• Jan 25th 2008 at 10:30AM
  • 34
click above for more pics of the 2008 Ford Focus SES Coupe

Fuel economy and CO2 emissions are on a lot of our minds right now, and many of us are re-examining our vehicle needs in an effort to save coin at the pump. The push to downsize has influenced the entire state of Ohio, which plans to switch its government fleet from 90-percent midsize sedans to one fortified with up to 50-percent of Ford Foci. Not only will the Focus save the state at the pump, but Ford's little economy car also costs less to buy. The Cleveland Plain Dealer, which calls the Focus "less stylish", pens the fleet cost of the Focus at about $12,000, while a Chevrolet Impala will run the state $16,000 or more. The switch to a Focus fleet will save the state $242,000 this year alone, and the dollar figures go up as more economy cars hit the fleet.

Of course some of the employees that have to drive the homely, yet practical, Focus are complaining about a lack of head and leg room. Unsympathetic DAS spokesman Ron Sylvester basically told complainers to shed some girth and deal with it. Who knows, maybe the state will use some of the savings to hook up its peeps with SYNC, which could give workers hands-free phone capabilities so they can complain about their car to friends while keeping both hands on the wheel. We're not so sure the rank and file will dislike the Focus though. We kinda liked it.

[Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer via The Truth About Cars]

I'm reporting this comment as:

Reported comments and users are reviewed by Autoblog staff 24 hours a day, seven days a week to determine whether they violate Community Guideline. Accounts are penalized for Community Guidelines violations and serious or repeated violations can lead to account termination.

    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      It's not like the Focus isn't roomy--you can sit four people in better comfort in it than in the Impala's awful seats--but that there's two issues:
      * The stigma here about bigger=better.
      * People, especially front-line pencil pushers, hate change.

      For the record, I'm 6'8". I've personally driven both cars and the Focus (small steering wheel, high hip point, supportive seats, tilt/telescoping wheel) is a much easier car to fit in than the Impala (ass-on-the-floor seating, especially in the rear, zero support, tilt-only wheel, big protruding dash and large steering wheel).
        • 7 Years Ago
        And don't forget the stigma associated with the name; "FOCUS"! A few years back there was a joke circulating about two black girls who were getting their picture taken by a professional photographer and when he put the black cloth over his head one of the girls asked; "what he gonna do" the other one answered; he gonna focus" the first one answered; "bofus"! When i heard Ford was going to name the car "FOCUS" i sent this joke to the division that was building it but they still introduced it as the"FOCUS" My youngest son needed a new car and A Ford Dealer was the only one that could work with him! Since he has had the car where the name FOCUS was on the lower left corner of the deck lid is "MY WIFES CAR" ON A METAL PLAC HE HAD MADE!
        • 7 Years Ago
        Mr. Oak. That was my contention without getting technical. Our food sources are chocked full of hormones and other nasty items. The plastic containers they come in, with their various leaching chemicals are also adding to the mix. I see young women maturing much earlier than they did when I was in high school. In a sense, Americans have supersized themselves in just over a generation. Bigger people require more resources. In a sense, we've almost created a sub-species. Darwin would cringe.

        Andrew: Born and raised in the Republic of California. We know cars...it's in our blood.
        • 7 Years Ago
        If you were an American you'd know that's just a stereotype. Douchebag.
        • 7 Years Ago

        1). Girth aside, the Avg. American is bigger than your average anybody from just about anywhere, save maybe Samoa. Has to do with diet, and not necessarily personal choices. In 1925, there was a percieved or real epidemic of enlarged Thyriods in 70,000 Americans. The findings were that the American diet was iodine defficient, causing this "epidemic". Medical Assoc. convinced Govt. the amount of iodine in the diet of Americans should be increased. It was decided that the simplest way to "guarantee" that everyone gets this iodine enriched diet, was to put it in table salt. Hence we now have Iodized Table salt. Scientific research a couple generations later tied the increase in size of the average American to the increased intake of iodine.

        The rest of the world did not sign on to this, fearing that too much iodine could lead to "Graves" disease. This was never proven or dispelled.


        There are suspicions that hermones given to cows, in order increase their milk production, are IN PART, responsible for the increase in our waist lines and bottom lines. Of course some lobbyist got the USDA to sign off on these "safe for human comsumption" hermones.

        The automoble also shoulders some of the blame for our increasing waist lines. Did not realise how little walking Americans do until I lived outside the NY metropolitan area.

        I blame my wife's cooking for my waist getting larger. After 20 years of marriage, I went from a 29 waist to a 33. Still in excellent shape though.

      • 7 Years Ago
      While I haven't sat in a 2008 ... I have a 2007 and the driver's seat is very comfortable ... moreso than in my Fusion.

      As for the back seats ... I never sit back there but the opening is pretty narrow and I find it a problem when getting my 3 year old in and out of her car seat.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good For Ohio! The whole room issue is just BS, New small cars have as much as most large cars. And some have more rear leg room. If they want more room than a focus, they should buy Versa Sedans, They have a lot of interior room for very little money. But since I'm sure the Big three will get most of the fleet sales for government use the Focus is about the best one. The Cobalt 4 door has very little rear leg room. The Aveo has more usable room then the Cobalt.
        • 7 Years Ago
        They should have gotten Cobalts, only because they are built in Ohio (near Youngsville). Where they are going to start building cars on the Alpha platform in the near future (according to the union contract).
      • 7 Years Ago
      Not a looks issue, but my 36inch legs will not fit in a focus with out some discomfort. Would be OK for SHORT trips. Then again, it is a free ride...
        • 7 Years Ago
        I am 6ft 4in tall and fit in my '05 without any issues. Its actually rather spacious for a compact.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Ohio Social Worker (OSW): Mr. Smith, I'm here because of allegations that you have neglected your children. You have two choices: 1) Agree to attend weekly parenting classes, or 2) your children will be removed from your home.

      Smith: Let me help you pack their bags.

      OSW: Once your children have been taken into state custody, I'll be making weekly visits to your house to monitor your progress on improving your parenting abilities. See that unmarked Focus over there? I'll park it in your driveway every Thursday.

      Smith: But then everybody in the neighborhood will know that I'm a deadbeat. Nobody drives those butt-ugly things but state employees.

      OSW: Exactly.

      Smith: Where did you say those parenting classes were offered?
      • 7 Years Ago
      Good for Ohio for switching to a smaller, reasonable car. At least they are not in anything smaller.
        • 7 Years Ago
        For real. Supervisors ought to tell their employees "Wanna bitch some more? Keep talking and you're on your way to an Aveo!"

        Seriously though, this is a good move, in fact and in image.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Many goverment cars are only driven by one person at a time so downsizing to a small car would make for a smart move.
      A smaller car uses less gas, tires are smaller and therefore cheaper, and is cheaper to buy up front.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Screw the workers, if they want someting different let them pay for it themselves. It's our tax money, the assholes work for us.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Why not?
      A focus is a good car even for big people, I'm 5'11" 300+ and I fit in both the 2005 ZX3 & ZX4, however I'm pretty wide in the shoulders and the 4 door models have the center post in my way, I don't own these cars so I can't comment on long term comfort.
      I have a side note for you, My last company truck was a 2000 Chevrolet Express 1500, Now you want to tell me about no room, I had the Bulkhead behind the seats and the drivers seat is as tight to the left as a 95 metro 5 door I once drove, outside size has only a little to do with comfort.
      Just think how much more money they'd save if those had Duratorq engines.
      • 7 Years Ago
      All of the meter maids in Cleveland already drive past generation Focuses. Instead of walking they get to drive a car and they get to use it as thier personal transportation

      They get a cake government job, a free car, and better benefits than anyone with a real job can dream of. They also get the satisfaction of being able to piss anyone off at any time by putting a ticket on thier car even if the meter isn't expired.

      The cops should have to drive a Ford Focus since there are quite a few who ride a horse around town. A horse costs more to keep than if they were driving Hummers.
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is excellent news. While I am no fan of the restyled Focus, it isn't ugly, it just seems like a missed opportunity to make it better looking than the old model as opposed to simply different. However, I have friends who think it is very attractive. Most impressive about the new Focus is its improved interior, excellent fuel economy, and the Sync system.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I really don't understand the gripe with how the focus looks. Was the previous generation so stunning? The only problem I have with the new Focus is the haphazard grill they put on it. They should have just tacked on the corporate three-bar grill.

      As for the whole leg room argument, the majority of these cars are not going to be for shuttling people around. They are for getting employees from point a to point b and I really can't see a better car for this purpose than the focus. Props to Ohio
        • 7 Years Ago
        In my opinion, yes--the first generation focus was stunning. It had clean lines and a new functional aesthetic. It truly was new. It still looks better than the '08.

        I bet in ten more years, it will look dated though.

        My biggest problem with Ford U.S. is that all their car models--except the Mustang--are styled like their trucks. Ugh.
    • Load More Comments
    Share This Photo X