Family car surprises with superb handling
Nothing as of yet I haven't had the focus long, but will update as it gets older.
OK maybe one small thing, the boot lamp is hanging out and missing its bulb. I believe the dealer may have done this for two reasons, either he had the boot open on display and disconnected it to avoid draining the battery, or it stays on when the boot is closed and drains the battery overnight.
We had a Citroen Saxo 1.1ix 3dr before this, whilst that saxo was a good stepping stone, it is now very much forgotten.
The Focus is a superb family car with sharp handling, superb poise and balance, with the slightest hint of body roll before the tyres break their grip with the road.
The 1.6 Zetec engine is frugal, it is using only slightly more fuel than my old 1.1. There is no need to rev the engine excessively to obtain the speed limits (and pass them!), thanks to a smooth power band and torque output.
The dash is an acquired taste, thankfully it is much better than previous vehicles, being made from better plastics, dial heater controls with A/C, a CD player and radio with satellite controls at the steering column. The steering wheel is suitably chunky, and has the right contours for exactly where you are going to put your hands when you're driving. The dials are clear and well illuminated during the hours of darkness.
The cabin space is impressive when you consider the size of the Focus. The seats are well bolstered in the Zetec model, and hold you firmly as you use the throttle to control yourself gliding round those twisty roads. The boot is capable of holding a pram and shopping, and has a low bumper level to aid access.
The wheels are 15" 5 spoke alloys, shod with Michelin rubber, allowing for smooth and quiet motorway composure.
Overall I am pleased with the new car, it is easy on the eye, and even though you do see loads of these on the road, I still have pride in my own vehicle, I feel it is the first "real" car I have owned. I was more impressed with the three door shape, but now I bought a five door, for family reasons, I have changed my mind.
Next model will be Focus ST170, then RS, then Cosworth (there is a cosworth focus in the pipeline).
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 9th May, 2003