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2012 Ford Focus

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  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    An Elantra Limited is nearly identical in price to a 2012 focus SEL sedan all things being just about equal wiht features and specs.

    How do you figure that? An SEL sedan with leather, 17" alloys, and moonroof (all standard on the Elantra Limited) comes up as $23,380 MSRP in Edmunds' pricer. The Elantra is $20,700. This is without nav or the upgraded stereo on either car. Those don't look like nearly identical prices to my pocketbook.

    As for the Cruze... I think there's a LOT that's right about it. Great interior quality, very quiet, economical, good blend of ride and handling. About the only demerits I see are vanilla styling (but not offensive), not a lot of power, and not the roomiest back seat in the group (but I don't know how roomy the Focus is in back).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited February 2011
    Disastrous! Forget about stretching your legs out. At least the sedan does not have the head room problem found in the Fiesta :sick:

    The Golf VI, even the base 3-dr, got both comfy seating & room in the back.

    The new Jetta got even more leg room in the back, but w/o a comfy chair (too low).

    And as far as having a nice wide rear visibility for lane change, the upcoming chopped-top Golf VI might be the only car today...
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited February 2011
    This ain't your father's Ford Focus, gentlemen. I have both eyes and both ears wide open and perked up for this 2012 Focus.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp3MU92WURo&feature=player_detailpage

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,209
    "How do you figure that? An SEL sedan with leather, 17" alloys, and moonroof (all standard on the Elantra Limited) comes up as $23,380 MSRP in Edmunds' pricer. The Elantra is $20,700. This is without nav or the upgraded stereo on either car. Those don't look like nearly identical prices to my pocketbook.
    "

    It's easy when you look at features the Ford has that the Hyundai doesn't. I see one thing the Hyundai has that you can't get on the Ford and that's heated rear seats. The Ford has things like dual-zone climate control, MyFord, more power without much sacrifice at the pump, automatic headlights, etc. You also had to add the SEL Premium pkg to get to the price you quoted and that added rain sensing wipers, reverse sensing system, and an auto dimming rearview mirror that the Elantra doesn't have. Those little things add up and, I would guess, keep the prices pretty even if all were equal. Everything isn't black or white right? ;)

    So yeah, you can't get an equally equipped Focus for the price of an Elantra. That I won't argue. But each offeres different features at the same price and it's all up to the buyer to decide what they want at that price. I have two small boys so heated rear seats are useless to me unless they can somehow heat booster seats too. I avoided that option in our Flex for that very reason.

    "As for the Cruze... I think there's a LOT that's right about it. Great interior quality, very quiet, economical, good blend of ride and handling."

    OK, so yeah, that stuff is right about it and I should have chose my words better. But is any of it unexpected in this class of cars now? Did Chevy overwhelm you with any of those aspects of the Cruze?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    The problem is you MUST get all the extra stuff on the Focus SEL to get basic lux-trim features like leather interior, and the moonroof is extra cost. What if someone doesn't want dual-zone climate control (a funny concept in a compact car, IMO), MyFord-like features, rain-sensing wipers, etc.? You have to pay for them anyway. For nearly $24k, I would be looking at a mid-sized car rather than a compact.

    But suppose you add to the Elantra Limited the Premium Package, which includes navigation system with 7-inch screen; rearview camera; 360-watt premium audio with external amplifier; automatic headlamps; proximity key entry with electronic push button start; and engine immobilizer. MSRP is $22,700. What is the lowest-price SES sedan with those features?

    As for the Cruze, since it has the nicest interior in the class with the possible exception of the Focus, possibly also the quietest car in the class, and offers class-leading FE, I would say that did impress me if not overwhelm me. No compact car today overwhelms me. A Bentley or Ferrari would overwhelm me. (wink)
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    edited February 2011
    Yes, 2.3 PZEV The '04 was the last year for the ZTS trim level and the old funky elliptical inspired interior & dash board. I think it is more integral with the exterior. I did get the upgraded rear suspension. It is still a fun drive everyday with very little diminishment of ride comfort at 100 k.

    There is much "technical talk" in these posts, but I maintain that purchasing a vehicle is better done by the "seat of the pants", all other things being equal, (costs, comfort level w/ brand & dealer). You mention the "Pinto Suspension" of the Mustang. Well, I drove the new 6 cylinder Mustang last summer. Believe me, that feature was the last thing that came to mind. After cost and practicality, it is a matter of a personal feel. If it grabs you, go for it. For me, hopefully when the snows leave the area, I will be ready to be impressed and again hopefully fuel prices will not be so high that it would be a consideration in my decision.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "The problem is you MUST get all the extra stuff on the Focus SEL to get basic lux-trim features like leather interior, and the moonroof is extra cost. What if someone doesn't want dual-zone climate control (a funny concept in a compact car, IMO), MyFord-like features, rain-sensing wipers, etc.? You have to pay for them anyway. For nearly $24k, I would be looking at a mid-sized car rather than a compact."

    The last time I configured a Focus SE (two weeks ago) you could in fact order the two-tone leather interior. Of course I want dual zone climate control, rain sensing wipers and the nice Sony audio system, and those features cannot be had if one wants a stick shift (SE only), even if it is a lame 5-Speed unit. So much for Ford's claims of this car being able to be had in the same flavors as the Europeans get (less the diesel of course).
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Yes, two-tone leather with the SE. The OP specifically talked about the SES sedan, however.

    Automakers will never give Americans exactly what is available in Europe, because the vast majority of Americans won't buy a car with a stick. And most will buy an SUV before they'll buy a wagon or a hatch. At least we are finally getting the same Focus design that Europe has.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited February 2011
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bp3MU92WURo&feature=player_detailpage

    With only a natural aspirated 2.0 4-cyl, this car got one hell of nerve costing over $27k, no matter what name plate it's got.

    Besides, "The steering is very direct. There's pretty good feedback through the wheel...for the average person, not the enthusiasts. Enthusiasts will want more feedback."

    Go test drive an used Focus ST 2.3 sedan, or better -- the SVT (ST170 in Europe) 2.0 hatchback -- & feel the difference!

    I know this new Focus is really a shortened version of the "Jame Bond" Mondeo not available in the U.S. at any price, but the only thing really got shortened is the rear leg room, not the price.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "Yes, two-tone leather with the SE. The OP specifically talked about the SES sedan, however."

    It matters not, the only new Focus that cannot be configured with Leather seating is the S Sedan.

    "Automakers will never give Americans exactly what is available in Europe, because the vast majority of Americans won't buy a car with a stick. And most will buy an SUV before they'll buy a wagon or a hatch. At least we are finally getting the same Focus design that Europe has."

    Sorry, I don't accept your reasoning. There are plenty of folks out there whom not only despise SUVs, but would also be more than happy to buy a nicely tarted up car roughly the size of the Focus with a manual transmission. If there weren't then BMW, Audi, VW, Mazda, and a number of others would have long since stopped selling their smaller offerings with a stick shift. That and Ford's own rhetoric (pre-release) said there would be no differences between the North American car and the European version (other than diesel of course).

    While I applaud Ford's efforts with the Focus, I and absolutely disgusted they've chosen to limit the nicer versions of new car to autotragic transmissions. I mean geez, it isn't as if they have to certifiy a different drive train like they would with the Fusion V6 to offer a stick; it's the same freakin' mechanicals regardless of whether it's an S, SE, SEL, or Titanium.

    For my part I'm already starting to look up market again; I really wanted to buy American and really thought the Focus would fit the bill, but it looks like either a GTI 6-Speed or even an A4 or 328i will be occupying my garage bay within the year.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Sorry, I don't accept your reasoning.

    Disagree all you want with my reasoning, but you can't argue with the facts of what people buy. People don't buy cars with manual transmissions much any more in the USA. If more people clamored for cars with sticks, that's what automakers would make because they want to sell cars. They don't create their product mixes by whim; they heavily research what people want in cars. Europe gets more cars with sticks because people there prefer them.
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,209
    Wow, that's a lot to reply to! :surprise:

    "The problem is you MUST get all the extra stuff on the Focus SEL to get basic lux-trim features like leather interior, and the moonroof is extra cost."

    Well, yes I think I said that right? Therein lies the problem. But if you make all things equal they would be pretty darn close in price.

    "What if someone doesn't want dual-zone climate control (a funny concept in a compact car, IMO),"

    True. I have the DEATC in my '08 Escape and '09 Flex and it's basically useless.

    "But suppose you add to the Elantra Limited the Premium Package..."
    Well you could add a different pkg to the Focus and get the MyFord Touch which is, IMO, superior to a navigation system. In that it has more functionality plus turn by turn navigation if not on the screen. Who looks at the screen while driving though right?

    "A Bentley or Ferrari would overwhelm me. (wink) "
    Oh so true!!! Let's keep it in perspective though.

    "Sorry, I don't accept your reasoning. There are plenty of folks out there whom not only despise SUVs, but would also be more than happy to buy a nicely tarted up car roughly the size of the Focus with a manual transmission."

    Count me in. Mostly. I like our SUV/CUVs but I'm replacing one with a Focus or Fusion. The other will be replaced with an Edge-like crossover. I think the market will change somewhat with the current rising gas prices. CUVs are still not all that great on gas when you dig down deep. I would LOVE to have a stick shifter but the options are too limited now. I had an '04 Mazda6 and an '06 Mustang GT, both with sticks, and I wish the former were still an option. I've resigned to the fact that I'll now have to shift electronically. Whether that sits well with me or not is yet to be seen.

    Great posts guys and gals. Good conversations and civilized arguments are what make these forums fun and keep me coming back!
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "People don't buy cars with manual transmissions much any more in the USA."

    Let's see...

    Given that the take rate for manual transmissions has been hovering between ten and twelve percent for something like the last fifteen years (and the numbers have ticked up over the last couple of years).

    Given that the average number of cars sold in the U.S. has been ~12.5 million (kinda guessing here) for that same period of time, then well in excess of a million cars per year are sold with a real transmission.

    Given that only a select number of models are even offered with a manual transmission, the take rate for those models is typically well above twenty percent.

    I'm thinking that there is (and continues to be) a market for manual transmissions in cars like the Focus. Long story short, Ford blew it by preventing the buying public from ordering a higher end Focus and a manual transmission.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I had an '04 Mazda6 and an '06 Mustang GT, both with sticks, and I wish the former were still an option. I've resigned to the fact that I'll now have to shift electronically. Whether that sits well with me or not is yet to be seen."

    Hmmm, when I bought my Mazda3 (yes, with a stick), I saw a 2010 Mazda6 on the floor with a manual transmission. I just checked the Mazda-USA web site and see that this car is still available with a manual transmission (albeit in el-strippo/4-banger trim only).
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Maybe some people insist the 6-cyl option as the only way to go for the performance-oriented stick drivers. Ford actually thought about replacing the RWD Mustang w/ the FWD Probe based on the Mazda 626, but...

    You know what? After I test drove both the 4- & 6-cyl Mazda6 at the MazdaRevItUp event more than half a decade ago on a twisty driving course, I really hate 6-cyl's nose heaviness, especially on a FWD car. & that also makes the weightless rotary RX-8 w/ std suspension superb in BOTH ride comfort & handling!
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,624
    Can you provide a reference for your numbers?

    Here's what one source says on the subject (emphasis added by me), from a year ago:

    The ability to drive a car equipped with a manual transmission is becoming a dying art. The sales numbers tell the story: In 1985, according to Ward’s Communications, 22.4% of all vehicles sold in the United States came with a manual transmission. By 2007, the number had plummeted to 7.7%.

    A quick check of vehicles for sale on AOL Autos tells a similar story. Of the 4,391,747 vehicles recently listed for sale, only 241,560 -- or 5.5% -- came with a manual.


    http://autos.aol.com/article/stick-shift-love-affair/

    Another reference, from last November:

    Even though manual transmissions have been in decline for decades, a new EPA report shows that 6.7% of new vehicles sold this year are equipped with a stick. Sadly, it's the highest percentage in the last five years .

    http://jalopnik.com/#!5694777/67-of-vehicles-sold-in-us-have-manual-transmission- s

    So it looks like sales of MT cars is more like 6-7% in the USA, not 10-12%. The good new for MT fans, the number of cars sold with MTs crept up a bit last year. But still a very small segment of the market. If Ford et. al. see that there is an increased demand for MT cars, especially well-equipped MT cars (which is what I think your complaint is about, since you CAN get the Focus with an MT, just not in the higher trims), they will offer them. Again--they want to sell cars.

    So you and others who want an MT in a high-end Focus: write to Mr. Mulally, and tell him you really, REALLY wanted to buy a Focus SES with a stick, but you couldn't, therefore you bought X instead--AND FORD LOST A SALE, AND A CUSTOMER. If they get enough letters like that, they'll do something about it.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Posts: 5,663
    edited February 2011
    just wonderful.

    image

    Red is nice but that Goldfinger color is more what I want. I will hold out for what I want and ya know, when I look long and hard at the 2012 Ford Focus hatch or sedan, transmission doesn't matter. I'll buy their 6-spd. automatic "dual-clutch" DSG transmission with the little flicker on the gearknob to change "gears."

    I can say it doesn't matter because my 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS is still glistening and glowing Rally Red in all its glory and it has paddle-shifting fan-boy fun factory-installed. And here's the gist of this post, carlovers.

    It doesn't matter! It's the body of the car that matters more than the transmission to me. Having said that, I respect those that it does matter to.

    That's what helps form us as individuals. We have noses and we have opinions. We vote with our pocketbook and Mr. Mulally is first a businessman. I used to work way underneath him at The Boeing Company. He will do what it takes to make money, not please the rabid enthusiast. backy has it right and I also understand that.

    Having said that, I can still insist on ordering a 2012 Ford Focus SE hatch or sedan that only has a 5-speed manual tranny and is loaded with a nice stereo, regular old climate system and no SYNC or anything else and I would be happy as an Ocean Shores clam over here in the northern Idaho panhandle. That's the beauty of this-Ford still has left an option for us to buy stick in our '12 Focii! I consider that good news, but, to me, transmission doesn't make the sale. The car does.

    It's not even the carmaker that makes the sale to me. It's the particular car model I want to buy that sells itself. By the time I decide what I want all the salesperson has to do is provide the exact copy of '12 Focus I want.

    Done deal.

    image
    Sheesh...it even looks hot in silver

    image
    Boeing...I mean Ford blue is always nice

    A 2012 Ford Focus SE Hatchback rides on 16-inch wheels and starts at $18,065. | January 27, 2011 | Ford Motor Company

    Crikey! Look how good this 2012 Ford Focus SE hatchback looks with the smaller 16" wheels and the Boeing...I...I mean Ford blue color. And I like the wheel design and...one can order one of these with the Ford 5-speed stick transmission. Am I missing something here? $18,065? What's not ta like here?!

    This find is starting to solidify my 2013 Ford Focus SE hatchback purchase plans...and I might just insist on a Ford 5-speed shifter, too. Why not? Whoo-hoooo boys! This car is the way to go back to buying American and still do so with pride and respect. Period.

    No Al Gore GW speeches required. No all-electric car purchase ahead. Just plain old 5-speed American Focii gleaming bright in the sun. I feel a release of pent-up car buying dilemna tension...sort of like the feeling I get when I know for sure the dorky LA Lakers have been beaten by the OKC Thunder in the 2011 NBA playoffs.

    Life is once again good.

    There's also a five-speed manual, but with just the five cogs and a flaccid clutch it's not really optimized for either performance or fuel economy. It's more of a value proposition on the low end of the price scale, which explains why it's confined to S and SE models.

    The above is from an Inside Line article here on Edmunds on January 27, 2011. This is why many will not go for the new Focus manual tranny and this is why my test drive takes on even more importance. A shoddy shifter will kill a 2013 Ford Focus SE hatchback in Ford blue, 5-speed manual tranny and kickin', competent AM/FM/CD stereo with bass-boost. This should all be there for around $20,000 before tax and license or I'm walking back out to the 2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS in Rally Red and CVT automatic tranny, thumpin' stereo, not to pass go or even collect a big bag of Dots for the ride home.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,209
    "Hmmm, when I bought my Mazda3 (yes, with a stick), I saw a 2010 Mazda6 on the floor with a manual transmission. I just checked the Mazda-USA web site and see that this car is still available with a manual transmission (albeit in el-strippo/4-banger trim only). "

    Sorry, should have clarified the trim. The Mazda6 I had was indeed the S model with a V6. Pretty much all of the mid-sized sedans still come with a 4-banger and a manual transmission option of some kind. I don't think any of them offer the MTX with a V6 or better anymore. Mazda used to, Honda used to, and Nissan used to. I think they've all quit offering it by now.

    I really liked that Mazda6 but the Mustang deal came along and was too good to pass up.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    For cars of roughly this size class, the only games in town with anything more than four cylinders seems to be BMW, and Mercedes-Benz (3-Series and C-Class). Given that Ford is going back on their word to bring us the European flavors of the Focus, I'm looking up-market once again.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    While I don't have numbers at my finger tips that contradict what you've posted, your numbers are so vastly different that what I've seen up to this point I really have to call into question their accuracy.

    As for the decline in stick shift drivers, I taught my (then) sixteen year old son to drive my Mazda last year and my fourteen year old daughter is already bugging me to start teaching her to drive a stick as well. My son for his part has already taught a dozen of his class mates and another dozen were give cars by their folks with three pedals under the dash and were told, "It's yours when you can drive it." By my son's calculations, nearly a third of the kids in his high school are proficient at driving a stick, and to the best of his knowledge, none of them would be willing to part with their current mounts unless the replacement had a stick as well. Is this part of a new trend toward stirring your own? Don't know, but one can certainly hope. :)
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