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Original MSRP: $14,395 - $16,925
MPG: 24 City / 35 Hwy
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2008 Ford Focus Review

This review was written when the 2008 Ford Focus was new.

The newly refreshed Focus has improved its standing as an economical small sedan. With newly styled sheet metal, interior refinements and exclusive tech features, the Focus is starting to catch up with some of its import rivals. Plus with the painful cost of gas, the Focus could be an even more appealing purchase.

The 2008 Ford Focus received some of the biggest buzz of any vehicles in its class. Not only did the new model receive new styling and a modified drivetrain, but Ford debuted the SYNC multimedia system, a voice-activated infotainment system available for all its models.

But our analysis shows new gadgetry has done little to change critics' opinion that Ford could do better with the Focus. As USA Today reports, the Focus "might fall off your list because of desirable rivals for about the same price." The Focus also comes as a two-door coupe.

Not sold on the Ford Focus? Also consider the Honda Civic's respected reliability, or the utility of the Honda Fit.

  • "Classy, pleasant to drive, but crowded in back and lacks safety head restraints in rear." -- USA Today
  • "It's more solid and drives like a larger car. But it lacks personality and isn't ever particularly engaging. To torture a sports analogy, it's less a touchdown than a badly needed first down. In this junior league, the Mazda 3 and the new Subaru Impreza may well rain on the Focus's homecoming parade." -- Car and Driver
  • "Focus's blend of refinement and design, C-class room at a B-Class price and fuel economy, along with a clean four-cylinder engine, could teach consumers that compromise is not always required when embracing a compact car." -- Autosite
  • "The reconstituted Focus forges no new ground and isn't the match of the class-leading Civic in any way." -- Motor Trend
  • "The 2008 model is a pretty good commuter car or main car for a small family. … It doesn't quite match a Civic in styling and interior elegance, though, or a Corolla in comfort and smoothness of powertrain. But it has a lot going for it" -- Newsday
  • "The new Focus arrives just in time to fit nicely in the growing market for small, economical, competitively priced and refined economy cars." -- Chicago Sun-Times
  • "So, yeah, it's a new Focus, but it's not the one we want. In fact, had we been asked what we'd want for the latest Focus, 'old mechanicals,' 'horrifying exterior styling,' and 'no hatchbacks' wouldn't exactly have sprung to mind." -- Automobile Magazine
Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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