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2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year Contender: Ford Focus

Motor Trend Staff on November 5 2011 12:00 PM

Ford’s relaunch of the Focus has déjà vu’d us back to the year 2000. At last, a real European compact bred for high speeds and great handling, made in America — just like the original Focus, editor logbooks filled with praise for the chassis of the 2012 Ford Focus, although the test team felt it was underpowered for its tires and under-braked during performance testing.

 

Comparisons with the Elantra kept popping up. Many agreed that “the inside lets down the outside” from a design standpoint, with too much hard plastic and a gimmicky center stack. Others weren’t sold on the slightly boomy 2.0-liter, lamenting that “as with the Buick Verano, you have to wait for the money engine, which should be the 1.6-liter EcoBoost.”

Also slated for improvement next year is the dry-plate twin-clutch automatic, which proved not quite ready for prime time in a recent comparo, so Ford didn’t send along an example of this high-volume transmission.

Do you think the 2012 Ford Focus has enough strong points to be the Car of the Year? Stay tuned as we preview every car that Motor Trend tested for its 2012 Motor Trend Car of the Year competition in alphabetical order in advance of the official announcement on Nov. 16.

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