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I find myself surprised that I am bothering to write this review, because a) this is an economy car we are talking about and b) it's a very common one too. Nevertheless, I have been so impressed with it thus far I felt I had to share. And really, why review such a car on this site? Well, most of you don't drive your Lotus every day, and even if you do, there are still times when you need more space, a car which is, in a word, practical. The Focus fits that to a T.

I've always been one who hates to compromise on my cars but I always seemed to end up doing so. I think if you are a sports car lover, you go down this thought process at some point - can I justify owning more than one car? Can I deal with having multiple vehicles? Prior to the Lotus, I had an Audi S4 Avant, to serve as both my fun car and my practical car. It was capable, but not superior at either. With the Lotus being such an exemplary sports car, I decided that *this time* I would buy a car which was perfectly suited to its task - not a compromise. And I think the Focus fits that very well.

The first thing I noticed about the new Focus is that it has a surprisingly high build quality. The SE's cloth seats don't look cheap, the interior materials are very nice and the car simply feels well made. With the winter package and the Sync package, it has the creature comforts you would expect from a more upscale car, but you've only just barely broken through the $20k barrier. The little 2.0L Ti-VCT GDI I-4 makes plenty of torque to make driving around town easy, and sips gasoline like it's a fine wine (we get mid 30's mpg in mixed driving.) It even has some get-up-and-go if you wring it out, but honestly, that's not what the car is about.

For driving around town it really is a comfy car. The suspension is compliant but doesn't become nervous even on our nasty Seattle streets. There is a ton of room, either for four people or for a lot of cargo (or both). It's quiet inside, with power windows, power heated mirrors, and the mirrors have those cool inset blind spot mirrors which should be standard on every vehicle (especially our Lotuses!) Did I mention it also has a power moonroof? Yeah, that too.

For such an inexpensive car it also has a really nice sound system - we swear it sounds better than the Lexus' top-of-the-line Mark Levinson sound system, and it has line-in and USB to complete the music-listening package - plug in your USB hard drive or memory stick and it will play files right off the device, using the handy LCD displays in the dash. Heck, it even has Bluetooth and hands-free talking if you are one of *those* people. Pretty packed with features and you've barely inched over $21k.

If you are in the market for an inexpensive, high quality, fuel sipping grocery-getter that can double as your cargo boat, or if you have kids you want to transport safely to and from school and sports events (it has airbags all around and built-in car seat anchor on both left and right sides), and you don't want to feel like you are driving a powerless piece of crap economy car, I have to highly recommend the new Focus. You can of course option it all the way up with leather, navigation system and touchscreen LCDs. Really though, none of those upgrades is necessary in a car focused (heh heh) on being a commuter/grocery-getter - stick to the lower-priced models and get the manual and save your cash for more mods for your Lotus.
 

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I always liked the Focus. They're a ton of fun to drive too. I've been anxiously waiting for the Focus ST. It looks like a blast.


Sent from my Autoguide iPhone app
 
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