Friday, June 7, 2013

6/7/13 the Ford Focus Flex Fuel Model

So I flew to Michigan and drove a Wisconsin rental...

The Focus handled well, was very quiet, and came with a number of bells and whistles on what appears to be a lower trim class line, such as the radio controls directly on the steering wheel. It had pretty good pick-up when I needed it (rare in all that stop and go traffic) but it did seem to have the start of a throttle problem at low speed where the sputter was audible. This car had 19K miles on it.

It would, however, look so much better in black. Or blue. Or red or green or brown or green...

I already mentioned the little picture within picture mirror issue. It wasn't helpful to me at all, just confusing. 

The interior control panel is basic and functional. The front seats wouldn't accommodate anyone very tall comfortably.

And no one with legs once you plug in your ipod and have to leave the glovebox open because I couldn't find a way to wrap the cable through an opening in the door and close it up. You do not control the ipod from the radio, that I could see, in this version, as you were only running the AUX connection into the audio. That meant the box stayed open and the ipod had to be within reach.

And I held the camera at a funky angle here, but there is simply no leg room in the back at all. 

Here's the front seat leg room with the box hanging open.

 I also had my Garmin plugged in through the 12V, which was strangely positionsfacing up under the center compartment armrest. The Garmin plug could not be plugged in with the armrest closed, so it bounces along and you try to to lean on it.  Dumb.

But here was the worst of the design flaws. Do you see something missing? There are no buttons on the key. And there is no lock on the door. There is also no manual door post. You put the key in to turn it from the outside and hold it to lock the doors. But how do you lock the doors if you want to stay in the car?

 Oh, of course. There it is. Everyone looks for the power locks under the radio controls!

Overall, it got me there and got me back with very low fuel costs and, by myself, I didn't miss the lack of legroom in every other seat and found leaving compartments open all over the place to use my electronic devices pretty annoying. If I'd sat much longer in traffic and had it cut out on me (yes, the air was running), all the fuel economy in the world wouldn't have made up for it. 


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