Underappreciated for sure.