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Best daily driver I've owned

Edmunds.com logo Edmunds.com 4/30/2016 Weldy McWeldski

**MANUAL 5 Speed Transmission** I purchased my focus in January of '15 for a little over $16,500. Ford was offering some massive model year end rebates and I couldn't have asked for a better price. I have put 45,000mi on the car since I purchased it and have had absolutely zero problems or complaints. (Still on original tires, brakes, etc.) Overall the focus offers decent fit and finish for its segment; my cloth seats are comfortable and supported, the gauge cluster is well laid out, etc. I'm 6'1" and can enter/exit or cruise long distances very comfortably. As with any car I've owned, I wish it had an extra 100hp,; but the 2.0l is plenty quick for what it is. The clutch engagement and pedal feedback are above average, the gearshift has a little slop but engages with confidence at every gate and provides a relatively short throw. Braking effort is mild, the focus stops quickly in an emergency but in everyday usage the rear drum brakes cause for a little more frontal braking dip than I'd prefer. Handling is excellent for the price: very responsive steering with little wheel effort and a firm but grippy stance. Suspension is on the firm side; though aside from lightly feeling every bump, it by no mean invokes discomfort. Honestly, I beat the living crap out of this car. 6500rpm in 2nd gear while merging onto the freeway every day, double gear downshifts for passing, E-brake slides every time it snows, etc. I work in a steel mill with no paved roads, and this car handles potholes and ruts I'd never expect of something with such a low stance. I've nailed potholes that would swallow a motorcycle and kept on cruising without a hitch. I can truthfully say that I am astonished at the reliability and resilliance of the Focus, especially considering the torture I expose mine to regularly. I can't really speak for clutch life; but at 45,000mi, mine behaves like it did when it was new even after teaching my fiancée how to drive stick. So here comes the bad stuff/things that irritate me, and really it's all very petty. The cup holder placement makes shifting a little awkward when you've got a thermos stuffed into either one. One instance in January with an external temperature of -15°f, the center screen that displays radio station information failed to power on until I restarted the car. Never had the issue again after that, but it's worth noting that I have never experienced any issues starting the engine in cold weather. The radio/speakers are a typical stock system, so don't get your hopes up if you buy the SE version like I did. Sound quality is pretty good, but aside from that It's exactly what you'd expect from a commuter car. The glove box interior space is a little weird... Very deep but not very tall. If you keep a gun in there, you're going to have a hard time reaching into the abyss to find it with your seatbelt still on (I'd suggest a shoulder holster, because the center console isn't much better.) Save the glovebox for storing baseball bats, crossbows, or fishing poles. The brake/gas pedal spacing and pad size make heel/toe shifting nearly impossible, but that's probably just a carryover from the car's automatic transmission configuration. It's not a race car, so I guess I can't complain too loudly. Traction control has to be manually deactivated through the menu displayed between the speedometer and tachometer every single time you start the car. It's be okay if it was just a TC on/off button on the dash, but this set-up requires navigating several menu screens and a 5sec wait time. If you drive in the snow often and intend to paddle through rough spots with high speed wheel rotation, it's a pain to go through all that trouble every time you plan to drive. Annoying, but livable. My car came equipped with a sunroof I neither ordered or asked for, but it wasn't listed as a charge on the option sheet so I guess I just got an 'extra'. I don't use it much; but once when I clicked the switch to shut it, the pane of glass bounced back open after closing like It had encountered an unexpected blockage. Second time it closed and stayed that way, I've not experienced the issue since. Lastly, there's this weird little pocket sewn into the left front corner of the front passenger seat that doesn't exist on the driver's seat. It's a pocket, what's the big deal? Well it's a worthless pocket with no justifiable purpose or shape. The best use I've found for it is stashing a spare lighter or small amounts of stuff best kept concealed from plain view... Money, drugs, whatever you're into; that pocket is your business. It still irritates me for it's obscurity, but you can be the judge.Side note: The headlights are far reaching and well focused, the brights are exceptionally brilliant so if you have a grudge against oncoming traffic - This car is for you. The steering wheel and gauge cluster are exceptionally designed as well. Buy a (manual) Focus, beat the crap out of it and love it forever. Zero regrets.

Average Rating : 5

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