Extremely well built car. Bought new in Feb '09. Still looks and drives showrooom new without a squeak or rattle. ONLY maintenance to date: Oil & filter changes, tire rotations every 6K miles; replaced air filter. I ran two bottles of Gumout fuel system cleaner through the tank at 40K. At 47K miles, replaced OEM Kumho 215 45 17 tires with Continental Extreme DWS. Absolutely nothing else. Lifetime average actual fuel consumption in mixed driving is very good 30.6 MPG. Exterior look is distinctive. It is comfortable, relatively quiet and fun to drive with 5-speed manual. Very little wind noise, average road noise. Ideal commuter. Custom Curt hitch works great on this car for hauling bikes.
This is my 3rd focus and they have all been great cars. on this one I have done a few mods to it (short shifter, lowered 1.5", exhaust, intake) all of which have helped the overall performance and experience of the car. even stock the car handled very well for it's class and has great gas mileage (i maintain a 32mpg average). vast improvements over the previous models and far as comfort, sound level, performance, economy. driver comfort is great. I have done several long drives in this car with no problems. not as comfy for passengers though (not as adjustable seats). I have a kid and there is enough room for a stroller and goodies and decent back seat room for him. overall a great car.
Why buy a Focus? Check out these numbers: MSRP $19.8K. Price paid $16.5K. Total maintenance cost after 22.5K miles just $140 (3 oil changes/tire rotation, sync upgrade, removed a nail from one tire). Respectable lifetime actual mileage 30.6 MPG mixed driving (computer says 31.7 MPG). Excel. fit & finish, still looks showroom new. Comfortable seats. Very good handling with 17 in Kumo tires on dry roads, but they aren't good in rain/snow. Feels substantial, not tinny. Outstanding sound insulation for wind and engine noise, but average road noise. Looks are distinctive, but appears a little tall for the width of its track. A great commuter that I really enjoy driving. Definitely consider it.
I've been extremely pleased with my 09 Focus SE coupe. I chose the 5spd because I personally can't stand to drive a car that doesn't have a lot of torque paired with an automatic. With that said the clutch uptake is very smooth and the pedals are well spaced for heel toe downshifting. The shifter itself could be shorter but the detents for the gears are positive. The car rides like a midsize sedan, very quiet and smooth. It's leagues above my friends 08 Cobalt in ride quality and noise control. While it's no drag racer it definitely is entertaining in the twisties, with the 4wheel independent suspension. Not only does it soak up bumps mid corner with ease but it is also very forgiving.
The automotive press really don't get the appeal of the Focus SES Coupe. They short change it on style and rate its performance lackluster. The truth is, this car is the complete package. Combine its blend of unique styling, confident handling, quiet/comfortable ride, stellar SYNC system with incredible fuel economy and give-away price incentives and you've discovered what makes the Focus special. Okay. It's not a performance car, but it doesn't feel like an economy car either. It's not spirited, but certainly agile. Import shoppers looking to balance fun, comfort and value really should take an SES 5-speed out for a test drive before shelling out cash for a Civic/Mazda 3/Corolla