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2012 Ford Focus



  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited February 2011
    Hmmm, when I originally checked the Ford 2012 Focus web site I found I was unable to configure a car with heated mirrors and a manual transmission. Now however, I find the SE is available with the "SE Winter Package" that has heated mirrors, I wonder if that's a late update to the web site. That's a start; a start big enough to possibly tip the balance.

    Unfortunately I really want (but don't need) the following unavailable (in a Focus SE/Manual Transmission) options on my next car:

    Nice to have options 'cus I like'em:

    - Power Seats
    - HD Radio (I really could care less about Satellite Radio)
    - Sony 10 Speaker Audio System

    Options that I've had on other cars and find extremely useful when driving around in areas with highly changeable weather like what we experience here in New England:

    - Rain Sensing Wipers
    - Dual zone automatic climate control

    As for having to go up-market to get the above goodies, nope, not necessary. The Mazda3 s Grand Touring models are configurable with the following features as standard or optional equipment:

    - Rain Sensing Wipers
    - Automatic Climate Control
    - Power Driver's Seat
    - Bose Audio System

    In addition, the Mazda is available with the following:

    - 17" wheels (versus the 16" setup of the Focus SE Sport Package)
    - 6-Speed Manual (versus the 5-Speed unit on the Focus SE)
    - Xenon headlights (versus the Halogen units on the Focus)
    - Most of the other lesser important (to me anyway) features of the Focus Titanium

    The problem is, the Mazda is both butt-ugly (to my eye) and gets crummy fuel economy compared to the Focus; that and I've been trying to buy from American companies for quite some time. Other than minivans, the Focus is the first car from an American company I've found which almost fits my requirements (a Titanium with a 6-Speed manual would be literally perfect).


    I'm thinking the addition of the SE Winter Package is very likely to have been a late addition to the web site. Why? If you look on the "Exterior Features" tab on the "Compare Models" page, you'll see that the feature called "Power mirrors, body-color, manual fold with integrated side marker lamps" says "Not Available" instead of "Optional".
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,630
    edited February 2011
    According to configurator, 17" wheels are available as a separate option on the SE.

    You are demonstrating that there is no such thing as a perfect car. So you'll have to decide what's more important to you: buying an American car that looks good to you, or having to man up (wink) and turn on the wipers when it rains, adjust the climate control for yourself (considering that 6 months out of the year in New England, you can just set it to "full heat" and be done with it), adjust the seat with manual controls, and make do with fewer speakers (or install an aftermarket sound system).

    To me, the biggest issue with the SE MT would be the lack of a 6-speed. C'mon, Ford, even inexpensive cars like the 2012 Accent get standard 6MTs!

    One thing to consider is that you don't have to look at the outside of your car very often--unless you like to sit there staring at it for long periods of time. So I would think the interior and driving experience would be more important to you. And, what's a few bucks more for gas each month if you like the car otherwise?

    No, there is no perfect car... only compromises. Which is what makes car shopping fun. If there were perfect cars, what would be the sport in that?
  • I just found this fairly detailed review at

    Those of you wondering about handling package availability might want to check it out. In short, the Titanium suspension got great reviews, but the normal suspension did very well also. The author also clarifies that there may be some configuration errors on the Ford website.
  • I stopped by the Washington DC Auto Show over the weekend. I got to check out the 2012 Focus and a number of its competitors. Ford is moving the Focus slightly upscale in the C-segnment, but then again, so is most of the competition, which is good news for those of us who like small cars.

    Below are some of my comments on the Focus Hatchback and its competition. (I'm shopping for a hatchback, so sorry to those of you who want to talk about sedans-- no Cruz, etc. here.)

    Among the contenders in the "semi-premium, 4-door, compact hatchback" category, the contenders are:

    -2012 Ford Focus ($18,790 - $23,490) - 160 hp - I sat behind the wheel of a Titanium Hatchback and Titanium Sedan. The hatchback was decked out with a "Rally" paintjob, but I'm pretty sure that feature was just that: a paintjob on an otherwise normal Titanium. The ST hatchback was also there, up on the closed off pedestal; also a full-blown Focus race car was also available to peep into. I actually don't have a ton to say about the Focus. I think the photos on the web do it justice. The interior was about as nice as I expected. I will admit that I have a hard time distinguishing, at a glance, the Focus from a Fiesta. On the way to work today, I gawked at a 2012 Focus sedan rolling by me and only realized a few minutes later that it was almost certainly a Fiesta. If anyone is interested in the pics I took at the show, let me know and I'll post them up somehow.

    -Mazda3 hatchback ($20,045 - $23,010) 148,167 hp - I consider the 3 to be the Focus's most obvious competition. I only spent a fraction of time looking at the 3 at the show. I've always liked the 3, and Mazda sells them like hotcakes around here. Surprisingly, it's somewhat big compared to the Focus (177 inches compared to 171).

    -VW Golf 4dr ($19,755 - $24,985) 140, 170 - Though it's a bit small, I consider the Golf to be a natural competitor. The Golf basically invented this segment. I'm fairly impressed by the trunk size of a Golf, considering that it's pretty small compared to the others on this list. I wouldn't go so far as to consider the GTI in this segment.

    -Toyota Matrix ($18,545 - $19,265) 132,158 - As far as I know, this was the only Toyota not present at the Auto Show. Apparently, the Matix is currently undergoing some sort of refresh. I test drove a Matrix about 2 years ago; it was a nice car but a bit smaller than what I was looking for at the time.

    -Subaru Impreza i ($17,995 - $18,995) 170 - Whoa, I was majorly disappointed by the Impreza i premium. Granted, most of the subaru benefits are probably evident only through driving. But the interior seemed so dated and cheap compared to other models here. The Scubie rep. proudly affirmed that yes, this was the top-of-the-line Impreza i. Maybe he saw the look on my face, because he quickly mentioned that the interior on the Outback version is slightly better. I don't consider the WRX to be a competitor to the Focus, since it's riding a 100hp advantage over just about all the cars on this list. We'll wait for the RS for that comparo.

    -Mitsubishi Lancer sportback ($16,995 - $19,895) 148,168 hp - If I have the Impreza i on this list, then why not the Lancer? For some reason, Mitsubishi was the only major make not present at the Auto Show. I really have no other comment.

    -Hyundai Elantra Touring ($15,995 - $20,295) 138 - Another disappointment to me. The Elantra is perhaps the one car for which I think the sedan looks better than hatch version. The hatch seems to combine all the worst elements of an old-school wagon and minivan. But what really let me down at the Auto Show was the interior. It was okay, but seemed generally austere and unremarkable. I was expecting more considering the very positive buzz floating about on the latest Hyundais.

    -Kia Forte 5-dr - ($16,895 - $18,395) 156,173 hp. While the Scubie and Hyundai disappointed, the Forte was a very pleasant surprise. The interior quality seemed much more comparable to the Focus, in features and quality. I simply would not have thought of the Forte as a natural competitor, but it seems like a strong package, with very strong pricing.

    Dodge Calibre - ($16,880 - $20,085) 158,172. What to make of the Calibre? I don't think I've ever read a truly positive review of the Calibre. I used to own a Neon; I didn't think it was THAT bad, and the Calibre has to be an improvement, right?

    -VW Jetta ($19,995 - $24,995) - 140,170 hp. If I had to pick one VW to be on this list, it would be the Golf. But the Jetta is only a smidge larger than the other cars on this list. I personally think the current Jetta is pretty ugly, but the hatch is better looking than the sedan (german corolla).

    Here are some others, though they're a bit of a stretch.

    The Nissan Versa Hatchback ($13,910 - $16,940), 122, is a bit of an oddball, almost too big for the A segment yet pretty tiny for the C segment (but still bigger than a Golf). It's got several thousand dollars over the cars on this list, but it tends to show. Other wildcards are the Nissan Juke and the upcoming 3-door Hyundai Velostar. I wonder if anyone would cross-shop a Focus with a Volvo C30(breaks my 4-door rule) or Cooper Clubman, though that's climbing pretty high in price.

    Did I miss anyone?
  • Ever feel like you're just talking to yourself?

    The semi-sucky Elantra and Impreza I saw at the show are partly explained by the fact that new models are on the way within the next two years. They look quite nice. Pics are available at autoblog (and probably somewhere here on Edmunds too).

    Ten years ago, I would have walked into an auto show knowing all that already. How times have changed.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,630
    I suppose replying to your own post could be considered talking to yourself.

    Personally I like the Elantra Touring, because of the great utility e.g. limo-like rear seat leg room, huge cargo hold. Not the swoopiest looking hatch; it's really a wagon. But it really needs the powertrain of the 2011 Elantra sedan, for better fuel economy.

    fyi... it's Veloster. Velostar sounds like some kind of cousin to the Ford Aerostar.
  • Whoops, yea. Or like a competitor to onstar and sync.
  • Does anyone know when the new Focus is going to show up at the dealers?
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    Believe I read sometime in March but not positive.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Two dealerships in our area have at least one, that said, I don't know if they're for sale or if they're just for show.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 7,611
    Probably end of March - job 1 was early January and it typically takes about 2 months for vehicles to reach the dealerships.
  • My friend bought an Elantra Touring a couple months ago, and boy, is she sorry. I loved the idea of that car, myself, but my god. It rides rougher than any car I've ever been in, and I started driving old cars in the early 1970s. You literally fly out of your seat going over wavy pavement or bumps that my stupid Kia Sportage glides smoothly over.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,630
    Too bad she didn't test drive it on all kinds of roads before buying it.
  • m6userm6user Posts: 2,898
    edited February 2011
    I've read a lot of Elantra reviews and none really had a major problem with ride in comparison to other compact cars. Maybe people downsizing are noticing it more.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited February 2011
    hatchback in 5-speeds, painted 16" wheels and it came out to around $20,800 from the Car and Driver link. That with the Goldfinger color. Includes a sport tuning package and stiffened suspension. Here's a red SE hatchback with the sport package.

    2012 Ford Focus SE hatchback, sport-tuned with 16" alloys

    You can get a 5-speed stick with the SE model!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • The review at

    claims that the availability of a sport suspension on the SE is a mistake. Not sure who's right about this though I hope they get this sorted out.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    edited February 2011
    I've read multiple reviews panning Ford's decision to place the manumatic shift buttons on the shift knob rather than use steering wheel mounted paddles.

    To those of you who drive cars with a manumatic feature, I'm wondering: how often do you guys/gals actually use this feature?

    I can shift by pushing the shift knob forward and backward in my Mazda5, but I don't think I've actually used it once since getting the car almost two years ago. Granted, I'm a tamer driver now than I was five years ago. But in most cases, if I need the extra juice, I just stomp the pedal and let the auto shift down naturally.
  • wow, now I want to know about the SE tuned suspension availability. Hate ta say it but Ford is probably not gonna include a fancy suspension on the SE model. But I'd still consider that model because the stick is available.

    Then again, like you, for family reasons (i.e., son can't drive stick shift) I'll probably just go Titanium in gold, anyway, and enjoy the taught suspension in one of those.

    On our 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS we have paddle shifters, 6 forward "gears" and 6 minus "gears." I use them about 5% of the time I drive is the answer to that. Ford putting the "shifter" on the gearknob is good planning, in my view. Just learn where it is and it'll be safer to have it there. I have gotten used to using my paddle shifters on our Lancer GTS, too, and they're very safe to use, too.

    Long story short, it's no deal-breaker by any stretch. I might just go titanium with the 6-speed automatic.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • sandman_6472sandman_6472 Coral Springs, FLPosts: 2,579
    Ditto, have never used this feature in our M3...never even thought about it actually.

    The Sandman :) :sick: :shades:

    2014 Hyundai Tuscon SE/2005 Mazda 3s/2008 Hyundai Accent GLS/2009 Nissan Versa SL hatch

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