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When Ford's compact Focus replaced the venerable Escort for the 2000 model year, it was America's state-of-the-art small car. Its distinctive looks, roomy packaging, lively performance and agile, fun-to-drive handling drew critics' raves and accolades ranging from Motorweek's Best Small Car to North American Car of the Year, the latter voted by a jury of 49 North American journalists. A series of quality glitches and recalls soiled its reputation for a while but were eventually overcome. For 2007, aging but still strong, it still deserves a place on small-car shopping lists.