By on September 4, 2009

Ford previews its next-generation Focus C-Max. As a global product, it should be one of several Europe-derived models heading stateside in a few years. Maximum Bob Lutz could not be reached for maximum comment.

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23 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Maximum Focus Edition...”


  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    No chrome razor blade grill? It’s yellow – tough resale? It’s a 4-door wagon/hatch? Sedans sell better than wagons/hatches combined. Lousy rear-quarter visibility? They all do that. Other than that, it seems like a car people would like, for people who like that sort of thing.

  • avatar
    rasmusdf

    There is nothing wrong with this picture. The current C-Max is a stylish & practical car. This looks set to continue in the same good vein.

    Have you guys seen the euro Ford Mondeo. Great styling. It is very popular as a police car here in Denmark, and it looks very intimidating.

  • avatar
    Bancho

    I see nothing wrong with it. It could replace my current 2008 xB and appears to have better visibility to boot. It may not be glamorous, but it look practical. If it’s as reliable as my Fusion and as cheap to maintain I’d be very interested.

    As for the current Mondeo, I’d love one of those to replace my Fusion in a few years.

  • avatar
    Verbal

    Do you suppose the wrapover windshield will make it into production?

  • avatar
    greenb1ood

    For a proper frame of reference, this is the current C-Max.

  • avatar
    Tosh

    Is this an updated Mazda5 microvan (without the convenient sliding doors)? Or just a tall Focus? Manual tranny and diesel, please.

  • avatar
    Chicago Dude

    The Ford logo isn’t large enough to be sold in the USA.

  • avatar
    SV

    The only thing “wrong” is that it’s a Ford. It really looks brilliant. Perhaps if it had been a bit closer to the Iosis Max concept it would have been even better, but it still looks great nonetheless.

    FWIW the model pictured is the 5-seater model directly replacing the current (also 5-seat only) C-Max; for those wanting 7 seats, there will be a bigger, less crossover-ish model with sliding doors, though I don’t know if it’ll also be called C-Max (C-Max Max?). An interesting approach; we’ll see if it works. I see this particular car selling very well in the US (the sliding-door variant, less so), though in Europe it could get confused with the Kuga, which looks very similar and is close in size apart from having more ground clearance.

  • avatar
    panzerfaust

    C-max; sounds like a sanitary napkin.

  • avatar
    Mark MacInnis

    This is a Fit with a Ford Bloe Oval photo-shopped onto it?

  • avatar
    FloorIt

    The tires look like 40’s, expensive for a base or mid level Focus. Also the front wheels look like 17’s while the back would be 15’s.
    The front has a long snout from the radiator area forward. Also has that Mazda 3 & Miata large mouth kinda thing.
    The rear door opens half the rear wheel well.
    The C pillar narrows at the top to a centimeter?
    Looks about the size of a Geo Metro or Fiat 500, not bad that size, just smaller than typical focus.

  • avatar
    AMXtirpated

    @ panzerfaust

    I fear you’ve just ruined this car for me.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Tosh :
    September 4th, 2009 at 2:46 pm

    Is this an updated Mazda5 microvan (without the convenient sliding doors)? Or just a tall Focus? Manual tranny and diesel, please.

    Repeat with me, children: as far as small cars are concerned, DIESEL AIN’T THE ANSWER HERE IN AMERICA. The only reason it’s the answer in Europe is that gas a lot more expensive to begin with – around $7 a gallon in most countries – which makes diesel look like a screaming bargain at around $6 a gallon. Therefore, Europeans like diesels. European makers sell lots of them.

    Here in America, diesel is basically the same price as gas, and fuel of any kind is a lot cheaper to begin with, so there’s less reason to a) pay more for a diesel-powered car, or b) put up with the lower performance diesel engines provide.

    (And, please, guys, let’s not go down the “you’re a diesel hater” or “before long I’ll be able to run my diesel on waste oil from Mickey D’s” road, shall we?)

    Is diesel a good alternative for big, heavy, expensive cars? Yep.

    For trucks? And how. Ditto for sumo-sized SUVs and large crossovers.

    But there’s only so much you can do on a budget to make a four-banger diesel a performer, and that means that here in America, small cars are going to keep running on gas.

  • avatar
    dzwax

    some of us want diesel small cars. Aren’t we a big enough niche market? I get the feeling that diesel is being actively excluded. Who would do that, and for what reasons?

  • avatar
    Christian

    “some of us want diesel small cars. Aren’t we a big enough niche market?”

    I think you just answered your own question

  • avatar
    Durwood

    I know as soon as diesel is put in small cars here then the price of diesel would go thru the roof. The oil companies aren’t going to let that happen to save us money.

  • avatar
    Greg Locock

    Floorit – I think they are more likely to be 16″ tires, as the Mk VI Fiesta is on 15s. I very much doubt they are less than 45 aspect ratio, you’ll notice the wheel rims are shaped to accentuate the narrowness of the sidewall. Both ends will have the same size tires, obviously.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    to FeedMike- Even with an ailing turbo and 140K on the clock, my TDI VW will cruise up the highest, steepest Interstate highway in the USA at 85 mph. What more “performance” do I need? And to Durwood- my car sips fuel while the trucks, trains and big rigs gulp it. Why do you think my kind would cause a diesel shortage? At the slow rate people are buying cars now, there wouldn’t be any sudden turnover of the fleet, so don’t fret.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    dzwax :
    September 4th, 2009 at 8:31 pm

    some of us want diesel small cars. Aren’t we a big enough niche market? I get the feeling that diesel is being actively excluded. Who would do that, and for what reasons?

    The “reasons” are simple, and there are two of them:

    1) Supply
    2) Demand

    There is very little demand for diesel small cars in our country because a) they cost a lot more than gas small cars, and b) diesel fuel and gas are pretty much the same cost in our country. Plus, I’m sorry – they don’t perform as well as gas versions overall.

    Therefore, supply is low.

    There’s nothing conspiratorial about that.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Wheatridger :
    September 5th, 2009 at 10:49 am

    to FeedMike- Even with an ailing turbo and 140K on the clock, my TDI VW will cruise up the highest, steepest Interstate highway in the USA at 85 mph. What more “performance” do I need?

    So will my ’05 Focus ST. All I have to do is drop it into fourth. But the difference is that a Jetta TDI costs $22,270 base, and my Focus cost me $14,500 brand new, fully loaded. For eight grand, I’ll downshift now and again.

    Mileage-wise, my Focus gets 25 mpg around town, in a mix of freeway and surface street driving. Car and Driver tested a Jetta TDI and got an average of 36 mpg.

    So, from an economic standpoint, given that mileage and gas (or diesel) at $2.50, and annual mileage of 15,000, it’ll take me 18 years for the investment in the Jetta to pay off.

    And in the meantime, my Focus is reasonably economical, and frankly, I’ve lost count of how many TDIs I’ve blasted in the Stoplight Grand Prix over the years.

    There are some performance advantages to diesel – torque at highway speeds is one, as you correctly state – but I can buy a lot more performance for a lot less money with a gas compact car.

    Diesels just don’t make economic sense for compact cars in our country at this point.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    Small sample sizes here, so our argument may not mean much in the grand scheme. And if you’re bragging about the “Stoplight grand prix,” sorry, my friend, that’s idiotic. You’re welcome to beat me to the next red light, and I’ll catch up to to you there. So what? But you should know these facts. My TDI, an ’02 model, averages a consistent 44 mpg. It’s far quieter than a VW gasser at highway speeds. I know this because I’ve owned quite a few of those. And it’ll be worth a lot more than your Focus — a car I like, BTW– come resale time. Based on my experience, all of it in the USA, I don’t look forward to buying another gas-powered car, ever.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    Wheatridger :
    September 5th, 2009 at 4:20 pm

    Small sample sizes here, so our argument may not mean much in the grand scheme. And if you’re bragging about the “Stoplight grand prix,” sorry, my friend, that’s idiotic.

    You know, I don’t call YOUR automotive priorities idiotic…do me the same honor, will you? I like to drive quickly – that’s my thing. The car I bought is a better tool for doing that than your car. That’s why I bought the one I did. You may have your own priorities.

    And, OK, let’s look at depreciation on each car. The Jetta probably retailed for about $20,000 in 2002; the Focus sold for $14,500 in 2005. We’ll also assume both cars are in pristine condition. The Jetta has 140,000 miles; the Focus has 52,000.

    Per Kelley Blue Book, the retail on the Jetta is $9,430; the Focus is at $9,875.

    Depreciation per mile, Jetta: $.076
    Depreciation per mile, Focus: $.088

    Not exactly a massive difference. For an extra penny a mile for depreciation, I prefer a car that goes fast.

    The major advantage of the Jetta will be fuel economy, and that’s a no-brainer, but then again, the Jetta is four seconds slower to 60 than my Focus ST, and that’s a huge advantage as well. Again, it’ll cost me more to run the Focus, but frankly, I really enjoy the performance, so it’s worth it to me.

    The difference in cost per mile is not compelling enough for me to seriously consider a diesel, particularly at a higher sticker price. I’m not alone, which is why diesels don’t sell in this market segment in this country.

  • avatar
    Wheatridger

    C’mon, FM- let’s compare like to like. Not a Jetta vs. a Focus, measured in “depreciation per mile.” That’s not a common criteria, and your mileage certainly varies from mine. I do almost 15,000 miles a year driving my kid around, before I count my own errands.

    Take my car.. please! Though I know you wouldn’t. My 2002 New Beetle GLS, 5MT & diesel is valued by KBB at $9,165/$7640 (EX – FAIR condition, private party value). The same car with the base 2.0 gasser is now worth $6,540/$5,400, so I’m seeing a $2,000-$2,500 price premium for the diesel. That’s about equal to the MSRP spread between them originally. Even the high performance Beetle, the 1.8 turbo, lags $1,600 in value behind the diesel in used value.

    The resale advantages of diesel only increase with age. There’s a tradition of buying diesels with six-figure odometer readings, but a gas car doesn’t get much respect after 150K. So I believe I’m saving plenty of coin with my diesel. But all that wouldn’t matter if I didn’t enjoy the drive. And I haven’t even started in about the large HP increases you can get with a little performance tuning.

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