Back in 2000, the year that the Ford Focus was introduced, Ford Motor Company was hoping that the model would be well received and exceed the sales totals of its previous small car, the Escort. Unfortunately, the new Focus was plagued by various minor quality problems and the car soon became the joke of the industry. Step forward to 2006, and the current Focus is vastly improved on earlier models. Let’s explore what is helping the Focus become a proven challenger in the crowded small vehicle sector:
1. Aggressive Price. Yes, the number of cars available under US$15,000 continues to drop each year. However, the Focus takes it one step further as it retails just below $14,000. Comparably equipped Chevys, Kias and Hyundais sell for nearly the same amount, so the consumer has a good choice when buying the Ford Focus.
2. Sufficient Power. The 2.0L I4 engine paired to a five speed manual transmission gives the car enough power to get it moving and keep it moving at a nice clip on the freeway. Competing models offer smaller engines as small as 1.6L as found in the Kia Rio.
3. Spacious Interior. Up to five people can be carried in the Focus and the interior room is large for a car in its segment. Most small cars are intolerable for big rear seating passengers, but not so for the Focus. Compare the Focus’ seating to the Cobalt and the Focus is the clear winner.
4. An Assortment of Body Styles. Most cars built today come in only one or two body styles, however the Focus features four: a three-door ZX3 hatchback, a five-door ZX5 hatchback, a ZX4 sedan and the ZXW wagon. It is the ZX3 that retails for as low as US$13,990.
5. Respectable Fuel Economy. With EPA figures of 26 city / 34 highway, the Focus achieves a fuel mileage level that few small cars can boast of.
Competition in the small car group remains tight with the Toyota Corolla, Chevrolet Cobalt, Hyundai Elantra, and Saturn ION all competitively priced. The Corolla remains the favorite amongst industry specialists, but the Focus has certainly shed its “low quality” status with the current model. Check out special financing deals through Ford Credit to save even more money on your Focus.
In conclusion, the Focus has improved with age, but it is in need of updating now that it is in its seventh model year. With Ford fortunes sagging, the company cannot afford additional dips in sales.