About 3 weeks ago I traded in my 13 mustang GT for a 13 focus SE. The mustang was a lot of fun but totally impractical for the family and a gas guzzler.
When I went to the Ford dealership I was all set to trade for an ST but it was slower and more boy racerish than I had imagined. Then I drove an SE 5 speed and felt it was nearly as fun as the ST but about $7k cheaper and better on gas so that is what I drove home in. As others stated it is pretty slugish under 3k rpm but if you keep the engine spinning it has decent power. Much more power would be a waste with FWD anyway. I have a pretty heavy foot and am averaging 30-31 mpg vs the 17 I got in the mustang. And the kids can actually fit in the back seat. You might also consider a gti or golf tdi, they are fun and practical but I was a little scared of reliability issues and repair costs on the VWs.