Driving the 2012 Focus
To get a sense of what the Ford Focus Electric might drive like I took a test drive in a gas based Ford Focus yesterday.
I want to give props to my local dealer Bowditch Ford for understanding that I am not interested in an ICE based car, and not trying to steer me towards something I do not want.
As expected the Focus handles very well. That said it does not handle as well as the Volt. The main short coming was roll, especially in a tight turn. But and this is a big but, keep in mind that this the ICE based version, 400-500 lbs of battery weight centered and low might help that issue, and it was not enough of an issue that it would deter me from getting the car.
On the plus side, visibility through the front of the vehicle is decidedly better in the Focus, than the Volt. Probably because of the smaller A pillar, but also it feels as though you are closer to the windshield than in the Volt. Perhaps there is less rake to the Focus windshield.
Also, the Focus has a blind spot mirror built into the side view mirror, which is nice because visibility out the back of the Focus and the Volt is “challenged.”
Another nice feature on the Focus is that when your cell phone is connected through Bluetooth it shows which phone is actually connected and what the signal strength is. The advantage of this is if both my wife and I get in the car we would be able to see which person’s phone is actually connected. On the signal strength it says you from having to pull the phone out to see if there is enough signal to make a call.
Being a hatchback the rear cargo area of the Focus is spacious. If having your items covered is not important, removing the cargo area cover will buy you some height space.
Of course one could rightly argue the Focus and the Volt are intended for two very different needs. So a batter comparison would be between the Focus and the Leaf.
All in all, I saw nothing on the test ride that would keep me from getting a Focus, and the styling is very sharp.