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Old 26th April 2008, 13:01   #1
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Default Ford Focus 1.8 Sport

Arrived from San Francisco at the dreaded Terminal 5 in Heathrow. Fortunately, my luggage did arrive. A Hertz VW Caravelle appeared, quite a well specced cosy animal for the family no doubt.

Reached the hire car centre. I hoped I would get an upgrade but alas, got what I ordered, a focus for 100 quid for 4 days, that too, I was going to dump it in Manchester.

Scrutinised the car for scratches (the scroats in rip off UK, try it on saying this scratch, that scratch and over charge you!). I pock marked the chart to irritate the guys and they had to accept it. Got in and drove out.

My previous focii experience has been with the mark 1 which I enjoyed, especially the later version which was "just right". This one was well built, easy to drive but it felt relativley dead. It did not communicate saying, take me in to this corner, push me etc. It just went. I felt more imble than my RS but the acceleration ain't there.

A bit of jetlag so never pushed it. Also my weekend was to be spent with two wonderful lady lawyers who also are great cooks. Parking it was easy.

Fast forward to Sunday morning - woke up with a slight hangover and a wonderful roast leg of pork in my belly, (my hostess keeps on getting complementary bottles of premum stuff from her clients. I built her a complex wine rack one wekend so I am still drinking my fee). Looked out to see the outside tap was white. Errrr, last evening, it was raining. Errrr, i did drink a bit, errrr, looked out and i saw snow, and i had 250 miles to travel.

Sobered up, found my car was as pictured. Cleared the windscreen and windows, wound them down and found the snow came in.

Slowly got on the north circular and joined the M1. Bits of snow kept flopping up from the bonnet, if I drove fast, the snow on the roof starts pummeling the car behind. It was a serene sight, even better was being over taken by a Gallardo spider and an AMV8 both on a sunday drive.

Sorry no pics but touching a mobile when driving in the UK is a criminal offense.

The darned snow took its time to peel off, but i realised that the car cruises and tracks well. Gears were well chosen and not too long in ratio. wipers got on my nerves and juddered.

Air conditioning (in snow???), well I switched it on with heat to demist car - this was disappointing, ended up opening a window a crack. Brakes were good. And so M1, it was, suddenly I found the m6 coming up on the left and (thanks god it was an empty motorway) did a sudden lane change and it tracked well. another 100 miles up the M6 and it was time to hit the A roads into manchester.

These roads are narrow but have subtle contours making it a fun fast stretch. the sad part was that speed cameras are everywhere. Luckily, i saw them all and could maintain limits. the focus tackled this road well. The older Focus was more fun, this is more capable, but i prefer fun.

Come to the M56 roundabout followed by a sharpish left curve and it attacked it with no drama.

Dislikes- Crappy stereo- it was the pits, being an integrated unit, i don't know what one would do. the boot it small. It could only take one suitcease and a strolley. it was quite shallow.

It was not that solid compared to a VW and lastly, being the UK, every other joe has a focus. I had the car for another two days but never used it. (when there is a X5 around, what do you expect), was cheaper to keep the car to take me to the airport!

Verdict - Pleasing hire car, may be the hotter versions would be of interest. to be fair, I was having too much of a good time to focus on the focus
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Last edited by ajmat : 26th April 2008 at 16:23.
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Old 26th April 2008, 15:25   #2
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A nice writeup! It was a pleasure to read thru. And the picture at the end is ha ha ha. Can imagine how it would be to see that with a bit of a hangover.

All the latest economy cars in the world is coming to one point. Just capable cars which will take you from one place to other without any emotions or dramas. Just too technically correct and numb at the same time. I love cars that gave us some feelings and emotions when it did it's job. That is what the older generation ones did and the newer ones doesn't.
Signs of me getting old?
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