The Focus has been a UK best seller over the past six years, and the latest iteration, called a "Focus MkII" by a Ford spokeswoman as opposed to a "totally new concept", will play a crucial role in the Blue Oval's continued success. AE examined two three-door models, which exhibit the usual Focus styling cues like high-mounted rear lights and sloping tailgate, although the overall aesthetic has been softened considerably. The car now has a more premium feel, with better interior plastics and a solid build quality. One obvious shortcoming is the lack of storage units, as well as a low rear roofline that will encourage vertebrae displacement in non-dwarf rear passengers. Riding on the same platform as the Mazda3 and Volvo S40, the ride and handling dynamics should be improved, although we'll have to wait for a test drive to find out for sure. Engines across the Atlantic will be 79, 99, 113, and 143-hp units. The flagship ST model, which replaces the SVT, will arrive later, although it already exists in the U.S. with an underwhelming 151-hp device.



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