2009 Focus New Car Test Drive
The 2009 Ford Focus lineup features a sporty new coupe version. This comes on the heels of a reworking of the Ford Focus lineup for 2008. And all models benefit from the availability of electronic stability control for 2009.
Ford reworked the Focus for 2008, giving it new styling inside and out, while maintaining the same platform and basic size. The design shares a family look with Ford's other cars, distinguished by a two-bar version of the company's characteristic razor-blade grille.
The 2009 Focus comes in four-door sedan and two-door coupe body styles (hatchback and wagon models are not available).
Ford's Sync entertainment and communications system is available on the Focus. Developed with Microsoft, Sync provides a hands-free link to cell phones and MP3 players through a series of voice commands. This system recognizes your cell phone's address book. It can even read text messages to occupants through the stereo system.
The 2009 Ford Focus Coupe gains a more distinct identity from the sedan with its own front and rear bumper fascias, a dark chrome grille, and fog lights. A roof spoiler and 17-inch dark chrome aluminum wheels come on the Focus Coupe SES. Focus sedans and coupes with manual transmissions gain a few horsepower (to 143 hp) for 2009; and Focus Coupe SES automatics get quicker gearing. Yet no loss in fuel economy.
Inside, the Focus is aesthetically pleasing. It looks better than the pre-2008 model, with nicer graining on the plastics that continue to dominate the cockpit.
We found the Focus handles well. We experienced lots of road feel with little body lean in corners while driving an Focus SES with its a sportier suspension. That road feel can make the ride a bit harder than some might prefer, but it isn't harsh and we appreciated the handling response.
The Focus has decent power for most needs, but passing on a busy two-lane road requires some space. Fuel economy is quite good, with and EPA-rated 24 mpg in the city and up to 35 mpg on the highway.
The 2009 Ford Focus is offered in two-door coupe and four-door sedan body styles. The sedan is available in four trim levels: S, SE, SES and new SEL. The coupe comes in SE and SES trim only. The lone engine is a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that makes 143 horsepower when coupled to the standard five-speed manual transmission or 140 hp with the optional four-speed automatic ($815).
Focus S sedan ($14,995) comes with cloth upholstery, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD/MP3 player with four speakers and auxiliary input jack, four-way adjustable driver's seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, tilt steering wheel, a tire inflation kit, antitheft system and P195/60R15 all-season tires on steel wheels with hubcaps. Options for S include Sirius satellite radio ($195), daytime running lights ($40), and an engine block heater ($35).
Focus SE coupe and sedan ($16,180) add power windows, locks and heated mirrors; remote keyless entry; Sirius Satellite Radio; and a rear stabilizer bar for more balanced handling. Sedans upgrade to 15-inch aluminum wheels while coupes roll on 205/50R16 tires on 16-inch alloy rims. SE options consist of the Driver's Group ($415) with cruise control, auto-dimming rearview mirror and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio and cruise controls; cruise control alone ($215); Sync in-car communications and entertainment ($395); Ambient Interior Lighting ($295) that uses LED lights to illuminate the front cupholders and front and rear footwells with the driver's choice of seven different colors; Power Code remote starter ($435); and other minor items. Fog lights are standard on the coupe but optional ($355) on the sedan.
Focus SES coupe and sedan ($17,570) come standard with Sync and the Driver's Group, and add bright interior trim and fog lights. The sedan gets 16-inch aluminum wheels while the coupe comes with 215/45R17 tires on 17-inch wheels; 17-inch wheels are optional on the sedan ($580). The Moon & Tune Package ($795) combines a power glass sunroof with a premium stereo and six-disc CD changer. Leather upholstery with heated front seats are optional ($810).
Focus SEL sedan ($17,970) adds leather upholstery, heated front seats, and chrome door handles.
Safety features that come standard consist of dual-stage front airbags; torso-protecting, seat-mounted front side airbags; head-protecting side curtain airbags; tire pressure monitor; and LATCH-style child seat anchors. Four-wheel antilock brakes with traction control and electronic stability control are optional for all models ($745).