By Ted Orme
With gas prices staying ugly, I’ve made it a point over the past year to drive several small, high gas mileage cars from Honda, Toyota, Mazda, Subaru, Hyundai, Kia, VW, Fiat, Chevrolet and my latest ride, the 2012 Ford Focus SE sedan. What most surprised this veteran car guy with vivid memories of on-the-blink Vegas, Pintos, Le Cars, early Beetles and the like is you can’t go wrong in this modern class of compact and subcompact vehicles. Way gone is the “tin can” feel of old. Today, there are simply no losers. In fact, it’s tough to pick a winner…but Ford is definitely in the running.
Redesigned for 2012, the Focus is a quantum leap forward in every way over its predecessor. It’s sharply styled and finely finished, inside and out, with a level of refinement and comfort that I never thought I’d see in a small car – maybe best in class. Most Focus shoppers will likely first be drawn to its EPA rating of 26 mpg city/36 mph highway for the SE sedan fitted with a 5-speed manual transmission that I tested. But they will get so much more.