I was persuaded by the Focus's ride and handling, and front seat comfort. I had looked at the Elantra, Cruze and Mazda 3, and it was no contest. The suspension is firm and the ride well controlled. The steering is light, quick and precise, and the interior is of high quality. A big plus: all four windows are one-touch, up and down. Now the negatives. The back-seat legroom is so scant that there is room for only two other people when I am driving. The audio controls are maddening to operate, and the transmission is reluctant to downshift, making it necessary on occasion to revert to manual operation. I get only 23-24 mpg in city driving. Worse yet, I cannot even go 250 miles on a tank of gas.
Ride, handing, seat comfort and one-touch windows. Appearance, especially interior quality. Sonar imbedded in rear bumper. This ameliorates poor rear visibility due to high trunk lid.
Increase gas tank capacity to give decent range. Change shift point of transmission, so that it is possible to climb hills without reverting to manual operation. Simplify audio controls.