New look, refined interior and more fun to drive
According to its maker, the “2008 Ford Focus brings a bold new look, a refined and flexible interior and a higher level of driving enjoyment to an evolving small-car market.”
With features including the cutting-edge Sync system, standard side-curtain airbags and improved fuel economy, the redesigned Focus will help build on the good impressions created by Ford’s well-received Fusion mid-size sedan.
You can see the Fusion design DNA in the Focus’ prominent chrome-bar grille, flared wheel arches and sweeping, crisp lines that make this small car stand out from the crowd.
The Focus is available as a two-door coupe (a first for the Focus) and four-door sedan. Either body style is available in a choice of three trim levels: S, SE and SES. Prices start at $15,999 for the S and top out at $19,999 for the SES.
While the external design helps get the Focus noticed, the real news is the interior design. Completely revised, it features a new “top of dash” display set at eye level atop the centre stack, a simple design that put much of the vehicle’s information in one place and makes it easier and quicker to read when driving. Along with a larger centre console, there’s now added space in front of the shifter for extra storage. Newly designed door trim features larger bins and cupholders in the doors. Recontoured seats offer more lateral and lumbar support too.
Adding to the appeal is an available colour-configurable ambient light system. Think of it as airplane-style cabin lighting. The driver or front passenger can choose from seven different interior colours, including red, orange, blue, indigo, violet, green and yellow, simply by cycling through a dash-mounted switch.
In cars equipped with the Sync option (more on this later) the associated USB port is located on the centre stack near the standard auxiliary input jack and two power points.
Motive power comes from a more powerful 140 hp, 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine, mated with a standard five-speed manual transmission. A four-speed automatic is optional. In addition to revised final-drive gear ratios, fuel economy gains were achieved by weight reduction and aerodynamic improvements. Revised suspension settings also show up in better steering feel and responsiveness. There’s also a lighter, all-new brake system with better pedal feel — vented discs up front and drums at the rear, with an available anti-lock braking option.
Getting back to Sync, it offers an unprecedented way to use cell phones and media players inside the vehicle. An in-cabin mike allows hands-free mobile phone operation while driving the Focus. Using Bluetooth technology, Sync can wirelessly connect up to 12 mobile phones to your Focus through a process called pairing. Sync also offers full hands-free, voice-activated command and control over portable iPods or MP3 players as well as USB storage devices. There’s more, a lot more, but you have to see it for yourself.
For an affordable compact car, the ‘08 Focus is very big in many ways and has a lot to offer.
2008 Ford Focus