2008 Ford Focus: It's Fine, I Guess
November 21, 2008
I've spent the better part of four days in our long-term 2008 Ford Focus SES coupe. It was my daily driver to the LA Auto Show and accompanied me to the Beverly Wilshire Hotel for the Mini E event . If you're wondering, yes, the Focus was the least expensive car to pull into the hotel's valet drive, but no, no one made fun of it.
Still, the Focus is not a favorite of mine and hasn't been since Ford mucked up the steering feel, ride quality, driving position and even the styling -- by trying to turn a fine looking hatchback into a lumpy looking coupe.
Still, even I have to admit that our Focus coupe's 2.0-liter inline-4, rated at 140 hp and 136 lb-ft, has a pretty nice mid-range. It doesn't sound great, nor does our car's four-speed automatic provide a terribly efficient or enjoyable means of getting at the power. But this engine is scrappy enough to accommodate decisive driving in heavy traffic.
Trouble is, I could say this about almost every engine in almost every current compact car, so I don't know if I'd call this an advantage. The best I can say is that our Focus got me where I needed to go and didn't do much to bother me in the process.
Erin Riches, Senior Editor @ 13,992 miles