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There are Focus models equipped and priced for almost everyone.

2000 Ford Focus Road Test
Smart Contender

By Bill Roebuck

The ZTS model in the 2000 Ford Focus four-door sedan lineup -- which also includes LS, SE and station wagon versions -- is the sportiest model. At $22,171, it comes pretty well equipped, with a 130-hp, 2.0-litre, 16-valve Zetec engine, ABS brakes, CD player, tachometer, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, and 15-in., multi-spoke aluminum wheels as standard.

The Focus seems to have a love-it or hate-it design. As many people complain about its body panel sculpturing as those who rave about it. Personally, I think it gives the car an interesting appearance in a market segment that features some pretty boring designs, such as sedans from Honda and Toyota.

Ford designers did a superb job on the interior, with a clean instrument panel and right-sized controls for the ventilation. Everything is easy to reach and located right where you expect it to be. It also has a nice-sounding, CD-equipped stereo. And there's plenty of passenger room inside, especially in the rear. Three tall teenagers filled the rear seat tightly in our test model but didn't complain of being uncomfortable. Head room and leg room were adequate for all.

Handling offered no surprises. The model we tested on the Shannonville race track last fall was a challenge to steer through sharp corners, showing lots of body lean. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h was tested at 10.6 seconds, adequate for highway onramps and conservative passing.

© Copyright Bill Roebuck, 2002.

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