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2012 Ford Focus



  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    So did Mercedes & Chrysler, but what about "the next-generation Mercedes ML platform for all-new Grand Cherokee"?

    Just b/c Ford improved Volvo's old S40's "Mitusbishi Carisma" platform & old S80's platform by replacing them with the "Focus II" C-1 & enlarged C-1 platforms, respectively, that doesn't mean Volvo or its new Chinese owner can't continue to use this technology or parts supply!

    Speculators think Ford should worry about their cost-effective high-tech Focus-suspension technology being...

    Just to give you an idea, (w/in the last decade) VW had to hire the original Focus engineer to design their FWD Jetta/GTI/A3/Passat's suspension w/ the Control Blade mutilinks.

    & just before that, BMW was considering using Focus' original C-170 platform, but later (according to one of the UK car magazines) designed their own 5-link rear suspension by applying similar principle found in Focus' 4-link Control Blade suspension.
  • The hatchback I drove didn't have MyTouch and it looked
    blank space that I noticed.
  • I took a test drive in the hatchback today. SE trim with winter package and moonroof with an MSRP of $21,650. Just a few thoughts:

    Driver's seat was comfortable to begin but I have low back problems and after only
    a short drive my back was aching. I probably could have found a good seat position but
    I didn't have alot of time.

    I thought the dash/controls looked sharp and were easy to read/reach. It was a warm
    day, upper 80's and the ac worked well.

    Headroom was OK. I'm 5'11" and if I were taller my head might have been bumping.
    The seats were black but the roof liner was white/off white....I think maybe to make it
    appear more roomy. Concerned that it might easily become stained. If the liner had been
    black I may have felt like I were in a cave. I had sufficient legroom in the drivers position.

    Rear seat leg space is tight but I think it has more room than the Chevy Cruze. I don't
    think you could comfortably get four 6 foot tall people in this car.

    I thought the drive was good. Handled well, smooth transmission, quiet and had good power.

    The car was smaller than I expected from seeing the ads.

    I like the styling and drive but I think it is overpriced now that I've seen it. I would probably
    buy with a good price.
  • iwant12iwant12 Posts: 269
    Steve, I'm curious, what type of vehicle do you drive now? I too have some lower back problems and getting in/out of a car does seem to bother it. Thanks.
  • bricknordbricknord Posts: 85
    I was excited to see that my local Ford dealer had a couple of new Foci in today. I stopped by, and one happened to be unlocked. I think it was an S or SE, and was a sedan. Today's mission was to check out the new Elantra, and the new Focus. I figured those are the top two contenders for our next car, and have been eagerly awaiting both. Actually, I was more interested in the Focus prior to today.

    Three things occurred to me immediately.

    First, the exterior of the Focus was better looking that pics I had seen on the web. Pleasant surprise. Stick shift! Awesome!

    Second, the interior of the Focus seemed much more low-rent than I anticipated. Now, granted, I sat in a relatively basic car. It stickered for $18k, though, and the Elantra for $18500, so close in price. Anyway, there seemed to be more hard plastic in the Ford, and of a cheaper looking grain pattern. The ambience inside the Focus felt about $2000 cheaper than the Hyundai, not $500. It wasn't bad, but in context of the Elantra GLS, a big difference.

    Third: I can live with the interior, though, so more importantly how is the back seat room? Shocker. It was terrible. I'm 5'10, and with the front seat where I would have it, the rear legroom was awful. The Elantra felt light years roomier inside. I don't know what the actual measurements are, but the "feel" is nowhere close. The Focus reminded me very much of the current Mazda3 in rear seat room. Not good. If you have kids in car seats, or haul adult rear passengers much at all, I think the Focus would be a tough sell. It felt smaller than the Cruze, to me, as well. The 2009 Civic we used to own felt a lot roomier in the rear than the Focus I sat in today.

    Anyway, I was so taken aback by the tight rear quarters I didn't even bother to drive it. It won't work for us, and this comes from someone who likes smaller cars. I should have driven it, just for education purposes, but the salesperson that approached me was kind of a jerk so I didn't feel like dealing with it.

    When I have time someday, I'll go back and drive the Focus. For all I know, it is spectacular. We have a child in a forward facing convertible seat, though, and the Focus would maybe work in a pinch but would be too small back there for that to work on a daily basis. The Elantra has way, way more usable rear seat room. The Focus may indeed be significantly more fun to drive, and if there were only two of us, I'd still consider it. For 3 or 4 people, I think the rear seat room is a major weak point. I'm actually surprised Ford brought it out with things that tight back there.

    Just my 2c.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    As I mentioned before, these 2 cars are not really comparable. (Interior) size-wise, there's no comparison.

    A heavily equipped Geman-engineered agile-handling NEW Focus is at least as wide as the Lexus IS250 outside, & just as cramped inside when comes to rear leg room... So therefore they are actually quite comparable.

    It may be impossible to convince average people in this country to compare the new Focus to the IS250. But some (average?) reader in Europe actually thinks the Lexus IS is not good enough to compare to the new VW Passat, which has transversely mounted engine, based on a platform w/ the Control-Blade rear suspension designed by the original Focus engineer & therefore definitely not based on the Audi A4 or A6:
    Depp, you seem to either forget or not actually know that, the Lexus is exactly the same as the Toyota Attessa, with changes to badges! On the other hand, the Passat has its roots from Audi. Which would you rather drive, a Toyota washing machine or an Audi automobile?

    By CyprusYid on 4 March, 2011, 10:03am"

    Even after this AutoExpress comparsion test pointed out that despite "a firmer ride. Disappointingly, there¡¦s precious little feedback through the major controls. However, while the VW isn¡¦t fun, it does make financial sense. Not only is it cheaper...", this reader still insisted that the new German Passat, which has poorer ride/steering compromise, is better than the Japanese IS. :D

    This time, one big reason AutoExpress concluded that the IS loses is due to lack or rear leg room (for a sedan). & you can insist that the Elantra is better than the new Focus for the same reason. :P
  • bricknordbricknord Posts: 85
    The Focus and Elantra are going to compete relatively closely in the US market. I'd venture a guess that a lot of people cross-shop them as I did. Focus, Cruze, Elantra, Civic, Mazda3, Corolla, and others. They all have their strong and weak points, and I'll bet a lot of people shop some or all of these when looking for a compact car.

    I'll go out on a limb without having driven it, and say the Focus is likely to handle better and be more fun to drive. My point is that a lot of small families will be looking at the Focus and the other cars I mentioned. Rear sear room will be fairly high on the list for these people as a purchase criteria. A relatively roomy rear seat, in the compact car class, is a big selling point. A cramped rear seat is a big hurdle to overcome. It's a competitive world out there, in the car biz.

    I sold MK4 Jettas for years when I worked for a VW dealer. A big Achilles heel for us was the poor rear seat legroom of that car. If you had an infant seat or rear facing child seat, forget it. Lost sale most of the time. People really liked how the car performed, but it just didn't fit their lives. I guarantee you, having sold cars, that Ford salespeople are going to get a lot of negative reaction to the rear seat room in this car from shoppers. That's not to say that there are not other strong points of the Focus. For most small sedan shoppers, though, practicality is really high on the list of priorities. Price is also high on the list.

    Ford is not aiming for a niche car to appeal to driving enthusiasts without kids in the Focus. They are aiming for a mass volume mainstream small car. This means they want to sell a lot of them to a wide base of customers. I guarantee you what VW would deem a good sales year for the Jetta and what Ford would deem a good sales year for the Focus in the US are two different things. Ford wants a lot more volume. I think the poor rear legroom is a serious handicap.

    The car may drive great. I'll probably try to go drive it tomorrow when I get time. A Miata drives great, too, but is impractical for my family.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Have you taken a look at one of the new Jettas? Monster leg room, way more than any other car in the class.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,735
    Have you taken a look at one of the new Jettas? Monster leg room, way more than any other car in the class.

    But with with a pretty poor interior for a VW. Yes I know, they had to take away something to get to the price point.
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    You need a Lumbar support vehicle Mazda dropped it and Ford also doesn't offer it. I have a VW Golf it has it and mutilevel heated seats for driver and passenger on seperate or Mazda doesn't have it. I luv my lumbar seats too as I have lower back problems.
    The focus to me is way over priced. I have all the bells and whistles and paid less than what a loaded SE cost. I don't need sync.I have blue tooth and just swap my Nuvi from car to car. :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited April 2011
    Does the new Jetta have an interior as nice as the new Focus (especially the full-Zoot versions)? Nope, not by a long shot. That said, the interior of the new Jetta is nicer than what's in my low end 2009 Mazda3 i Touring Value Edition.
  • bricknordbricknord Posts: 85
    edited April 2011
    Yes, I used to sell Volkswagens for 5 years. Quite familiar with VWs...have probably owned 25 of them from a 412 to Vanagons to all Jetta and Golf gens 1-6. Diesel, gas, you name it.

    I have driven the new Jetta. I'm not a fan. I don't really care for the 2.5L engine, and the MPG on the new Jetta is subpar compared to the competitors in the Jettas size range. Yeah, you can get a diesel Jetta, but having owned several TDI cars in the past that were excellent, I'm not into how complex they've become, with high pressure common rail pumps that have a hard time with ULSD, particulate traps, etc. The current Jetta to me has no unique value proposition other than the name Volkswagen. To get a decent trim level, you have to get the 2.5 gasser, with poor MPG and mediocre performance...not to mention the Elantra now has a nicer interior than the Jetta. I'd actually buy a 2.0L stick shift S trim car as those are antiquated but stone reliable...but you can't get cruise at any price, a major oversight in my opinion. You are correct, though, the legroom in rear is great. I'm familiar with VW reliability too, from the inside selling and owning many of them...not the greatest.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    For my part, the diesel availibity in the Jetta is a key factor in my potentially buying one. Why? Well, Mrs. Shipo may be taking a new job several states away, and (assuming we move to a location which would make her commute easy) for me to keep my current gig I'd need to change offices and then commute 85 miles each way per day.

    I'm thinking a Jetta or Golf TDI with a 6-Speed manual would fit the bill perfectly. That said, the first thing I'd do if I was to buy either would be to have the door panels and seating material replaced with leather, perforated leather in areas that contact the body. :)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    A Miata drives great, too, but is impractical for my family.

    That's why you should compare the new Focus to the Miata :P

    Actually the old Focus (SVT, ST, etc.) is more like the Miata -- noisier & even more fun than the new Focus, despite having adult-size rear leg room :)

    The Focus really doesn't belong to the economy family compact-sedan class -- it's price is too high begin with, & adults sitting in the back will find this car obsolete.

    The new Focus is like a fun-to-drive 2 seater, not unlike the the Lexus IS250 or BMW 1-series.

    If you keep comparing cars base on price alone, then the Fiesta 1.6 is also quite comparable to the new Jetta 2.0, which feels like twice as big inside...

    Just b/c the cars all have 4 doors & similar price, that doesn't mean they are that comparable.

    It is correct that Ford doesn't really have a true sedan in the compact economy class now. Instead, the new Focus is a premium sporty car.

    Like how VW Jetta (front, rear) & Golf (front, rear) continued w/ the previous generation in Canada, etc., just bring back the roomy & inexpensive Focus SVT or even a Focus SVT sedan!
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    You need a Lumbar support vehicle Mazda dropped it and Ford also doesn't offer it.

    You sure?

    This German engineered car had it since dawn, but US consumers were too cheap to pay for it. So it disappeared for a while...
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    I'd actually buy a 2.0L stick shift S trim car as those are antiquated but stone reliable...but you can't get cruise at any price, a major oversight in my opinion. You are correct, though, the legroom in rear is great. I'm familiar with VW reliability too, from the inside selling and owning many of them...not the greatest.

    For the first time in VW history, Consumer Reports gave the made-in-Germany 5-cyl Golf high mark in reliability. Yes, you can have both cruise & reliability in a VW. Turbo & turbo diesel just won't cut it. Reliability is more important than fuel economy, at least it's financially true.

    The rear seating in the new Jetta has more than enough room for my 5'11" frame, but the cushion is uncomfortably low for my "long" legs. The low chair in the back of the new BMW 5-series may not provide any more room, but at least the rear cushion is angled upward to support my thighs.

    The current Golf is still roomy enough for me in the back while providing the right high-chair seating position, so therefore way more comfortable than the new Jetta! & yes it has high quality made-in-Germany interior to compete w/ the new Focus. So hurry & collect this last premium-interior VW if you don't mind less steering feel than the Focus.
  • bricknordbricknord Posts: 85

    Of course I don't compare care on price alone. Price, however, is a factor, and market segments are defined by price to a certain extent, as well as physical size, function, etc. Jetta, Civic, Focus, Elantra, etc, are all fairly direct market competitors. You don't think people are going to cross shop the Focus and Elantra along with the Civic and Jetta? Really?

    Diesel VW? I've owned 5 or 6 of those. The last one I would own with my own money was made in 2006 or 7. Once they went to common rail, I'm out. My research indicates that the CR system VW uses is unsuited for long term durability on the diesel fuel we have available in the US. Too little lubricity in our ULSD. Bosch, Continental, Denso, Delphi, and other suppliers have weighed in on this subject. Basically, to have components perform reliably long term, you need to supply the components fuel with a better lubricity rating than what we have available in the US, i.e. lower wear scar rating. I've talked to some service people I trust, who have current dealership service experience with the new VW diesels, and they told me to avoid them as they stand now. I can't go into it more here, but I worked at a dealer for quite a while, and know enough people still in the VW business to get accurate advice. Techs and service managers. So no TDI for me, as they are now.

    2.5L Golf? Great car. Just about ideal for me, actually. In the days of $4 gasoline, I can't justify a car that gets 30 mpg highway at best. My new minimum would be high 30's. If the Cruze Eco can do it, the Focus can do it, and the Elantra can do it, it's obviously possible to get 40 mpg from a compact car. Civic is also close. VW is way behind in fuel economy from gas engines, at least here in the states.
  • bricknordbricknord Posts: 85
    Very familiar with VW reliability. In addition to having 5 years experience selling them, I've owned more VWs before, during, and after my sales stint than I have fingers and toes. 1966 models through 2009. Gas and diesel. I'll need more than one or two CR ratings before I think they've got it down anywhere near the territory of Honda, for instance.
  • bricknordbricknord Posts: 85
    Getting off topic with Focus, apologies. I intend to drive the Focus tomorrow if I can find one that's test driveable, and post my impressions. I like enough about the car so far to give it a chance if I can make the rear seat work, assuming it's a sweet drive. Enough on the merits of VWs, or lack thereof, on this thread.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,854
    Yep... got to maintain Focus!


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