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  • Jimmy

    Don’t mind this car. Pity about the cheap looking, tacky boombox inspired dash.

  • Vdubs

    Nice article depicting another failed attempt from Ford! thanks!
    In 3-4 years Ford will probably give up trying to compete in this segment, they’re just too irrelevant to adapt.

    • Blue Soup

      Another VW blinded fan I see, I drove one of these the other day with a friend looking at this segment and was plesantly suprised at a couple of things and agree that it was a little lack lustre in comparison to Mazda 3 and Corolla BUT it was most definitely the most refined in regards to road noise,handling and standard feature level, What i am confused at is the quoted retail pricing as the car is only $19,990 driveaway on an introduction pricing.. And at that price point it does represent good value…
      And NO the Golf was and is not an option.

      • Golfschwein

        Cruze and Golf are much quieter in the road noise department, according to a current comparison test. Okay, you don’t want a Golf, but did you try a Cruze?

        • tj

          the vw fanboys and the non-s should cease fire. it is getting meaningless, a good car, which ever make it is doesn’t make you superior. it only reflects on your ownership preference.

        • Dilligaf

          Cruze, really. How do you put that in the same class as a Golf or Focus?

          • Model T

            Australia must be only place where a GM (Holden) vehicle is seriously compared by some with the likes of Ford or VW. Some people may not like it, but GM is a lower end manufacturer – which is reflected in the quality and placement of the cars they produce. Ford and VW are at least one tier above GM.

          • Blue Soup

            completly agree

          • hairdog

            I agree. It is like comparing a blow up doll to a real woman.

      • Vdubs

        …So you haven’t driven a Golf then? Enough said.
        Go back to your budget cars.

        • Ceagle

          VEEDUD! enough said:)

        • Jack

          I know at least three people with a current generation golf who have had serious reliability issues. One had the DSG gear box give up on them after 18 months, another has had to have the whole engine replaced after issues with the turbo and a third is in dropping the car off with the dealer every other month.

          When I was looking at the Golf the dealer at VW refused to even acknowledge me or even offer me a test drive (Probably because I’m a P-Plater). Ended up buying an SP25, couldn’t be happier.

          I’m sure VW produce a good drive and an impressive looking interior but there’s no way i’d consider it the be all and end all in the compact segment. Audi is a premium brand, Volkswagen is not.

          • Alexander

            Last weekend a friend of mine traded in her 2007 Golf with 80,000kms because it was literally nothing but trouble, she got a Corolla instead – not what I would have got but at least it won’t cause problems.

        • hairdog

          I own a Focus Titanium. I test drove a golf. Nice car, but the Ford felt good and quality is on par with the golf. Now you will say its a Ford….and VW is German, however the Focus is European designed and made….and for 7K less than equivalent spec Golf, I say the Focus is better value

    • delux

      Could you please elaborate?

      • Blue Soup


    • Brycem

      Do you know how many of these are sold in Europe? If you did you wouldn’t be making such nonsensical comments!!

    • prisma

      I’ve owned 3 new VW’s and had nothing but electrical and mechanical problems.
      Personally I wouldnt go anywhere near the brand again…clever marketing and perceived quality let down by poor reliability and expensive servicing.

      No thanks you can have your Golf…been there done that and got burnt.

      • Golfschwein

        You suffered thrice? My Golf diesel wasn’t expensive to service compared to other modern cars. Maybe if compared to an old Torana, yes.

        I’ve just given the BA Falcon hand-me-down a dealer service, supposedly $285, but once the dealer discovers H2O in the brake lines and fixes the handbrake problem that happens to all BAs, I was $465 lighter. Not grizzling about it, I just know to put aside four to five hundred bucks for a once a year dealer service, for whatever car I own.

        • Karl

          Don’t bother taking Faladores back to the dealers.

          • Golfschwein

            Tempting, but dealers know stuff. The previous owner (my Dad!) took it to the RAC to get their opinion on an engine miss. They found nothing wrong. He asked the dealer, and the dealer said hell yeah, we know what this is. Fixed in a jiff and at little cost. They knew about the handbrake thing too, such that they were able to quote it as a job.

      • manda

        So Prisma – you bought a VW which gave you numerous electrical and mechanical problems. So you went and bought another VW and this gave you same problems? So you replaced that VW with yet another and that gave more of the same problems??? Either you are making your story up – or you are an idiot!

        • hairdog

          Manda, it’s in the men genes to take a while to learn….like we get married once…divorce….get married again…..divorce and we do it again, until such time we see why get married and after the 3rd divorce, we stay bachelors



      these are already selling in droves, there are new focusses everywhere. i know ive seen a LOT more than new golfs, and the focus has only just been released.

      and you dont need tartan socks to drive a focus!

      two people i work with have already purchased new focus sedans, and they are both rapt!

  • Alexander

    In not keen in how the name is pronounce in the ads, ‘am-bee-on-tay’ – sounds like a failed attempt to be European.

    • Blue Soup

      the cars built in Germany?????

      • Alexander

        But Ford’s image isn’t European, and ‘am-bee-on-tay’ sounds pretentious? Why not ‘am-be-ont’ or just Ambient.

        • Hyundai Lover

          Or why not CL?

        • Brycem

          Not here because of bogan sub culture but the car is European through and through and one of the most respected in class since its inception in 1998. Just another sad indictment of the lack of sophistication in this largely irrelevant and small minded market that this car and the also excellent mondeo are outsold by the behemoth that is the falcon. Come on Australia move with the times.

          • Rick

            They are that’s why they buy the falcon not the mondeo

      • Zandit

        For now, but soon it will be moved to Thailand once the flooding subsides I guess.

    • nickdl

      It’s a bit Kath & Kim…

  • Clem

    Recession is just around the Corner. Put your money in the Bank! Regardless what cars … CASH is the KING!

    • john

      Yep agree entirely. I want a new car but i got layed off last time so i’m looking around at the moment and waiting to see what will happen early next year.

  • filippo

    I like small Fords, so it pains me to say that Ford Australia deserve to fail with the Focus range. Offering a 5-speed manual is perhaps excusable in the base model, but not offering a 6-speed manual in the higher models even as an option (and especially in the diesel) is just plain daft. This whole aspirational auto-only mentality will not win them any sales from VW, it will just cost them sales to Mazda.

    • hairdog

      I agree not manual in Diesel sucks…but the Auto is superb. I personally believe comes down to availability…once production starts in Thailand , manual in the diesel will be offered…as it is offered in Europe

      • filippo

        I’d like to think it was just a case of supply, but I sense that this is an attempt to make the range seem more prestigious. Ford would do well to look at how many manual 3s and 6s Mazda moves and how many people are walking out of Ford showrooms because they are being asked to pay a premium for a transmission they don’t even want.

  • Snoop

    I do agree, it doesn’t sound like a name that belongs to the focus range.
    What I don’t agree with is, how is this ANOTHER failed attemp by ford in this market?
    The Focus has been a major player in this segment for years and is an extremely popular and very good car world wide.
    To make a comment like that is purely based on personal preference, in which case there is no argument.

  • Reality

    Had a look at the Trend model for my wife and she found the seat too deep (she’s on the small side) for comfortable driving and the dash too busy. Ride and handling was pretty good but some of the plastics and finishing (glovebox and coin/key/remote box on driver’s side) were a let down. I also thought the auto transmission sometimes felt hesitant although that could have just been me not being used to driving the manumatic. Ended up getting the Mazda 3 Neo instead.

  • Neal

    The styling of the car has grown on me a bit but I’m still not a major fan. The tail lights and darth vader front need resolving some more.

    I like the interior and think it is looks great in the dark plastics .Something kia keep getting attacked by our media for. Some of the multi grey tones in vehicles like the mitsubishi ASX look aweful. I prefer the darker dashboards but it’s obviously a personal thing.

    It should sell well. I’ve seen a few on the road around home already without fleet labels on the back window so private buyers obviously like it.

  • Ben 10

    I’m sorry but regardless of what other people say, I think the new focus is a pretty good piece of kit for the money… except for the overly priced titanium, especially when its 36 grand at my local ford dealer.

    • gkm

      I like the shape as well. I dont understand the complaining about the Titanium pricing. If you get a Golf spec up to the same options as the Titanium you would be paying 40 grand plus. i suggest some people on this forum get of your pc’s and talk to the car sales people. The offical pricing is very misleading and not what you pay in the real world.

      • hairdog

        GKM is 100% correct. Titanium pricing is cheaper than a Golf equivalent. People need to see the Focus as a new car, and not compare it to previous models. This Focus shits on the old Focus. When supplies increase, it will be the best selling small car.

  • Martin

    The centre screen looks dwarfed by the surrounding dash. Is it the same size through the entire range?

    • Joker

      Martin, No.

      The Premium Sound option ups the Screen size

  • Snoop

    I totally agree Gkm.
    Dare I say it? The VW lovers are becoming the new bogans.
    They sure as hell drive like it.

    • Damian

      Polo and Golf drivers think they’re driving a ‘prestige’ car, hence their conceitedness. They’re the type who usually dress in tight turtle necks and jeans, and hang around inner city cafes to conform to the ‘urban chic’ standard. Most don’t have much money, but because they drive a Polo/Golf, act like they do.

      • Golfschwein

        Let’s do a bit of generalising about you…okay, where shall we start?

        • scatman

          Well you do seem to fit the bill of being a typical VW tugga

        • Damian

          “Let’s do a bit of generalising about you…okay, where shall we start?”

          Hit a sensitive spot, did I, Golfschwein? I’m sure you’ll be telling your boyfriends when you rendezvous for your late night ‘lattes’. :P

          • Golfschwein

            You don’t realise it, but you’ve got conceit, ignorance and a comical lack of sense of irony all neatly bundled together under the wife beater and beanie. See what I just did? Like it big boy? Huh?

          • AndyGF

            ROFL… Classic Golfschwein!

          • AndyGF

            I know its been pointed out before, but its amazing how many VW bashers keep pointing out that we think VW’s are ‘prestige’ cars… I tell you now, I dont give VW’s marketing department enough credit…

            Prestige by Association, and only for being German? All the while their slogan is simply ‘the car’.

            And they managed to do that while others use gobbledegook like “oh, what a feeling”? (who are you feeling?) And “power of dreams? (the REM kind?). How about “pursuit of perfection” (another case of unobtainable goals). Dont get me started on Zoom-Zoom!

            They even know their customers are the ‘stubborn gullible’ kind… explains a lot.

      • Brycem

        What do you drive and what do you wear whilst driving it?


        SPOT ON damian!

      • hairdog

        I doubt Golf owners can put a case forward saying why the Golf is better than the current Focus. Read every article, especially for the Diesel, and the Ford wins the comparison, especially the Auto gear box.

  • Ann Knowles

    We have just bought a Jetta Comfortline 118TSI. Our first VW & our 2nd Germany car (an MB away back). We got an excellent deal, without which we would have gone elsewhere. The only down side to date is the hesitation on drive away of the DGS box. Can be tricky to move off smoothly. Otherwise it is an excellently presented & performing small car. Time will tell if it is reliable. In the past five years we have had a CVT equipped car & current have a 6 speed auto. I would rate these boxes thus 1. 6 speed auto (in a diesel 407 > 50,000 kms). 2. CVT box (in a Lancer – 140,000 kms) noise on large throttle its main drawback & 3. the DSG. One thing I don’t like on these Fords & some Korean cars is the dash, its frigging ugly.

    • Sumpguard

      The Ford’s dash looks good to me but then I like this modern twist that Ford and Hyundai have taken.

      Nothing really wrong with the dashboards in the VW’s but they aren’t exactly what I’d call modern or exciting. Merely functional. VW are a bit like toyota. The fit and finish is good but the advancement in design is non-existant!

      We had a Jetta as a hire car a couple of years ago with a diesel and it was a fantastic drive but I still don’t trust their reliabilty enough to plunge $40 k on one. I reckon I’d have a much smoother ownership experience in the Ford!

  • Snoop

    I have a 2005 BA. Bought it in 2007.
    I have no issues with it what so ever. The hand break thing that supposedly happens to “ALL” Falcons. What problem is that, and how would you know?
    I like how If something goes wrong with one car, it suddenly happens to ALL cars of the same model.
    I do my own services, the engine is like new, no oil leaks, haven’t had to change the break pads, rotors are perfect and it passed its first pink slip no problem.
    Maybe I got a good one huh?….

    • Golfschwein

      Sorry. Common enough problem, not a universal one. When I discussed the handbrake with the dealer, he chuckled and then said, “Oops, sorry, shouldn’t laugh”.

  • Turbine

    Just purchased the new Titanium Diesel. So far I found the Build quality to be excellent and road handling brilliant. Very impressed with the engine – it’s whisper quiet with heaps of grunt from about 1500 revs and it accelerates effortlessly. European Spec indicates around 8.5s 0-100km, RACV review has it around 10s. – not sure who’s correct – I feel its more fun to drive than the other car -(Holden sportwagon). I always thought diesels were a bit lame but taking one for a test drive changed that. Noticing a bit of excessive brake dust on the front wheels.

    • hairdog

      Turbine, I got a Titanium Diesel also love it.

      The brake dust ……well it the only down side of the car. I am so close changing the rotors to something that won’t make my rims look black after a few days of driving

      • Golfschwein

        In the meantime, stay diligent with the brake dust, as it can ruin your alloys. I think I gave up on mine.

  • Neil

    Interior looks barren and quite cheap on the base model. I like the design but those HVAC controls scream fleet model.

  • The Painter

    I know it sounds petty but I have noticed with all the new Fords over the last 3-5 years that there is no rear air vents. I don’t know how in a country were Summer can last up to half the year,and we use these cars to pick up the kids or just as they were intended to be used …a family car how this was so over looked. The only Fords that offer this simple luxury are the Australian Made Fords. Thank god we still have them as my kids would be really pissed off if they didn’t get cold air after the cars been down at the shops or anywhere else outside.

    • Golfschwein

      Rear air vents will materialise when production shifts to Thailand soon, I’ve read.

    • partsguy

      The rear vents are there, just not visible. They are concealed under the front seats, brilliant placement. Sure you don’t get cold/warm air blowing straight on you but you get the benefit of little fidgety fingers not playing with them or using them as a footrest on the back of the console. This has been the case since the LS (05) model came out

      • hairdog

        Thats the first I ever heard of the vents under the front seats

        • Modern Man

          you will find a few cars like this.

          move front seats forward and you will see a plastic outlet in the carpet of quite a few manufacturers

  • nickdl

    A 1.6 EcoBoost, a six-speed manual and the MyFord Touchscreen would be great additions to the Titanium models. Ford has a great car, but as usual Ford Aus stuff up the spec sheet and lose sales.

    I do like it in the entry level manual though. Excellent value and good looking. I think the overall best model would be the manual petrol Sport hatchback – very well equipped, good looking and plenty of performance.

  • spvd02

    Nice car :)

  • barry

    We traded in a Golf Comfortline for a Focus Trend.
    The Golf had a few problems over the five years of ownership and the Service costs I thought were very expensive.The Dealer quoted $220 /hour for one of the problems estimated to take three hours to fix so I took it to a local mechanic who charged me $85.00
    I find the Focus to be more comfortable than the Golf.The Focus has only 3000 km on the clock so it is too early to comment on the performance. The motor at this stage is still very tight.
    I drive a Mondeo Diesel and would have preferred a Focus Diesel but couldn’t justify the extra cost for the limited kilometres the Focus will do
    The car is averaging 6.6l/100km which is good

  • Jimmy James

    electric steering kills yet another decent car.

  • Able

    A Mazda3 Neo is a much better value car and I’d easily have that over the Focus Ambiente. Looks better IMO too…

    Get the Escape here already!

  • rodger

    Just done 3000km in new Focus Sport diesel. Great performance, but sometimes tricky to get a smooth yet rapid takeoff – you’re either going too slow or all but spinning the wheels. Brake dust problem in these European cars – after years of driving Subarus – is hard to get used to. The dust builds up on the wheels after just a few days. Extremely solid build – very European feel, as it should be since it’s built in Germany. Dash is fine to me, though Golf dash looks a bit more refined. But I was wary of buying a Golf becasue of its higher price, servicing costs and question marks remaining over reliability. So far the Focus has been a great choice.

    • hairdog

      I find same with my diesel. If you floor it, there eis an initial hesitation….I just think it’s the turbo lag

  • save it for the track

    I always found when driving a Euro hatch or midsizer that a manual gearbox cuts down on the brake dust issue….

    • hairdog

      Bullocks, my old manual Focus had bad dust problems.

      I find that if you also cut a hole in the floor and use your feet as brakes like Fred Flintstone, then the brake dust does not become an issue……

    • Modern Man

      Brake dust is a euro vehicle issue. Brake pad material is to blame as they need to survice arid type conditions of Spain to the colder reaches of northern europe.

      Australia is a bit more stable in its temperatures. tend to never really get below freezing.

  • barry

    I had the dust problem with my mondeo. Our company mechanic found some local Bendix pads suitable for the ford and guess what!!! No more dust I now only have to wash the car every rwo weeks not weekly as before to remove the dust
    You have to push a bit harder on the pedal but once used to it – no problem

  • nifty

    focus trend just won best small car 2011. golf fans wont be happy

    • hairdog

      I would have thought the Sports would have won it. For $3000 more, its abetter value car, plus better centre console and screen display.

      But yes, Golf fans will be screaming “Four” as they just been hit by Ford!!!

    • Golfschwein

      I’m not so sure Golf fans will care. They’ll take their hat off to a good car any time.