Read the complete 2012 Ford Focus Review at AutoGuide.comPerhaps the best reason yet to switch from a mid-size to a compact
Just north of Los Angeles there’s no shortage of great roads, from Topanga to Mulholland, and Latigo Canyon to Kanan Dume. And we’re driving them all; fast at first, but then at a more leisurely pace, enjoying the scenic views in an attempt to keep the codriver’s lunch in his stomach and off what might very well be the best looking interior in the compact class.
The change of pace is actually ideal. Sure we’d prefer to hammer the throttle of this direct-injection 2.0-liter 4-cylinder all afternoon, but that’s not what most folks who purchase a new Ford Focus will do. No, they’ll likely sit in traffic much of the time – something we also get to experience plenty of during our first stint behind the wheel of Ford’s highly anticipated new compact. This is LA after all.
During gridlock we’re able to fiddle with the new MyFord Touch system. Recently panned by Consumer Reports for being too distracting, operating the 8-inch touch screen takes a little getting used to, although with color-coded sections for everything from audio to climate, it doesn’t take long. Being coached though the system by a Ford rep on how to call up a navigation route from the favorites, we’re one step ahead at every command. Better yet, most basic adjustments for things like radio presets and temperature controls can be selected using the five-way toggle switches on the steering wheel.
Of note, Ford has upgraded the material and feel of these components for the Focus, a much needed change after using the same chintzy pieces from the Fiesta on the new Explorer.
Making vehicle controls that much more efficient, we have less of a use than ever for the SYNC voice commands. Almost ready to completely write the system off, one Ford engineer informs us that at a more advanced level it really can make life easier, for example, using voice controls while keeping the Nav screen up so you don’t get lost.
Most customers won’t even begin to fully utilize the system, but Ford is seeing big jumps in sales due to the ‘perceived value’ of such technology. And it’s easy to see why with the advanced telematics system and colorful LCD screens making you think this car costs $10,000 more.