Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Did you see me driving a 2012 Ford Focus? Yes, Dad, but I can explain…

By Big Daddy

My first thought upon slipping behind the wheel of the 2012 Focus, was something to the effect of – Man they’ve come a llloooonnngggg way from the first Focus I remember (from about a dozen years earlier). I think that can be said for just about any Ford I’ve seen lately. I believe that all of the North American auto manufacturers have definitely upped their game to compete with European and Asian carmakers.


Please don’t let my friends see me in this thing. 


Yeah, you can look at my Focus, but don’t touch. I would put the focus in the category of a commuter car, and that’s no insult, I’m just saying it is a small car; At least small for a family of 4, and an eager, friendly, boxer. My kids thought the Focus was cool, and they’re right, it was stacked full of little bits of technology – satellite radio, back-up camera, multi-colour ambient lighting, GPS, push-button start, etc. It is a good looking car, with nice lines, and finish quality – I was impressed with this little 5 door hatchback. For me the most impressive, and yet mildly disturbing, employment of technology was the “Active Park Assist”.

Press the button, put the car in reverse, and if it’s an appropriate spot, the Focus can more or less park itself. There is something a little unnerving about watching the steering wheel spinning without touching it, in a scenario where I’m used to being in complete control… but truthfully the car did a fine job of parking.

Check it out on youtube: The Focus, with its direct injection, 2.0 litre, inline 4, engine, claims 59 miles per gallon (highway), and gets there, in part through the Variable Cam Timing, electronically self adjusting for efficiency, and power when demanded.

I conducted no formal field test for mileage, but can confirm that the Focus was pretty easy with respect to gas consumption, and I won’t complain about the power delivered when the accelerator was applied (yeah, I drove it like I stole it – for a few minutes).

 I would like to see it with an EcoBoost (That’s Ford speak for turbocharged) engine option. That would turn this cozy commuter into a real eye-popper!

 I can see it now…

 Ok, not exactly, but you get the idea. I went to Ford.ca and chose to Build & Price a Focus, and yes I checked to see if somehow they slipped in an EcoBoost option – no luck. As with any new car, options and $$$$ can add up quickly, but it does let you know what’s available.

Once you know what’s must have vs. wish list, go talk to someone at a local Ford sales centre, where they can give you real world pricing. If you’re in the market for a snappy, fun to drive, little car - to blast to and from work and pick up your dry-cleaning - the 2012 Focus is worth a look, and would make for an interesting comparison versus Volkswagen Jetta, and Toyota Corolla.

If you like crazy driving, tire burning, fun; see Ken Block go nuts, in a 2011 Ford Fiesta:

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