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Ford Focus SE (2011)


  • The size and the looks, and the interior, are nice, with comfortable seating. The feel of the doors, steering wheel and dashboard all make for a higher quality experience than with the old Focus.
  • Feels very solid—much more so than the previous generations of Focus. It’s more firmly planted to the ground. It tracks and handles very well. Has a European feel in terms of handling.
  • Plenty of power.
  • Steering wheel controls for most everything.
  • Plenty of amenities, including automatic headlights, Sirius radio and more.
  • Large truck with plenty of space.
  • Good mileage—we averaged 28 MPG, driving around town.


  • Advanced, dual-clutch six-speed transmission is fine at higher speeds, but the shifting is quite noticeable and even a bit annoying sometimes at lower speeds. We’re of the school of thought that automatic transmissions should not be noticed. They should just work. Period.
  • The sporty edition, which we tested, had low profile tires, resulting in a less comfortable ride than the standard edition.
  • Tall passengers in the back might lack for headroom, due to the low roof styling.
  • The jury is out on this new Focus’ durability. Earlier iterations have turned out to be leaky rattle-traps far earlier than expected. Something to watch over time.

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