After 12 months of Focus (mark 1) ownership I conclude that the press comments that the Focus is a great drive are justified. To drive the Focus is in a different league from the Bora I previously owned. Its very agile, steering feel is great, and that doesn't just translate into fun on country routes either, though it is great on a B road. It also makes the car feel stable in bad weather conditions at motorway speeds. The interior may lack the wow factor of more modern rivals (was improved significantly for mark 2) but it is well laid out and comfortable. The ride comfort is slightly firm at low speeds, but very comfortable on A roads and motorways. The practicality of the cabin is impressive. I've never failed to get anything in the car, and 5 people can fit in comfortably.
There is only one side to Focus ownership and its noise. The engine isn't too bad (a bit vocal at high revs), and wind noise is good. The problem is tyre roar on poor surfaces (quiet on smooth ones). It drowns out people and the stereo, and isn't that much worse at 70 than 40, a problem at all speeds. A pity as its the only thing spoiling the enjoyment of the car. No one else mentions the problem. Please comment if you've experienced it.
Otherwise a very good buy for the price paid (£8495 new!)