really sounds like your sister can't take care of her vehicles. I've seen Protege's last to over 150,000. I know several Mazda 6 owners well into 100,000's and everything functions as it should. Weekly washing/rinsing the car (or every other week) will do wonders for a car, especially up north where snow/salt is more common.
Sounds like you or your family haven't read the owners manual. Unless they have changed it, but the remote for the remote start WILL open the doors if you simply press the button to start it once or twice. There also should be a button somewhere on the door handle to open/lock the doors as well as one on the rear hatch. As long as the key is on you, you shouldn't need to pull it out to open the doorsI have a 2006 Mazda 6i sport & a 2008 CX7 AWD GT, my mother in-law also has a 2009 CX9 AWD GT with remote start. My 6i has been reliable and NEVER smoked or burned oil, infact i've never heard of the issue before on the N/A 2.3. I have heard it however, on the Turbo'd 2.3 that's in the speed3's, speed6's and CX7.
Don't know why you'd compare a CUV to a econobox focus for fuel econmy, but they both serve their purposes. The CX5 was a more mpg friendly CUV and supposed to replace my car, the CX7. I've personally been in a CX5 and it feels small and cramped compared to my CX7, but on paper it's technically bigger. The Focus, regardless of trim, is still an A to B vehicle. Ford has tried to change the market they are going after which is fine, but the price has also gone up. You get more bells and whistles compared to the 1st & 2nd gens, but you're also paying more. I paid $13,500 US out the door for my 03 Zetec Sedan 5 speed manual, with power windows, power locks, Cruise, Sunroof & keyless entry off the showroom floor. Price out a Focus now with those options and you'll be upwards of $20,000+ US.
If you want to compare apples to apples, compare a mazda 3 to your focus and they're pretty much the same. You have to give the CX5 credit, 35 mpg with a manual transmission is impressive for a CUV, 32 mpg with an auto is also pretty good too.
"I flushed a bag of skittles down the toilet yesterday and watched a NASCAR race in 8 seconds flat."
06 Spring Into Focus Best Sedan/Wagon Winner
03 SE SVT Wannabe (sold) to help pay for my 08 Cooper Red Mazda CX7 AWD GT