Car-respondence — Cadillac CTS/Ford Focus

Check Again

Last I checked Cadillac quality is far superior to all European models, which includes BMW, M-B and Audi. So why the less quality comment than the competition? Please check JD Powers & Associates. This is why U.S. automobiles cannot get ahead. U.S. autos are superior in every way, but critics are very anti-American.

Cory DiGeronimo, Miami Beach, Fla.

FCR: In the latest J.D Power and Associates Initial Quality Study, Cadillac is ranked No. 10 in a tie with Audi, behind Mercedes-Benz at No. 4 and ahead of BMW at No. 21, not exactly far superior. That study ranks problems per vehicle after only three months of ownership, however, and quality is also a subjective measure. The materials and overall craftsmanship of the CTS appear a few notches below what’s found in the mid-size vehicles from those brands, and the rattles and squeaks we experienced in a spanking new example don’t bode well for the long haul.

More Is Never Enough

Skimmed down through your review of the Focus to the gas mileage. Totally unacceptable. Cars were getting that and better decades ago. It is way past overdue for cars to be getting 50, 60 and above mpg. Nice price. But not good enough on mpg.

Jane McNeil, Asheville, N.C.

FCR: Economy cars were significantly lighter back then thanks in part to less safety equipment like airbags and robust side-impact protection. Additionally, the EPA recently changed the way it does its fuel economy testing to better reflect real-world driving, resulting in more pessimistic estimates than in the past. That said the Focus can only be compared to its peers, and in the 2008 compact class it holds up very well. Of course if you want a car that gets close to 50 mpg, you can always spend 50 percent more on a Prius. It will only take eight years of driving it to make your money back.

Label Queen

I'm driving a 2008 Ford Focus, 4-door automatic as a rental while my car is in the shop. I like the look, the inside is nice and I do love some of the features. However, I'd like to have my Toyota Matrix back now! If the Focus wasn't a Ford, I might consider buying one.

Carrie Warren, Dallas

FCR: Ford is only three spots behind Toyota in the above mentioned J.D. Power survey, but of course, we’ll defer to your subjective analysis.