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The Little Car from Europe

Typically, European cars have a tough time selling in the U.S., but that's not the case with the Ford Focus. It replaced the Escort in 1998 in Europe, and in the early 2000s it debuted in North America and was dubbed the best-selling car in the world for two consecutive years.  Since then it has always remained in the top tier of best-selling cars, and with good reason. Though its reliability has been a little shaky in its early years, the Focus continues to sell for its universal qualities, affordable pricing, comfortable drive, and solid fuel mileage.

Not So Little Anymore

The Focus has seen wild success during its young life. In 2000, it came as a hatchback, sedan, or a wagon. The styling was slightly different from the European version with larger bumpers, side markers, and absent headrests for the back seats. It came with a 2.0L I4 engine that could run at 110 horsepower or 130 horsepower depending on whether it had single or dual overhead camshafts. Available trims included LX, SE, or ZTS, but there were several other versions that would stick around for a year or two, before being phased out-such as the S2, SVT, and Street model. This attracted many types of buyers, including families and youths alike.

When the Focus received a restyling in 2008 for the second generation, it didn't last for long. It only offered a coupe and sedan body, and by the end of the generation, in 2011, the Focus could only be purchased in sedan style. It came with an S, SE, SES and later an SEL (leather) trim. It came designed with bits of chrome placed throughout the body including on the grille, the rear, and striping on the side. The mpg increased up to 34 by the end of the generation.

In 2012, a new generation was born for the European and American model. It comes as a Sedan or hatchback and offers a 2.0L I4 with 160 horsepower. The Focus increased its selection with an electric version that's similar to the Nissan Leaf and is half the price of a Tesla S.  It charges up a 107-kilowatt electric drive motor which can run at 143 horsepower and has energy usage of 110 miles per gallon gasoline equivalent (mpge). It also offers a Titanium high-trim level and a 2.0L Ti-VCT with flex fuel capacity. It comes with all the modern capabilities such as built-in GPS, hands-free calling, push-start technology, and Bluetooth compatibility.

Since it began, the Ford Focus has improved it reliability and proven that it can keep up with its Japanese competition. It's recently reestablished its title as the best-selling nameplate in the world for 2013, thus making it one of the most popular cars around the globe. 

Ford is a registered trademark of Ford Motor Company. 1A Auto is not affiliated with or sponsored by Ford or Ford Motor Company. See all trademarks.

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