Having never owned a Ford that wasn't absolutely flawless in every way, I have to question such reviews as this one. I'm especially skeptical of criticisms of the new Focus regarding handling. Every automotive reviewer I've read ranks it number one in its class in handling.
I owned a new 2012 Focus Titanium for just a little over a year. The car was comfortable, fun to drive, seemed well built, and got terrific MPG.
The reason I traded it in so soon was because of the dual clutch automated manual transmission; it was unpredictable. You never knew if the car was going to go when the accelerator was pressed or how much. Sometimes it would sit there for a few seconds, then take off like gang busters, and other times, creep off the line. It was pretty scary, especially when pulling out into traffic.
The other reason was MyFord Touch; when it worked it was awesome. More often than not it was glitching in one way or another or crashing.
The car had its quirks, as there were other little issues not worth mentioning. The DCT was the deciding factor to trade it in.
If you read through the various Focus forums, there are numerous complaints about the DCT and Ford's unwillingness (or inability) to fix it. To make matters worse, many dealers can't get parts and many owners are having to wait up to six months just to get their cars serviced.
I've owned a couple of newer model cars either made by Ford or with Ford drive train components (Mazda) and both were unreliable. Some people just seem to get the luck of the draw; personally I won't own another.
Modern cars have excessive levels of technology. Many features that are intended to make your life easier, but end up creating headaches in the long run. Long-term durability is also questionable, but you can't expect much from compact cars.
I have a 2010 Edge, which lacks the My Touch and has no issues. In turn, another I know with the same car had issues just out of warranty and a newer model year. Cost over 2k to remove the dash and repair.
I used to buy cars with no options except automatic and A/C. No power windows, just power steering and brakes. I prefer aftermarket sound systems. You can order some trucks that way. Personally I like non power windows. I drive solo a lot, and other than hitting a toll, it's not a problem to turn the 3 cranks to lower the window. I have them on my Edge though. My experience over time is windows that slow down or fail.
My door locks have quit on my Edge at 97000 miles.
I read the reviews also, and the remarks must have been about the Focus ST, or they just wrote the review and did not drive the car. Compared to my old Civic Si or the Chevy Sonic LT I drive now, the Focus SE did not handle nearly as well. I guess if you are comparing the Focus to a pickup truck, the Focus would seem to corner fine.
I've had other Fords in the past also, and the 2000 Mustang GT I had was a good car for its type, except the intake manifolds would crack and the coolant would come out, so they had to be recalled.
Had a 1969 Mustang; it rusted through in 5 years and got 12 MPG.
Had a 1988 Mustang GT that was pretty good, and a 1968 Cougar that was nice.
A 1977 Ford Pinto that rattled like crazy, and a 1965 Thunderbird that rode and looked nice.
Also have had many GM products over the years, and four Japanese cars, and the Fords have been the least reliable and most trouble prone vehicles I have had. All the cars I have had that were made in Japan have been trouble free.
"Had a 1969 Mustang; it rusted through in 5 years and got 12 MPG."
Was it was driven year-round?
I had a new 82 Datsun 280ZX; not cheap, and in 5 years I had premature rusting.
We have a 68 Ford Mustang Fastback in the family in mint shape. I have a totally restored 70 Chevelle SS. I waited 35 years and finally got one. We use garages. Keep them clean. My wax preference is U.S. Auto Supply, and it offers great protection and gloss.