Innovative Ford Sync system, above-average fuel economy.
Interior design missteps, low-quality interior materials, disjointed exterior styling, elevated amounts of road noise and vibration, not particularly sporty.
If you follow business news, you probably know that Ford's finances haven't been in the best of shape these past few years. As such, there hasn't been much money to go around. So what's an automaker to do when one of its cars is in need of an expensive redesign? Put out the tin cup? Hope that Monopoly money suddenly becomes legal tender?
No, silly. Give it an Extreme Makeover: Ford Edition! While the 2008 Ford Focus is being labeled as new, in fact, it's the beneficiary of a major refresh rather than a redesign. The car has updated sheet metal, a new coupe body style, a new interior design and the much-hyped Ford Sync system, but the underlying body structure and powertrain are largely the same as last year...and none too different from seven years before that.
The question, of course, is whether this makeover is sufficiently deep to keep the Focus a viable and recommended choice for a small car. To find out, we bought a 2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe for our
On the move, the 2008 Ford Focus SES falls in the middle of the road in regards to handling performance. Earlier Focus models were known for their lively steering and fun-to-drive nature. These attributes aren't as immediately apparent in the new car, as Ford chose to prioritize stability and ride quality instead. This is even the case with the as-tested SES trim, which comes standard with sportier wheels and tires and a rear antiroll bar. The Focus still possesses decent steering response and grip. But drivers looking for a sport-themed small car will find driving excitement elsewhere.
Ford says that it made a number of improvements to the 2008 Focus to help reduce wind noise. This is all well and good, but the Focus won't be getting many smiles from shush-happy librarians. Wind noise is, in fact, fairly muted, but road noise and vibration can be intrusive at highway speeds. The Focus' ride quality, at least, is pleasingly stable for a small car.
The front seats are firm and flat — they seem shaped for people who never met a Triple Whopper with Cheese they didn't like. On the SES coupe, height adjustment for the driver comes standard. One disappointment is the lack of a telescoping function for the steering wheel — this previously available feature was discontinued for 2008.
The Focus coupe isn't as rear-passenger-friendly as other small coupes. The front seats don't slide or cant forward easily, nor do they return to their original positions when placed back. Once seated in the rear, at least, normal-size adults will find suitable amounts of legroom and headroom. There's also generous foot room thanks to high mounting of the front seats. Unfortunately, there aren't any rear head restraints, which hampers long-distance comfort for adults and raises questions about crash safety.
Sync this into your brain: Sync is cool. Essentially, it's a Microsoft-developed, voice-activated control system for portable MP3 players plus Bluetooth cell phone connectivity for hands-free calling. It comes standard on the Focus SES.
Most portable MP3 players are compatible. You just need to use a special cable to hook up the player to the combo auxiliary audio jack/USB port. Sync will scan the MP3 player's musical contents and then one can control the player using voice commands, such as "Play artist: Madonna," or "Play playlist: Driving Songs." Sync confirms commands with a synthesized voice ("playing: Madonna"). Song information is also presented on a dash-mounted display. Other nice touches: MP3 players get their batteries charged while connected, and you can use the steering-wheel-mounted controls to skip through tracks.
In general, Sync worked very well for us. It recognized most of our voice prompt requests, and it didn't get tripped up when we threw some Spanish song titles at it. (The thick Sync manual says it can even be set up to operate in French or Spanish. "Tocar artista: Madonna!") There were times when Sync didn't recognize a voice request (it absolutely refused to play any music associated with Dean Martin), which means you're out of luck since the Focus' dedicated buttons can only advance tracks within a voice-selected song list. Plus, once your player is connected, you can't operate it by its own controls. You can, however, simply plug your iPod into the standard auxiliary audio jack (if you're really hankering for some Dino).
Design/Fit and Finish
Ford did what it could to make the Focus look new. But most of our staff found the '08 model to be worse looking than past models. The car's lines simply aren't cohesive, and certain design elements, such as the chrome fender vents (which don't actually vent anything) look totally tacked on.
Change for the better will be found on the inside. The dash and center stack have been completely redesigned and additional storage areas have been added. The look of the dash is high-tech. At night, the controls have blue illumination, and our car had the optional custom-color LEDs that light up the cupholders and footwells. There's enough interior storage for cell phones and MP3 players, and the center console bin is quite deep.
There are some annoying design missteps, however. The interior door handles for the coupe are placed too far forward. Leveragewise, this makes the doors feel overly heavy when closing. The white-faced gauges are hard to read. Finally, many of the interior materials simply aren't up to snuff. Fit and finish is fine, but overall quality is a few steps behind what's available from class leaders.
Who should consider this vehicle
Ford's tagline for the 2008 Focus is "Where MP3s meet MPGs." And guess what? Sync really does work. If you live your life one MP3 at a time and score big with pricing incentives, maybe the 2008 Ford Focus is for you. But to us, this is an underachieving small car more fitting of the following tagline: "Good enough for government work."
Edmunds purchased this vehicle for the purposes of evaluation.
Used 2008 Ford Focus listings and inventory: Shop Edmunds' used car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million pre-owned vehicles to find a cheap used and certified pre-owned (CPO) 2008 Ford Focuss for sale near Ashburn VA. There are currently 1,054 used and CPO 2008 Focuss listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as 3,250 and mileage as low as 57,297. Simply research the type of used car, SUV, or truck you're interested in and then select a vehicle from our massive database to find cheap pre-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the Carfax and Autocheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the used 2008 Ford Focus. Then select Edmunds' special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to 220 on a used or CPO 2008 Focus available from one of 2,632 dealerships in your area.
What's a good price on a used 2008 Ford Focus ?
Save up to $219.9 on one of 35 used 2008 Ford Focuss for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $4995 as of Apr 23, 2018, based on data from 18 dealers and 43 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 3.3 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2008 Ford Focus trim styles:
The used 2008 Ford Focus SES is priced around $5165 with average odometer reading of 105058 miles.
The used 2008 Ford Focus SE is priced around $6963 with average odometer reading of 89506 miles.
The used 2008 Ford Focus S is priced around $7995 with average odometer reading of 91009 miles.
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What options are available on the 2008 Ford Focus?
Available Ford Focus 2008 Submodel Types: Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon, Coupe, Electric, SVT
Available Ford Focus 2008 Trims: Titanium, SEL, SE, LX, ZX3, SES, S, ZX4 SE, ZX4 S, ZX4 SES, ZXW SE, Electric, ZTS, ZX5 SES, ZTW, ZX5, SVT, ZX4 ST
Exterior Colors: Magnetic Metallic, Ingot Silver Metallic, Shadow Black, Lightning Blue Metallic, Hot Pepper Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, White Gold Metallic, Sterling Grey Metallic, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Race Red, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Blue Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic (Late Availability), White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat, Blue Candy Metallic, Outrageous Green Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Kona Blue Metallic, Performance Blue Metallic, Blue Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Sangria Red Clearcoat Metallic, Tectonic Metallic, White Gold, CD Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Ebony Clearcoat, Ingot Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Pitch Black Clearcoat, White Platinum Metallic Tricoat, Black Clearcoat, Silver Frost Clearcoat Metallic, White Suede Clearcoat, Blue Flame Clearcoat Metallic, Blue Flame Metallic, Sterling Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Brilliant Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Cloud 9 White Clearcoat, Ebony, Infra-Red Clearcoat, Liquid Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Natural Neutral Clearcoat Metallic, Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Arizona Beige Clearcoat Metallic, Frosted Glass Metallic, Light Tundra Clearcoat Metallic, Pueblo Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Aqua Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Fort Knox Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Infra Red Clearcoat, Infra-Red Clear Coat, Kiwi Green Clearcoat, Light Ice Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Oxford White, Rainforest Green Clear Coat Metallic, Sangria Red Metallic, Twilight Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Vermillion Red Clearcoat, White Suede, Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-Coat
Interior Colors: Charcoal Black Insert w/Warm Steel Surround cloth, Medium Light Stone cloth, Charcoal Black Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Warm Steel Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert cloth, Medium Soft Ceramic leather, Medium Dark Stone Surround w/Medium Light Stone Insert cloth, Charcoal Black cloth, Tuscany Red Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Charcoal Black w/Metal Gray Surround cloth, Medium Light Stone w/Medium Dark Stone Surround cloth, Metal Gray/Charcoal Black Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert premium cloth, Charcoal Black w/Warm Steel Surround cloth, Medium Light Stone leather, Charcoal Black leather, Medium Stone cloth, Tuscany Red w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Medium Stone leather, Dark Charcoal, Dark Pebble Upper/Light Pebble Lower, Medium Graphite, Medium Parchment
Popular Features: Stability Control, Trip Computer, Back-up camera, Post-collision safety system, Alarm, Parking sensors, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Sunroof/Moonroof, Heated seats, Power Driver Seat, Leather Seats, Remote Start, Keyless Entry/Start, Upgraded Engine, Navigation, Aux Audio Inputs, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Tire Pressure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Bluetooth, USB Inputs, Upgraded Headlights, Mobile Internet, Upgraded Stereo
The used 2008 Ford Focus is offered in the following submodels: Coupe, Sedan. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SES 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), and S 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M). Pre-owned Focus models are available with a 0-liter gas engine, with output up to 0 hp, depending on engine type. The used 2008 Focus comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.