I would like to point out that this was my rental car while my 2001 Ford Taurus was in for its 132,000 mile service. Being as my Taurus had several things lined up waiting to be repaired, including an alignment and detailing, I had the Focus for several days.
The seats were fine. The leather, in my opinion, is of superior quality to that of Subaru's Outback. The seats, front and back, were sculpted well, with superb contours. After two hours, I didn't ache at all. The leather was not imitation vinyl such as that found in Fords of the past. It was soft and almost delectable.
I felt that Ford could not have used better plastics on the inside of the doors. The plastic was well assembled and did not scratch easily.
The armrests were level, but I would like the front armrest to come forward 1-2 inches, because to utilize it, you had to move your elbow behind your back.
I like how the trunk opens with the key fob. You can't tell it has been opened. We left it open a crack, and didn't know it until we loaded groceries. I can only imagine why Ford did not include an in-the-cabin trunk release.
The radio operation was a love-hate relationship. The antenna picked up any AM station (which happened to be about 20, and I didn't think there were 20 AM stations left), but only three FM stations between Pittsburgh and Cleveland. The Scan function was as annoying to me as a high frequency is to a teenager. If I were you, I would simply use the Tune function instead. It stayed on the station for four seconds, according to my wristwatch, and we couldn't get it to stop, and we had tried every button possible. The locations of the buttons were logical, except for the CD button. After three days, we still couldn't find it. My rental had Sync, but since I don't own an iPod or an MP3, we didn't utilize it. I noticed the kack insert had no cover. I wonder how dust won't cake up inside that little hole.
The trip computer was exceptional. My one gripe with the computer was the location of the Info button. It was at the very bottom of the center stack. My favorite display was a bar graph of the mileage, comparing the best, worst, and current readings. While on the topic of gas mileage, the lowest figure we saw was 30.0 MPG, and the highest was 48.2 on a downhill highway stretch with the windows (except the moonroof) all open a crack at 55 MPH, 70 degrees Fahrenheit outside. (The trip was about 80% highway in which I set the cruise at 55), 20% city) The average for the entire trip was 33.1, which was disappointing. I am unsure of the accuracy of the trip computer because I did not fill up the tank when I returned the car. The policy at my dealership is to return the car with the same amount of gas it had when you took it out. I took my 2001 Taurus on the exact route a month earlier, and got 36.4 MPG, and the Taurus is possibly twice the Focus!
Performance overall was fine. The brakes were average, but the acceleration was almost dreadful.
The mirrors are entirely too small.
When it comes time to consider another family car, the Focus will be on the list, but it may be too small. Otherwise, I didn't feel like it was an econobox and was fairly happy with it.