2008 Ford Focus Long Term Road Test


2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe: Less is More

December 22, 2008

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I'll be the first to admit I love technology. As a self-admitted early adopter, I'm pretty fearless when it comes to embracing the latest, greatest whatever. If there's one thing I like most about our Focus, it's Ford's Sync. Seriously folks, it's not very often that the technology fantasies of our youth come true in a production car. But the one thing that really irked me from the get-go was the center stack control layout.

Too many buttons! Is there really a need for 40-plus buttons? The audio controls didn't really become an issue, thanks in large part to Sync, but the climate control area could use some simplification. I don't think I'm alone in saying that the traditional three-dial climate control layout is as intuitive as you'll find. One knob each for temperature, fan speed and direction. Maybe a button or two for A/C and recirculation. But 10 buttons and two dials?

The directional control for the air could've been wrapped into one simple dial. Instead, it's a bunch of small buttons that require the driver to take his/her eyes off the road in order to switch from defrost to vents. Was this layout designed just for the sake of being different, or was there a consensus that it actually simplifies the process?

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