Focus in the Market

When it's not loaded up with expensive options, the Focus remains a viable Ч if not alluring Ч option in the segment. However, Ford's decision to basically reskin the old Focus rather than deliver a significantly redesigned model is an odd one. Bringing a two-door coupe to market is even stranger, seeing as fewer buyers opt for them due to higher insurance rates and less interior room.

Nor does the Focus soundly beat the competition on price. The Honda Civic Ч undoubtedly the best of the segment Ч starts at just $750 more, while a well-equipped Hyundai Elantra is $800 less. Compacts from Mazda and Toyota also add to a competitive landscape that is quite daunting. Of course, the Focus is also more likely to have cash-back incentives than are its import-model competitors. Money aside, though, other than the nice new toys inside and a good feel for the road, the Focus doesn't have much to offer buyers shopping for a compact car.

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