Ford Focus Anthony NM
El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX
El Paso, TX
Los Lunas, NM
2004 Ford Focus Compact Sedan
By Derek Price
What was tested? 2004 Ford Focus ZTS Sedan ($15,605).
Options: Automatic transmission ($815), sport group ($510), alarm ($125), anti-lock brakes ($400), six-disc CD changer ($280), audiophile package ($395).
Price As Tested (including a $545 destination charge): $18,675.
When I told friends I was testing the Ford Focus for this week's column, most of them gave me a look of pity as if to say, "You poor, poor soul."
I still don't understand why some people look down their noses at the little Focus, except because it's so inexpensive that they figure it can't be any fun to drive. After all, how good can a car be when its starting price is only about $13,000, minus incentives?
The answer: Pretty dang good.
Mainly because of its firm, European-feeling suspension, the Focus is a blast to drive through corners. It's responsive and controllable, letting the driver get a wonderful feel of the road. At the same time, it doesn't have an uncomfortably bumpy ride.
The mixture of responsive handling and supple highway comfort is hard to get right, but the Focus gets it just about perfect. It feels like a much more expensive car.
While handling is what makes the Focus really stand out from the economy-car crowd, it knows some other neat tricks. For starters, there are three terrific four-cylinder engines available -- the basic 110-horsepower version, a 2.0-liter that makes a smooth 130 horsepower, and a brand-spankin'-new 2.3-liter version that's good for 145 horses.
The new engine is especially impressive. When I first stepped on the gas, the 145 horses quickly moved from a trot to a run.
"Holy (insert your favorite expletive)!" I thought. "Economy cars aren't supposed to do that!"
Even with an automatic transmission, I soon learned that this Focus could chirp its tires when leaving stoplights if you gave it too much gas. It had muscle-car speed, go-kart handling, a killer stereo, and some nice options for about $19,000. No complaints here.
Inside, the Focus is slightly better than average compared with other cars in its price range. Like all economy cars, it suffers from some cheap-looking plastic trim and chintzy fabric on the seats. Ford says the "textured velour fabric" offers an "upscale ambiance," but it honestly looks like a low-rent studio apartment with a new coat of paint.
Oh well. That's the price you pay for the price you pay.
Despite the fairly cheap look, the interior is remarkably comfortable. The seats are firm and supportive to fit in with the car's sporty personality, and controls all seem to be well placed and logical. There's also plenty of room in the front seats, but the back seat can be a little cramped, exactly as expected in a compact car.
From a styling standpoint, the Focus still looks fresh and innovative even though it was introduced a half-decade ago. It was the first Ford to feature "New Edge" styling with harsh creases and inters...
2008 Ford Focus
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2008 Ford Focus exterior.
Complete 2008 Ford Focus New Car Reviews listed below
The 2008 Ford Focus is available in compact coupe (MSRP $14,075 - $16,075) and sedan (MSRP $14,375 - $16,375) versions and is available in S, SE and SES trim levels. The Ford Focus was introduced in 1999 (North America) as a 2000 model and is currently in its second generation. According to Design Head Lon Zaback, the new Focus appears to be a little bit shorter and have shorter overhangs.1 All Focuses are assembled in Wayne, Michigan. This model competes with the Chevrolet Cobalt, Dodge Journey, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Spectra, Mazda Mazda3, and Nissan Sentra.
The 2008 Ford Focus coupe and sedan are equipped with a 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter Inline 4 engine, a front-wheel drive (FWD) system, and a choice of 5-speed manual or automatic transmission.
The 2008 Ford Focus suspension features are a four-wheel independent suspension, a front stabilizer bar, a MacPherson strut front suspension, and a multi-link rear suspension.
Instrumentation features of the 2008 Ford Focus coupe and sedan are a tachometer, a clock, and low fuel level warning.
2008 Ford Focus exterior features are 15-inch steel wheels, all season tires, full cover wheels, variable intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, and a chrome grille.
Seats and trim features on the 2008 Ford Focus coupe and sedan include bucket front seats, a 5-person total seating capacity, and cloth upholstery. In the rear, the Ford Focus has a split-folding rear seatback and a bench rear seat.
The 2008 Ford Focus basic convenience features include a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, power-dependent steering, and front and rear cupholders. It also has remote driver and passenger exterior mirrors, a front seatback storage, front door pockets, a 12-volts front power outlet, and a front console with storage.
The 2008 Ford Focus coupe and sedan comfort features are simulated alloy trim on center console, dual vanity mirrors, and air conditioning.
2008 Ford Focus entertainment and telematics features are an auxiliary MP3 audio input, speed sensitive volume control, and a mast antenna. It also has 4 total speakers and an AM/FM in-dash single CD player with CD MP3 Playback stereo.
2008 Ford Focus coupe and sedan safety and security features include dual front side-mounted airbags, front disc/rear drum brakes, passenger airbag occupant sensing deactivation, and front and rear head airbags It is also equipped with child seat anchors, front seatbelt pretensioners, a rear center 3-point belt, and an emergency interior trunk release. An engine immobilizer, 2 front headrests, height adjustable headrests, and tire pressure monitoring are also standard on the Ford Focus.
Alternative/additional features on the SE and SES trim levels include 15-inch alloy wheels, remote power ...