#FordCES 2013: Country Club Living

2013 Ford Focus Electric
Grace and Vanessa loved it

This is the 2013 Ford Focus Electric.  I like it a lot.  I thought about getting a Fiesta.  Focus is roomier.  It’s a million times better than the previous generation. The ST is mad sexy. The electric?  I think I have to pass.  It’s all about sticker shock.  Forty grand base price?  Ouch.  That’s a 23K uptick in base price, notwithstanding all that glorious technology. A $300/mo. lease?  I could swing that, but I learned my lesson, leasing a minivan last decade. It’s not for me.  YMMV. It’s certainly a better car for a better price than the EV1 ever was.

That was before I went to the configurator to build and price one. With incentives and (one presumes) a tax credit, the price drops around $31.6K.  The C-max (to the left) I like so much came in at close to $35K.  The 2013 Ford Fusion hybrid to the right, built my way, comes in at around $31.6K, too. A Focus ST would be a hair under 30.

So, what have we learned so far?  Collect all your data, get to the summary page of the configurator, and then talk to a dealer you trust. (Sorry, Tex.)

However, as nice as this car is, and as competitively priced as it is, after incentives, comes the real question: utility. It has a range of 76 miles +/-.  Using my highly advanced mathematical skills, that means 38 miles, out and back.  I can go to the end of the county and back. Not to Flag; not even to Tucson.  Vegas and San Diego are out of the question.

I have friends that are shopping hybrids.  The wife preferred the C-MAX to a similar Prius.  Then she drove a Fusion Hybrid and preferred that to them both, as well as to a Camry hybrid. She’s coming down from an Acura MDX.  In advising them, I said pick a car that does 85% of what you need.  I.e., don’t buy a van because of one trip to Detroit.  Don’t buy a Ferrari because of one date night you hope to have. This standard still doesn’t make a Focus Electric work for the wife, because she drives more during a day, and can’t spare the 3 hour charge time, as nice as it is to wean from petrol.  This would work better for the husband.

It would even work for me, but as a parent of a teenager, I get to preach one thing and act in a completely inconsistent way.  So, I am more likely to get another Mustang that is mostly a daily driver, than to indulge my inner petro-conscience and drive a strictly electric car, no matter how nice.

Dear Ford:

Please build a C-Max Energi SVO with 475 bhp (or electric equivalent), AWD. 18″ Cragars and a panoramic sunroof.  And seats and a cargo hold that resist every negative aspect of my dogs’ existence.

XX

All of us in the melting igloo that is Phoenix, this weekend.