I needed an economical, dependable, third car with a rack for my longboards. It has exceded all of my expectations. I have put 5,300 miles on it in 3 months. I modified a set of INNO racks and they work great. The Focus carries a ton of stuff, 2 9 foot plus boards on top, is very fun to drive, and gets decent gas mileage (25 to 30 mpg with the PZEV). I did not expect such a versatile vehicle. Ford should consider making an "Outback" style car based on the Focus. Unfortunately, this model is discontinued. Great cheap surf car for solo trips! Excellent commuter and general purpose vehicle. Amazingly quick and agile. Highly recommend.
Driving fun, rack, room in back, European feel and controls (kooky as they may be), side air bags, decent stereo, price! Past experience with Tracers and Escorts leave me to expect excellent reliability.
I think Ford should improve it, not eliminate it. I would pay for better seats (like my Mazda 6s had.) Better gas mileage, a bit more backseat room. Better seat fabric. 2008 Techie toys seem lame to me. There is a big potential demand for basic sport/utility wagons if packaged and marketed right.