Her and His Reviews

February 2012

2012 Ford Focus SEL 5-Door Hatchback

There are always two sides to everything, right? Well, the truth is there are many more than that! To keep our car reviews innovative and well-rounded, we are providing you with not just one, but two points of view on the same exact vehicle – Her and His perspectives.

Her: Anne Fleming, Car Buying Advocate,women-drivers.com
His: Don Hammonds, Writer, AutomobileJournal.com 

MSRP: $24,250 MSRP: $24,250
This 6 speed automatic hatchback is propelled by a 2.0 liter, 160 horsepower engine. Independent rear suspension and great pick up and handling are in order. Steering is compact and responsive.

Gave the car a real test on the highway as we packed up and sped off to Bedford Springs @OMNI Hotels. For 2.5 hours each way the Focus drove well, albeit abit loud for my taste.
2.0 liter, 160 horsepower four, attached to a six speed dual clutch automated manual. Power was brisk and lusty, but the awful six speed dual clutch automated manual, with its jerkiness, roughness and searching for the right setting was a real pain in the behind. Ford's now heard about this from many car writers and consumers, and I am confident they will do something about all this. I just hope it is soon.
Fuel Economy
27 city/37 highway. The cap-less filler is flush with body of car and looks very clean. Great! 27/37 and annual estimated fuel costs of $1,454 based on 15,000 miles of driving at $3 a gallon for gasoline.
The Car
The car is completely redesigned and looks great. It is not one of the least expensive models in this class by any stretch; however, Ford has added a lot to make it more compelling. The exterior is more aggressive and sporty and the inside, with My Ford Touch and Srirus, is well laid out and functionally easy to use, albeit tight. A single person or a couple with one child will most likely be the owner as space is a premium.

The back seats easily give way to more luggage room with just the touch of a button.

Also available in a sedan.
The Focus is a beautifully designed, robust, "street racer" of a compact car that has a lot going for it--terrific styling that makes it look like its in motion standing still, a gorgeous interior--if you get the top line models, not the one we tested-- and fabulous fuel economy.

But it has issues.

Interior room is very tight, and almost nonexistent in the rear seat, the interior of our SEL looked plain and dowdy next to competitors, and the price was too high for what you get. For an optioned SEL you can get a number of top line compact sedans, and that suggests Ford needs to re-think its pricing. And as I said earlier, the tranny needs to be smoothed out--or dropped completely for another transmission that provides comparable economy.
The Focus has standard torque vectoring control - which adds stability to the car by the addition of brake force to wheels on one side when the car is turning. What is highly unique about this is the Focus is the first in its class to have this feature. Child safety rear door locks, driver and passenger airbags/curtains, anti-theft alarm, and tire pressure monitor system. MyKey restricts vehicle speed and stereo volume for your teen driver - a wonderful feature. The Focus has the usual gear: Airbags, anti-lock brakes, child safety rear door locks, and if you don't mind paying for it, an optional system that allows the car to park itself.
Electronic stability control, MyFordTouch integration of communication/NAV/entertainment, Sirius satellite radio, andi-lock braking system. Advancetrac with electronic stability control, MyFordTouch (still way too complicated and awkward to operate smoothly without pulling over to the side of the road), antilock brakes, Easy fuel cap-less filler, etc.
Aesthetics & Styling
An all new sporty and athletic styling. Its chief competitor is the Elantra in its class, though the Fit and the Mazda3 also compete. It's a good looking, go-fast car, much like the European Focus it's based on. But I wonder if this styling, and that of cars like the Hyundai Elantra, will hold up against more classically appealing cars like the Chevy Cruze.
3 year, 36,000 mile bumper-to-bumper and 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty 3 year, 36,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, and 5 year/60,000 mile powertrain warranty.