I have a 1.6 Focus Zetec (with the sports suspension) as my second car, and have to disagree with James (sort of
The 147 technically has the superior suspension compared to the Focus, just the suspension settings aren't as finely tuned as the Focus. The normal poorly chosen Alfa springs and dampers..
The double wishbone front suspension in theory should allow the Alfa to gets its power down much better and really it should smack the Focuses ass, not the other way around.
Amusingly I find the Focus actually struggles for traction off the line,
its a nightmare in slippy conditions on the standard rubbish p6000's.
..but the reason that its quicker around corners than a 147 is that its suspension is setup to be pretty adjustable whereas the 147's feels much safer (with more safe understeer).
Ford did an amazing job on the fundamentals of handling and body control of a day to day runabout, you really can feel that the suspension team spent ages refining its behaviour..
- I hate the Focus 1.6 (100 bhp phaaa!) engine and gearing. Its lifeless, the joy is in carrying speed.
- The brakes are joyless, completely artifical, and have a completely non linear response which makes it very difficult to modulate the brakes for extreme braking.
- I prefer the steering speed, feel (and wheel) of the 147, but nonetheless the Focus still turns in more sportingly.. VDC won't interfere because it doesn't have it.
- Obviously the interior and exterior styling suck especially compared to the stylish 147.
Despite its deceptive capability I never bonded with the Focus, the lack of aural drame is too depressing.
If I had to choose I would take the Alfa, but change the suspension..
Originally Posted by JamesG
The Focus has superior suspension and chassis and will be better through the corners. So all in all, what you experienced was very normal.