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Discussion Starter #1
I 'm not rabid Ford hater but today I got pedal round a 200 mile old 2009 1.6 Focus for a couple of hours.

The interior is just horrid, and a colleague pointed out the 2 small dials in the middle of the binnacle. They look like a silver painted kiddies toy or something. It's just so low rent, I think the wheel was leather but it matched the colour and texture of the plastics.

I'm sure in the middle of the night when nobody is looking you could have some fun, but as somewhere to sit and look it's quite cold, and horrid and dare I say it, van like.

I'm not sure how wide it is, but I managed to reverse it into a space, tail pointed towards a wall, but there was just inches on the NS to the car on that side and I doubt whoever was driving that car could have go their door open wide enough to get in. I drove round and found another space. Fortunately I did an OK job of backing it as I hadn't realised there was someone in the Mondeo Estate on my NS looking to pull away.

The 2 other cars I've driven this week would have fitted in that space.

And the A pillars when you are looking to emerge from a junction combine with the mirror to hide quite a lot. It's a bit like when you do your driving test adjusting the interior rear view mirror so it's out just a little bit so you have to make a deliberate head movement to see what's behind you by looking at it? You're leaning forward and bobbing your head about to see past the A pillars and mirrors.

And the handbrake is on the LH side over by the passengers seat. My colleagues coat was overhanging the handbrake. It looks like it's there for LHD drivers to me.

Perhaps it's me? I like cars to be about driving and journeys so I am not enamoured with computer screens and electronics taking up a big shiny section in the middle of the centre of the dash?
 
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I've driven one of those too. I found it quite nice to drive. The diseasel has a decent amount of grunt and doesn't sound to rough, it rides well and corners well too. I just found the interior to be bland like most modern cars. They are either grey or they paint large parts of it SILVER and it gives me a headache.

The size thing is an issue with most cars. In the old days most mainstream car makers had:

1. A tiddler for the Mums/youngsters (Fiesta, Metro, Polo etc)
2. something slightly bigger for people who have a couple of kids (Escort, Golf etc)
3. A proper saloon car for typewriter salesmen (Cortina, Cavalier etc)
4. something big, bargy and faux posh that hardly anyone bought (Granada, Senator etc).

Nowadays 1 is bigger than 2 used to be, 2 has mutated into something as big as 3 but there's also a wierd mini-MPV version with a really high roof that costs 5 grand more and makes no sense at all. 3 is bigger and posher than 4 ever was and 4 has disappeared completely unless you're VW and you call it the Phaeton and sell 23 of them worldwide. Plus the small off-roader, large off-roader, full size MPV.

As a result of this upsizing, there's no small car in the range so you have to invent a new one that's the size 1 used to be but, to make it interesting, It has to have either a 3-cylinder engine, a 23 speed flappy paddle gearbox, or electric doors so everyone expects you to be Steven Hawking.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It had these black horizontal 'bars' in something like black vinyl on the seat covers in a stripe down the back rest and across the base.

Then looking through Motor Sport there's an ad. for a Daytona and that has black stripes in the leather. It's a similar, comparable effect in the Ford.

Talking to a colleague about it today, he was saying he didn't like the textured plastic dash cover, and he's doubting whether the wheel covering is leather or vinyl. It does match the dash cover very well.

I liked the interior of the TDCi Mk3 Mondeo I drove before Xmas much more. Perhaps I am a sucker for a bit of red stitching on a steering wheel and gear lever gaiter?

If I can next week I'll try and park the Focus next to it to compare the size. From memory they're seeming pretty similar in size to drive. Perhaps it's the high sidedness of the doors that makes it seem bigger? Perhaps it's because the Mondeo was a diesel but the slow speed manouevring in tight spaces was pretty easy.

Earlier as I leaving a car park someone was driving in a black five door new shape Fiesta. It looked huge.
 

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It's something that fundamentally amazes me that fords get great write ups and yet I have never seen a ford interior that I liked. And where do you spend most of the time in a car? Well, IN the car.
Hence the reason the seats are so important in a car and why I am getting more and more disappointed with Alfa Romeo. I cannot even fit in the swab of the 159 TI searts for example. The Original GT seats were bad for me as well. I am 5 ' 9" and about 11 stone, hardly 'fat' . Anyway it is my hip bones that take the presure in Alfas 'sporty' seats.
I can almost guarantee now that I won't be able to fit in a Mito GTA based on recent history.
 

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Once again in repetitive mode, I like an interior that is functional with nothing too fiddly to operate, that has comfortable and supportive seating, plenty of headroom, nicely accommodating space between driver and passenger shoulders with a fairly high drivers seating position, plenty of space for size tens between pedals.

Comfort and ease of driving being more important than performance and cool looks that get admired for mesel' . Get that machine, have it for a decent trial period, getting to know it pretty much inside out, and see if you are satisfied with it. Three years on, repeat order of the same.

Boring Innit'? :D Oh! And one last thing, make sure her ladyship is happy driving it, and then for me anyway now in advancing years, motoring as blissful as one can make it on these chock-a-block, bomb cratered, teeth rattling, nerve shredding UK tracks that attempt to pass for highways? :D :lol:
 

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Hence the reason the seats are so important in a car and why I am getting more and more disappointed with Alfa Romeo. I cannot even fit in the swab of the 159 TI searts for example. The Original GT seats were bad for me as well. I am 5 ' 9" and about 11 stone, hardly 'fat' . Anyway it is my hip bones that take the presure in Alfas 'sporty' seats.
I can almost guarantee now that I won't be able to fit in a Mito GTA based on recent history.
I thought the Mito seats were actually a bit wide.
 

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i have never given two-hoots for a car's interior. Being the pleb that i am, i don't care for the grain of this matching the grain of that, or whether the ambience is more church than council. As long as the relationship between steering, seat and pedals is correct, then i'm happy; after all, when you drive, where are you looking? you're looking out of the windscreen, not at the quality of the plastics used on the lower-seat assembly.

Of course, a nice interior ambience adds to the ownership experience...it's what the first Audi TT used to good effect to gloss-over its stolid Golf-compromised underpinnings.

The Focus does indeed use horrid, scratchy rough-to-touch plastics. What Ford saved there, it invested in an effervescent chassis, a lovely steering and a set-up that has fun tricks up its sleeve that completely belie the car's dour interior and exterior.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I'm sure the car could be fun if nobody was looking and you could find roads quiet enough, but sadly I'll not get that opportunity before this one goes back so for the time I'll be using it the interior is the main 'experience'.

I can appreciate that more room in the back may be useful if you've a particularly tall passenger, but a lot of these current designs of hatches which seem to mimic shrunken MPVs carry a lot of fresh air around inside of them.

Just compared to the 2006 Mondeo III which had the red stitching on the black leather wheel and gaiter and the original Focus saloon I drove in 2001 the interior is unpleasant.
 

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still, i'd take the Focus' delicious handling over it's low rent cabin anytime :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm a bit 'restricted' with the Focus. It's not mine, if it appears on camera or I bend it or scrape it the consequences would negate my reasons for actually pedaling it around.

Plus it's within reach as a colleague shafted the usual ride it wouldn't be good to break this one too.

As someone that's bought clothes from Asda and Tesco (I've never had so many pair of undies) it does remind me of that section of Tesco where you can buy computer accessories.

I quite like the Audi style flick knife key fob. :)
 

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i have never given two-hoots for a car's interior. Being the pleb that i am, i don't care for the grain of this matching the grain of that, or whether the ambience is more church than council. As long as the relationship between steering, seat and pedals is correct, then i'm happy; after all, when you drive, where are you looking? you're looking out of the windscreen, not at the quality of the plastics used on the lower-seat assembly.

Of course, a nice interior ambience adds to the ownership experience...it's what the first Audi TT used to good effect to gloss-over its stolid Golf-compromised underpinnings.

The Focus does indeed use horrid, scratchy rough-to-touch plastics. What Ford saved there, it invested in an effervescent chassis, a lovely steering and a set-up that has fun tricks up its sleeve that completely belie the car's dour interior and exterior.

I can understand your philosophy to a degree, but I spend too long stuck in traffic jams to be able to ignore an ugly interior. Besides, I'd have the Mazda 3 as well given the choice.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
OK had another go in it today.

When returning the driver window to the fully closed position I noticed that speaker cover that blanks the mirror mounting moves. So after lowering and raising up and down like a kid for a few times I noticed that when the window is raised fully up it pushes the window frame into the door opening.

I bet that gives a good seal, but the mounting for the motor and the runners must be pretty sturdy to do that?
 

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Ok, I'm a massive Ford fan, but I think as Alfa owners (or ex-Alfa/Italian car owners) that we expect a certain "standard". For example, I think it's amazing that a 166 3.0 V6 with leather etc is sold so cheaply but the interior is to die for. Italian cars are like that, because Italians are into style.

Ford has never really played that game, but the layouts are functional & thought out for the "average" driver. Normally pretty robust so they're child-friendly ie things can be pulled without getting ripped off. They look low-rent & older interiors look very dated, even a Sierra Cosworth interior doesn't live up to the same standard, but I also think it's a very nice interior, for late 80's/early 90's.

'09 Focus interior looks chunky but low-rent, it's what you expect from your run-of-the-mill cars. Otherwise as above comments, interior is comprimised for the Focus' ride & handling which is class act above the rest.
 

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Hence the reason the seats are so important in a car and why I am getting more and more disappointed with Alfa Romeo. I cannot even fit in the swab of the 159 TI searts for example. The Original GT seats were bad for me as well. I am 5 ' 9" and about 11 stone, hardly 'fat' . Anyway it is my hip bones that take the presure in Alfas 'sporty' seats.
I can almost guarantee now that I won't be able to fit in a Mito GTA based on recent history.

I'm the same height as you and a wee bit thinner and i found exactly the same with the GTV, i just didn't fit at all and i really wanted to buy it:(

At the same time i also looked at a 2007 Focus Sport as it was sat right beside the Focus and found the interior to be drab and plasticy. It really made me appreciate how nice of an interior my 147 has.
 
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