My husband has been a diehard Ford Escort fan for years. He drives 135 miles to work each day and his 1997 Escort (288,000 miles) finally started to give out. He had been extremely reluctant to get a Focus but decided to test drive two of them on the way home from work. He was completely impressed with this car! He bought the ZX4 ST right then and there and drove it home. The handling is smooth, steering is tight and the shifting is close geared and smooth. We cannot say enough good things about this car. The car is a lot of fun to drive! Personally, if I had known what driving a Focus ZX4 ST would be like, I'd have bought one of these instead of the Grand Am GT I bought!
Manual transmission, 6 CD changer with MP3 player, roomy feel even though it is technically a subcompact. Also love the sporty black/red cloth seats and all the compartments (sunglass holder, garage door opener holder), etc.
Quiet down the door locks. They are really loud and irritating.