Car review of the 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback SEL, 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback SEL photos and pics
2012 Ford Focus Hatchback SEL

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The 2012 Ford Focus is all-new and worth the wait. The bar keeps getting higher for vehicles in all auto segments but the small car category has seen vast improvements in performance, design and fuel efficiency. The Focus needed to be a great car to really compete in today's market.

Exterior

With all of the hype before Ford launched the all new 2012 Ford Focus, we felt this car had to look great if customers were going to pay attention. Ford took what they call their very own "kinetic design" and delivered a sleek and sculpted Focus. Our test model came equipped with Kona blue metallic paint, 17-inch alloy polished wheels, halogen headlamps, fog lamps, rear spoiler and bright beltline molding. The hatchback design was strategically brought to North America from Ford's European studios. With sales of the 2012 Focus Hatchback flying off the charts it's obvious that the decision to build and sell the Focus hatchback in the United States was the right call. The front end of the 2012 Ford Focus has huge radiator ducts, a sculpted hood, sloped windshield and a distinguishing grille, all of which make the car stand out on the road.

Interior

The cabin of the is Focus very bold and in some ways reminds us of a cockpit. The fit and finish in the 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback SEL is as good or better than plenty of luxury sedans we've tested. That's a testament to the designers and men and women who build the 2012 Ford Focus. Our test model had charcoal black cloth seats, single CD with MP3, 60/40 split fold rear seats, ambient lighting, power windows with window express down and power locks, leather wrapped steering wheel with cruise and audio controls and air conditioning. The 10-speaker Sony stereo system was powerful and, when coupled with the MyFord touch including HD Sirius Satellite and Navigation system technology, was hitting harder than we expected. The overall interior space is adequate although the rear seats were a bit snug for two adults. Long trips could get cramped for the rear passengers.

2012 Ford Focus Hatchback SEL

Performance

When the Focus was first launched, performance was a major theme compared to the Escort, which the Focus replaced. Over the years Ford somehow went more for the value play and didn't keep the performance of the Focus as the backbone of the car. Well, The 2012 Ford Focus gets back to what we loved so much about the original Focus. The new 2.0-liter direct injection 4-cylinder engine pumps out 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque. The Ford PowerShift twin-clutch 6-speed automatic transmission also plays a role in the smooth ride of the new Focus. Our SEL model also had 4-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking system which did a great job in wet weather. The most enjoyable driving experience in the 2012 Focus was on winding roads and tight corners - this car hugged the road with very little sway. Fuel efficiency is solid at 27 mpg in city driving and 37 mpg on the highway.

Overview

When Ford launched the 2012 Focus in North America many folks were anxiously awaiting its arrival. After a week behind the wheel of a 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback SEL we can report that this car goes beyond a single segment to satisfy many types of consumers. With excellent fuel economy, a superior ride enforced by a four wheel independent suspension, a semi-isolated front sub frame, control-blade multi-link rear suspension and great styling, the new Focus casts a wide net. Our test model stickered out at $24,075 which might be pricey for value shoppers. Ford starts the base 2012 Focus S at $16,995 to meet those needs. Regardless of where gas prices go from here, the 2012 Ford Focus Hatchback SEL should keep Ford dealers happy for awhile.

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