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2012 Ford Focus

1414244464766

Comments

  • gogogodzillagogogodzilla MarylandPosts: 700
    Funny that. I just traded in my GTI (Mk V) for a Focus Titanium Hatchback with sport handling package.

    Here's what I've found.

    Steering feel: the GTI is the hands down winner. I'm not saying the Focus is bad, but the GTI is probably got the best steering feel out of any affordable car on the road.

    Handling: the GTI is slightly better, but only because the steering setup is so dang good.

    Power: GTI wins, hands down. But then, it better... considering that it's got 40 more horses than the Focus.

    Fuel economy: Focus wins

    Electronic gizmos: Focus wins

    Seats: Focus wins with softer seat bottoms (GTI's were hard as a rock)... combined with good, but not intrusive, seat bolstering

    Interior material quality: GTI wins, as it's got high quality cloth covering every bit of the roof and pillars. Focus has plastic coverings on the pillars, though it does have good quality woven cloth for the ceilings. As for the rest, it's a wash. Both have soft touch plastics and buttons that are pleasing to the touch.

    Transmission: Focus wins it. Despite all the talk of the DSG transmission 'problems', it's actually smoother off the start than my GTI. The actual shifts are quicker in the GTI, but then... you also have to put up with the herky-jerky starts that you'd find on a manual if you don't give it the time to get into gear.

    Price: Focus wins. When I bought my GTI, I paid $24,000~ for it, with leather seats, 6-disc CD player, automatic dual-zone climate control, and a moonroof. To get nearly the same thing, it's roughly $28,000... and you won't find the automatic dual-zone climate control included.

    Whereas I can get all that and more in the Focus for the same price.

    ---

    So to sum it up:

    If you aren't pinching your pennies; if power and handling are paramount; if fuel economy isn't an issue; and a solidly-made interior focusing on performance is your cup of tea... then the GTI is the best car.

    But if you are pinching your pennies; if interior comfort matters slightly more than performance orientation; if fuel economy is something you worry about; and you're willing to settle for performance and handling that are very good but not masterfully superb; then the Focus is more your speed.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    There is one exceedingly important issue which your comparo completely skips over; nobody in my house is willing to tolerate a lame automatic transmission. If you want a Focus with a stick you MUST opt for a Focus SE and a 5-Speed (or a Focus S if you are okay with a sedan), and while the manual in the Ford is a decent transmission it's not in the same league as the sweet shifting 6-Speed in the GTI, a transmission which only tips its hat to the unit in the likes of the RX-8, the Miata, and the S2000.

    Said another way, the 6-Speed in the GTI is the finest manual I've ever driven in a transverse engined FWD car, the 5-Speed in the Focus is just run-of-the-mill.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Gosh, are you really saving $ trading in a DSG GTI for a DSG Focus? Or did you forget to buy your GTI an extended warranty, especially for that DSG, which can grind itself up eventually?
  • Would owners post their MPG figures AND their driving habits/areas [highway/suburban/rural]

    The vehicle should be thoroughly broken in first.

    I see MPG figures from 27 to 41mpg, so this much variation leaves me concerned.

    Thanks for your time and assistance

    DrVette
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    nobody in my house is willing to tolerate a lame automatic transmission

    Well, it's a good thing Ford doesn't have a single Focus with an automatic transmission, isn't it? :shades:

    You see, the Ford Focus has either a straight up manual or an automated dual-clutch sequential transmission.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    That kind of variation in mpg is to be expected. Driving conditions and habits vary so much. One person could drive his/her Focus in a rush-hour commute all the time, while another could have easy suburban/highway miles. One could drive like the folks at C/D (who averaged 21 mpg on their automatic tester), another could drive with a light foot and a bent towards fuel economy.

    YMMV.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "You see, the Ford Focus has either a straight up manual or an automated dual-clutch sequential transmission."

    Nope, the only correct description of the Ford dual-clutch transmission is "Automatic transmission with a semi-automatic mode". Don't believe me, get out a dictionary.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited November 2011
    My 1979 Scirocco had the torsion beam rear suspension, and it was one of the best cars I've ever driven. I suppose some folks may look down their nose at cars with such a setup, but not me.

    There's no doubt these A1-platform VW's w/ 70's technology is still one of the best today. That's why I collected an used Mk1 Jetta. But I'm pretty sure the car is even better if its rear suspension is replaced w/ multi-links.

    Would you still choose the GTI if its Control Blade multi-links are replaced w/ the torsion beam just like how Jetta's std suspension evolved from Mk5 to Mk6?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Would you still choose the GTI if its Control Blade multi-links are replaced w/ the torsion beam just like how Jetta's std suspension evolved from Mk5 to Mk6?"

    Yup, in a heartbeat; I loved flinging my Scirocco around tight curves on three wheels. :shades:
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Nope, the only correct description of the Ford dual-clutch transmission is "Automatic transmission with a semi-automatic mode". Don't believe me, get out a dictionary.

    You may want to check a simplistic dictionary, but I'll stick with more technical resources.

    An automatic transmission has a torque converter:

    http://www.familycar.com/transmission.htm
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Automatic_transmission

    A semi-automatic transmission is a transmission with manual characteristics (such as an actuated clutch and a lack of a torque converter) but with computer controls taking over some number of these functions.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semi-automatic_transmission

    A sequential manual transmission is a manual transmission that can only be shifted up and down gears, without skipping, and in which the clutch may be computer controlled.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sequential_manual_transmission

    So the Focus "automatic" is actually a sequential manual transmission with additional automation of the shifts, or a semi-automatic transmission. If you want to get really technical, it's a dual-clutch automated sequential transmission, commonly referred to as a DSG.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dual_clutch_transmission

    Here's a nice article that explains all five (yes five) major transmission types: automatic, manual, CVT, sequential manual, and dual-clutch DSG. I suppose if you separate out the torque-converter automatic-based manumatics you get six.

    Go get out the Internet. :shades: The Focus has a manual, and a dual-clutch DSG. There is no automatic. The Focus is not the first car to do this. The VW Golf TDI and the VW GTI are only available with a manual and a dual-clutch DSG. The Toyota MR2's final version was only available with a sequential manual, no automatic.

    I realize there's people out there who want things to read as follows:

    "Manual transmission: any transmission with a clutch pedal"
    "Automatic transmission: any transmission without a clutch pedal"

    Get over it. :shades:
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Would you still choose the GTI if its Control Blade multi-links are replaced w/ the torsion beam just like how Jetta's std suspension evolved from Mk5 to Mk6?

    Isn't Control Blade a Ford-owned trademark? ;)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited November 2011
    These Blades are from the original Focus, & only the original Focus engineer knows how to do it. That's why he continued to be in charged of this suspension set up on VW Passat/Jetta/Golf/GTI/A3. Of course, the Mazda3, C30/S40/V50/S80 & the (Jame Bond) Mondeo all got Control Blades. Other multi-links are less cost-effective b/c they don't got blades.

    So the Golf 2.5, which has longer suspension travel, is the most comfortable "Focus" in the world. ;)
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    the Ford dual-clutch transmission is "Automatic transmission with a semi-automatic mode".

    I was at the dealer yesterday & noticed that the Sport Package on the SE adds an "up & down" arrow on the shifter button to shift manually, as oppose to the "one way" button.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited November 2011
    Wikipedia is often an extremely poor resource for many things (given that their "articles" are written by the general public), and this is one of those cases. Like it or don't, believe it or not, the term "Automatic transmission" means a transmission which can shift for itself. Can the Ford transmission shift for itself? Yes; ergo, it is an automatic transmission first and foremost. Does the Ford transmission have a semi-automatic mode which will allow the driver to request a plus one or minus one gear change? Yes; if the request is determined to be within reason, then the transmission will execute the gear change; this means the transmission has a "Semi-Automatic" mode.

    Long story short, there is no true industry related technical resource, such as the SAE, which will refer to various automated mechanical gearboxes now penetrating the market as anything other than "Automatic" transmissions (or "Semi-Automatic" transmissions when the driver must always indicate which gear he or she wants). If a good dictionary isn't "good enough", then ask Porsche, VW, Audi, Ferrari, and even Ford; not one of them refers to this type of transmission as a "Manual".

    - Audi refers to the DSG in the A3 as a "six-speed S tronic automatic"
    - VW refers to the DSG in the GTI as a "6-speed DSG automatic"
    - Ferrari refers to their transmission as a Formula-1 "type" of gearbox (not a help in and of itself, but the Formula1.com web site says, "Formula One cars use seven-speed semi-automatic gearboxes")
    - Porsche avoids the matter entirely by calling their Automatic transmission a "Porsche Doppelkupplung" or "PDK", which literally translated means "Double Clutch".
    - Ford refers to their dual clutch transmission simply as a "Six-Speed PowerShift Automatic Transmission"

    As I said before, no cars with Automatic transmissions (of any stripe) need apply for housing in our garage.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Except that you can't call it "Control Blade" without permission from Ford. :shades:

    It's probably a similar multilink design, but I bet either they have to change it enough to avoid a Ford lawsuit, or they have to pay Ford a licensing fee to use a similar design.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Wikipedia IS in fact accurate on this, I know because I know the technical details of each type of transmission. If you want to believe the marketing drivel, fine. I'm a car guy, I'd rather be accurate.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I was at the dealer yesterday & noticed that the Sport Package on the SE adds an "up & down" arrow on the shifter button to shift manually, as oppose to the "one way" button."

    There is nothing "manual" about shifting in that manner; all the driver is doing is requesting a gear change. If (and only IF) the computer agrees with the requested change, then it will actuate the various relays and such to perform the gear change "automatically".
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    Sorry, it seems you really don't know the technical details in this case.
  • bpizzutibpizzuti Posts: 2,743
    Automatic transmissions have a torque converter between the motor and the wheels sapping power. AUTOMATED transmissions do not. Manual transmissions have a clutch pedal and an H-pattern shifter allowing one to skip gears. Sequential transmissions do not, but still must be shifted manually, even though the clutch action is automated. Put in automation of the shifts and you have an automated sequential manual, some of which have dual computer-actuated clutches. These transmissions do not necessarily allow manual shifting, though most of them do.

    CVTs are not manual at all, nor would one want them to be since that would obviate the purpose of a near-infinite set of gear ratios provided by the connecting band. "Manual" shifting shifts between several pre-selected gear ratios which might be nice for fun but defeats the purpose of the transmission type. It's arguable that CVTs are even less manual than an "automatic" transmission, which generally has either "L" or "1" and "2" positions on the shifter.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    There is NOTHING in the word Automatic which implies a torque converter in any-way-shape-or-form. If you know of a true technical reference which states otherwise, please let me know, I'd love to read it.

    My previous post may have mistated things a bit. While I agree you understand the "technical" construct of the various transmission types (not difficult concepts), you seem to be "technically" challenged when it comes to how the English language (the best "technical" language in the world) is used to describe a "technical" item. Automatic is a automatic does, if something is capable of automatically performing a task from start to finish, it is an "Automatic".

    In the end, you can call any given item anything you want, but calling a frog a swan doesn't make it so.
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