Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Focus is an American contender in popular segment

A menu of Mark Glover’s AutoGlo car reviews can be seen on the Business page of The Sacramento Bee’s website

Sacramento, California – I’m encouraged by the Ford Focus.

It’s proof that an American car company can build an affordable, practical-size car that appeals to a wide range of motorists.

And you thought Toyota and Honda had cornered that market, right?

The tested 2016 Ford Focus Titanium hatchback sedan hits all the right notes in the competitive compact segment.

The $27,850 sticker price was easy on the eyes, keeping in mind that it included plentiful extras that bumped up the starting price of $23,725.

The standard features list was lengthy, and it included the latest SYNC voice-recognition system, remote start, a Sony audio system with 10 speakers and leather interior appointments.

It looked sleek in profile and sporty wearing “Blue Candy Tinted Clearcoat” paint.  The rear spoiler was nicely integrated and did not look like a last-minute throw-on.

Fuel mileage checked in at an impressive 26 miles per gallon in the city and 38 mpg on the highway.

In short, it’s a loaded ride with international appeal.  This is what Ford aspired to do for years, and those plans have become reality with the Focus.

The Focus on the fly is comfortable and smooth.  It’s easy to steer.  Interior space is OK.

Horsepower from the 2-liter, four-cylinder engine was rated at a max 160, which was sufficient to make the Focus a comfortable driver on twisty rural routes, in downtown gridlock and amid crowds of twitchy commuters.

I felt secure behind the wheel, fully confident that the Focus had more than enough to get me out of harm’s way as needed.

A blizzard of safety features helped the Focus Titanium score a top-rated five stars in federal safety ratings.

My package of options included 18-inch wheels, a lane-keeping alert system and active park assist – all very nice, but I would have been perfectly happy with the standard offerings.

All things considered, the tester was a solid B-plus of a car … and it was rolling proof that Ford has a grip on what a sizable portion of the driving public desires.

It’s worth noting that the Focus compact has been around as long as the Toyota Prius and that the Ford product maintains robust popularity amid an ever-growing field of alternative-fueled small cars.

Can a four-cylinder compact hold its own in that crowd?  This Focus says yes.

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