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2012 Ford Focus

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Comments

  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,797
    X plan is just over dealer invoice and there is only $1000 - $1200 between dealer invoice and MSRP. You might save $2K with additional incentives but X plan alone will only save you $1200 or so at most from MSRP and only a few hundred from what you could negotiate yourself.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,489
    ...but X plan alone will only save you $1200 or so at most from MSRP and only a few hundred from what you could negotiate yourself.

    Still makes X Plan a winner IMHO.

    The best part of X Plan is being able to walk into the dealer and say you are an X Plan buyer. It makes the process so easy.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,797
    My last 5 vehicles were X plan purchases. I wouldn't buy any other way. I was just pointing out that it's not going to save you thousands. Hundreds maybe but not thousands.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I think I'm going to do some test-driving this weekend (before shopping row gets insane). It's interesting the option mixes between the two of these, the Focus can REALLY get up there. I'd probably be looking at an SEL or Titanium hatch versus a SkyActiv GT hatch. I had a 2004 Mazda3 and absolutely loved how it handled, but hated the FE and road noise. On the other hand, the Focus looks nice and gadgety, and I can get auto climate control. Any advice on what to look for, or suitably biased opinions? This is a Focus forum after all. :shades:
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited November 2011
    ...hated the FE and road noise? You must had the 2.3 w/ the energy-wasting balance shafts. B/c CR tested the old Mazda3 2.0 stick & praised how it broke their FE record...

    Yep, compare the Mazda3 2.0 Skyactive w/ the 2012 Ford Focus SFE.

    & if you don't care about FE, & simple want gobs of torque w/o turbo/super charging, then compare Mazda3's 2.5 w/ the more powerful 5-cyl 2.5 in the Golf, but Toyota's 2.5 can do even better in both FE & power.
  • I rented a 2012 Focus SEL in July and had the car for a week. Overall a very nice car, but I was disappointed in the automatic transmission. It seemed to stumble when starting from a stop. There is an "S" mode, which helped, but to me, this would be a deal breaker for this car. It was annoying all week long, as the car was not smooth on take off from a dead stop.

    I understand Ford is working on this problem, but in reading many posts regarding the transmission, many Ford dealers are saying nothing is wrong, stating you need to learn how to drive the car, etc.

    I am going to be looking for a new car in a couple of months, and probably will look at a Focus, but if the transmission is still a herky jerky affair, it will be off the list in a hurry.

    My other note on this car that there is no cubby in that can hold sunglasses, keys, change, toll tag etc. in the front console.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Yeah, I've heard about the tranny, it is giving me a moment of pause, though they've supposedly updated the programming on it as well as the MyFordTouch system. I don't expect much from the dealer salesmen, but I do know what the difference is between an automated DSG and an automatic is (unlike some of them), so we'll see.

    I really REALLY want auto climate control though, and the Focus has it. The Mazda3 doesn't have it in the SkyActiv trims, and the 2.5 has rotten FE.

    BTW yes I did have the thirsty 2.3L when I had a Mazda3. Yes it did have the engine problems that they had, which is why I now own a Hyundai Elantra Touring. Having realized Hyundai is a mistake for those who love the sense of zoom-zoom in the twisties, I am now trying to correct things. :shades:
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited November 2011
    I'm kind of in the same boat as you except (apparently) I'm being even more unreasonable than you in that I want a Mazda3 SkyActive or a Focus, with climate control AND a manual transmission. Mazda and Ford both say, "Good for you, shop somewhere else."
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    I get stuck in traffic too much to put up with a third pedal, but what's with Ford putting a TOGGLE on the shifter instead of putting in a slapshifter?

    If I want auto climate I have to give up a slapshifter, now THAT'S a tragedy. :)

    I'm contemplating the Focus trims...I'll really need to try the seats out, because leather is a question mark. Then again, I'm tempted to stick with the SEL so I can get a non-black interior...but that means giving up the sport suspension. Decisions Decisions. :shades:
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,797
    Bought a SEL hatch for my daughter back in July. There was some stumbling at low speeds at first but that went away after a month or so. It's still there now but only about 10% of the time and even then it's not bad. There appear to be a few units that truly have mechanical problems and there is a TSB for new software that should help a lot.

    This is a dry clutch unit (first one for Ford) and it's not quite as smooth as the wet clutch versions in Europe or a traditional automatic - but it does get good mpg.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    When I stopped in at a local Ford dealer to drive a Focus with a stick, the sales rep asked me why I was looking for a stick vs. automatic. I told him I missed having a stick shift (had one for many, many years but of late have been getting automatics so my DW or kids don't ruin the clutch like they did with one of my cars a few years ago). Also I said I had read that the automatic wasn't smooth. He seemed to get defensive at that comment and started rambling about how many people don't know how to drive an automatic. :surprise:

    Anyway, I drove the stick (SE sedan) and liked it a lot. So I'd go that route if I got a Focus. Save some bucks that way also.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    We visited our local Ford dealer a few weeks ago and during our conversation with the salesman, he said that he, his dealership, and even momma Ford were surprised at the number of folks wanting manual transmissions in the new Focus. His dealership is currently ordering 60% of their Focus SE models for stock inventory with a manual transmission, and if the Titanium was available with a stick, he said he'd probably sell those at a one for one ratio.

    Funny thing, this dealership even had a number of Fusion models on the lot with three pedals under the dash.
  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla MarylandPosts: 704
    That herky-jerky start is a characteristic of a DSG transmission... or for that matter, any manual clutch if you pound the gas pedal the same moment you let your foot off the brake.

    If you treat the car as if you would a stick, you'll see it respond better. (for it, in essence, *IS* a stick without the clutch pedal)
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Ok, started the car dealer dance today. Test drove a Cruze LTZ, a Focus Titanium (with standard Titanium suspension, not the enhanced suspension) and a Mazda3 SkyActiv. Interesting rides. Even though I wouldn't buy the Cruze, it was very comfortable and drove very smoothly. Nice tranny, gobs of torque, but the suspension, while it could be pushed some, didn't really want to be pushed, you could tell. Might have been the el-cheapo torsion beam. Steering was kinda numb too. Figured I'd check it out since I get a supplier discount. They showed me a loaded '11 and seemed really hot to get rid of it....

    The Focus rode nice as well. Not as firm as I expected, but very sharp handling. Surpisingly I expected the wheel to be a little meatier and all the buttons to be difficult to deal with, but they turned out OK. Very comfortable leather seats, wouldn't want to sit in the back though. Love the extra blind spot mirror on the rearview mirrors. I just wish the wheel were a little thicker, and I could get the interior in something other than black. THe transmission was what I expected, definitely doesn't feel like a slushbox at low speeds, that will take getting used to. Loved the MyFordTouch system

    Getting into the Mazda3 made me realize how much I missed driving one. ANd while I like the improvements, and LOVE the SkyActiv engine and auto-tranny to death, there's areas of the car that need some work, like the entire center stack, and the confusing steering wheel buttons (though the wheel itself is pleasantly meaty). The suspension beat the Focus's sport suspension....but not by much, and the Focus has more creature comforts available.

    Really tough decision here. Leaning toward the Focus though. WHile the Mazda is a more fun drive, the Ford is fun enough and offers some goodies the Mazda doesn't have.
  • Thanks for the suggestion about a stick shift. I haven't had a stick for 20 years, but always enjoyed driving one! I will take a look at a SE model with a stick shift, when I begin my search for a new car (and hopefully a Focus) in a couple of months.

    Bel Air Car Guy
  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    edited November 2011
    Well, I tried out the SEL HB and ,If came away with anything it was to wait until next year. No six speed manual, the DSG tranny is scary and a sealed unit. The Focus is built on the Mazda 3 platform and the ride was supple and the fun factor was there.(on back roads in lower gears)
    Also, the engine is not interfaced(has a chain).The fit and finish it was excellent.The interior is so so with alot of plastic. I'd get the leather.The center stack and steering wheel buttons took a little getting use to.
    Well, I hope the Euro Focus 6 spd 180HP comes over that would be a nice ride plus I like those blinking blind spot mirrors.(Car@Driver)
    I tried the SE 5spd and it was a hoot and it had all the options that the SEL had heated seats ,moonroof (which I thought the SE didn't offer) If it was a 6 spd and lumbar we could of talked.The price was 1K less.($23075.00)You get what you pay for and I think because there is little mark up due to bank loans Ford took instead of the gov't bailout.So prices will stay the same. If, you want a Focus that's a drivers car and has some bells and whistles Ford has you by the throat, $24k to 26k that includes a Ti also.
    Consumer reports say the Focus quality is only fair. What do they know? I'd take their word on a toaster,but not on a car.
    Well, we are off to CO for the winter, think snow ,Puffin :shades:
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    The tranny is the only thing giving me pause. I can work with it, but the Mazda3 SkyActiv 6-speed is tons smoother. And has a proper slapshifter instead of a toggle button. Though I have to admit that toggle button is REALLY well thought out: when you pull the lever into Sport mode, it's a perfect reach for an arm sitting on the center armrest to toggle shifts. It's just not that involving.

    I guess I should try out the SEL HB to get a feel for the non-sport suspension. If I find that good enough I could avoid having to get a black interior. Keyless isn't that important to me, it'd be nice but it's not critical, and anything else I want I can get in the SEL.
  • akirbyakirby Posts: 7,797
    The Focus ST is coming next year with 250 hp ecoboost 2.0L with a 6 speed manual.

    It's more accurate to say that both the Mazda3 and Focus share the same jointly developed platform, although I think the latest Focus was developed on the Ford version of that platform alone since the Mazda relationship has gone south.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,824
    Any chance Ford will grace Foci for mere mortals (e.g. the SE) with the 6MT?
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited November 2011
    Why would you prefer a "warning light" over the U.S.-spec blind spot mirror that gives you the whole & motion picture?

    The reason I kept keeping my MkI Focus ST sedan is that its compact body-width actually comes w/ a wider rear-glass visibility than the other Focus'. & "Passing-safety visibility" corresponds to driving fun in cut-&-thrust traffic.

    MkII (never available in the U.S.):
    sedan (1, 2, 3, rear)
    hatch (rear)
    wagon


    I can't stand the MkIII having the lower corner of the rear glass (the most useful area for passing/lane-change to the right) sliced off: :sick:
    Sedan
    hatch
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited November 2011
    I took my wife out this morning for a series of test drives, on the list was a Focus SE 5-Speed, a Golf 5-Speed, a GTI 6-Speed, a Cruze ECO 6-Speed, a Mazda3 s GT 6-Speed, and if we could find one, a Subaru Impreza.

    The first stop was our local Ford dealership for a spin in the Focus; after she drove it she commented that she was impressed with the look of the car, the fit and finish, the ride and handling, the layout of the controls, and the feel of the manual gear box. Her only real complaint that the rear seat room was just too cramped for our two teenagers.

    Next up was a dealership that carried both Chevy and VW; after walking past a Cruze she decided to skip the test drive; she just didn't like how the car looked. I should mention that she's in the fashion industry and is very visual; no matter how good a car (or other commodity) may be from a technical perspective, if it doesn't look right, she don't want it. :)

    The GTI was a different story; before we'd even opened the door she said, "Oh yeah, this is the one!" Following the test drive she dug her heels in and refused to even consider a different car; we now have a black 2012 VW GTI 6-Speed manual sitting in the garage. As I predicted in this thread many months ago, had Ford not cut something like two inches of leg room the Focus (compared to the previous generation), we'd probably have one of those in our garage instead.
  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla MarylandPosts: 704
    It says volumes that a Ford Focus is being cross-shopped with a VW GTI.

    For me, the situation was similar... but reversed. I currently have a VW GTI (Mk.V). With the extended warranty about to go along with a good understanding of how much it costs to repair VW's when something breaks... it was time to start looking for a new car.

    And it came down to the Mazda3 and the Focus. The GTI has been decontented too much to be good value in my book.

    And as for the Mazda3... it does drive slightly better than the Focus, but the Focus beats it in fuel economy and toys (electronic gadgetry).

    Plus, once you start driving with a DSG transmission... you really don't want to go back to an ordinary slushbox afterwards. Having all the benefits (engine braking!!!) of a manual without the drawbacks (rowing of the oars in heavy city traffic) is a definite plus in my book.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    And as for the Mazda3... it does drive slightly better than the Focus, but the Focus beats it in fuel economy and toys (electronic gadgetry).

    Complete agreement on the drive and the gadgets. The Mazda actually beats the Focus in FE, but by 1-2 MPG, which is not realistically significant (do the math, that comes to about $2 difference every 500 miles).

    I find that the Mazda3 drives better, but not better enough to compensate, the two are very close (expected, as they share the first-gen Focus as an ancestor). I do like Mazda's tranny a little better, but I think I'm going to end up in the Focus.

    Besides, Mazda's only offering me $8,500 for my Elantra Touring. Chevy was desperate enough to offer me $10k, so I should be able to get north of $9000 from a Ford dealer.
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 3,061
    Have a 2005 Mazda3s with the thirsty 2.3 but have had no engine problems. What are you talking about, as we've heard of no problems...been pretty reliable and we're close to 99k right now. Planning on going until 120k if possible as it's not worth much to anyone once one crosses the 100k mark. It's still quite peppy but this will be the last big engined 4 cylinder car we get, time to get her back down to a 1.8 car like my Civic. Luckily I go through about a tank a month now so we've cut back our petrol consumption that way. She'll try the new SkyActive Touring model, we've got a $25 test drive coupon, but doubt she'd want the same car again...I sure hope not as change is good and the competition has gotten so much better since 2005.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 3,061
    I liked the stone leather in the SEL that I sat in...very comfortable and soft...I really liked it. Just that I am not sure if we'll end up with one at this point. The aqua marine color did look very nice on the hatch I must say.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "It says volumes that a Ford Focus is being cross-shopped with a VW GTI."

    How so? Other than the fact that they were on the same list of cars to look at, they really aren't in the same league. After driving both cars I can honestly say there really is no comparison, with the exception of fuel economy the Focus isn't even remotely competitive with the GTI in any way shape or form.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited November 2011
    Back then, I didn't find the Mk5 Rabbit got an impressive steering feel, if any at all. So I was cross shopping the Focus ST w/ the base RX-8. Even w/ 60-series tires, the RX-8's handling limit was so high that I couldn't really have any chance to play with! So I decided to get the Focus ST in order to drift often.

    But today...Mk5 vs Mk6...Mk6 Golf has the poise of Mk5 GTI, plus better steering feel! (per C&D)

    Sept 2011 C&D:
    "One tester called the GTI's steering "medium effort." That applies to road and track alike. Which is why (Mr.) Cayman surprised us with results that had the GTI sitting atop the steering-effort pile. We can't argue the data, but the system's heft may be masked by the rack's supreme linearity. The Mini, Miata, and Evo respond well initially, but all plateau and run out of feel when they reach roughly 0.4 g of lateral load. In the GTI¯indeed, in general¯steering feels natural because effort climbs in lockstep with increases in lateral acceleration."

    So, after 1/2 a decade of experience w/ electric steering, the Golf/GTI has finally tuned it w/ the most impressive "steering effort" built-up per lateral g-force (C&D test).

    But EVO realized that the Mk6 GTI is always too much in control, too able (competent), & therefore found the "lower-handling-limit, bumpier-riding & less refined" Scirocco more fun despite lacking oversteer playfulness due to the wider rear track from the Passat.

    So my conclusion is to get the longer-spring Golf in order to extract the drifting fun from its lower handling limit, while at the same time rides way plusher than the GTI.

    C&D concurs
    "Even without GTI or R upgrades, though, the new Golf performs well. The four-link rear suspension, maligned by financial analysts but loved by testers, makes the car wonderfully stable in high-speed curves. In a typical front-driver, one can get to the limit quickly; in the new Golf, it takes real effort. And the stability control doesn't abruptly slam the brakes to kill any fun and teach you a lesson; it works smoothly and rapidly to help the car feel completely neutral."

    Winding Road
    >"...the Tiptronic transmission seems to have taken shifting lessons from VW’s excellent DSG electronic manual, meaning that it responds to driver inputs more rapidly and intuitively than before. Put these factors together and you have a really satisfying general-purpose drive train package—one that offers a smooth, punchy burst of torque off the line plus healthy surge of midrange and top-end power that makes trips to redline rewarding, too.

    Performance-minded drivers will observe that the 2.5-liter five is down about 30 horsepower and 30 pound-feet of torque relative to the 2.0 turbo four found in VW’s GTI—differences you would mostly notice higher up in the rev band as boost fully comes into play. But while the 2.0T may be the better engine for sporting applications, many drivers might find the 2.5’s superior low-end thrust that makes it the more responsive motor for cut’n’thrust city driving scenarios.

    Steering is light, accurate, and communicative, giving drivers the ability to place the Golf with precision within highway lanes or on back road curves. Suspension action is compliant yet reasonably taut—giving a plush but certainly not “mushy” ride, even on sketchy pavement surfaces.

    ...the Golf provided a day-to-day driving experience, “Not all that different” from a 3-Series BMW, which gives you some idea of just how special this little car really is."

    </a

    Visually fooled by Golf's mouse-fur interior color, initially I was envying GTI's cloth sport seats until the saleman showed me that Golf's seats are shaped the same way as GTI's.

    So why should drivers of the big-displacement 5-cyl Golf envy the GTI w/ the soft laggy turbo throttle response? CR also found the regular-unleaded 5-cyl Rabbit/Golf (w/ either stick or Aisin/Toyota slushbox) as the only reliable German car. DSG can self destruct shortly & costs $6k to replace.

    The Control-Blade (which is "Focus technology") plush-riding Golf (along w/ the reliable Aisin/Toyota slushbox) ends this year model (2012), as there will be no more threat from Golf any longer for the Focus to worry about :P
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited November 2011
    Visually fooled by Golf's mouse-fur interior color, initially I was envying GTI's cloth sport seats until the salesman showed me that Golf's seats are shaped the same way as GTI's.

    So why should drivers of the big-displacement 5-cyl Golf envy the GTI w/ the soft laggy turbo throttle response? CR also found the regular-unleaded 5-cyl Rabbit/Golf (w/ either stick or Aisin/Toyota Tiptronic slushbox) to be the only reliable German car. DSG can self destruct shortly & costs $6k to replace.

    The Control-Blade (which is "Focus technology") plush-riding Golf, along w/ the reliable Aisin/Toyota Tiptronic slushbox & even the (finally) finely honed electric steering(?), ends this model year (2012), as there will be no more threat from Golf any longer for the Focus to worry about :P

    FYI, the Beetle is now based on the Mk7 Golf...
  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 3,061
    Where's the Golf going? Or are we getting a new "Rabbit"?

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2015 Audi A3 (wife) / 2015 Golf TSI (me) / 2009 Nissan Versa SL Hatch (daughter #1) / 2008 Hyundai Accent GLS (daughter #2)

  • puffin1puffin1 Posts: 276
    edited November 2011
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