2008 Ford Focus from North America

Summary:

Great choice as a rental when nothing else is available

Faults:

We're only renting this car, we asked for a basic car and it appears that we got the basic. I cannot judge all American models or brands based on this car, but the car is the most basic product imaginable.

Flaws; you don't have to really look far to find them, they're so evident everywhere. Exposed wires that this manufacturer doesn't even try to cover them or place them out of sight. In the trunk they put a cover pane in; I'm guessing to make it look classier, but the panel only goes like 3 quarters up, the rest of the metal is exposed.

We had strong winds and we found lots of dust between the doors and car frame. Ford fail to put door seals in. I'm going to guess the reason they did not put seals in is to save a couple of pennies. This company is in business of cutting corners as much as possible.

My personal opinion is that Ford made this car exclusively for rental purpose.

General Comments:

With so many choices, this car makes for a very poor selection.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 12th January, 2009

13th Jan 2009, 15:02

Rental agencies buy their cars based on competitive bids and they ask for things to be left out to get the lowest possible price. Cars bought at dealerships usually have more niceties, like better sound insulation, door seals etc, radios, climate controls, etc. I just rented a Ford Excursion for a family trip, and it was way stripped down compared to our neighbor's nice one.

2008 Ford Focus LX 1.6 litre TDCi turbo diesel from UK and Ireland

Summary:

A great all-rounder

Faults:

Replaced the handbrake as it didn't engage fully.

General Comments:

Fantastic handling makes this a car that you can buy for practical reasons, but still enjoy driving.

I bought a Focus after considering a Mondeo, Golf and an Alfa 159. I needed to run this as a family car, but wanted something that would be fun to drive.

The car has been very reliable and has good fuel economy, so that's the boring stuff out of the way. However, I did need to replace the handbrake (under warranty) after the car rolled a little on steep hills while in traffic.

It's roomy in the front and back, with a boot that would be large enough for most families.

I have the LX model, though have added fog lights, sun roof and alloys (the car looks very bland without alloys). The only thing I miss is that there's no mpg read-out on the trip computer, just number of miles. The fuel efficiency is very good, but without knowing the mpg for sure, I lose the kick of being able to say my diesel gets X to the gallon.

The cup holders are in a terrible position and pretty unusable, and my wife hates the location of the handbrake on the passenger side, which means you are constantly rubbing knuckles with the other person.

The heated windshield and big wide wipers are useful in the appalling Irish weather. Plenty of adjustability in the seats and steering wheel too.

The best thing about the Focus is its handling, which is just a dream. It's great fun going through twisty country roads as it goes through every bend beautifully. You find yourself nearly making engine noises "vrrrrrr, grrrrrrr" as you glide around corners.

The engine is quiet and has a decent punch to it, although you need to change into second gear almost as soon as you take off from lights as it runs out of puff quickly. In general I change up @ 1750 revs and down at 1000 revs; if you go below 1000 revs it gets wimpy quickly.

I bought this car second hand from a Volvo dealer and have found them very good - they fixed my handbrake problem without fuss.

This car does everything well and has exceptional handling. The only possible rival in its class is a VW Golf.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th December, 2008

4th Feb 2009, 16:02

Gotta say the only reason I didn't go out and buy a Focus is someone else in my family has one - I'm a bit like that sometimes, won't have a certain car if another family member has it. So I went out and bought a Golf, and have not regretted it since.

The Focus handles slightly better, no question about it, but the Golf is slightly more well-built. So it's like comparing six of one and half-a-dozen of the other. Almost nothing in it. Both absolutely great cars.

Test drove the Peugeot 307, Astra, Megane etc before making my decision and none of them compared (although the French cars were possibly slightly comfier, the Golf's seats aren't exactly park benches in themselves)