Disclaimer: The Focus I drove was a Ford Focus SEL Hatchback, not this exact car. Driving experience may vary.
Introduced in Europe in 1998, and North America in 1999, the original Focus surprised the world with its’ combination of avant garde styling (hatchback version), unbeatable dynamics, practicality, and affordability. Replacing the Escort, the Focus represented a new era for Ford, in terms of design and handling. It was given a rear independent suspension which was very expensive and rare for a car of this cost and class, but it gave the Focus unsurpassed dynamic excellence that left its rivals struggling to catch up. Ten years later, the U.S specific Focus has morphed into an outdated and boring compact sedan. Meanwhile in Europe, the Focus was thriving. See, Ford in Europe has a much better reputation as a car manufacturer because they produced substantially better cars such as the Mondeo instead of the Fusion, Kuga instead of the Escape, and so on. They produced a different Focus while we got the same Focus from 1999, albeit “restyled” in 2008. In America during 2005-2011, Ford’s lineup was hampered by its fuel-thirsty SUVs and uncompetitive cars. During the recession of 2008, Ford realized it needed a solution to save its company. They started a globalization strategy, which meant we would get the same cars as Europe did. They started bringing the subcompact Fiesta over here, which quickly became a hot-seller, and the latest Focus that you see here. The Focus has been selling well, abiding to the same principles that made the original Focus such a worldwide success. Continue reading