When we picked up the 2008 Ford Focus from Ford, we were on out way home from a few days in Niagara Falls. We consists of a family of 5 and we were concerned whether we would be able to fit all of our stuff into the little sedan. Fortunately, those fears were unfounded as the Focus’ trunk is enormous, even with a sizable sub-woofer occupying the left corner.
That substantial storage locker comes at a price however, as the rear seats don’t have much in the way of legroom. The trip from Oakville to Whitby was just about far enough for the 13 & 9 year olds. The 7 year old was just happy to check out the cool mood lighting. I hate to say it, but the car would benefit from a few inches less cargo space if it allowed for more rear legroom.
The interior of the 08 Focus is a techno wonder den, aimed at 20 somethings who are feeling that rave culture. What the heck am I talking about? The disco ambient lighting of course. LED lights mounted in both footwells, rear seat and front cup holders change colour with the press of a button. As useless as this feature really is, I still found myself choosing a new colour every morning on the way to the office. I guess there is a bit of little kid in all of us and Ford has tapped into that.
Helping to bring the funky colours to life is the addition of Sync, the product of Ford’s collaboration with Microsoft. The idea here is that your car interfaces with your mobile media devices (ie bluetooth phone and mp3 player) to enhance your driving experience while allowing you to drive safely without picking up the phone. The Sync system catalogues your music files to allow you to choose your music by voice command, while also integrating your phone. Unfortunately, I’m pretty useless when it comes to new tech stuff and I didn’t even know how to use the bluetooth part of my phone. Once I figured it out though, the hands free, voice activated phone was great. I must admit that I wasn’t able to get my mp3 player to work with Sync, though I suspect that the problem lies with the defective user rather than the equipment.
One thing that we were really surprised with was how quiet the interior of the Focus is. I was shocked at how easy it is to hear the phone at highway speeds, as there was barely any road noise and no wind noise. Not what one would expect on a car of this size.
Up front, driver and passenger are treated to a nice, snug cabin with comfortable, rich looking leather seats with the bun warmers we love so much here in The Garage. They really should be required equipment for cars sold here in Ontario. The power sunroof was another nice surprise for a little car. Come to think of it, the Focus is full of surprises. Who would expect an auto dimming rear view mirror in this class of car? They’ve even thought of a cool delayed wipe feature to grab that last dribble of washer fluid after clearing the windshield. It’s a small thing, but very thoughtful. Hopefully someone got a bonus for this one.
Ford has been working really hard here in Canada to create some fun marketing to push the 2008 Ford Focus and we have to hope that it works for them. The car itself is a nice driving little car that is jammed unbelievably full of features. So many features that even a Civic that costs 10 grand more can’t match it.
So much for perceptions!