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Ford Focus, Acura RSX, Sedan
Sep 09, 2004 (5:26 am)
I look forward to the new Focus. I like the current one a lot, but it just has a few details that bug me. No rear headrests, and a little bit chintzy inside (reminds me too much of an old Taurus I had that kept having switches and dials break). I hope Ford takes a little from Mazda and fixes these items - no gaudy silver or other colors of the minute please.
I think the handling is class leading and the wagon is especially usefull. Best feature is how you can order it the way you want, and not be forced into packages. I don't like sunroofs, and so many cars force them on you these days along with other options that you do want.
Oct 06, 2004 (1:01 pm)
"Comfort and refinement are marginally better, which is saying something given the high quality of the old model. Handling – the steering is now electro-hydraulic - seems to be just as agile and rewarding as the outgoing Focus."
Oct 06, 2004 (1:56 pm)
Even w/ electro-hydraulic power steering?
"Concerned that electric power assistance could blunt the steering's communication and responsiveness, Ford bit the bullet and used a more complex and expensive electro-hydraulic system. There's no doubt that Ford got it right, for the steering is undoubtedly best in class, with a well-weighted, incisive feel from straight ahead to full lock, and no dead spot, just pure and linear tactility.
The steering wheel imparts the state of the road surface and the level of traction and purchase back to the driver with almost telegraphic detail. It works in that sweetspot where there's lots of feedback and responsiveness, but not a skerrick of kick-back or over-reaction. In the history of front-drive cars, the Focus's steering can find itself in regal company, with that of the Alfa Sud, Golf GTi series I and the Peugeot 306 – few others come close."
#45 of 67 & how important is it to steer like the "Golf GTi series I"?
Oct 06, 2004 (7:03 pm)
"The Golf we should have brought along for this comparison is the MkI GTI. The first high-performance front-wheel-drive Volkswagen was light and chuckable, all verve and poise, with intuitive controls that needed no electronic assistance.
But we can't turn the clock back to this glorified, rose-tinted past."(p76, "BMW 120i vs VW Golf(series V)", August 2004, CAR)