There will be a more in depth post to come, but for now, welcome to the fleet, Mr. 2016 Ford Focus SE. Yes, I am a sucker for a deep red clearcoat Ford. Yes, I still love my ’88 Festiva and ;06 Mustang. Yes, I also support orphan cars – this 1.0L EcoBoost Focus (2016 only). See: Fiat 500L. See also: 1971 VW 411, 1973 Plymouth Fury, 1973 Honda CB350 – Four, 1979 Futura, 1990 Suzuki Swift (remember those?!), 1993 Geo. 2008 Scion.
I get it from my dad. He always wanted a 1980s Maxima wagon with a stick. And a Taurus MT-5. No one remembers MT was a nod to Motor Trend for being named car of the year. POS orphan car with a big 4 and a stick, so of course.
Likewise this car – no one makes performance mods for this specific model: a classy car with a Geo Metro motor on speed. No worries. I am content (for now) with it not sticking out.
This is the 2013 Ford Focus Electric. I like it a lot. I thought about getting a Fiesta. Focus is roomier. It’s a million times better than the previous generation. The ST is mad sexy. The electric? I think I have to pass. It’s all about sticker shock. Forty grand base price? Ouch. That’s a 23K uptick in base price, notwithstanding all that glorious technology. A $300/mo. lease? I could swing that, but I learned my lesson, leasing a minivan last decade. It’s not for me. YMMV. It’s certainly a better car for a better price than the EV1 ever was.
That was before I went to the configurator to build and price one. With incentives and (one presumes) a tax credit, the price drops around $31.6K. The C-max (to the left) I like so much came in at close to $35K. The 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid to the right, built my way, comes in at around $31.6K, too. A Focus ST would be a hair under 30.
So, what have we learned so far? Collect all your data, get to the summary page of the configurator, and then talk to a dealer you trust. (Sorry, Tex.)
However, as nice as this car is, and as competitively priced as it is, after incentives, comes the real question: utility. It has a range of 76 miles +/-. Using my highly advanced mathematical skills, that means 38 miles, out and back. I can go to the end of the county and back. Not to Flag; not even to Tucson. Vegas and San Diego are out of the question.
I have friends that are shopping hybrids. The wife preferred the C-MAX to a similar Prius. Then she drove a Fusion Hybrid and preferred that to them both, as well as to a Camry hybrid. She’s coming down from an Acura MDX. In advising them, I said pick a car that does 85% of what you need. I.e., don’t buy a van because of one trip to Detroit. Don’t buy a Ferrari because of one date night you hope to have. This standard still doesn’t make a Focus Electric work for the wife, because she drives more during a day, and can’t spare the 3 hour charge time, as nice as it is to wean from petrol. This would work better for the husband.
It would even work for me, but as a parent of a teenager, I get to preach one thing and act in a completely inconsistent way. So, I am more likely to get another Mustang that is mostly a daily driver, than to indulge my inner petro-conscience and drive a strictly electric car, no matter how nice.
Please build a C-Max Energi SVO with 475 bhp (or electric equivalent), AWD. 18″ Cragars and a panoramic sunroof. And seats and a cargo hold that resist every negative aspect of my dogs’ existence.
All of us in the melting igloo that is Phoenix, this weekend.