Having owned (most recently) a 2008 MB C-class, I can bolster the statement that the Focus' structure is on par with MB - actually, a couple weeks ago, I remarked to myself how it actually felt stiffer. The deep manhole dips I hit in this car are barely felt, whereas on the same stretch of road in my "old" C, I got more of a lashing. Very surprising.
Also, the passing power of this thing is pretty amazing, even at part-throttle. I suspect that's a result of the automated manual's trickery. If I didn't know better, and the salesman told me all Foci were Ecoboost, I'd probably believe it.
I've stated in another thread the bsic design of this car is phenomenal; the issue lies in the execution of the US product. I wonder if they have trans issues and build quality issues across the pond like we do?