I have driven a Ford lately

The lads were talking on Thursday about how Ford is going to emerge from this automotive debacle as a winner, and suggested that Ford cars today are not, um, your father’s Ford. I was suspicious, but the lads seemed so sincere that I was willing to keep an open mind and when I was offered a Ford Focus as a rental car option this weekend I said yes instead of my usual “do you have a Corolla” response.

Well, if our experience over the last 24 hours is any gauge, the lads were right. Our brand new Ford Focus — 240 km on the odometer when we left Pearson Airport — is a comfortable, peppy, feature-rich automobile that seems light years from Found On Road Dead.

Confusingly, my favourite feature is a Microsoft one: the car has the much-touted Microsoft Sync. I never thought that having a car that could make Bluetooth love to my phone was a big deal, but then I synced (Synced?) my Nokia N95 with the car and 30 seconds later we had podcasts streaming from the phone over the car’s stereo system and I was ready to place calls to my mother by holding down a button on the steering wheel and saying “call Frances.” It all worked well enough to seem like magic.

Sync-aside, the car has nice fit-and-finish, seems more spacious than our VW Jetta, gets great gas mileage, and is fun to drive.

While I continue to think cars are fundamentally evil, and hope to be car-free soon, it’s hard not to be impressed with whatever Ford did to go from Fairlane to Focus (and whatever GM didn’t do at the same time).

Ford Focus


Charles's picture
Charles on June 15, 2009 - 00:06

I’m not much of a gear head, but the Chevy Cobalt (GM) is also a very nice car. Not a lot of frills, but comfortable and a nice ride. I replaced my Chevy Cavalier (the precursor to the Cobalt) with a Toyota Yaris last year, and I’m wondering if I should have gone with the Cobalt. Mostly because the damned cup/change holder on the driver side of my Yaris keeps opening up and hitting my knee when driving over PEI’s pothole filled roads.

Scott Monty's picture
Scott Monty on June 15, 2009 - 15:42

Glad you were positively impressed by your experience. FYI, the SYNC system is not a Microsoft system, but a system co-designed by Microsoft *and* Ford. And that facet that it’s available in our entry-level cars shows our dedication to making technology available to everyone, not just to the luxury market.

Thanks for sharing.

Scott Monty
Global Digital Communications
Ford Motor Company

PFA's picture
PFA on June 15, 2009 - 16:03

Don’t know what I am more impressed with — the fact that you and I both agree Ford will emerge as the “domestic” winner (I’ve personally committed to never buy GM or Chrysler/Fiat ever again) or that, within 24 hours of you posting about Ford, Ford found you and replied. Hmm — very Big Brother-ish, but also reassuring in a Web 2.0 kind of way.

Michael Gauthier's picture
Michael Gauthier on June 15, 2009 - 16:06

So it seems Peter has always loved Ford.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on June 16, 2009 - 15:13

I *knew* that photo would some day come back to haunt me.

The Focus I’ve had this week is different enough from the Mustang that was foisted on me then that they seem like different species of transportation.

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