So we got a new Ford Focus

So we got a new Ford Focus

I was pissed when my PR dodo told me he arranged a test-drive during my self-imposed break from road tests. It didn’t help matters when he said the only car he managed to get was a Ford Focus. I went and picked it up today, with a minor confusion as Ford and Jaguar/Land Rover are separating their offices, for obvious reasons. On top of that, the tester turned out to be the 1.6-litre version, instead of the larger-engined one. However, it is in Ghia trim, with upgraded 16-inch wheels and 205/55 tyres. After taking it away and pulling it through some corners, it just confirmed my previous beliefs — that the Focus has the best ride/handling balance in the history of compact economy cars.

While I’ll reserve the actual driving experience for the actual road-test article, I’ll just point out some things which instantly caught my attention this morning.

The a/c is rather unremarkable, and I felt uneasy enough to stop and buy a drink, only to realise that the Focus has no real cup-holders. Simply accelerating hard is enough to spill your Bebzi.

Notice the rear legroom, which is just enough actually, but nowhere near what the Civic and the Corolla offers. Also notice the shallow rear cup-holders, and the funny storage spaces in the centre-armrest and under the seat.

Cargo room is pretty good, and the hatchback offers flexibility for tall items. The orange thing is a bag containing a fire extinguisher. Our tester also came with 3M tint.

While checking out the tyres, I realised the rear has cheap drum brakes. Hopefully the higher models get rear discs.

Last but not least, there is a weird thick credit-card-sized stereo controller behind the steering wheel, which doesn’t help reduce the number of buttons spread about the dashboard.

You may have seen TV ads for the Focus on MBC channels (the ones where it spins out and crashes, of all things), but the real deal really is fun to drive, if you get up to speed in time. Go for the 2.0-litre. More soon in the review, after I drive it over 3 days. Now I have 6 reviews pending.

What do you think?



  1. It seems that Ford is really streamlining and revamping its cars…I saw a pic of a Ford Mondeo and it had me going “Va-Va-Voom!”

    Wonder what the Tata ppl will do with regards to the shapes of the Jag and the Land Rover….Indianise it no doubt…

  2. that stereo controller looks too close to the steering.

  3. Author

    The buttons are behind the credit card. A bit like using paddle shifters, but not.

  4. nice looking car…..
    those controllers are strange…..actually instead of making it easier it might be harder

  5. These pansies from Ford will never give us the ST version.

    We have some of cheapest fuel prices in the world (inspite of USD 145/barrel) and we get cars with 1.6 litre engines. Sheesh!!!!!

  6. and btw Mashy have you ever gone to the used car reviews in your website.That needs some serious updating.

    You still have the E36 BMW.In this day and age not many will buy that model.

    I did write in this comment column some time back to get some new cars in the used car section.All other reviews can be obtained from the,now, countless magazines (figures, test results etc) but none of em have used car reviews.

    Be one up man. Just some constructive criticism.

  7. Author

    I’d say I won’t be doing any more used car reviews unless I personally drive them. However, I am now including stats of older cars in the car guide now (right now, at least one old model is listed within most of the brands), along with a list of problems, resale value ratings, performance specs and all. I’ll make a separate post about this later on, so people can request which used cars should be added. By the way, I considered buying an E36 325i coupe (manual) just 6 months ago.

  8. —countless magazines (figures, test results etc) but none of em have used car reviews.—
    A UAE based weekly mag called ‘wheels’ always includes a two page review in their mags of used cars. Well, actually, a one page review if you remove the pictures… 😀

  9. woops. forgot to focus on the Focus. so here goes… Hey thats one great lookin hatch. swept-back headlights, huge lower air intake. I just love the outside. Infact, I loved the whole car until I saw the inside!
    Hey, you guys in Ford’s design studio! listen up! People like things to be simple on the dash and steering. whats with that audio cont near the wheel and what the heck is that strange stalk above it where the light conts should be? and also, whats that knob with an illustration of a light bulb about behind the steering? This is why your sales go down Ford. the cars arent so conveeeeeniiienttt!!!

  10. hey mash, do you live in the International City? Has sewage water made probs in your cluster too?

  11. Author

    I own a place there, but I don’t live there. Luckily it hasn’t hit my cluster, or my tenant would’ve been bugged.

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