Ford Focus Interior
Reviewers agree that the 2008 Focus interior is more refined and accommodating, with an exclusive and popular high-tech option, the SYNC multimedia system, which Automobile Magazine calls "this year's coolest vehicular gadget."
About.com says the Focus has "improved seats and a jazzed-up dash." Summarizing the majority view, Autosite says, "The 2008 Ford Focus boasts a sophisticated and refined interior, with an acoustic windshield, thicker side glass and sound-deadening materials employed to increase comfort and quiet cruising."
Reviewers note improvements to the Focus' seating, but find the rear seat space smaller than others it its class. MSN reports that the improved seats "have a better shape," adding that there is room for "four tall adults." Edmunds says that the seats "prove supportive for long driving stints," and About.com calls them "comfy."
Still, USA Today reports that the Focus has "limited rear-seat knee and leg room. The knees of a teen sitting behind the driver poked into the front seat hard enough to stab the driver in the back," adding that the "middle rear seat was useless because a cupholder stuck off the back of the center console and eliminated what little leg room remained after the center hump was done pillaging." MSN agrees, calling leg room tight for "a long-legged passenger behind a driver." About.com concludes that the rear is not "as comfortable for back seat passengers as some of its rivals."
Another negative about the rear seating is the lack of headrests. USA Today says that "the lack of rear head restraints is quite troubling. Passengers who measure more than about 27 inches from rump to cowlick could be vulnerable in rear crashes." About.com agrees, adding that the lack of rear seat headrests is "probably the car's biggest flaw, and something you should definitely keep in mind if you plan to haul adults back there."
Reviewers agree that the 2008 Focus' interior is improved from earlier models. Automobile Magazine reports: "Quality is marginally better now, and the whole thing's been brightened up and restyled. It's attractive, comfortable, and will likely be what entices most new Focus buyers to fork over the dough." Edmunds agrees, calling the passenger cabin "fresher and much more attractive." Cars.com says the audio system "has been consolidated in a dash-top display. While the display is closer to the driver's eyes than a regular stereo head unit's, the ergonomic flipside is that it introduces one more place for the driver to look when changing the radio channel: once at the buttons and then up to the readout to check the results."
But not everything is perfect. MSN finds that the "fuel and temperature gauges are too small," but also notes that a more-efficient climate control system provides improved heating and cooling." The Auto Channel concludes that the center stack is "very cool, with controls and buttons poking through a smooth facade. It's rather more like an Audi than an older Ford."
A number of reviews favor the new, quiet interior. MSN reports that "the interior is quieter because Ford uses such items as a new acoustic windshield and thicker side glass. However, my test Focus coupe had noticeable tire noise with the radio off." Edmunds adds that these measure "dramatically reduce wind noise and others isolate road rumble."
The Focus sedan comes in three different trim levels, the S Sedan, the SE Sedan and the SES Sedan. Interior features vary by trim level.
The vast majority of reviewers say that the most noteworthy addition to the revised 2008 Focus is the optional SYNC voice technology. SYNC is a voice-activated car communication and entertainment system, developed by Microsoft. This feature is exclusive to the 2008 Focus and can be fitted for every trim level of the car for an additional cost. Edmunds calls this feature "pretty advanced stuff considering that some of the cars with which the Focus competes don't even offer the most basic technological features." About.com calls the SYNC system "very cool," explaining that it "allows you to control your audio player using voice commands. So rather than fumbling with the controls, you can say ‘Next track' or ‘Play artist Devo', and your iPod or Zune will comply." About.com also mentions that SYNC allows you to "receive text messages; it comes pre-programmed with useful one-liners like ‘Be there in 10 minutes', ‘I need directions,' and ‘I love you'." USA Today reports, "After short familiarization, it was easy to use, and it didn't require training to recognize specific voices and pronunciations." The Auto Channel says that the system is "fully upgradeable, Focus owners will never need to worry about whether their car is compatible with the latest phone or music player that hits the market," and asks potential buyers, "What would you pay to have the coolest car on your block?"
The Focus comes standard with an AM/FM single CD player with MP3-capability and an audio input jack. Additional entertainment upgrades include an Audiophile Sound System and SIRIUS Satellite Radio.
The Focus sedan comes with 13.8 cubic feet of trunk volume, which reviews say is generous. MSN calls the trunk "roomy," adding that "cargo space can be increased by flipping the split rear seatbacks forward." The Auto Channel agrees, saying that the Focus "easily swallowed to big hard side suitcases and two medium sized; its competitors could not fit more than three." MSN adds that the new Focus has upgraded to "somewhat more useful bins and cupholders in [the] doors."