2012 Ford Focus Features

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Features
Ford is giving shoppers a choice as to whether they want a basic small car or a much more sophisticated one with all the features and options of a larger one. Prices on the Focus range from $16,995, including destination, for the base Focus S, up to about $27k for a loaded Titanium. S models are quite basic, but they do include air conditioning, CD sound, and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel. SE models add cruise control, larger wheels, fog lamps, and Ford's MyKey system, while SEL trims get SYNC, dual-zone climate control, and upgraded trims. At the top of the line, the Titanium earns you MyFord Touch, an upgraded ten-speaker Sony sound system, HD Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, sport seats, a sport suspension, and sport wheels with summer performance tires. A number of the Titanium's features—including the Sport package—are optional on the SEL.

Depending on which trim you get, the Focus has two quite different instrument panels. While MyFord Touch—the touch-screen system that's offered in the 2011 Ford Explorer and Edge and 2011 Lincoln MKX—is standard on the Focus Titanium and optional on the SEL, giving the Focus a high-end, feature-rich feel, other models get a modestly retouched version of the Fiesta's control layout—including the oddly angled, V-shaped arrangement. Top and center on those models, instead, is a more colorful, higher-contrast screen that definitely beats the orange monochrome Fiesta screen.

MyFord touch provides control of entertainment, communication, climate functions, and more, and in these models, in place of the two smaller gauge-cluster screens that you find in the Edge, Explorer, and MKX, the Focus gets a single smaller one. Just below the touch-screen, deceptively, is a very large dial in the middle of the dash that you might would serve some function in navigating screen functions, but it's only for sound-system volume.

'Small car' doesn't necessarily mean 'economy car' anymore; at the top of the line, the Focus Titanium feels like a tech-savvy Euro sport sedan.

One segment-exclusive feature that will be available in the Titanium is Active Park Assist—that's the system Ford has offered on several more expensive models that essentially allows the car to steer itself into a spot while you modulate the brake. In a city-savvy small car like the Focus—rather than one that's more likely to be valet-parked—it finally makes sense.

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