I bought this so I could send my beloved '96 Contour into semi-retirement. It's been a lot of fun to drive, although driving is more work than the Contour. Overall, I'm quite satisfied. It can blow away most unmodified Minis which is good enough for me. Handling is excellent, but surprisingly not that much better than my Contour. It feels better, but that's just because of the better support from the Recaro seats. As noted in my Contour review, the Contour is both lower and wider than the Focus, which shows on twisty roads.
Exhilarating performance while maintaining 20 MPG economy. Quite comfortable even on long trips (1800 miles on last vacation). It loves the open road! Twisty roads are fun and it eats up the interstates in 6th gear with cruise control.
Really bad cup holders! Everything on it is special order, so breaking it means lots of money and waiting on parts. Cheap Focus features - no passenger side door lock, no glove box lock, etc. "Premium" sound system wouldn't play MP3's, so replaced with Alpine gear. It really needs a shift gate!