We purchased our Focus as a commuter but we use it so much more. We never buy 4 cylinders with automatic transmissions, but here it's perfectly mated. Steering is direct with good on center feel. The 2.3L PZEV engine is refined and responsive. It's quite roomy and the hatch lends SUV utility. At 40,000 miles, it has been totally reliable. It's solid, tight and remains an absolute pleasure to drive. Plus, the Audiophile in-dash 6CD stereo package is amazing in such an inexpensive car. It's also reasonably quiet, although better sound proofing could make this car nearly perfect. All in all, a dynamic, fun, surprisingly premium experience.
The ride/drive qualities surpass much more expensive cars. We rent a lot of cars, both here and abroad - the Focus' driving dynamics always welcome us home. We've grown to love the edgy styling. The five door's versatility is exceptional - the US should rediscover the hatch! Perfect reliability.
Door panel plastics are soft touch, show no wear, but dash plastic is hard. It's attractively grained and durable, but improvements would be welcomed. Our driver's side leather is starting to wear (expected at 40K?). Fuel economy is good but doesn't match Corolla/Civic. Better highway sound proofing.