2008 Ford Focus Sedan Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Ford Focus Sedan

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Ford Focus Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 140 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 24/35 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2008 Ford Focus

  • The 2008 Ford Focus is much improved and still fun to drive. As a value-driven choice, it works very well, but those seeking a top small sedan or coupe should look elsewhere.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Plush ride quality, responsive steering, simple controls, very good fuel economy, quiet interior, low price.

  • Cons

    Bland interior design and materials on most models, no rear headrests.

  • What's New for 2008

    While not completely new, the Ford Focus gets a significant refresh for 2008. Many of the mechanical components are unchanged, but the car gets a new look inside and out. Ford's hands-free Sync communications system is added to the options list and the base 2.0-liter engine gets a slight power increase. The 2.3-liter engine is dropped, as are all wagon and hatchback versions. A coupe version of the Focus is also new for 2008.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (17 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Issues with door latches, and

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought a 2008 Focus Automatic(why doesn't Edmunds have the automatic as option for review?) brand new. First winter the passenger side door lock froze. 6months into ownership of it the carpet came undone from under plastic door trim on both sides of car. Same issue with "09" too. 2 years in the trunk door latch is blown. We had to rig it so can open from pulling a rope threaded though the fold down back seat. Asked it to be repaired when had it in for service and idiots at shop failed to do anything to it. Haven't taken it back. 5yrs old now and back door on passenger side will not latch. Going to have to have it repaired when have the money. Issues with alignment on it and the 2009 too.




Quality control

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

The car from the beginning had problems, I have taken the vehicle in for window problems the carpet from the beginning would not stay under the door trim piece. I always hear noises from the front end until one day the transmission goes out. I have read other reviews of the same problems.




Non-working doors

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I do love my economic little Focus and how it handles great in the snow, HOWEVER, I am livid that my car is only two years old and the car door latches are rusting and making it hard to open the doors. My passenger side door will now no longer open from the outside. Is anyone else having problems with this? I called my dealership and they said they didn't think it was covered under warranty but I feel that Ford should be willing to fix doors rusting shut on one of their two year old cars when one of their customers is still paying on the car for three more years, I feel like I have a clunker again!




In the shop

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

My focus has 8000 miles on it. I take care of my cars. Face it you need a car to get you back in forth to work. while i was driving my foucus started making this popping sound? Then it sounded like the front drive train was going to fall out from under the car so i pulled over to check it out an the engine was viberating the hole car. took it to the shop to find out both motor mounts had broken. besides that its been a good little car.




Ford focus s

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Since I purchased this vehicle I have averaged a consistant 37MPG over 13000 miles driven but I drive mostly highway. It is an automatic transmission and the ride for a compact is excellent. I can say that it is not a Honda Civic but it costs 6K less. I would say for the money there is no better buy on the market.




Focus lives up

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Vehicle: 2008 Ford Focus S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

This car does exactly what I expected it to do. Delivers very acceptable ride and performance with exceptional mpg. No issues or dissapointments. Just utilitarian transportation at a very reasonble expense.



Full 2008 Ford Focus Review

What's New for 2008

While not completely new, the Ford Focus gets a significant refresh for 2008. Many of the mechanical components are unchanged, but the car gets a new look inside and out. Ford's hands-free Sync communications system is added to the options list and the base 2.0-liter engine gets a slight power increase. The 2.3-liter engine is dropped, as are all wagon and hatchback versions. A coupe version of the Focus is also new for 2008.

Introduction

When the Ford Focus debuted for the 2000 model year, it was heralded as an American compact that offered European driving characteristics in an edgy and stylish package. It's been a rare small-car success for a domestic automaker, as usually this segment is dominated by import brands. Even in its old age, the Focus still sells well, usually third behind the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

As good as the car was at its debut, it had been soldiering on in the past few years without a redesign. In hopes of keeping it competitive, Ford has refreshed the Focus for 2008. Although the Focus looks new, it is mechanically very similar to last year's model. Still, Ford has revised the suspension, added a few horsepower and updated the interior for 2008.

The new interior has a stylish, somewhat upscale look in SES trim, as that's the version that adds metallic-looking surfaces to the dash. Similarly, white-faced gauges with chrome rings add an elegance previous editions of the Focus lacked. Blue gauge lighting also brings the Focus into the 21st century and contributes to the car's overall more modern feel. But the most significant upgrade for 2008 has to be the addition of the Microsoft-developed Sync system. It works as a Bluetooth connection for your phone as well as a voice command interface for digital music players.

For 2008, a coupe body style joins the Focus lineup for the first time. While at first glace, it seems as if Ford has done little more than reinvent the Escort ZX2, company officials say the coupe was added because buyers are looking primarily for coupes and sedans in this segment. As a result, all hatchback variants of the Focus have been dropped for 2008, including the spacious Focus wagon.

The 2008 Ford Focus' new look seems to be polarizing, with some suggesting it pales in comparison to the Mazda 3 and Honda Civic, while others see the obvious visual connection to other Ford products like the Fusion as a positive. Either way, value is still at the heart of the new Ford Focus. Its low base price, six standard airbags and abundance of options will appeal to those who want more car but aren't willing to pay extra. However, those looking for razor-sharp handling and a premium ownership experience will want to look elsewhere.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Ford Focus is available as a coupe or sedan. Both body styles are offered in base S, midlevel SE and top SES trim levels. Base models come with features like air-conditioning, tilt steering wheel and an auxiliary audio jack for the stereo. Cruise control and satellite radio are on the options list.

Step up to the SE and many of those features are still optional. The SE comes with full power accessories, remote keyless entry and other options that are not available on the S. Equipment like Sync, an upgraded stereo with a six-CD changer, heated side mirrors, chrome exterior trim, faux-aluminum interior trim, an upgraded driver seat, customizable interior lighting and a leather-wrapped steering wheel all become available on the SE. Fifteen-inch alloy wheels are standard versus the S model's steel wheels with wheel covers.

Top-of-the-line SES versions get 16-inch alloy wheels and upgraded tires as standard as well as adding front and rear stabilizer bars for improved handling. There's no real sport package per se, but the SES is as close as you'll find. This well-equipped Focus also comes standard with much of the SE's optional equipment. Other options for the Focus, depending on the trim level, include leather seating, heated front seats and a sunroof.

Powertrains and Performance

Just one engine is available in the Ford Focus for 2008. It's a 2.0-liter inline-4 cylinder good for 140 horsepower. A cleaner version of that engine that earns PZEV tailpipe emissions certification is also available for California-emissions states. That engine makes 130 hp.

The standard transmission on all Focus trim levels is a five-speed manual. A four-speed automatic is available as an option. Opt for any Focus with a manual transmission and fuel economy is estimated at a very good 24 mpg city and 35 mpg highway. Automatics are similar but decrease highway fuel economy by 2 mpg.

Safety

Six airbags are standard on all Focus models. This includes front seat side-impact airbags as well as head curtain airbags for both front and rear seat occupants. Antilock brakes are optional on all trim levels. The rear seats lack head restraints, and stability control is not offered.

Interior Design and Special Features

The interior of the 2008 Ford Focus has been reworked with new gauges, a different steering wheel and new seats. The seats prove supportive for long driving stints, while the interior environment is fresher and much more attractive. Still, compared to other small cars, the Focus' interior is nothing special in terms of design and materials, even with the optional aluminum-like trim highlights.

New for the 2008 model year is Ford's Sync system. Essentially a hands-free voice-recognition interface, Sync was developed by Microsoft and Ford. It adds Bluetooth functionality to the Focus but requires fewer steps than other systems. You don't have to save voice tags or build lists of phone numbers, as Sync wirelessly accesses your device's phonebook. It offers similar control for the iPod, Zune or other Plays for Sure portable MP3 players.

Driving Impressions

No one will mistake the 2008 Ford Focus for a Mazda 3, but the car is reasonably fun to drive thanks to quick steering. The interior remains quiet on the highway, as there's little wind or engine noise. Occasionally, road and tire noise makes its way into the cabin, but the car is quieter than the previous Focus and quieter than many other cars in its class.

The 2.0-liter engine provides adequate power. Five-speed automatics are increasingly common for this segment, but the Ford must do with a four-speed. Its gears are well spaced at least, and even on steep inclines, the transmission rarely shifts up and down looking for the right gear.

Read our Ford Focus Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2008 Focus

Read more about the 2008 Ford Focus

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 24
  • cty
/
  • 35
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs