Ford Focus Estate y2K model year.

It looks great. Very distinctive and, like the old Peugeot 205, it will continue to look smart and up to date for years to come. However, there are some parts of this that work out not so good when you actually try to use the car.

Styling and Interior

Shorter drivers will find the car hard to park as the front falls away out of sight. On the other hand, tall drivers will have a problem of their own. Because of the way that the bonnet curves, anyone over 180cm will be distracted by the resultant reflections of the road surface. If I owned one of these cars, I might consider washing the relevant bits of bodywork with a mixture of vim and valve grinding paste to take off the shine!

As I drove along, I found that while the interior looked smart and funky, there were a number of things that didn't work so well. Several of the controls were positivly unpleasent to touch. Particularly the gear lever which had a hard cold texture. Also, the cup/can/bottle holders do not quite take a standard german cola bottle which is a bit remiss. They do take the equivalent French bottle. Go figure.

One poor feature that fortunately did not affect me this time were the roof bars. They were heavily curved to follow the shape themes of the car. That's all very well and looks nice but have you ever tried to load a dining room table, bookcase or load of IKEA flat pack furniture onto curved roof bars?

It's really not good enough because it indicates a large degree of thoughtlessness or worse in the design process. Good design should be a source of constant delight as we keep discovering things that are right about a design. Here, you just keep discovering more that is wrong.

Read more
Intro Read about what I actually liked!
First Impressions Some things put me off before I even got it into gear!
The rear seat Not a piece of a work about which anyone should be proud!
Ventilation and Air Conditioning Did they actually try this out before it went into production?
Miscellaneous Niggles All those other little irritations
Conclusion Would I buy one?
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Land How to travel about on the ground