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2012 Ford Focus



  • I was going to buy a Mazda3 but did not because of the rough ride. The S had a rougher ride with its low profile tires than the i did with regular tires. According to Ford's website the Focus sedas all have low profie tires which could mean a rough ride. The Focus also is wider than most compacts.

    The '12 Focus also has 10 more foot pounds of torque. Did the '11 Focus have a good ride?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited January 2011
    I admit it, I like my cars fully loaded, errr, that is fully loaded save one option, the despised autotragic transmission.

    With the above in mind, I was thrilled to see that Ford is offering all kinds of bells and whistles on the full zoot 2012 Focus, however, for those of us with the requirement of three pedals under the dash, we have to settle for the lowly SE model. Yo! Ford! What's up with that?

    I guess my Mazda3 will have to soldier on a little longer.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,600
    Probably because experience has shown that the 7 possible customers willing to buy a fully loaded car with a manual transmission just isn't a big enough market to chase.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Given that the engine is no different across the various models, it costs nothing to offer the manual across the board as well. As for the seven possible customers, in this market segment it's going to be a whole lot more than that.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,407
    Make that 8. I am with shipo on this.

    Why market it as sporty and fun to drive and then take away the thing that makes it so on the top models?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited January 2011
    The thing is, only Ford and GM seem to be taking this approach with their latest offerings; pretty much every other car in this segment offers a manual transmission in even their full zoot models. Dumb move Ford, really dumb move.

    For my part, I'd really love to have a new Focus Titanium with all of the trimmin's and a manual transmission. If Ford chooses to eschew this market segment, my only real options will be either another Mazda or another VW.

    Now, if Ford was looking at the numbers for the previous version of the Focus and trying to extrapolate how many manual transmission models they might sell in this version, then I, A) understand their reasoning, and B) call the analysis an epic fail. Why? Simple, the old Focus was so unbelievably lame that no enthusiast worth his or her salt would consider that car (stick shift or no); not so the new one which should (or at least could) garner many conquest sales over the likes of the Mazda3 GT (which is offered in a stick).
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    You guys can blame me, in part, for the situation. I currently drive a manual, but I'll be shopping for an automatic. Part of the reason is that I want others (ie, my wife), to be able to drive my car at any given moment.

    But a bigger reason is to allow me to focus on my driving. WaaaaAAHH?!! you ask? I know it doesn't make any sense, but having to work the stick is one more area that requires attention and takes a hand off the wheel, and driving is becoming more and more complicated, with cellphones, and texting, and horrible traffic, and bad drivers, and GPS systems, and crap on the road, and screaming kids, and so many other things that divert the driver from the core task of driving safely.

    I say all this in spite of the fact that: I barely text at all, and never in the car. I barely use the cellphone in the car. I don't use an ipod or other devices in the car. I usually hand the GPS to my wife and have her enter the address in. All I typically do is listen to the radio. I like to think of myself as a driver dedicated to driving and staying 100% alert to the situation.

    BUT, I know I will have to deal with all that sooner or later. My next phone almost certainly be a smart phone. I have an 18-month old, and another kid will probably pop up in a few years. Synch will surely help, but I'm frankly NOT willing to give myself the benefit of the doubt when it comes to something like driving.

    Call it cynicism, call it being overly protective, if you want. But I believe many people think too highly of their ability to multitask behind the wheel.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,407
    I feel quite the opposite. Shifting keeps you more in tune with the car and keeps you from being distracted.
  • I am headed to the dealer tomorrow to test drive the 11 Focus SES model. The only reason I am is because I requested a Brochure from ford and they sent me one with a $750.00 cash bonus on top of any deal I can get. All 3 Ford dealers agreed to sell me any Focus for invoice then I get a $3000.00 rebate then $750.00 more. That is Really tough to pass up. I forgot to mention the Moon and tune discount of $900.00. I will let you know how the SES rides
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,897
    edited January 2011
    This is the first I've seen. - l

    The DSG tranny seems to be a "searcher". Hope that is preproduction and they get it settled down. These manufactures are skating on thin ice if they try to achieve a couple of mpgs by having these trannies jump around.

    I'm also not a fan of the shiny piano black plastic Ford uses on the dash. Some like it but it looks cheap to me. Rest of the interior looks really good though. Handling sounds great too.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,897
    Update: Google search reveals several more "first drive" reviews are out there including Edmunds.
  • yerth10yerth10 Posts: 428
    Will both Hatch & Sedan versions get a Flex fuel engine which can run on E85 as well. Edmunds says so.
  • merckxmerckx Posts: 565
    In that this Focus is really jusy the 2001 model warmed over because Ford didn't have the conviction to send us the redesigned new one, you'd think any car guy would find it to be mediocre at best.

    But I think the 2011 Focus has a very pleasant ride. I find myself liking it a lot more than I'd imagine.....Dealers are indeed offering generous discounts on them now...i think this Focus has a lot to offer.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    To whom it may concern,

    I have been closely following the development and ultimately the release of the 2012 Ford Focus with great anticipation; and have been planning on buying one sometime this year. Unfortunately I find that the only version of the new Focus that is available with a manual transmission is the SE model, a model that cannot be had with many of the premium options bestowed upon the SEL and the Titanium versions.

    I have to ask, what genius decided that those of us whom prefer to drive a manual transmission don't want such options as an HD Radio, Climate Control, Rain Sensing Wipers, and Heated Exterior Mirrors?

    This glaring oversight will prevent me from buying a Focus. Dumb move Ford, really dumb move.

    Best regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Response from Ford:


    Dear Shipo,

    Thank you for contacting Ford Motor Company on 1/23/2011 11:32:42 PM. We appreciate the time you have taken to write us.

    We are happy to hear about your interest in the completely redesigned 2012 Ford Focus! Unfortunately, there are no plans at this time to offer the 2012 Focus with a fully manual transmission. The 2012 Focus SEL and Titanium will be available with the SelectShift automatic transmission with manual mode which allows the driver to change gears up or down, without using a clutch. SelectShift is engaged by moving the shifter to the Manual (M) position. Shifting is done manually with a gearshift-mounted switch by pressing the “+” rocker switch to up-shift and the “—” rocker switch to downshift the transmission. Sequential gear engagement does not require operating a clutch and the system automatically protects against damaging shift scenarios.

    This is a decision based on our extensive market research. This research includes input from loyal customers such as yourself. We always love to hear our loyal customers' opinions and would like to document your product feedback regarding an available manual transmission. To provide your product related feedback, please follow these steps:

    1. Visit
    2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the "Contact Ford" link.
    3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Ideas and Suggestions" under the "Email" section. The link directs you to the appropriate feedback page.
    4. Complete the form and select the "Submit" button.

    If you are in the market for a new Ford vehicle and would like to learn about the current incentives available or receive a brochure, please contact our Marketing department at 1-800-334-4375. We are here Monday – Friday, 9 A.M. – 6 P.M. EST to assist you. When you call, we can also set up a demonstration drive at a time and location of your choice to experience the vehicle first hand.

    Thank you for contacting Ford Motor Company.

    [Customer Relations Rep]
    Ford Motor Company
    Ford Marketing Program Headquarters
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My response to their response:


    Hello [Customer Relations Rep],

    Thank you for taking the time to write me regarding my disappointment about the lack of manual transmission availability on the new 2012 Focus Titanium; I appreciate the personal touch in this day and age of automated this-that-and-the-other-thing.

    Unfortunately, my feeling is that the information you presented me with sounds like a bunch of marketing double talk. From my perspective, the new 2012 Focus is the very first American car offered to the market in this segment that can compete (and win) against the likes of the Mazda3, the Golf/Rabbit/Jetta/GTI/GLI siblings, the Civic, and the Corolla. Every one of those cars listed offer a manual transmission on all of their various trim levels, and all of them sell well enough to keep the manual transmission in the line-up. If Ford chooses to ignore what their competition is doing, then Ford needs to be prepared to lose sales to said competition.

    As for the SelectShift automatic transmission, your marketing department may say it has a "Manual Mode", but saying it doesn't make it so (a true manual mode would require a clutch pedal and an "H-Pattern" shifter to sprout in their proper locations every time the "Manual Mode" option is enabled; something that I doubt will happen anytime soon). The English language is very specific in cases like this; if one were to refer to a dictionary one would see that the SelectShift transmission has a "Semi-Automatic Mode", a mode that is a very poor alternative for those of us whom prefer to shift our transmissions for ourselves.

    On the subject of your "extensive market research", all I can say is that if sales of pre-2011 Focus were part of the decision matrix, the selection of this particular metric was a poor choice of criteria. Why? Because the previous Focus was a vehicle that no enthusiast worth his or her salt would even consider over something like the relatively sporty Mazda3. Said another way, for folks (like myself) that prefer a small economical car with good driving dynamics, the pre-2012 Focus wasn't even remotely in the game.

    Unless Ford ultimately decides to reverse the arbitrary decision to discriminate against the segment of the driving population which prefers to drive cars with manual transmissions, the 2012 Focus has gone from the number one position on my "short list" of new cars to not even being considered as an "also ran".

    I will take your advice and submit a comment under the "Ideas and Suggestions" section of the Ford web site.

    Best regards,
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    My comments posted to Ford on their "Ideas and Suggestions" contact link:


    I've had an E-Mail exchange with [Customer Relations Rep] via Ford's address regarding the availability of a 2102 Ford Focus Titanium equipped with a manual transmission. As she tells the tale, it's not going to happen; period, full stop, the end. I would like to suggest that Ford offer something along the lines of a limited edition 2012 Focus with a name badge which says “Titanium-M”; an otherwise fully optioned car that can only be had in black with a stick shift. By separating a "Titanium-M” badged Focus from the run-of-the-mill Focus, by bet is that any limited run of such a car would sell out before even the first copy made it to a dealership.

    For my part, unless Ford decides to offer the Titanium model with a manual transmission, it looks like my next car will either be another Mazda3 or maybe a VW GTI, both offered with a 6-Speed manual transmission.

    Best regards,
  • iwant12iwant12 Posts: 269
    Myself, I like an automatic tranny, but that "rocker switch" in the new Focus is bogus. Why not a gated shifter, or a slap shift, or paddle shifters? I think the new Explorer has the same thing, which to me is a major turnoff. Sans the rocker switch, the new Focus looks like an impressive car.
  • My latest Car and Driver also contained a review. It's available online here: ve_review
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    You must be looking at different info than I am. indicates that heated mirrors are available on the SE. You can also get a lot of telematics (SIRIUS, MyFord, SYNC), leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, moonroof, alloys, sport-tuned suspension, etc. Quite a lot of equipment for a "base" model. About the only big items missing are navigation and a power driver's seat. I guess if you really need features like climate control, HD radio, and rain-sensing wipers, you won't like the SE. But few (if any?) economy cars come with all those features. Hardly any have power seats. And of course there's portable nav systems.

    If you want a top-trim hatch with a stick, there's always the GTI or A3...
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