A Quick Review
As I test-drove the first generation Focus in Europe, this was in the last century, year 1999 to be exact.
Buy then, two features had caught my particular attention: On the (subjectively) negative side, the 5-speed manual gearbox (which was much more common than auto by this time) was tuned for fuel economy with very long ratios reducing the engine revolution but also the driving pleasure. On the positive side, the car’s roadholding was superior and was beyond the compact class.
After nearly 20 years, my impressions are a bit similar to my first drive: The very good, comfortable yet safe roadholding is still there. And surprisingly, I still had an issue with the gearbox. This time, a 6-speed auto transfers the engine’s power to the wheels. The transmission occasionally shifts up and down too early or too late.
The engine delivers sufficient torque for this class and I never felt under-powered in daily highway and city commuting. The steering response was firm and makes you feel the road surface. And the brakes are well tuned. Although we did not have an instrumental measurement, stopping distance for braking from 100 km/h to zero is well under 40 meters. The average consumption was 10.6 liters is realistic in real-world conditions.
Developed by Canada’s QNX (a Blackberry company), SYNC 3 has a new eight-inch touchscreen with quicker response and better graphical design. Other new SYNC 3 features include integration of AppLink (to to control smartphone apps), Siri eyes-free capability for Apple iPhone, software updates via Wi-Fi, and enhanced 911 Assist for subscription-free emergency calling.
Other than this, I enjoyed driving this mature car with a solid engineering, good design, good space for this class and the very good level of safety and comfort equipment.
We already know that Ford will shift the production of the next generation Focus and C-Max from Wayne, MI to Mexico. With falling sales of Focus and sedans in general, its seems also possible that the Focus production may end entirely. At least in North America. As the FCA discontinued its weak-selling Chrysler 200C and Dodge Dart sedans, in today’s unforgiving competition, capacity utilization and scale of production is of vital importance. To me, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Ford stops Focus production and utilizes its North American capacity for new SUV’s, like the legendary Bronco. In this case, importing Focus from Europe would be a more feasible solution.
Our future concerns set aside, this automobile is a good choice for more conservative customers who also value a fully-loaded vehicle.
Type of vehicle Sedan 4-door compact car
Power 2.0L, 4-cylinder, inline, GDI gasoline engine, 160 horsepower, 146 lb-ft torque (4450 rpm),
Transmission Six-speed auto,
Price: base/as tested $26,708 / $30,508
Destination charge $1,650
Natural Resources Canada fuel economy (L/100 km) 12.1 city, 9.3 highway, 10.8 combined
Tires: Michelin P215/50R17
Options: Technology Package ($750), Engine Block Heater ($100), Voice-Activated Navigation ($800), Active Park Assist ($400)
Article: Varol McKars,
Pictures: Varol McKars, Burak McKars
Test vehicle was provided by Ford Canada via BHG Media
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