Ford Focus Performance
Auto reviewers generally report they enjoy driving the 2007 Ford Focus. Edmunds speaks for the majority, saying "regardless of trim, the Focus offers a smooth ride and above-average handling."
A popular opinion among reviewers is that the 2007 Ford Focus is a smooth ride that remains stable at high speeds and does well handling turns. About.com especially enjoyed taking the Focus out on twisting byways, commenting that the "feel is fantastic on both curves and straights ... the handling is well controlled. Even if you're the type who grins whenever you see a squiggly-road-ahead sign, you'll appreciate the Focus' responsiveness if you ever have to swerve to avoid an accident." New Car Test Drive also liked driving the 2007 Ford Focus. The reviewer calls the five-door hatchback a "born cruiser" on the interstate and noticed a quiet engine and no wind noise even at 75 mph.
Road and Travel Magazine sums up the Focus' sound issue: "Acceleration is very good, and fuel economy excellent. If not for a little too much booming from under the hood when stepping hard on the gas pedal, there would be no reason to complain."
Acceleration and Power
The 2007 Ford Focus comes with one of two Mazda engines, depending on trim level-- the 2.0-liter 136-horsepower four, or the 2.3-liter 151-horsepower four. The 151 hp engine comes strictly with the 2007 Ford Focus four-door sedan ST model, which New Car Test Drive, for one, finds to deliver "strong acceleration performance" and "[cruise] easily on the highway."
However, two complaints were common: loud noises from the engine or elsewhere, and fuel economy for its class. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 2007 Ford Focus four speed automatic rates at 23 mpg in the city, 31 mpg on the highway. However, the Ford Web site advertises up to 37 miles per gallon on the highway, but Autoweb reports a combined fuel economy for its test vehicle of only 23.3 mpg, "way below what you'd expect for a car in the compact vehicle class ... this car should be getting 26 city/32 highway miles."
In California, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont, the 2007 Ford Focus comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder 130 horsepower, a more fuel-efficient engine that puts out lower emissions to meet partial zero emissions vehicle (PZEV) standards. All 2007 Ford Focuses (except the ST sedan) in these states have a PZEV badge on the back of their vehicles to denote an engine "that treads just as lightly upon the earth as pretty much anything out there, including the celebrated hybrids from Japan," praises Car and Driver.
The Ford Focus also provides two options for transmission -- the five-speed manual transmission that comes standard with the vehicle, or the four-speed automatic. Auto writers, however, prefer test drives with a stick shift -- for example, Cars.com took the 2007 Ford Focus three-door hatchback for a spin and found the shift "frisky. It accelerated eagerly from a standstill and is quite spirited for passing and merging."
Handling and Braking
The 2007 Ford Focus' suspension system is an independent system with MacPherson struts with a stabilizer bar for the front and an independent double wishbone in the rear. The SES trims and the ST sedan also provide a rear stabilizer bar suspension. Most reviewers are impressed with the suspension, with Edmunds saying the SES and ST trims' enhanced suspension is smoother, "for surprisingly good handling with European character."
The 2007 Ford Focus' braking system, which has improved from previous models according to Edmunds, also varies according to trim. The three-door hatchback, sedans and five-door hatchback in the standard, SE and SES trims come with power front disc/rear drum brakes. The 2007 Ford Focus ST sedan has power four-wheel disc brakes along with an anti-lock braking system.