Styling aside, the 2008 Ford Focus is a better car than the one it replaces, and Ford announced today that its pricing will begin under $15,000. For 2008, the Focus S Coupe will start at $14,695 and the Focus S sedan at $14,995. Up-level models like the Focus SE coupe and sedan will add $1,000 to those base prices, while the top shelf SES models that come with Ford's new SYNC technology standard (normally a $395 option), start at $16,695 and $16,995 for the coupe and sedan, respectively. All of these prices include a $620 destination charge, mind you.
Comparing those prices to the 2007 Focus lineup is difficult, since the less expensive hatchback, which had a base MSRP of $13,715 in 2007 (not including destination), has been replaced by the new coupe body style. The sedan's base price, however, has increased from $14,040 in 2007, or $14,660 including destination charges.
As we said earlier, anyone considering the new Focus will likely need to put its styling aside and focus (ahem) on the car's new strong points. Chief among them is the availability of Ford's new mobile connectivity setup developed with Microsoft called SYNC. The new Focus is also 30 pounds lighter accord to Ford, is 10% quieter and produces 3% more horsepower from its 2.0L Duratec four-cylinder. The interior is also much improved, at least design-wise, over the old car, and now comes available with ambient lighting. Is it all enough to overcome the new car's oddball design, fake fender vents and all? We're waiting to get one in the Autoblog Garage to answer just that.
2008 FORD FOCUS STARTS UNDER $15,000; DELIVERS NEW DESIGN, MORE SAFETY, BETTER FUEL ECONOMY AND SYNC
Value Leader – 2008 Ford Focus starts at $14,695 and offers the best value in its segment along with an all-new design, fuel economy in the mid-30s and such available class-exclusive features as Ford Sync™ and factory-installed ambient lighting.
Ford Sync™Debuts – as an industry-exclusive, hands-free way to use cell phones and portable music players using voice commands. Ford Sync™ comes standard on 2008 Focus SES models and is available on Focus SE models.
Fun to Drive – Acclaimed Focus driving dynamics are further improved with new suspension tuning and chassis refinements. Improved NVH levels provide a quieter ride.
New Features – Standard safety equipment now includes side air bags, side air curtains and tire pressure monitoring system. An audio input jack, tilt steering wheel and air conditioning are standard on all models. SIRIUS® Satellite Radio is now available.
SEATTLE, Sept. 17, 2007 – The new 2008 Ford Focus goes on sale this fall with a long list of improvements that make it better than ever, including 35 miles per gallon highway fuel economy and a starting price under $15,000.
The new Focus is redesigned from the inside out, is available as a sedan or new coupe body style, is 30 pounds lighter, 10 percent quieter, has 3 percent more horsepower, more safety features, exceptional driving dynamics and fuel economy better than many smaller vehicles. With a starting price of $14,695, Focus pricing is essentially unchanged from last year – even with the addition of new standard safety features like side-curtain air bags.
The Ford Focus also introduces two new factory-installed technologies: programmable LED-powered ambient lighting and Ford Sync. Sync is a Ford-exclusive technology developed with Microsoft that allows users to control most portable digital music players and Bluetooth-enabled cell phones using voice commands.
"The new Focus is arriving at exactly the right time, with consumer interest in both small cars and technology surging," said Barry Engle, general manager, Ford Brand Marketing. "With new a new design, great handling, fuel economy in the mid-30s and now Sync, we have something truly unique to offer consumers."
The 2008 Focus is the first vehicle to offer the company's industry-exclusive Ford Sync technology this year. Sync – a voice-activated, hands-free, in-car communications and entertainment system – fully integrates mobile phones and media players into the vehicle using Bluetooth technology and USB connectivity. It seamlessly integrates the Focus with the popular portable electronic devices of today and is updatable to support the devices and services of tomorrow.
Developed in collaboration with Microsoft, Sync will be offered exclusively on 12 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles this year. It will be standard on Lincoln vehicles and widely available on Ford and Mercury vehicles. In most cases, Sync will be included as standard equipment on high-series models from Ford and Mercury. On models where Sync is optional, it will be priced at $395.
Tapping the emerging trend of configurable lighting, Ford is making its ambient lighting system available to Focus customers as a factory-installed option. The feature lets customers set the mood inside the vehicle with subtle LED lighting in the cupholders and in the front and rear footwells. The driver or front-seat passenger can choose from seven different colors – red, blue, aqua, purple, white, green and yellow – by cycling through a dash-mounted switch.
For the 2008 model year, an all-new Focus coupe complements the sedan model. Three trim series – Focus S, Focus SE and Focus SES – are available for both body styles. Base Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price for the 2008 Focus S coupe starts at $14,695, while the new Focus S sedan begins at $14,995. SE models are an additional $1,000. All prices include a $620 destination and delivery charge. The top-of-the-line Focus SES coupe and sedan, with Sync standard, begin at $16,695 and $16,995, respectively.
All-new features on the 2008 Focus include a standard audio input jack for MP3 players, Ice Blue instrument backlighting, new wheel designs, along with Ford Sync and SIRIUS™ satellite radio. Newly standard features include driver and front passenger seat side impact air bags, side curtain air bags, tire pressure monitoring system and air conditioning.
Standard content on the 2008 Ford Focus includes:
- 2.0-liter Duratec 20 4-cylinder engine (140 hp and 136 lb.-ft torque)
- In states that have adopted California emissions rules, every Focus qualifies as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV), meaning its tailpipe emissions are cleaner than some hybrids.
- 5-speed manual transmission
- Front-wheel drive
- European-inspired suspension
- Dual-stage driver and passenger air bags
- Driver and front passenger seat side impact air bags and side curtain air bags *
- Tire pressure monitoring system *
- Audio input jack for MP3 players **
- AM/FM stereo with single CD player
- Ice Blue backlighting for instrument cluster and control knobs **
- Air conditioning *
- 4-speed automatic transmission
- Ford Sync (standard on SES models and available on SE models) **
- Ambient interior lighting system
- SIRIUS™ satellite radio **
- AM/FM Stereo 6-disc CD/MP3 player with digital clock
- AM/FM Stereo 6-disc CD/MP3 player Audiophile system
- Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS) with Traction Control
- Power moonroof
- Fog lamps
- Front row heated leather-trimmed seats
- Speed Control
** Indicates all-new features
A new Deluxe Package also is available for the Focus SE series. It includes: heated side mirrors with chrome skulls caps and door handles; 16-inch Euro flange wheels; fog lamps; an enhanced European-inspired suspension with rear stabilizer bar; metallic instrument panel appliqué; bright cluster rings and other interior accents; a performance instrument cluster; four-way adjustable driver's seat; and chrome tip exhaust.
The 2008 Ford Focus is built at Ford's Wayne ( Mich.) Assembly Plant. It goes on sale this fall.