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).