28th Apr 2012, 21:11
(widmer): Original author here. I'm a little past 64k on the car now, which means I've had it for a couple thousand miles and close to 3 months. Just some thoughts for now:
* Jan 12 commentator - That's an impressive review; I would say it merits its own posting! I must say though, maybe I'm under informed, but the SYNC sounds like it's not worth the bother to me. I've heard more than a couple times of it malfunctioning, and to be honest, I'd rather operate a Bluetooth earpiece. As far as the suspension goes, I'm thinking of putting on some coil overs to lower the car by a couple inches. I've come to realize it looks peculiarly a little too tall, and I wonder if lowering it would A) provide better mpg, or B) change the way it handles (though it certainly doesn't require improvement in either regard).
* Speaking of tires though - Today I just got rid of the "sport" tires that the previous owner had on the car, and switched to some nicer-riding "touring" tires. Seriously, it's a Ford Focus, not a Ferrari. Best decision I've made this month. I finally understand what people mean when they talk about how quiet this car is on the highway. 85% of the ambient noise was coming from the old tires.
* In a couple days I'm about to drive round-trip from Ann Arbor, MI to Minneapolis, MN, which is about 1,400 MI round trip. It will be interesting to see what fuel economy I get. So far, since I have been driving the car, the lifetime fuel economy gauge has been creeping up very slowly to where it is now, at 32.7 mpg. As far as I know, there's no way to find a trip mpg etc, just the lifetime. This missing feature is my first disappointment with the car.
* The last thing I would like to say is that I have only grown to enjoy this car the more I drive it. Between the high window line and the overall design of the dash, it's starting to feel like it might be reminiscent of flying an airplane. Very comfortable and lots of fun.
* That's all for now. We will see how I feel after 12 hours one way x2. But as of now, this is a car I highly recommend.
1st May 2012, 12:54
Import fans tend to bash the Focus (as well as anything remotely American), but my experience with our one and only Focus (a 2001 model) was flawless. It was fast, quiet, reliable and light years ahead of our crappy Honda Civic in every respect.
As for road noise, tires make a HUGE different on any car. I recently replaced the sport tires on my Fusion with more comfortable and grippier touring tires. The sound level dropped from that of an ear-splitting RAV-4 level to that of a new Buick.
2nd Oct 2012, 17:18
(Widmer) Original author again. I'm approaching 69,000 miles on the car, and it's been a few months, so I figured I might as well make another post.
Let me start off by saying my round trip drive from Ann Arbor, MI to Minneapolis, MN and back again was great. Zero funny business after the car was cruising for 11 hours. On the way to Minneapolis, I got somewhere around 40 MPG, averaging ~73 mph. On the way back to Ann Arbor from Minneapolis, I kept close track of my fuel economy (by recording how much gas was going into the car, rather than the built-in MPG meter). It gave me precisely 36.7 MPG, and that was with the car filled to the brim with me, my better half, and all of our luggage, averaging 75 mph.
Speaking of cargo, I didn't anticipate that having a trunk release button on the key fob would lead to me transporting things in the trunk more often than I used to. It's just so easy to pop it open this way. The only way it would be better, is if it automatically opened all the way, like some of those minivans.
Also, the car passes the 8-foot-board-test (transporting a pile of 8-foot 2x4s is no problem with the back seat folded down). There's another smart feature to be mentioned here: To fold the back seat down, you simply pull the little loop, which releases the latch and pulls the seat down in one action. This is compared to every other car I've ever seen, where you have to first push a button or pull a lever, before folding the seat down. Smart.
Otherwise nothing new to report on the car. I still consider it a pleasure to own, and fantastic value for what I paid.
3rd Apr 2014, 22:23
(Widmer) I just passed 79,000 miles today. Absolutely love this car. I have had zero trouble with it, though I will admit that it sounds like a wheel bearing might be on the way out - that will probably be a $400 repair. I have not spent any other money on it apart from oil changes. This car has only exceeded my expectations, and continues to be a pleasure to drive. Since my original post, I have graduated pharmacy school, become licensed, and am <3 months from completing my clinical residency; Even with significantly greater income in sight, I don't feel compelled at all to replace this 2008 Focus with a newer model of anything. I will continue to post periodically while I have this car, which I would expect to be for many more miles.