The Focus is one of the most underrating cars in the segment offering more power and torque than it's competitors. Even at the base level, it trumps the Hyundai i30, Mazda3, and Volkswagen Golf and others even when you get to their top models in their ranges. The new Automatic transmission ditches the previous Powershift for a conventional auto which feels just as quick as the previous, without sacrificing reliability, which the old one was unfortunately known for. Look online and you will see the complaints.
Overall, the car pulls strongly and has no trouble overtaking or conducting other manoeuvres that require the torque to engage quickly. Even better is it achieves this with 91 octane fuel, which can be a lot cheaper than being forced to fill up on the 95 or 98. The fuel use can be a bit higher than the claim, so buyer beware.
Servicing is very competitive at $290 for the first three services at 12 month intervals of the scheduled Ford Service Price Promise services. I have not had my first service as of yet, but I am looking forward to hopefully getting a loan Mustang as the free loan car that Ford dealers generously offers to owners. Fingers crossed, but I will probably get a Fiesta, but that is also very good, as it is free. An excellent bonus is the free 12-months roadside assistance with NRMA that comes with each service you do with the dealers up to 7 years. This is great value and I don't think any other brands are offering this, and the roadside assistance is with the NRMA and not through a cheaper second rate provider like some of the other brands choose to provide, which might as well not be offered because it is just through second rate provider and I would rather pay for NRMA myself and get a bigger discount on the car's purchase price.
The SYNC2 system is great and easy to operate. I have not had any issues so far such as the reverse camera cease functioning, or the satellite navigation not working or the whole system resetting constantly, as you hear with so many infotainment horror stories. It is so easy to link my phone via Bluetoot and the voice recognition is great for handsfree operating. Even the base gets satellite navigation, which demonstrates the value on offer, The screen is large, clear and well-positioned. It can pick up some fingerprints, especially if you have passengers who don't wash their fingers after eating greasy foods, so you have to be assertive with them. The interior overall feels tough enough to deal with the wear and tear of the modern world that we are living in today. Some people may be putt off by it being manufactured in Thailand. I have not been in a German made Focus, but coming from Germany myself, I think you cannot really complain as the build is very decent for this price range.
Room in the rear might be a bit tight for larger adults, especially if waistlines continue to increase with the poorer diets people eat. Luckily I don't often have the passengers in the rear, so it is not majorly an issue for me on a regular basis.
The ride quality is nice and the car remains composed over most surfaces and conditions, dealing with badly surfaced roads easily. It rides smoothly over average roads in suburbia and does not get ruffled by the countless potholes you can encounter, especially in some bad neighbourhoods the satellite navigation may take you through. The car is anything but plain to drive, its dynamics being wonderfully agile and responsive. It loves to sit flat in longer corners, and holds its position well even in tighter bends. Grip is reassuring, and, when pushed, corners crisply and with gusto. The steering offers plenty of feel, and the rack is direct and accurate. However, the steering wheel is not leather unfortunately, and you must move up to Sport if you want that better steering feel.
Overall, I have to say, this is a great buy and a hidden gem for the sub-$25 000 small car segment. Especially with the sharp deals Ford dealers are offering all year round, you can knock even more off the asking price.