A New Focus In Town

Stopby at the Ford roadshow this weekend to checkout this here new car. Was it any good? In many ways yes and no in some. First the pros, its a CBU unit from Ford Philipines, the overall built quality is good, high marks in that. Exterior design is sporty, as you can see, sleek cum low profile cues, well balance very Ford-like, no problems there.

The interior, you've got leather all over, eletronic front seats, sporty steering wheel, 6-disc front change, and spacious leg and torso room both front and back and tight fitting panels all around, all your usual creature comforts provided. The Focus also have a generous boot, a big square trunk, lots of space for the family luggage and golf clubs too. Yaay!

On the road, the handling is smooth, on the staights and corners very confident. Sharp responds on the brakes and tight turns is no problem in this car. Noise proofing in this car is good, road noise is barely there. Hence, you get that nice cushy feel while doing all that maneuver, wonderful.

The 1.8L engine does it job well and in city drive, the engine responds is quick in the low gears giving you a nippy car, no troubles there. To top it off, you get do to all this driving in a manual mode too. Yes, the Focus comes with a triptronic gear box to give you a little road entertainment when needed. Pleasent surprise here, cause the competition don't offer this at all, so good thinking there Ford!

Wot's not to like then? Here comes the con, don't take this as a severe problem, but points you should bare in mind. The sleek design comes with a price, the front and rear view is narrowed down. Particularly the rear, an in adequate view angle that you may get from a Ferrari.

When the sunshines, the reflection from the rear dash bounce up the rear screen creating a bright reflection compunding the problem further. On top of this, the rear view mirror is micro and mounted a little lower than desired, giving a narrower view plus blocking part of the top front view. The side view mirror is also mirco, too small, the result will create more blindspots. I think Ford is taking the sporty feel a little too serious, this is a family car not a Lamborghini.

The Focus is not for anyone 5'10 and above. Why? Well, the front and back headroom is rather small, leaving you a clusterphobic feel all around. The narrow front view present a visual problem, it does not help with the rear view mirror mounting blocking the driver. Uncomfortable and could be dangerous.

The engine, while good at the lower gears, nippy performance, you will find the car a little short on responds on the higher speed in auto mode. It feels a little heavy, lacking that full blown power output you expect to feel. So, on the highway, you may prefered to switch over to manual. The 1.8L btw is not a variable-valve, so fuel economy may suffer a little in jam-pack conditions on auto.

The interior dash design is not appealing. I did not find the layout all that exciting despite the sporty exterior. Of course, this could just be a personel preference, that I leave it to the individual buyer. The expected price is around RM124-125K, three years warranty and interest loan rate at 2.75% from Affin Bank, according to the sale rep.

The local market have long admire and use to Japanese design, technology and comfort, will they buy into a Ford-Euro influence car? In conclusion, while Ford have come along way to improve their products, they have yet to mount a serious challenge on Honda or Toyota for that matter.

(Image from Motor Trader)