The Ford Focus has been one of the most successful nameplates, and for 2012, Ford is making this car even better. Unlike the last generation Ford Focus, the all-new 2012 Focus is a global car thatÆs essentially the same as its European counterpart,even though it’s produced in North America.
In Canada, the new Focus comes in five-door hatchback and four-door sedan body styles and with a broad range of trim levels. In the Henry Ford way, Focus is packed with advanced technologies that previously were only available in more expensive cars. Plus, a full electric version will be available later this year. The base trim level only comes in the sedan body style. All the others SE, SEL and Titanium are available in both sedan and five-door (hatchback). There’s a price premium ($600 to $900) for the chic Euro-style hatch-back version, which looks even more attractive when you consider the extra utility advantages it offers.
Technology upgrades available include sensor touch entry and push-button start systems, a rear-view camera and navigation. Up-market trim levels come with Sync and MyFord Touch. These driver connect systems allow (hands-free) voice control of features and Bluetooth (wireless) connections with mobile phones and media players.
Focus is also the first car in its price range to offer an automated parking feature.
FordÆs Park Assist technology first helps a driver identify a parking space that will fit the Focus, then automatically steers it into that space.
In other words, it makes you look like a parallel parking grand master.
Power comes from a new direct-injection 2.0-litre gasoline engine with variable camshaft timing (Ti-VCT). More powerful and fuel efficient than its predecessor, it can generate 160 horsepower and 146 lbs.-ft of torque, yet uses 10-per-cent less fuel.
Our test SE trim Focus 5- door came with a wheel package and the five-speed manual transmission. The optional automatic is a new six-speed PowerShift, which is a stateof- the-art automated dualclutch manual gearbox.
Focus actually gets a better (lower) fuel economy rating with this automatic than its manual counterpart.
Focus is a good handling car and most drivers will find time spent behind its wheel very rewarding. A steering wheel that both tilts and telescopes, combined with a height-adjustable seat, means finding that perfect driving position is almost assured. ItÆs also attached to a quick-ratio, electric assist rack and pinion steering gear. Most impressive is the reduction of cabin noise. Improved door sealing, thicker side window glass, an acoustic windshield, sounddeadening body panels, foaminjected body cavities and a sound-absorbing headliner are all part of the sound-deadening package.