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2008 Ford Focus

Anyone have any thoughts on the upcoming 2008 Focus.I was always put off buy the many problems that plagued the early Focus models.I wasn't going to give the Focus a look because it is based on a ten year old platform. But some of the tweaks that Ford has made sound interesting.


  • I was considering the 2007 and 2008 Ford Focus over the summer. The 2007 would have been a great deal, but the car was just too dated at that point even though it had a lot of virtues such as a good ride/handling combo. I had hope for the '08 model, but I don't like the way it looks. It'll probably look a bit different in person, but I think that styling could be a deal-breaker.
  • I actually like the new styling.I am big on fuel economy and aerodynamics. They lightened the car by 60 pounds.Also I think cutting the 2.3 liter engine is okay.I would only shop this car for the low cost SE version with a manual transmision. I question some of the phone connection options. For instance, does a voice activated text message reader encourage people to text message while driving? I hope not.The ambient color thing is harmless,as long as it doesn't cause the lights to stop working.
    The good news is that the suspension tuning,noise supression,and chassis stiffining, all sound like very usefull tweaks.This will probably be the only small american car that I would shop.
  • I think it is too bad that the Focus hatch back got the axe. If I had the bucks, my idea of the almost perfect sporty utility vehicle would be the 2008 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5 door hatch.Even though it is awd and is sort of lacking in fuel economy, that is my idea of an (SUV) er I mean sporty car hatch thing.
  • As a Ford representative I'd like to clarify the text message function of SYNC. Through voice commands you can have SYNC read your incoming text messages aloud. After reading or hearing it, the text message can be forwarded to another phone or a reply, using any of the 15 preset text messages, can be sent. However, the text message reply and forwarding mechanisms are speed dependent for safety. If the vehicle is moving more than a couple of miles per hour, then you can't forward or use the preset standard reply text messages in SYNC. For further information about SYNC, please go to

    As far as the hatchback, you are correct that for the 2008 model year, the Focus will only be available as either a 2 door coupe or a 4 door sedan. There are many reasons behind the model decisions including customer feedback. If you would like to give us your feedback on any Ford product, please type "feedback" at Your comment will be forwarded to the proper department for review. Thanks.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Synch supports all possible bluetooth phone features and through software upgrades can support future ones. BUT not all phones support all features.

    Most phones will not support the text messaging. Ford has tested the most proflic phone models nd carriers at

    Also, the same model can support different features depending on what carrier you got it from.

  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I ran into a guy who CHOSE an 08 Focus over a new Honda Civic AND a new Corolla! It does happen folks.. His reason was value. Like optioned the Focus was thousands less.. :surprise:
  • After seeing the new Ford Verve show car presaging the next small Ford, I think the production Verve (Fiesta? Who knows what it will actually be called?) will serve those who want a hatchback.

    The Verve is pretty striking. The decision on the '08 Focus face lift makes more sense after seeing the rest of the product pipeline.

    I just hope the UAW gives Ford time to deliver new products to market. And Ford has to do a better job selling the value proposition evidenced by recent quality and customer satisfaction surveys. Consumer perceptions are lagging behind Ford's efforts.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    They need to have the balls to bite the bullet on a product that isn't a home run.

    The new Taurus and Sable do not go nearly far enough to shine in the current market.

    IMHO its better for Ford NOT to be in a segment than to have a less than stellar entry.

    Fords that are compelling:

    New Focus,
    New Expedition EL,
    New Super Duty,
    New Escape (more so when 3.5L and 6spd arrive.)

    Products that need to improve to stand out:

    Taurus X,
    F-150, (still competitive but waning
    Explorer, (needs more pizazz, Escape uses the same language but is much more compelling)

  • Parked my car at Costco today and noticed a brand-new '08 Focus Sedan parked next to me. Took a minute to look at it to see what was new. The exterior styling is at best a refresh. But the interior is drastically improved and looks considerably more upscale than before. The photos I had seen prior to seeing it in person didn't do it justice.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Makes the old one feel like a 81 Chevette.

    The seats are a big comfort improvment and the steering wheel despite not being leather in the SE has a nice squeezeability to it that the Fusion could use. Not so sure about the door panels though. Ford seems to have abandoned cloth inserts on door panels.

  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    A reporter is interested in talking with owners of the Ford Focus who are also parents. If you are interested in commenting on your experience, please reply to [email protected] no later than Thursday, November 27, 2007 and include your city and state of residence, the model year of your vehicle and the age of your child/ren.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    I had a chance to compare the '07 and '08 Focus sedans. I had to picture myself five years from now: which car would I rather be driving? Honestly I liked the more conservative styling of the '07 better than the wannabe-Scion styling of the '08. What sealed the deal was the large discount on the '07 because it is the outgoing model. So now I am the happy owner of an '07 Focus SES sedan, and have not regretted the decision one bit.
  • greenponygreenpony Chicago, ILPosts: 531
    Just because the platform is (almost) ten years old doesn't mean it is a bad platform. The Mustang ran on the same Fox chassis for 15 years, then on a modified version of that for another 11. So is nine years for an economy car really that bad?
  • I looked at the 08 Focus today. I might have considered buying one except I noticed Ford, for whatever reason, took away the telescoping wheel feature. It only tilted. I like to move the seat way back and had to extend my arms too far to grab the wheel. Not very comfortable. What was Ford thinking?
  • Better to ask what planet Ford is on, mate. At a time when hatchbacks and wagons are making a comeback of sorts, Ford decided to kill the 3 and 5 door Focus models. The wagon? Out too! Telescoping steering wheel? Old news...let's eliminate that also. Wow! :confuse: Then the suits at Ford wonder why the company is going south in the U.S...

    I considered purchasing the '08 Focus too, but not anymore. I'm sure many out there lost interest in this vehicle line too, for whatever reason.

    Peace!<-AladdinSane-<- :shades: -
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 9,235
    By an odd coincidence, the Alternate Route entry today was about the comeback of hatchbacks.
    Hatchback Comeback

    Edmunds Moderator

    Silver 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback & White 2019 Nissan Rogue S

    Need some roadside assistance? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Just purchased or leased a vehicle? Write your own vehicle review

  • Well, pretty bluntly--Ford couldn't afford to refresh the hatchbacks and wagon as well as the sedan. They said that the steering wheel adjustment was nixed to help increase rigidity, but one suspects it was to save money.

    I looked at the 2008 4-door sedan yesterday. We own a 2003 ZX5, which has been incredibly reliable and good to drive (if only the front seats weren't so un-ergonomic/orthopedic--did Ford patent anti-lumbar-support with these?). The new interior is a great improvement (except for the lack of an adjustable steering column); I hope to drive one soon.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    1. 4 door sedans accounted for way over 90% of Focus sales.
    2. The US version of the Fiesta will most likely be a small 4dr and a 5dr Hatch, stay tuned for the 09 model year.
    3. Wayne Assembly refused to adopt a competitive operating agreement prior to the new UAW contract which pretty much destroyed the business case for the hatches and wagon.

    I'm not Anti-Union or anything but 2 tier wages makes sense to me. Why should Ford have to pay the guy who sweeps the floors and scrubs the toilets the same as a skilled tradesman who actually builds cars?

  • I went looking for Fiesta info when I saw it mentioned here once before. It looks like a case of automotive anorexia to me and could hardly grab much of the lost Escort/Focus wagon/hatchback demand in my opinion. If people want a lightweight the Fit is already well ensconced in that niche, and I think the Fiesta comes in lighter and leaner than that. Who knows whether they will put it on steroids before a US release, but I will not buy what I saw and I can't imagine many others will either.
  • Here in the Phoenix area, we see Mexican-built Fiestas. Spotted at least five in the last few months. Very nice looking car....much more pleasing to the eye than the now discontinued Focus hatchbacks and wagon. I'd been hoping that Ford would bring them in to the US instead of the Mazda2. Guess not. Believe that they have a 1.8 engine. Am in the Albuquerque area on occasion and see them there too.
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    Think Verve:


    Those are show car photos, here is the spy photo:


    Notice the dramatic grill remains?
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    IMHO the proportions of the current crop of B cars is all WRONG. They look squished from front to back and stretched from roof to road.

    The Fit for instances looks like a toy with little tiny wheel. The Nissan Versa sedan looks like a clown car. ETC.

    Mark Fields killed the Brazilian designed Ford B car because he felt it wasn't compelling enough to be a hit.

    I think the Verve, sold as a Fiesta in Europe but possibly the Verve here could be a HIT on looks alone.
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    I own an 06 Fusion SEL V6 and just had to test drive a new 08 Focus SES with every option available. Motor Trend ripped on the new 08 Focus like usual, so I had to go see for myself. Styling is a personal choice, for me it was ok, I thought it was middle of the road. Inside was a different story, HUGE improvements. Quality/fit/finish were very, very good for a car in this class. Motor Trend also pounded on Ford for "power" yet Ford boosted the power to match the Civic/Nissan/ or Toyota?? So what gives?? The car had plenty of pep for a car of this class. The car is very quiet and feels solid on the road. Ford did improve the Focus. For those that bother to go for a test drive and compare they will see this hands down. Focus screams value/quality. The pictures don't do this car justice. Go see for yourself. ;)
  • isseyvooisseyvoo Posts: 121
    I wanted to buy an '06 Focus 5dr. a couple of Springs ago, but the dealer couldn't find me one with side airbags and manual transmission. He told me I couldn't order it, and I didn't want it any other way. I ended up buying a Mazda.

    At any rate, I was in a parking lot yesterday and saw the "new" Focus in person for the first time. At first, I thought that (in addition to being ugly) some sort of trim piece had broken off behind the front wheel. Then, on closer inspection, I realized that it was a faux brake vent made of plastic and was INTENDED to look as out of place as it did. That alone was enough to turn me against the redesign. Didn't the stylists learn anything from Pontiac's flirtation with (and eventual abandonment of) pointless, glue-on, plastic trim pieces??? Very off-putting to say the least. At least the inside is a vast improvement.

    Why the Europeans get to enjoy the Focus that shares the platform with the Mazda3 and Volvo S40 (not to mention such great cars as the Mondeo) and we are stuck with leftovers is beyond my comprehension. I WANT to like Fords. In Europe I could. But they're just hopeless in the US.
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    the ZX SES and only making Focus sedans.
    I was going to buy a Focus hatch because of heated seats and price.
    Thanks :sick:
  • joem5joem5 Posts: 201
    the ZX SES and only making Focus sedans.
    I was going to buy a Focus hatch because of heated seats and price.
    Thanks :sick:
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Are you sure the '08 US model looks anything like a Focus? The lack of available telescopic steering is telling you something.

    Here's what real Focus' are suppose to look like...

    MkI (facelifted to look like MkII):

    MkII (watch out for the bulky width wider than the 6-ft wide Lexus LS430): - - .jpg

    MkII (facelifted to look like MkIII):

    (I think the rear visibility of the new hatch is gonna suck)

    But looks like the 2.3 will not come back :cry: , while the next Mazda3 will soldier on with the 4-cyl 2.3 enlarged to 2.5 (That's very Porsche 944-ish :) ):

    Don't worry, the Verve's looks alone will kill the sales of the current American-invented Focus. & we will be getting the MkIII real Focus in a few years -- at least the sedan version. :)

    The Verve sedan may look beautiful -- no doubt about it, but the the lack of sophisticated rear multi-link suspension won't ride beautifully -- just check out the (un) Fit ride quality as you down grade from the Civic.

    So the Verve is no substitute for the compact-size C-170 MkI Focus. Unless the MkIII Focus will trim down the excessive bulky width off the MkII, I'll stick w/ my '07 MkI Focus 2.3 ST forever :P Watch me blasting my 2.3 low-end torque out of corners w/ Quaife LSD...
  • Karen_SKaren_S Posts: 5,092
    A reporter seeks to interview buyers of models equipped with Ford Sync. Please respond to [email protected] no later than Friday, February 1 with your daytime contact information and a sentence or two about why you purchased Sync.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    "Just because the platform is (almost) ten years old doesn't mean it is a bad platform. The Mustang ran on the same Fox chassis for 15 years, then on a modified version of that for another 11. So is nine years for an economy car really that bad?"

    Nine years for any car really isn't bad at all, especially if the platform was way ahead of its time to begin with.

    But wait a minute here. How dare you comparing this stone-age fossil -- the Mustang platform -- to the highly advanced C-170 Focus platform engineered in Germany? :) In fact, it was so advanced that BMW was drooling & almost bought the platform!

    & I can't believe how arrogant Americans are when comes to their own automobile technological advancement. How the hell did this old Mustang, when using the same Nissan engine, kick-[non-permissible content removed] a Nissan Z-car w/ a modern Japanese platform on twisty roads doing drifts in this Hollywood movie Tokyo Drift! :confuse:

    Since the '70's, the Mustang rides on an enlarged Pinto platform. Today's new Mustang rides on the Jaguar S-type platform but still using the solid rear axle, which is good for nothing except drag racing & other brawn-but-no-brain behaviors.

    So the ignorant Americans should not perceive the German-engineered Focus as a modern-day Pinto, as it has nothing to do with it. The Mustang does.

    Now if you don't care about the sophisticated Control Blade rear suspension in the German-engineered Focus, then a solid-axle V8 Focus may suit the taste of those who are still proud of the Mustang platform:

    When was the last time you saw James Bond driving a Mustang? Today, James Bond drives the new Mondeo, which rides on an enlarged Focus platform: :P - - cARSCOOP_Ford_Mondeo_307.jpg
  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    "Today's new Mustang rides on the Jaguar S-type platform but still using the solid rear axle"

    This statement is not quite correct. The Jag S/LincolnLS platform known as DEW proved way to expensive for the Mustang. After struggling to engineer the cost down to make it viable to use in the Mustang, Ford decided to adopt components from other Ford platforms, especially in the suspension department.

    So where did Ford find the suspension components that eventually went into the 2005 Mustang?...Why from the European C1 Focus platform. :)


    The Mustang platform is...You guessed it, based on the
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