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Old 08-20-2002, 01:55   #1 (permalink)
Nacho Nacho Man!
 
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Vic
Age: 41
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Ford Focus Review

As you know, I'm currently here in warm, humid (yes, I kid you not) England, in the West Midlands not far from Birmingham.

I got to Heathrow from Singapore at about 3:40, spend ages getting thru immigration, then got a Hertz bus to the Hertz lot.

I had a class C car booked, which meant two choices of Focus - a 5-door 1.6 LX, or a 3-door 1.6 Zetec. Naturally, all the Zetecs were gone, so I was stuck with a stock LX. I might be able to change to a Zetec later though.

Getting into the car, that dash you've all seen on the Focus website is more impressive in the flesh. I am curious about the passenger airbag location though, as it's closer to the front windscreen than the passenger, so I wondered how it was deployed...

My first gripe about the Focus came when I began driving it. The accel pedal is to far from the sidewall of the footwell - at least a foot's gap, and is too close to the brake pedal. The clutch pedal is then to close to the left side of the footwell, and theres no footrest for when you're cruising. MUCH MUCH prefer my Falcon pedal placement, I think Aus got that spot on perfect.

The clutch was as a light as a feather and had much more travel than I was used to, but by the time I hit the motorways I'd got accustomed to it.

I only activated the window wipers once or twice before activating my euro-driving brain. Unlike our Falcon steering wheels, the stereo controls are located on a chunky stalk below the indicator/light stalk on the right side, and to be honest, is a pain to use compared to our Falcon controls - don't like it. The stereo however is quite good, continues Fords tradition of good stock systems.

Driving position os comfortable, seats are ok.

The Focus had no dramas whatsoever cruising along the M40 at 100mph (165kph), though it was sitting just under 4000rpm. Oddly the tacho goes to 7000rpm but shows no redline - not that I'd care seeing as it's a hire car. :s3 Max speed was 110mph, just over 180, but for the majority of the time I was between 90-100, which seems to be the norm for UK motorways.

It didn't feel as sure-footed as the Falcon on fast sweeping corners, but in general seemed like a good drive.

Panel fit is good, paint job is much better than Ford Aus cars and the interior is neat and NOISE-LESS.

Another few niggly points though - no Falcon-like keypad for remote locking, electric windows can only be wound-up with the key in the ignition turned to accessories - I guess I'm so used to being able to wind up my windows in the Falcon after turning the engine off and removing the key in my Falcon (it gives you about 30 secs to do it.)

If I get the Zetec I'll post differences.

However, the Ford Puma is still, by a massive margin, the sexist small Ford in the entire global fleet. I'd import one of those buggers if I could, make a good 2nd car to the Falcon.
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