2008 Ford Focus Long Term Road Test


2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe - Getting Sync-ed Up

February 19, 2008

When shopping for our 2008 Ford Focus Coupe SES I found a new wrinkle in the buying process.

A big part of the reason we bought the Focus was to test the new Sync system which ties together BlueTooth phone systems with MP3 players using a voice activation system. When I arrived at Santa Monica Ford to pickup the car I met Dean Schneider, the fleet manager. He told me I'd be getting a tour of the sync system from Todd Shak, their product consultant. Dean climbed in the back of the Focus while Shak took the driver's seat.

"Your phone?" Shak said, getting down to business right away. I handed over my Motorola Razor. "I'll get the Bluetooth working for you." When I hesitated he said, "You do have Bluetooth, right?"

I'm in and out of cars that are Bluetooth-enabled but, I'm sorry to admitt, I've never taken the time to learn how to use it.

"You do have Bluetooth?" he asked again, incredulous.

"I- I- I'm not sure," I stammered. His hands flew over the controls alternating between the phone and the car's Sync system. "Yeah, you have Bluetooth," he muttered, working intently.

"Want your phone book downloaded?" he asked, and before I could think it over I saw "Dad" "Home" "Pete" appearing on the headsup display. Finally, Shak relaxed. "Okay," he said. "Here's how it works." He went on to use the voice activation to call himself on his phone. Then he called and answered using voice activation and called himself using the car's Sync system. He even showed how text messages can be received on the heads up display. There are prewritten answers in the system to keep you from "chipmunking" (punching in text messages) while you're driving.

As I got out I shook my head in wonder. "How does he know all this?" I asked Dean as we walked in to sign the contract. "He's twenty three years old," Dean said, as if that answered everything.

Driving the new car home I tested it out. After one failed try my call went through and soon I had a disembodied voice in the car with me. Amazing. I think I'm going to like Syncing while I'm driving.

Philip Reed, Edmunds senior consumer advice editor @ 2,675 miles

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