I had a 2008, and 2010 and a 2012 Focus thus far (as of this writing), and I think the 2008 and 2010 are the best of them all.
It's not the sportiest car out there, and the dash in the 2008-2011 models looks a little dated) but they are reliable, get good gas mileage, and are safe cars (found out in my 2010 unfortunately).
Sync is easier to use in this area (2008-11) than in newer version of the Focus.
The 2008-2011 is a good move in the right direction for Ford, especially with the previous generations (2000-04 especially) having issues.
I had no problems with either the 2008 or 2010, and I put about 40k on both.
Fun to drive, very good power-to-weight ratio, safe, excellent gas mileage (especially on the highway).
Good price point (very affordable, safe car for many people).
* I really disliked the design of the guages (how the numbers "wrapped" around the center of each guage... looked odd).
* Shift indicator on the dash somewhere would be nice so you don't have to look down to see what gear you're in (if you're moving between park, neutral, and drive).
* Make cruise control, ABS and power windows standard on all models (ABS is standard on all Focuses since about 2010, but not on the 2008).
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