2009 Ford Focus Gets Refocused Design

By David Thomas  on May 12, 2008

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Ford is selling a lot of the 2008 Focus compact sedan and coupe. Sales have been up throughout 2008, thanks in part to the car’s high gas mileage — 35 mpg highway with a manual transmission — and low price, which starts at $14,395.

Ford has gotten knocks for the new Focus’ looks, though, especially in the coupe version. So tonight during “American Idol” it will debut a revised version of the two-door model for the 2009 model year. We hope it won’t be rolled out in a horrible Idol-ized commercial, but we suspect it will be. The 2009s will go on sale later this summer. The sedan will most likely remain unchanged.

In grand terms, not much has changed, but the alterations are all positive. Most notable is the deletion of the chrome side vent on the 2008 model, which is an omission we loudly applaud. A revised front end with a larger, rounder lower bumper and darkened chrome bars now make up the grille. Fog lights are now standard across the lineup. For more info and photos, keep reading.

There are just two trim levels for the 2009 coupe: the SE, starting at $15,920, and the SES, starting at $17,340. Both prices are before a $695 destination charge. Last year’s versions were $15,225 and $16,570, so the ’09 pricing is an increase of 4.6%. That’s not an insignificant bump for such an inexpensive car, and we wonder if the exclusion of the more affordable base S trim level coupe was a good idea.

The top, SES, trim level gets dark chrome 17-inch aluminum wheels that are reminiscent of the previous generation’s SVT model. A rear spoiler also adds some style. The SES gets a slight horsepower bump but will return the same mileage as before. Ford’s popular Sync system is standard in the SES.   

Stability control will be an option for the Focus for the first time, which should help it in the eyes of the safety conscious. It comes packaged with antilock brakes as a $744 option package.

What do you think? Do the changes make the Focus coupe more attractive?

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Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon.  Email David