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2012 Ford Focus

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Comments

  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    The Focus looks handsome, the Mazda3 does handsome (from a utility and drive perspective).

    No sure if the front end of the new Focus III looks handsome, either.

    I think the front end of the earlier roomy Focus I looks cool like the Mondeo/ ST220, which got tons of rear leg room & drives pretty handsome as well!

    Ditto the roomy Focus II (1, 2)

    The new Focus III may be cramped in the back, but does handsome in terms of steering feel, ride comfort & quietness. & how well does the Mazda3 match all that?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While I've yet to drive a new Focus, I will say that the ride and handling of the new(ish) Mazda3 is every bit as good as what I experience with my 2009 (if not slightly better), and for my needs, wants and desires, that's a tough act to follow.
  • rexgrexg Posts: 27
    While I like the new Focus very much, I think it is a real shame that Ford chose to omit a tidy chrome exhaust tip. The tailpipe looks cheap on an otherwise classy-looking package. Apparently the Euro versions have them on some (non-ST) models?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    The Focus hatch suddenly looks way more attractive to this long time VW owner. Likely low to mid 30's average MPG, close to 40 highway, and just as fun to drive as the Golf.

    Actually, the Focus should be more fun to steer than the Golf.

    But even the 2-dr Golf stick, with its ability to carry more than 2 adults comfortably to travel very long distance, actually cost less fuel-per-adult on board. Don't you think? ;) How much are people willing to pay for more leg room on long-distance flights?

    The Focus is your daily commuter if you don't drive on the carpool lane. The Golf is your family mini mini van...
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited May 2011
    I wouldn't care to bet on the Focus being "more fun to steer" than a Golf, errr, unless you're comparing a full-zoot Focus with uprated suspension, wheels and tires to a base level Golf.
  • pearlpearl Posts: 336
    Saw the new Focus at the NYIAS. Looked very nice. The new 2.0L four banger had a chain-driven OHC system - good to get away from the belts. Back seat was not "roomy" and I wouldn't want to ride back there for two hours, but for relatively brief trips it was OK, and fine for kids. I liked the hatch and am glad to see them making a comeback on U.S. model cars - great utility. 2012 and 2013 will be banner years for this segment of the market with the new Elantra, Focus, Impreza, etc. Shoppers need to take some time to evaluate each to get the one that suits them best.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    I wouldn't care to bet on the Focus being "more fun to steer" than a Golf, errr, unless you're comparing a full-zoot Focus with uprated suspension, wheels and tires to a base level Golf.

    In this Euro comparison b/t the Golf w/ lowered suspension & new Focus w/ optional sporty Zetec suspension, "The lowered sports suspension is designed to boost efficiency, and affects comfort, as the BlueMotion doesn¡¦t ride with the smoothness and fluency of ordinary models. If anything, though, it¡¦s more compliant than the stiff set-up of the Focus Zetec at low speeds.

    Up the pace and the VW trails ¡V the Ford rides well at higher speeds and is more capable and enjoyable to drive. The Golf is safe and sure-footed, but doesn¡¦t have the Focus¡¦ dynamic polish or feedback.
    " & "As you¡¦d expect, the Ford¡¦s chassis shines the brightest. The electrically assisted steering is beautifully weighted and responds instantly, while the torque vectoring system ensures strong front-end grip. But it¡¦s the poise and balance that really impress, allowing the car to flow through corners. Adding to its appeal are a precise gearshift and progressive brakes. Only the unyielding low-speed ride of the sporty Zetec disappoints."

    Also, base on my comparison b/t the soft-riding '07 Rabbit 2.5 & the '07 Focus ST 2.3, which is stick only & costs less than $16k out-the-door after discount/rebate, I was actually quite appalled by Rabbit's lack of feel from its electric steering.

    But if the Focus you drove is the cheaper '06-07 SES model w/ very squishy underdamped suspension (both springs & shocks) that rubs off steering confidence plus buttoming out the front springs easily, then it's totally out of this league.

    The suspension of '06-07 Focus ST is firm w/ quick rebound motion. The '05 Focus ST is firmer still (somewhat similar to the Mazda3). The earlier SVT 2.0 hatch (unfortunately not as reliable) has similar suspension set up as the '05 ST but lowered & its different steering is extremely delicious!Consumer Reports found this car to be Porsche-like in handling!

    Only the '06-07 Focus ST, w/ its shocks replaced by the softer & slower-rebound Monroe units, can provide a "comfy but still steady" ride comparable to the Rabbit.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    What does any of that have to do with comparing the current vintage of the Golf and the Focus? I've driven the current Golf and it has steering feel right bang in the same neighborhood as my Mazda3, for the Focus to have demonstrably better steering feel would be a difficult achievement to say the least.
  • smegleysmegley Posts: 7
    edited May 2011
    "I wouldn't care to bet on the Focus being "more fun to steer" than a Golf..."

    I would, however, care to bet on the Focus being more fun to steer NOT to the VW repair shop. Too many people I know have too many problems with too many VWs (proportionately). And the VW repairs cost too much, also.

    I understand wanting some VWs (like the GTI) but I don't understand putting up with the headaches. Same goes for Bimmers and Audis. Sometimes I wonder if I drive a Ford to be certain that VW/Audi/BMW owners have a dependable ride to get them to the repair shop.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    I would, however, care to bet on the Focus being more fun to steer NOT to the VW repair shop. Too many people I know have too many problems with too many VWs (proportionately).. And the VW repairs cost too much, also.

    Proportionately, yes. But there are exceptions -- the 5-cyl Golf imported from Germany is even more reliable than many Japanese cars, per Consumer Reports.

    Like the Mini Cooper, the Focus were pretty disastrous reliability-wise during the early years. Mazda saved the Focus after taking over the underhood department.

    & of course, Mazda was also pretty disastrous when come to uncontrollable oversteer. The Focus saved its [non-permissible content removed], literally, w/ the Control Blade multi-links, which the Rabbit/Golf/GTI/A3/Passat adopted right afterward.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    What does any of that have to do with comparing the current vintage of the Golf and the Focus? I've driven the current Golf and it has steering feel right bang in the same neighborhood as my Mazda3, for the Focus to have demonstrably better steering feel would be a difficult achievement to say the least.

    Anyway, after you drive the base new Focus w/ the same high-profile tires as the current 5-cyl Golf, you can conclude whether the base Focus does not have more steering feel than the current Golf.

    Repeated comments from Euro tests have confirmed that the Focus loses some steering feel after each generation.

    The video from the Euro comparison test clearly says, "The Ford Focus has always set the class benchmark in terms of handling. And this new one, it's no exception. It does have electric power steering for the first time, which has not quite as nice feel to it as the hydraulic system on the old car. But it's still very responsive. And I like the way it's nice and light at low speeds and then weights up as you start to go a bit faster."
    00:26-00:47

    Also, in order not to confuse the issue here, there's a difference b/t "steering feel" & "steering precision". Audi's generally have excellent precision, but no feel.

    2nd, there's the feel of the tire grip vs the resistance as you crank. VW seems to have only the latter since MkIV. I really love the way the MkIII VW steers more than just about anything else. The '06-07 Focus SES, which is probably the Focus you experienced, does not have much resistance as you crank the wheel, at least at certain speeds, but should be able to distinguish very well whether the road is slippery or not such as sensing the amount of hydroplaning when relaxing cruising on the fwy is called for, at least this is quite true on the '06-07 Focus ST w/ firmer suspension which improves the steering confidence over the SES model.

    The Rabbit V is nearly identical to the current Golf VI, which is suppose to be only a slight improvement in steering over the MkV.

    So, according to you, if the old Focus already has worse steering feel than the MkV Rabbit, then it sounds like the new Focus should be even worse in this area than the MkVI Golf, which is not the case according to that Euro comparison test.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You know, I constantly hear folks making noise about how unreliable European cars are and how reliable their Asian cars are and I ask myself, are they just trying to make themselves feel better because they drive something about as engaging to drive as a plush sofa, or are they so fearful something might break that even 99.999% reliability isn't enough to make them feel comfortable.

    My position on all of this is that cars, ALL CARS, are pretty damned reliable these days and who really gives a rip if one car is slightly more reliable than the next. For me, it's all about the drive and the utility; I don't give one hoot how reliable a car is.

    FWIW, over the years I've owned 3 Mazdas, 3 Toyotas, 2 Chryslers, 4 Dodges, 2 VWs, 2 Audis, and 2 BMWs, and the two absolutely worst cars (by a huge margin) was one of the Mazdas and one of the Toyotas. The best and most reliable were both BMWs and the two newer Dodges (the other two were from the 1970s and 1980s and still pretty reliable).

    Specific to the VWs; both had a couple of peripheral component issues which cropped up (and given that both cars served me for well over 100,000 miles that ain't bad), but no show-stoppers and they never left me stranded. The flip side of course is that they were so much more fun to drive than pretty much anything else in their respective classes that when the infrequent unscheduled repair was required, I gladly did the work.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You are fond of citing what others have written and said, and to that I say, "Who gives a damn"; do you have even a single original thought based upon personal experience?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Yes, as I said earlier, "Also, base on my comparison b/t the soft-riding '07 Rabbit 2.5 & the '07 Focus ST 2.3, which is stick only & costs less than $16k out-the-door after discount/rebate, I was actually quite appalled by Rabbit's lack of feel from its electric steering."

    & that was what steered me away from buying the VW. Again, I was comparing the VW to the Focus ST, not the squishy Focus SES.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    I agree about sacrificing slight reliability for a huge gain in driving & riding pleasure.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,447
    If we are talking about old cars now, you can't beat the steering feel of the first gen rabbit scirocco gti with manual steering and tranny. You could tell if a dime was heads or tails if you ran over one. Of course this is not relevant to today's cars.

    I am more interested in the topic of the thread. How does the new Focus handle?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    One of the VWs I referred to a couple of posts back was a 1979 Scirocco, possibly the best steering feel of any car I've ever driven; my 2002 530i gets second place in that department. :)
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,965
    I LOVE an active discussion like this. Just try to keep the tangents brief. Long sidetracks on off-topic subjects (like other brands of cars) can really confuse people just dropping in looking for Focus-talk

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  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    I saw a 2012 hatchback parked in a plaza near my house on Sunday. That's the first 2012 I've seen (or rather noticed) out on the streets, thus far.

    That is all.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    Where are you located? I already saw more than a few on the roads of S California.

    The first one I saw was a sedan. So I paid attention to who was driving it -- a senior citizen. I guess it was no coincident that the new Focus is smooth-riding & quiet enough to satisfy Crown Victoria drivers while offering twice the mpg. So he was willing to pay for a car costing this much w/o an useful back seat, which probably won't be occupied often anyway. & of course, senior citizens are less likely to go for a foreign badge.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,037
    Very educated conclusion based on your extensive survey of ONE. What would you have assumed if a teenager was driving it?

    I see older guys(and some women) driving Miatas, M3s, Porsches, Corvettes, etc. Are we to assume the same thing about those cars?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    I might have seen more than one senior citizen driving the new Focus (but I don't quite remember). I just don't expect senior citizens reacting so soon to grab a new product faster than young people, who tend to be the ones that really wanna be first-in-line to show off something fancy.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,037
    Same thing happened with the Scion XB. Older folks gravitated to it because of ease of entry, price point, functionality, MPG etc. Everyone was shocked to see people with gray hair driving around in them. Don't assume older people don't keep up with trends and want a car that's easy to park, drive and looks good.

    Also, keep in mind that seniors are on somewhat of a fixed income and these gas prices have hit them hard so the MPG ratings catch their eye just like it does everyone else.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,975
    Also keep in mind that 19-22 YO's don't have the income to buy new cars.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited May 2011
    Let me tell ya about the xB when it first came out. It was the only modern-day car w/ a hood you can tell where the corners are. One time, I saw a senior citizen duck taped two broom sticks at each front corner of his Lexus ES300 so he can see the corners.

    Don't laugh. I think this is a smart idea especially when you have to maneuver quickly in a crowded parking lot, not to mention time saving for other cars waiting around. I have experimented w/ little fake antennas on the corners of my cars & driven very quicky around tight spots. People around me think I'm the most skillful driver in the world.

    I think Toyota realized that this can ruin their sales of other models if consumers are spoiled by the boxy hood. So the 2nd generation xB had a circular hood which totally confuses the driver where the corners are. LOL
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,769
    Also keep in mind that 19-22 YO's don't have the income to buy new cars.

    Good point... especially not new cars that can cost well over $20k well equipped. When I went looking at the Focus at my local dealership, the only other shopper was a middle-aged woman, maybe 50-55. She was smitten by the car and planned to buy a loaded sedan.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    For a car under $30k? I'm sure a lot of buyers under 30 yrs old can afford.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,037
    edited May 2011
    Also keep in mind that 19-22 YO's don't have the income to buy new cars.

    Didn't stop em from buying houses. Now look where we are. :sick:
  • m6userm6user Posts: 3,037
    edited May 2011
    For a car under $30k? I'm sure a lot of buyers under 30 yrs old can afford.

    I think he specifically referred to 18-22 year olds, not under 30.
  • spyderonespyderone Posts: 54
    I thought this thread was supposed to be about the 2012 Ford Focus, but now it seems to have gone off track.
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