My wife and I replaced my old SUV with a compact to help alleviate rising fuel costs. The car is not all that bad to drive, and we've yet to have any problems. Well, except for three (3): 1. it can only get 20 m.p.g in city driving; 2. the front left tire cannot hold air and we had all four tires replaced at point of sale; 3. the trunk lid opens at inconvenient times. The sticker claims the EPA fuel rating is 26/30, city/hwy. That in and of itself isn't great for a compact, but 20 m.p.g or even less surprised me. Still, the purchase price was fair and the dealer treated us with respect. Time will tell if we're willing to buy another Ford or go back to Toyota.
Ford could build higher quality, longer lasting cars. I had my Toyota for 10 years (I also bought it used after it was 4 years old and had nearly 50,000 miles.) My family has a 93 Corolla that gets better mileage than my 02 Focus. That vehicle has over 150,000 miles. Ford, it can be done.