Friday, March 09, 2007

2007 Ford Focus mini review

A car is a symbol of how a guy wants to be portrayed.

This statement is true. The classic way to see how a guy thinks about himself is to look at his car: BMW- aggressive, show-off, the ultimate yuppie machine, Audi -boring, pretentious, mechanical, a style freak, Merc - symbol that you have"made it", French car - trying to be different, Italian car - masochist, Japanese car - boring, etc...

Then how would you label the guy who chooses a Ford? Well, Top Gear's Jeremy Clarkson seems to have soft spot for British cars especially Fords so I would say... a Ford is a car for the middle aged man who knows about the above and doesnt want to buy the makes listed bcos of it. Ok, he doesnt want to be typecasted. That sounding exactly like me nowadays, the other day, my wife and I stepped into the Ford dealership and asked to try out the Ford Focus.

The Ford Focus 1.6 is an interesting car. It will forever be in the shadow of the VW Golf but yet, desperately tries to show that it is different. The previous version, for example, was rakish looking, was designed with lots of ovals, and a zig zaggy interior that gave me an instant headache. It was supposed to be a really good drive though but had a buzzy engine that lacked soul and Ford sold tons of them. I think Ford knew about the zig zaggy headache I had because the current Focus has a exterior styling that is safe, a little too safe - kinda boring. The interior does look much better than the previous car - especially the Ghia version with the auto climate controls and the soft touch plastics.

At around 65k SGD for the non-Ghia version (the Ghia version has uprated bits like sunroof, leather trim and better plastics), it is certainly affordable for a 1.6l car. Amazingly, the sedan is cheaper than the hatchback, an admission that the sedan shape hasnt caught up in terms of looks. On the test drive, the salesman encouraged me to drive enthusiastically to test out the cars dynamic handling. Disappointingly (to him), a corner taken at 60kmh from Queenwsay to Commonwealth was all that I could muster but the car does handle very well. The same buzzy engine is still there though and that is disappointing. The basic spec is also very good, with all disc brakes and the boot is a decent shape. Sound system isnt too great though.

My conclusion for the Focus - I might consider it if the Ghia version was cheaper but the VW Golf still has it beaten when it comes to overall comfort and refinement. The ST version is a stunner though and is a great and cheaper alternative to the VW Golf GTI.

Best color for the car: Dark Blue