The week of road trips in the new Ford Focus

The week of road trips in the new Ford Focus

After selling my first (and only) car in February, I’ve been living a mostly-but-not-always-blissful life relying on public transportation in Melbourne. Likes: walking more, reading on the tram, not having to pay for gas or repairs, no road rage and lots of yoga breathing because it is out of my control. Hates: getting soaked in the rain, having to allot plenty of extra time to get anywhere, having to wait for-freaking-ever for a tram after I watch mine pass while stuck behind a red light.

New redFord Focus on the Bellarine Peninsula, Australia

However, when Ford contacted me about test-driving out the all-new Focus, I was stoked for the opportunity to go to a few places that were either  a) impossible or b) really difficult/long/complicated to get to via public transportation. My first (and only) car was a Ford Focus, a little silver beauty that got me around in high school, college and my first job.

The new Ford Focus took much of what I loved about my Silver Fox and improved upon it. The incredible gas mileage, just-big-enough size and a dashboard set-up that just makes sense were all things that I loved in both my old and the new Ford Focus. I could have done with having the driver’s seat on the other side in this model, but hey, that’s just me!

View from Peninsula Hot Springs, Victoria, Australia

Peninsula Hot Springs: The sunroof and the super sound system were key for my solo trip down to the Peninsula Hot Springs. Even better was the voice-activated radio and climate control: I didn’t have to take my eyes off the road to change the station or increase the fan speed. Brilliant.

Ballarat Fine Art Gallery, Victoria, Australia

Ballarat: The drive to Ballarat takes a couple of hours, but it’s insanely easy: not much traffic once you get out of the city and not too many curves. The super-intuitive cruise control–you can increase or decrease your speed with the push of a button–and the new electronic power assist steering made a pleasure out of a road trip that I would usually loathe.

Kiteboarder Andrew Cordell at Point Henry, Australia

Point Henry: I loved the compact size of the Focus–mostly, because small cars are what I’m used to driving and parking. But even when I crowded in two friends and an insane amount of kiteboarding equipment, we were all still really comfy. That’s the glory of the hatchback and fold-down backseat: great for transporting stuff AND friends. The dual-zone climate control (passenger and driver both control their own temperature) was prime–I hate subjecting my friends to my capricious temperature needs.

new red Ford Focus at Elk Horn Road House, Wallington, Victoria, Australia

Elk Horn Roadhouse: I had spotted the Cheap Eats Country Champ of 2011 and never thought I would be able to check it out since I didn’t have a car–it’s blissfully in the middle of nowhere. While I had plenty of space to park out in the country, that was not the case in my busy little suburb of St Kilda. Parking was a bloody nightmare–which is why Ford’s active-assist parallel parking aid was a gem. So helpful, especially for someone who can barely parallel park on the left side of the road, much less the right.

Half Moon Bay in Victoria, Australia

Half Moon Bay: I drove to Half Moon Bay just for the heck of enjoying a brilliant day at a different beach that is nearly impossible to access via public transport. It was absolutely gorgeous, and the insane gas mileage of the Focus made it possible. This car has an incredible fuel range: 40 miles per gallon, in a 12.4 gallon tank. It lasted me an entire week of to-ing and fro-ing without needing one refill!

I honestly loved the Ford Focus–if I didn’t hate the responsibility of owning a car and if driving in traffic didn’t move me to tears (after one particularly horrid day in traffic, my flatmate gave me a large glass of white wine and said he had never seen me so stressed out), the new Ford Focus would definitely be a car I’d consider. It’s super versatile, gets great mileage, looks great–and some of the features seriously feel like they’re straight out of Back to the Future! If you’re interested in learning more about the Ford Focus, check out the Ford Australia site.

Note: While Ford Australia generously lent me a Ford Focus to use for five days, all opinions are my own. 

  • I lived most of my life in Melbourne, and you still managed to feature some destinations that I haven’t heard of.

  • Abartholomew2

    So proud of you for conquering your fear! Everyday here that I don’t get in an accident is an absolute miracle! To be honest, some days I can’t even remember which side of the road is “normal.”

  • That’s a cute little car! If my car wasn’t about a year away from being paid off, I’d consider getting one. 🙂

  • Raquel

    Hooray for five days with a car! It is pretty cute too!

  • Anonymous

    Totally worth checking out! Glad I found a few things you haven’t tried yet 🙂

  • Anonymous

    I think I only had one incident of “wait, what side of the road should I be on?” Didn’t even attempt parallel parking though–you’re still my hero for that!

  • Anonymous

    Haha well one day…I loved both Ford Focuses that I’ve driven!

  • Anonymous

    Isn’t it? I just loved having a sunroof!

  • It’s so cool to read about other people’s adventures in the Ford Focus. It’s a really cool initiative on their part and it gives bloggers like us a chance to hit the road and have a little fun too.

    I really liked the Focus aside from its lack of a GPS. Very comfy ride.

  • Anonymous

    The lack of GPS was a definite bummer–and I’m sad I didn’t have the guts to test out the automatic parallel parking! Loved the car though–such an upgrade from my first Ford Focus!