2008 Ford Focus Long Term Road Test


2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe: How About a Hatchback?

December 01, 2008

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Americans by and large prefer a coupe or sedan body style to a hatchback. Though the latter are more practical (easier to load and more capacity) and popular in less image-concerned Europe, our dear citizens equate hatchback with "cheap, entry-level car". Even prestige brands can be dissed -- remember the BMW 318ti and the Mercedes-Benz C230 Kompressor "Sport Coupe"?

Yet to provide the best of both worlds, hatchback functionality with more upscale coupe or sedan styling, a few car makers have disguised hatches quite well. The 2008 Mazda 6 five-door hatchback is a good example.

As I recently struggled a bit to squeeze my laundry basket through the Focus' small trunk opening, it struck me that Ford could've made the Focus coupe a more user-friendly hatchback without changing the body style. In fairness, however, the Focus coupe does provide a split/folding rear seat which increases cargo capacity considerably.

Rumor has it that the next generation of the Focus (2010 or 2011) will largely be the same as the much more respected Euro-version, as the company switches to a global platform for this car. That means hatchback body styles as well as a more entertaining drive. There's also supposed to be a turbocharged ("Ecoboost") engine offering.

John DiPietro, Automotive Editor @ 14,457 miles.

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