CNET Reviews the Focus Electric

APR 19 2012 BY MARC LEE 1

(Credit: Antuan Goodwin/CNET)

Antuan Goodwin at CNET took a ride in the Focus Electric.  Comparing his review with that done by
Edmund’s, one would hardly think we were talking about the same vehicle.  Why am I not surprised Edmund’s?

Last week, I rather flippantly mentioned that I’d driven Ford’s
new Focus Electric, but that I couldn’t talk about it

Ford has some subtle and not so subtle ways of directing journalists to the message they want delivered.
It could be a completely innocuous reason to put this story on hold, but whenever I see something like this
coming from Ford I am thinking ulterior motive.  Like it could be that Ford wanted to pick and choose who
broke this story first.


On the road, the Focus Electric rides nearly identically to the
gasoline powered Focus. That is, until you listen and realize that
there is no exhaust note and no engine noise, only the gentle woosh of
the road beneath the tires and the tiny, high pitched hum of the
electric motor.

Edmund’s had the FFE ride at “heavy and slow-witted , with a touch of
drool,” ok I might have added the drool part, but the rest is straight
from the horses mouth.  CNET is saying “nearly identical to Focus
gasser.”   I’m gonna wager you one virtual Benjamin that you will find
the FFE ride very close to the Focus gasser, sans all the noise and
jerky shifting.  Which is to say you will prefer the FFE ride, to the Focus gasser.

How does Edmund’s come in upside down on this thing?  Does Prince
Al-Waleed Bin Talal sit on the Edmund’s Board of Directors?  Is
Edmund’s long on Exxon and Shell?  I have no idea, except that I
watched for a year as they ho-hummed and nit-picked the Volt despite
it being one of the most awarded vehicles ever.

Need to get away from a traffic light fast enough to switch
lanes for a turn at the next block? The Focus Electric will have you
halfway down the block before most cars in its class have completed
the 1-2 shift. The best part is that without all of the sound and fury
of an ICE

Between Edmund’s and CNET let’s not kid ourselves, Edmund’s should be
“the motor vehicle authority.”  Yet it is our intrepid CNET Tech Dude who has hit on the
most salient acceleration point for most people.  Do you really care
what the 0-60 time for a car is?  Only if you are a certain kind of
dude, discussing your car with the same certain kind of dudes.  For
the rest of us, fast acceleration matters only in the situation
described above, or when trying to enter into traffic from a stop, or
when merging.  Situations electric cars handle very well, better than
most gassers, and they do it smoothly and quietly.  It is all very
smile evoking.

When you’re just trying to get from point alpha to point bravo
as efficiently as possible, the Focus Electric’s cabin is a pleasant
place to be.

At one point, I found myself stuck in a small traffic jam and was
surprised to find that I wasn’t as frustrated as I normal am in such a

I only got to make a short lap of Downtown San Francisco, but I can
imagine that spending a longer period of time with the Focus Electric
could be as relaxing as a yoga session

OK granted CNET Tech Dude is doing a press roll, and not racing to get
to work first thing the morning, but he’s right, there is something
about electric that makes you more sedate.  What’s really strange is
step out of the electric and get in your gasser and your right back to
your hard accelerating, hard braking, racing to be the first to the stop
light ways.

Certainly when I encounter traffic with an EV my first thought is
“well at least I will save my range.”

To my finely tuned rear end, the Focus feels like a more
refined ride, soaking up the bumps of the city with more

Here Tech Dude is comparing the FFE to the Leaf.  I will note simply
that his view is divergent from Edmund’s.

To my eye, the Focus Electric looks like a regular car where
the Leaf looks like a space frog.

Ha!  Space Frog!  It’s funny cause it is true.  Seriously, I will
admit that I was one of those really ribbeting the Leaf on
its looks, but in person it does look better.  Think we have to agree
this was a positive review, congratulations Tech Dude your Ford passes
to the Richmond 400 are in the mail! 🙂


Categories: Ford


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1 Comment on "CNET Reviews the Focus Electric"

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Marc Lee

OK, so Ford’s ulterior motive was that they had this mass release of reviews on a set day to garner more attention. Fair enough.