2008 Ford Focus SES Sedan from North America - Comments

30th Aug 2008, 22:23

Hello.

Thanks for reading my review.

The transmission was an Automatic.

I meant that the mirrors were small compared to my 2001 Taurus.

I like the Focus, but now that I have my Taurus back, I don't miss the driving dynamics that much (but the interior amentities were an improvement).

But, I understand your points.

2nd Sep 2008, 22:20

Wow. 48 mpg is better than some Priuses get. That is awesome. I knew Ford had increased the mileage capability of the Focus, but I had no idea it was that good. Our 2001 got a best of about 36 highway.

4th Sep 2008, 20:11

Hello. Original reviewer here.

To comments 2nd Sep 2008, 22:20 and 4th Sep 2008, 06:54, I agree. I like the new Focus over the last one (but I want it in a 5-door hatchback instead of a sedan).

My disclaimers about the mileage: (1) This was a rental car, so I did not test the accuracy because my rental company only made me return the car with half a tank of gas instead of a full one, (2) the computer reading would fluctuate tremendously. When we were on the highway (not the downhill stretch I discussed above), we opened the moonroof and once the mileage went from 36.4 down to 33.1. I did not believe that much of a difference was possible with only the moonroof being opened or closed.

I cannot comment on the mileage of the Prius. It is one of the most fuel-efficient cars driven in the US, but for a non-hybrid, the Focus seems to get reasonable mileage. With all the highway miles, I originally thought we would get better mileage. The Focus gets gas mileage that is pretty close to the Prius, but in the long run, the Focus might be better because you will be replacing regular components versus hybrid components. With either car, you will need to do maintenance to keep it running. The Prius gets better mileage, but can the larger initial price justify the better mileage?

One other side note: My particular 2001 Taurus does not have a trip computer. I always calculate my Taurus' mileage 'by hand', taking the mileage divided by the number of gallons used (only works when you fill up the tank all the way).

Thanks again for reading my review and replay back with any questions or comments. Again, being a rental, I will answer them to the best of my ability.

17th Dec 2008, 23:06

Americans are used to size and power of big SUV's, trucks, vans, and sporty cars like the Mustang. It always amazes me how Americans complain about the 4 cylinder engines! People buy the Focus for basic transportation and fuel economy, not for horsepower, torque, performance, or big room inside the cabin.

How can you compare a COMPACT 4 cylinder engine like the Focus to a MID sized sedan like the Taurus?

Downsizing from a powerhouse engine of an SUV or Mid size sedan, yes, you'll feel the difference.

I would never expect a big horsepower with a compact 4 cylinder engine, and even more so if I'm expecting fuel economy.

I've had two American vehicles with big V6 Vortex engines, and the power is nice.

I currently own a 2008 Ford Focus SES and it has good power for a small engine/compact. Most of the vehicles I've own have been compact Nissan cars and trucks (all 4 cylinder engines). It gets me from point A to B all the same as the big vehicles.

18th Dec 2008, 19:16

Original reviewer here.

I thought my Taurus was okay on acceleration, but what I felt about the Focus was that I thought it was the slowest engine put into a Ford car.

18th Dec 2008, 22:07

"How can you compare a COMPACT 4 cylinder engine like the Focus to a MID sized sedan like the Taurus?"

Well, in my case by DRIVING them. Some years ago I test drove three V-6 Tauruses and a V-6 Dodge Avenger before buying a 4-cylinder (Quad 4) Pontiac Grand Am. The 4-cylinder Grand Am is considerably faster than any of them. It is only 1 second slower 0-60 than my 4.0 Mustang.

Japanese 4-cylinder cars are very slow. 4-cylinder domestic cars are not. We owned a 4-cylinder 2001 Focus ZX-3. It was faster than a V-6 Taurus. It is so much lighter that more than offsets the smaller engine. I suspect the reviewer got a Focus that needed some adjustments or a tune-up.

19th Dec 2008, 14:45

ORIGINAL REVIEWER HERE.

It might have needed adjustments. I asked the Ford technician who gave me the car how old it was and he said it was only a month old.

21st Apr 2009, 14:45

The Focus engine is essentially a Mazda, so it IS Japanese.

25th Apr 2009, 21:26

ORIGINAL REVIEWER HERE.

In response to the last comment, that is true. Ford did this for the Fusion also, taking the Mazda 3 platform.

The engine was adequate for my needs on that trip, except for passing on the highway. However, the gas trade-off was worth it as I only had to fill the tank once that trip.

The quality seems to be really good. I have seen a lot of them out on the road (more of them than the Chevrolet Cobalt). I think a good selling point would be the gas mileage and the modern interior (particularly that MP3 jack for those who don't believe in radios or the two-foot shuttle).

My gripes with the Focus were few as it goes down as my favorite rental car in history. I have had a 1998 Windstar, Crown Victoria (don't remember the year), 2005 Taurus, 2007 Focus, this 2008 Focus, and a 2008 Mariner.

To this day, I still would consider buying a late model Focus as my next car. I ONLY WISH THEY HAD A WAGON!

27th Apr 2009, 20:35

They DID make wagons. There was a Focus wagon through 2007. These were the best small wagons on the market, and if you look you should be able to find a great low mileage used one. My wife loved the Focus wagons and brought one home for a day-long test drive a few years back. We both loved it (except for the hideous gray color). She opted for something bigger (and hence SAFER).

28th Apr 2009, 14:45

ORIGINAL REVIEWER HERE.

In response to the last comment, I meant wagons of the new Focusues (Foci). But they would probably look weird!

21st Jun 2009, 15:26

Original reviewer here.

I agree - but the front end would look strange on a wagon - although it looks cool for a sedan.

13th Aug 2009, 11:48

I don't care what it looks like on the outside, but I look for economy and UTILITY in a subcompact. That means hatchback for me is MUST. Please Ford bring back the hatch, and I will take a look at your offerings. I am definitely excited about the Fiesta, but only if it comes as a HATCHBACK.

13th Aug 2009, 17:17

ORIGINAL REVIEWER HERE.

Good point, but look at the Ford Taurus X. No one bought it because it was hideous.

11th Sep 2009, 12:22

"I would never expect a big horsepower with a compact 4 cylinder engine"

What about the Mazda Speed 3 with a 2.3 litre 4 cylinder that puts out 263 hp? Or the Subaru WRX that now gets 265 hp out of a 2.5 litre 4 cylinder (and 300 hp+ out of the STI variant). Also, what about the highest horsepower out of a normally aspirated 2.0 litre engine... the 240 hp Honda S2000. There are many others as well.

Just because it is a small 4 cylinder doesn't mean it isn't capable of big horsepower.

I wish they would re-release an SVT Focus with the 263 hp 2.3 from the Mazda with a 6 speed manual. That would be a cool car to own in coupe form.