A job well-done! I'm proud to say, "I own a Ford Focus!"
None. 100% reliable so far.
I am studying to be an Ergonomic Engineer. I am 18, in college, and contrary to my stereotype, I am very easy on my car. This was a demo car before I had it, and I bought it before the first oil change (at 4024 miles). I'm hoping to get 10 years out of this car, so I plan to be absolutely anal about maintenance. My previous car was a 2005 Taurus (an absolutely wonderful car), and the other car in my family is a 2010 Camry (poor excuse for a car), so those are my frames of reference.
I fit in the Focus like a glove. I am 5'8" and 225#, but I fit nicely in any seat. I can sit behind myself. I have even slept laying down in the back seat on a Boy Scout outing! I can drive for four hours and get out without any fatigue. Honestly, the seats in the Focus are the most comfortable chairs I will sit in all day! The back seat floor mats are too small. Whenever people are in the back seat, their feet go under the front seat. The mat needs to also go under the front seat. Ford also needs to find a way to put more cup holders and an arm rest in the back.
The Focus has adequate power, but it doesn't need to be a speed demon. It works as a commuter and it holds its own on the highway. The EPA rates this car at 24/35 in terms of city/highway gas mileage (in US gallons), but my mileage is more in the range of 26-28 in the city and 37-40 on the highway (lowest figure city I ever got was 24, and highest highway was 43). The best gas mileage in my Focus comes at 56-58 miles per hour; anything much past that and you will notice a decrease in fuel consumption (more dramatically after 70 MPH). I am a "feather footer" and I do not ride on or slam the brakes. These figures also take into account the mountains and weather changes of Western Pennsylvania, so I am reasoning that in warmer climates and more level lands, the gas mileage would be better. For an economy car, the Focus is smooth (even more so than our 2010 Camry).
My biggest complaint (by far) is the transmission. It is a four-speed automatic, and it should have been a five. Around town, it works. It shifts smoothly and precisely. However, going up steep hills (an 11% grade over half a mile, for example), the engine will jump down to first gear to gain power, and it takes almost a minute to cover the distance. A fifth gear would also help with noise on the highway (although still leagues better than my father's 2010 Camry) and give the vehicle better highway fuel economy, by letting the engine turn at a lower RPM rate. Considering what we have to work with, the transmission does the job. It finds a gear and stays there. The biggest power band comes right at 3,000 RPM.
The gauges are bright and easy to read. The cruise control light should be placed either in the center of the panel or on the left-hand side. You use your left hand on the left side of the steering wheel to set cruise, so the light should also be on the left. I would also switch the speedometer and tachometer gauges (again, with my knowledge of ergonomic engineering). The control panel is designed wonderfully, although (solely by personal preference) the center of the climate control panel should have been a dial, not 7 different buttons. My favorite feature of the entire car is the fuel economy bar graph.
The car looks wonderful from the front (especially in the Blue Fire color), good from the sides, and moderately bland in the rear. I enjoy the styling (like a four-door sports car), but I know people who do not. The sweeps on the front bumper of the car help prevent parking lot scrapes, but they come to a point, making the bumper look almost "chunky."
Build quality is decent, but clearly the Focus is an economy car. I would have liked to see some fabric on the rear doors, and the plastic interior paneling on the rear doors is about one inch too short, exposing the blue paint on either door. People have complained about the plastic, but it is easy to clean and is scratch-resistant. The dashboard does collect dust rather easily. The passenger door speaker rattles when the radio is LOUD (not too often), but what do you expect from plastic?
One other little quirk: the trunk "handle" is just a cut-out of the bumper. When it snows, the "handle" gets iced over and you can't use it.
I will try to update this thread when I can. I look forward to many more miles of motoring in my Focus!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 21st September, 2012