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Ford Focus
Ford Focus
When both the European and U.S. versions of the Focus were being redesigned, there was hope that Americans would finally get the same sharp-looking, fun-to-drive compact car as our friends across the Atlantic.

No such luck - at least not yet.

Instead of taking the U.S. version and giving it a proper redesign, says James Bell, publisher of the automotive ratings site Intellichoice.com, "We got a polished 8-year-old car here." Bell was once a consultant to Ford of Europe.

The fact that the current American Focus is a good - but not great - car hasn't stopped it from being one of Ford's most popular models here. But if you can improve it, why not go for it?

Next time around, we'll get what they get overseas, Ford promises. For the North American market, the carmaker will build the Focus from the wheels up over here, but it will be the same car that Europeans can buy (pictured at the right). Expect to see the new Focus in 2010.

NEXT: Ford Transit Connect

Last updated July 24 2008: 10:56 AM ET
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