Two words Ford Motor Company would like drivers to be better acquainted with while perusing the 2012 Focus. It’s got class in the form of economic efficiency (S sedan starts at $18,790 with a combined 31 MPG), has impressive accessories and, well, it’s called Focus.
Now pay attention.
There was a time when a new US Focus drew collective murmurs based on unfulfilled expectations, drowned out slightly from the “Cheers, Ford!” of our European counterparts. The original Focus garnered Car of the Year awards in both Europe (1999) and North America (2000), impressing all around. However, North American customers went without a true second generation model until recently which limited sales due to Focus’ saturation into compact mediocrity.
Meanwhile, Europe was greeted with the second generation Focus which quickly lit fire and has yet to be extinguished. Both Focus and Fiesta remain bestsellers in the UK.
Sales numbers slap reality into automakers and reality stated that US Focus sales hadn’t reached 200,000 sales since 2004. So this year Ford decided to universalize the Focus and spread the good fuel economy around the globe.
Ford has high hopes that US drivers (and everyone else) will focus their sites on dealerships around the country to experience what some are hyping as the ‘Single best compact car in the world.’ Not a bad way to start the campaign.
The US version should be everywhere by May with no need for a universal adaptor, simply press start and drive.
Backing (finally) expectations
2012 Focus is high performing in many ways; owners will fall for the fact that its performance saves them money. Some of the aspects working in buyers’ favor: The 2.0L 160 HP engine delivers appropriate pep while the 7 versions (yes, 7) offer slightly incremental MPGs depending on price and package.
Focus’ exterior comes in either sedan or 5-door (hatchback) and offers drag resisting aerodynamics, with grille shutters for SFE (Super Fuel Economy) models http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=auk8OJb_HYg that automatically adjust to minimize resistance and optimize engine cooling.
Inside, drivers can focus their energy on some attention grabbing aspects: MyFord Touch™ comes equipped on the Titanium models (optional on SEL models) and furthers SYNC’s capabilities, allowing drivers access to a click/voice activated screen where they can stay wired to electronic needs. Plug in and tune into the driving experience without the inconvenience of reckless driving. MyFord connects human pulses to electronic arteries and is worth further observation.
In contribution to the emotional involvement of driving, Focus’ interior ambient lights (standard in SEL and Titanium packages) can be adjusted to fit driver’s moods on any given day.
And for the meek of city parking…
Focus’ Active Park Assist lets owners experience driver-free parallel parking so novices and the very lazy can find a tight spot without fear of fender dings.
Ford’s most important car ever?
The Focus has all the tools to rival any US compact on the road in terms of style and substance. Get ready to see a lot more Focus on the road.