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While awaiting service to my Fusion I briefly sat in a 2008 Focus, and I hope it was an anomaly. I didn't take my time for this examination-I wanted to avoid the salesmen-but the lasting impression was of the exceedingly poor fit of the silver plastic panels
attached to the facade of the dashboard and facing the passenger and driver. These pieces were sturdy and sturdily fitted but the ensemble fell apart at the seams on either side of the center panel: wide on the right side and tapering slightly at the bottom and
narrow on the left without taper. My eyes fell immediately upon these disjointed panels and I wondered how this car ever passed
inspection at the factory. I didn't bother to examine the rest of the interior because I felt the state of its quality was encapsulated
at the intersection of those three pieces of plastic. I realize that this iteration of the Focus is a stop-gap measure to comply with
CAFE regulations but the American consumer deserves more and would probably be better served with comparably priced product
from Kia or Hyundai. Please forgive my candor but I want Ford to succeed.
 

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I was originally looking to replace my '05 Focus with an '08 SES w/SAP but the more I sat in the car and tried to imagine myself living with the car, the more niggling things I found.

Chief amongst my gripes. The redesigned HVAC stack, the heater and vent controls are designed in such a way that it would be nigh impossible for me to use them blindly owing to my disability (adjustment ring on the outside on the knob instead of a knob you can turn add to that the buttons that are maddeningly similar and I can just imagine making mistake after mistake to operate them.

Other lowlights, a trunk that you can't open without using a keyfob or key (why delete the button inside the car?WHY? and will leave your hand filthy unless you keep your car anally clean. A rearward view compromised by an even higher trunkline (Almost makes you wonder if they're going to offer rear park assist in '09 after the rash of fender bashes.

All I can say is the renewed Focus might meet some people's needs, but it certainly doesn't meet mine :(

NefCanuck
 

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I took an 08 with sport package out for a drive a few months back when i was trying to decide between an 08 Focus and an 08 Fusion for when my 05 Focus lease ends (very shortly!). I didn't mind the Focus overall. The styling has grown on me a lot. The interior though...

I *like* the new interior, but the longer I sat in it, the longer I felt like I was at least 5-10 years beyond the demographic age (I'm 32) they were addressing. It's funky, but almost too much so. I've spent 3 years in my 05 Focus ST, and about 2.5 years before that in a 2003 Focus ZX3, and I've never felt that way in the cockpit of either of those earlier generations.

I also didn't care for the very tall beltline on the sides (no doubt contributing to the already mentioned rearview issues). It felt like the door panels on the inside were way too high.

Overall it's a nice vehicle, but I just felt I'd outgrown it somehow and it was time to move to a slightly more adult (while still fun!) Fusion. Driving my buddy's 08 Fusion demo this past Saturday for a bit, I was immediately surprised at how smooth the ride was, and how much more room there was width-wise vs my 05 Focus. I'm a big guy, so the extra space is really appreciated.
 
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