i bought my focus seven weeks ago. since then i have driven it 2500 miles and i've just returned from a 750-mile road trip in the sierras that included two 10k ft mountain passes (tioga and sonora).
my last five vehicles have been toyota trucks. i am contractor and until now i have used my trucks for work and personal driving.
my 2004 tundra has 120k miles on it and i work very little anymore. i don't want to drop another $35k or so on a truck in a couple of years since my career is winding down and 12 mpg is killing me.
so....the plan was to get an economical car to put the miles on and thereby preserve my truck, which will possibly be the last i own. i recently rented a focus for three days out of town and in the first 20 miles i was impressed. it drove like a bigger car, handled very well, was quiet on the freeway and had plenty of power.
it was a silver hatchback and i really liked the way it looked -- my last car waaay back when was a 1980 tercel hatchback.
anyhow if someone had told me a couple of years ago that i would buy a new ford or any other american car and i would have said they were nuts. but i liked the focus, the reviews were excellent and the toyotas were mediocre.
i left that saturday morning seven week ago to ostensibly test drive a honda fit. i knew it was a great car but it was gutless and it just wasn't me. an hour later i called my wife and told her to bring my checkbook to the ford dealer whereupon i closed the deal on my 2012 SEL. for $20k i have a well-appointed vehicle with leather, touch screen and 10-speaker sony system.
the only real complaints i have are very minor. instrumentation is hard to read, no cubbies or decent cupholders, panic button on remote is too easy to push and for awhile everything plugged into my usb or sd card ports would skip. the skipping has since been resolved by a master reset. but i do get one quick skip everytime i take off in the first five minutes.
my transmission is quiet and works well though at first it felt choppy and is a little gutless going through turns. i'm used to it now and i love to be able to manually shift when ascending and descending steep, twisting climbs. i even like the button on the stick because that's where i rest my right hand anyway.
out of the hole the focus is no speed demon but with a few RPM it jumps very well. i came over the altamont pass from the tracy side easily at 80 mph. very impressive power from an economy car.
i also love the leather seats and they are very comfortable. i'm in and out of a vehicle alot and i tear up a fabric seat quickly. and i love the ambient lighting.
most of my driving is stop and go. so far i am averaging 27.1 mpg, which is twice as good as my truck. on the 750-mile road trip i averaged 37 mpg, which at an average of $5 a gallon cost me about $100!
i put a little more than half down on the focus. i'll pay it off in two years when i can draw from my IRA. meanwhile my payment is $200 a month and lets say another $75 for insurance and license.
i am easily saving more than the $275 a month in gas costs! plus i absolutely love driving the focus and am planning more road trips.
my only concern now is long term reliability. i'm used to driving very reliable vehicles. i was willing to take that chance though because i was really impressed with the focus and not so much with the competition.
if you've made it this far thanks for reading my long post. i love my focus. i'll take pictures of it some day but here are a couple from my trip!