2007 Ford Focus SE, Sedan 2.0 Mazda MZR from North America
Incredible for $15k
Within first 1000 miles, the OE Goodyear RSA tires have begun producing vibrations at speeds above 50mph.
Dealer prep/PDI was poor. Lots of man'f part # stickers left in many places. Wash-up was dismal... as though an oily rag was used to wipe-down the inside of the windows.
I'll be taking it back to get the tires looked at, soon. I have never had a decent set of Goodyear tires. This set carries out that pattern. However, Ford has a VERY GOOD new-car tire warranty, where the tires are covered 100% for the first year, above and beyond the tire manf's warranty. I have never seen this done before! It should be too hard to get a good set of tires via warranty.
Ford has come a long way! But mostly with help from Mazda! I had a 2000 Focus rental, a few years ago when my VW was on the shop, one of it's many times. That 2000 Focus was a BAD car, in a BAD way. Ford really turned this car around, in a good way!
Last Ford we owned was a 1967 Falcon, when I was a child.
In the past ~15 years I have bought new Toyota, VW, Nissan, GM, etc... So far, this Focus has beat all those cars, to 1000 miles for dealer experience, value and satisfaction with the 'deal'. $14,500 (plus taxes and fees) isn't bad for a Mazda drivetrain, keyless entry, alloy "RS" type wheels, MP3/CR-R/CD-RW radio, etc...
The AC puts out cold air like Old Man Winter! On a 90F+ day at 70%+ humidity, the AC cools the cabin quick, only needed to be on fan speed 2 or 3 for a minute or two.
Handling is great too. I can compare this with some of my previous cars, VW GTI, Audi A4, Saturn ION, etc... and the Focus handles VERY good for its price. There is lots of steering feedback and not over-boosted assist... very European. When tossed into a turn, the suspension digs-in with a positive feel through the manuver. Front bakes are fairly large too, as compared to other cars in its class.
And that Mazda affiliation. The Duratec 20 is a Mazda MZR engine w/o VVT. And the 4F27E Automatic transmission is the same used in the Mazda 6...obviously a tough unit.
As stated before, with rebates this car was ~$14.5k. A comparable Mazda, although on the newer chassis, was near $20k and didn't have any incentives!
It's been about 1000 miles since delivery. I'll check in every once-in-a-while to post updates.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 4th July, 2007
7th Aug 2007, 11:56
Original Poster With Update:
I am coming up on 5000 miles. Dealer tried re-balancing tires with little luck. Now it only shakes from 65MPH to 78 MPH. I plan to kick and scream for BETTER tires at the first oil change.
In the meantime, I took the car on a mini-vacation from Central Indiana, throughout the Smokey Mountains, Cumberland Gap, and Easter Divide. The car is by no means a V10 Viper, but it handles the mountains (I-40 & I-75) with ease. Got over 34MPH on the highway, even through the mountains at ~80MPH!
I cannot comment enough on how well the car handles. Although not as refined as some Asian Imports, or the current-production and often problematic VW products, this Focus is the best handling car, since my (slightly modified) VW GTI, that I have owned in a looooong time.
Please remember, this car was just barely $15k, new, out the door... I am by NO means comparing the Focus to a $40k Lexus or R32 Golf.
If you want a "driver's car" that is reliable AND under $20k, the Focus can't be beat.
More to come after the next dealer service visit...