Ford finally got its small car design right by letting its German design team build the entire car. Handling is best in class - the Germans know how to design steering and suspensions; much more solid feeling than the Civic or Corolla. Excellent interior space and comfort for 4 adults. Cruises easily on the freeway and still has the horses to accelerate as traffic requires. I imagine that this FOCUS is what BMW would offer if it ever sold an economy compact car.
A great total package for the price. My ZX4 SE with sports package and automatic transmission came well equipped, plus a tilt/telescoping wheel that the competition doesn't offer. Excellent basic sound system.
Front seats could use a bit more engineering as it is not as comfortable as my previous 2001 New Beetle. Fuel economy is average for class at 24 mpg with the automatic transmission. The dash board has a bit too much hard plastic, clearly a cost savings measure.