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Ford redesigns 2008 Focus already

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Ford polishes Focus after consumer backlash
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Sep 24th 2007 8:57AM | Damon Lavrinc | Link to Oriignal Article @ Autoblog


The pure, unadulterated loathing of the redesigned Focus has apparently been heard by FoMoCo execs, and according to Automotive News, a move began in late August that attempted to smooth out the 2008 model's rough edges. The styling revisions include the replacement of the show car's square fog lights with round units; black door handles instead of chrome; aluminum trim on the instrument panel in lieu of shiny inserts; a mesh cover that cured the gaping opening in the grille; white-on-black seats that allow for more contrast and carry over styling cues from the Fusion and Mustang; plus more chrome on the vents and gearshift knob.

This is a highly unusual move by an automaker to garner favor with the public, but considering the outcry heard from both consumers and media alike, it's not much of a surprise. Although we can commend Ford for its efforts (and expenditure), we doubt that these kind of subtle tweaks are going to change public perception about a model in need of much more than a nose job and some botox.
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Black door handles? Yuck...

I like the square foglights. They're different and add a semblance of style.

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I didn't like the square foglights..they seemed 80's retro.

They need to fix the under-bite the car looks like it has.

But what they really need to do is give us the Euro Focus <_<

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Those chrome door handles.... it's not some great "gift" from Ford.... it's just the extra chrome laying around after we told them to take it off the nose of the new Navigator.

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Black door handles? A design by someone who never parks in the sun....

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i dislike that the interior is no longer driver oriented.

otherwise, there are so many bad entrants in this class, i doubt the focus totally stinks up the joint. even the lauded civic is ugly in both sedan and coupe as well as expensive and is overpriced.

the jetta gets terrible mpg

the sentra is yech

corolla? shoot me now.

cobalt. tight, cheap plastic.

elantra? UGLY.

mazda 3 is the only compact to have all the bases adequately covered.

so the focus deserves a piece of the pie. and sync will sell the car alone to some.

I always have a soft spot for the ZX3 and ZX5. i would love a zx3 to beat on. nice thing about the focus was even if you were big and tall, the focus fit nicely, at least in leg room and head room and the drivers space felt good.

note

compared with the 2007 model, the '08 is about 100 pounds lighter.

Edited by regfootball
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It doesn't look too bad. The change to black door handles is dumb. Why not body color ones? The increasingly common and silly side air extractor vents already look dated and the lack of bodyside protection is lamentable.

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You can't polish a turd :smilewide:

Agreed. This Focus is just ugly to me. The Euro one is so much better looking. Hell, even the outgoing one is.
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It still has that oompa loompa Escort ZX-2 vibe to it.

Edited by K.C.
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It doesn't look too bad. The change to black door handles is dumb. Why not body color ones? The increasingly common and silly side air extractor vents already look dated and the lack of bodyside protection is lamentable.

I saw a photo somewhere that had body-colored door handles, but I don't remember where. Though I do agree with you. Black door handles are SO '90s.

The side vents could look better, if done right.

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Agreed. This Focus is just ugly to me. The Euro one is so much better looking. Hell, even the outgoing one is.

It just got a new Mondeo-inspired nose: link (pics are bottom right). I don't like the new nose that much (doesn't go too well with the ovalized rear-end, IMO), but it's way better than that 'thing' Ford sells over there. Edited by ZL-1
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It's fairly ugly but I do like the side vents (even though they are soooo played out) and character lines, though. Sync is a very cool feature.

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Just as I mentioned in my Fusion review... they're just 90's cars with modern styling. And this proves my point.

Ford: "We're bringing all the 90's cars you guys loved! Remember that Taurus Robocop drove?"

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sat in the focus today and checked it.

nice car!

more later. the new interior is decent and the exterior makeover is good too.

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sat in the focus today and checked it.

nice car!

more later. the new interior is decent and the exterior makeover is good too.

I test drove one today and didn't find it horrible. Sure, the styling sucks, inside and out, and the as-tested model was overpriced ($18K), but after incentives, I think it's a good buy if you don't mind the looks.

The build quality is definitely an improvement over the early models. The car is very quiet, with no buzzes or rattles, and when going over bumps and potholes, the suspension is very well damped. The steering is also well damped, and while there was the occasional quiver and kickback, it's better than the economy car norm. I didn't test acceleration or anything, but the engine was quiet (when I glanced at the tach, the RPMs were always higher than I expected). The electronic throttle is a bit vague, and initial throttle tip-in could be smoother.

Inside, the materials are cheap, but they seem durable enough. More importantly it's not suicide-inducing like a Caliber's, thanks to the upholstered doors/armrests, leather wrapped wheel, and good visibility. The center armrest is made of surprisingly high-quality plastic, and the gauge lighting is nice. Seat comfort is blah - adequately firm, but not shaped too well and not adjustable enough. The lack of rear headrests is a serious omission. The best thing about the interior is the high quality turn signal stalk and well-damped gear lever gate.

Sync was very useful. It took less than 30 seconds to hook up my Treo, and the voice recognition is excellent.

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The Focus needs more than just a "tweak" to be competitive.

Inside and out it is NOT inspiring, just bland drab same old- same old, IMO anyways. Nothing to get excited about for sure.

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and ALL the other small cars are so wonderful.

the only other small cars that are exceptional are the mazda3 and maybe the vw's. and those cost more.

new focus interior materials are not luxury car fodder, but they are better than the caliber, cobalt, and some of the other competition. plus, you might want to see what it looks like at night with the ambient lighting. the really dark interior does not look as good as the lighter colors.

I'm so effing tired of people ripping on the focus.

fact- the focus rides and handles better than most econocars

fact- it's reasonably priced

fact- it's cheap to insure and has good mpg

fact- it has good accomodations even for tall and larger people and has good trunk space

fact- the last several years it has had top drawer reliability

so the euro focus is not here. BFD. it's been told, it would cost more. Small car shoppers won't pay big bucks. Unless it's like a Volvo, Mini, a3, something like that.

The Euro Focus is a nice car, but how many folks would buy one if the price of that Ford was 2-3 grand more? Now you know why Mini's, V30's etc exist.

90% of small car buyers buy them because they are cheap and cheap to operate. sure, they are fun, too, but the focus does good in that area too.

The Euro Focus would not have made the huge impact everyone thinks. Saturn can afford to sell only 40k Astras or whatever. FOrd needs to move FOcus in volume and couldn't afford the financial hit right now for attempting to sell a higher priced compact.

for the record, I also like the CObalt and Ion. The CObalt needed a new interior MCE but unfortunately did not get squat. The Cobalt rear leg room is lacking.

Let's name all the small cars we can voice command our iPod's from.

The styling direction of the Verve suggests the next Focus will be very hot.

Edited by regfootball
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I plan to test drive one next week.

It's not bad, but I honestly think Ford simply did not have the money to do everything they wanted...

I think they need to get that euro version over like now.

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USA Today in Focus review stated that the 2009 Focus will come standard with rear seat head restraints and stability control.

http://www.usatoday.com/money/autos/review...nterstitialskip

Test Drive: '08 Focus is quite nice, but rivals are, too

Too bad, because the new Focus is pretty nice to drive thanks to significant changes to its chassis, engine, steering that combine with some nice interior touches to give it a sophisticated persona that's a pleasant surprise in a small, modest-price car.

Ford has managed to bleach out all the quirky appeal of the original, hoping to broaden the car's audience. Focus now looks and feels like a small version of an almost-premium midsize sedan. And it snagged lots of long looks from people obviously puzzled by, and interested in, what it was.

Edited by regfootball
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Although the body shape is a bit awkward compared to the Cobalt coupe (which looks a bit dated in 2008)... I am going on record saying that overall, I like this car better than the Chevy. The interior is nicer, more upscale looking. It is rated for better mpg. It has good reviews for driving feel, and it has kept its Euro handling advantage. I have priced out a Focus SE coupe Deluxe at $16,810, $5 cheaper than the Cobalt 2LT I priced, optioned as similarly as possible.

Cobalt does have all of the advantages of Onstar (the phone feature is great) and Satellite radio, standard, along with ABS for that price though.

Not sure how Ford's "Audiophile" sound system compares to Cobalt's Pioneer equipment, but the Focus' system comes with a six-disc changer. Both are the highest trim level available without a stupid rear spoiler. The Focus comes with aluminum rims to the Cobalt's plastic-over-steel "fascia spoke" wheels.

Trade-offs are apparent with either car when comparing features. I am compelled to drive an '08 Focus coupe with manual transmission.

Edited by ocnblu
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and ALL the other small cars are so wonderful.

the only other small cars that are exceptional are the mazda3 and maybe the vw's. and those cost more.

new focus interior materials are not luxury car fodder, but they are better than the caliber, cobalt, and some of the other competition. plus, you might want to see what it looks like at night with the ambient lighting. the really dark interior does not look as good as the lighter colors.

I'm so effing tired of people ripping on the focus.

fact- the focus rides and handles better than most econocars

fact- it's reasonably priced

fact- it's cheap to insure and has good mpg

fact- it has good accomodations even for tall and larger people and has good trunk space

fact- the last several years it has had top drawer reliability

so the euro focus is not here. BFD. it's been told, it would cost more. Small car shoppers won't pay big bucks. Unless it's like a Volvo, Mini, a3, something like that.

The Euro Focus is a nice car, but how many folks would buy one if the price of that Ford was 2-3 grand more? Now you know why Mini's, V30's etc exist.

90% of small car buyers buy them because they are cheap and cheap to operate. sure, they are fun, too, but the focus does good in that area too.

The Euro Focus would not have made the huge impact everyone thinks. Saturn can afford to sell only 40k Astras or whatever. FOrd needs to move FOcus in volume and couldn't afford the financial hit right now for attempting to sell a higher priced compact.

for the record, I also like the CObalt and Ion. The CObalt needed a new interior MCE but unfortunately did not get squat. The Cobalt rear leg room is lacking.

Let's name all the small cars we can voice command our iPod's from.

The styling direction of the Verve suggests the next Focus will be very hot.

If the Focus was a Toyota or a Honda, you'd rag on it non-stop.
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If the Focus was a Toyota or a Honda, you'd rag on it non-stop.

Or a Chrysler for that matter. Gotta love how reg defends obviously inferior cars just because they are Fords. Hell, even I can admit when Chrysler makes a pile of crap (Compass anyone?).

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