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2010 Ford Focus
The 2011 Ford Focus is running out the clock, as the automaker prepares to introduce an all-new Focus lineup for the 2012 model year. Pared down to a single powertrain, and a single sedan body style, the Focus has been carried over from the 2010 model year with no changes.
Today's Focus dates back to 1999, when Ford planned a "global" car that could please buyers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. It didn't quite work out that way, and in 2008, when the rest of the world had moved on to a new platform, the American Focus got a quick reskin. The 2011 Focus is evidence of that long life cycle: the styling's a mashup of new themes appliqued to a dated silhouette. The Focus Coupe, which suffered even more ungainly styling, has been euthanized for 2011.
The powertrain in the front-drive Focus mates a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine to either a four-speed automatic or a five-speed manual. With 140 horsepower (136 hp in a California-clean-emissions version) the Focus won't stun any driver with its straightline performance, but it can achieve as high as 35 mpg highway fuel economy.
The cabin is roomy enough, and it's quiet and pleasant inside. The styling works better here, more upscale and more tightly integrated than the sheetmetal. The front seats make up in room what they lack in sporty bolstering; rear-seat room is decent, and trunk space is a bit larger than normal.
Last year, Ford added standard anti-lock brakes to the Focus lineup, along with stability control. Dual front, side and curtain airbags also are standard, along with MyKey, which allows parents to limit the car's top speed to 80 mph, keep traction control on at all times, and restrict the volume on the stereo to 44 percent of its loudest setting.
Among the key features are SYNC, Ford's Bluetooth-and-voice controller for entertainment and phone systems. The Focus also has a USB port for music players.
For a full review of styling, performance, features, safety and comfort, see TheCarConnection's 2010 Ford Focus review.