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2012 Ford Focus

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Comments

  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    The transmission in the new Focus is nothing like the POS 6 speed in the Fusion. I have a 2010 Fusion that I am trading in because of transmission and air in the cooling system concerns. The 2012 Focus has a 6 speed dual clutch dry transmission, the same trans that's in the 2011 Fiesta. Two internal gear sets divide the ratios in half, one odd gears, one even gears. One clutch is always engaged until the transmission needs to shift, allowing 100% of the engine torque to be continually transferred to the wheels. When a shift is needed, the clutch will come on to transfer the engine torque to the other gear set. I ordered an SEL, which along with the Titanium model has the Select Shift option. Before I ordered mine, I checked the Fiesta forums for any info on transmission problems since the Focus wasn't out yet. The only issue I could find involved a grounding strap which caused some programming issues and that's been resolved.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    I have a couple of noobish questions to square away.

    First off, I assume alloy wheels and aluminum wheels are the same thing. For some reason, some of the non-steel wheels at the Ford configurator are listed as alloy and others as aluminum. By contrast, the Focus brochure (which also includes a $750 discount) I recently received lists all options as aluminum.

    Secondly, can someone explain the difference between polished, painted, and machined alloy/aluminum wheels? Are some of these subcategories of the others? Also, what are the advantages and drawbacks of each type?

    Thanks!
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    Alloy just means a mixture of metals. Most wheels these days are aluminum alloy but other metals are used as well. I don't get hung up on the actual composition of the wheels, use the terms interchangeable, and sometimes say aluminum alloy when there are other possibilities.

    Whether the surface of the wheel are polished, painted, machined, etc doesn't mean much except for aesthetics. Again, it's what you prefer that counts. I actually like 16" wheels regardless of composition. They allow for higher profile tires which translate (all else being equal) to better ride quality and lower replacement cost.
  • netranger4netranger4 Posts: 149
    The 2012 Ford Focus SEL at my dealer's showroom was a disappointment. Although the fit and finish were excellent, the driver/passenger area is too cramped. The driver's seat in this car was at maximum rearward position. The sales rep couldn't get into the driver's side rear seat without squirming his way in. He did eventually get in with some difficulty. After that gyration, his knees did fit in the hollowed out back of the driver's seat. The battery was dead so there was no adjustment with the power seat feature.

    The front grille/bumper assembly may please some. It's too busy and would make one wonder if this was a family car OR a sports car. The rear bumper has a stretch of latticework which looks out of place along the lower edge and detracts from the overall design.

    Perhaps it's intended as a famsport or sportfam vehicle. That decision is up to the buyer.

    If the intent was to compete with the Honda Civic, this Focus misses the target by a mile. I drive an '09 Focus SE and have more interior room than this design presents. The design shows some similarities to the Mazda.

    If it was trade-in time for myself, I'd go with the Fusion...a design that has served well and still looks contemporary.
  • tim156tim156 Posts: 308
    I was curious about the size difference between my current 2010 Fusion and my new 2012 Focus so I compared some numbers.
    Focus gain & loss: (front/rear)
    Wheelbase: -3.1"
    Length: -19"
    Height: +.9"
    Width w/mirrors: +1"
    Head room: -.4"/+.1"
    Shoulder room: -1.8"/-2.8"
    Hip room -.1"/-.7"
    Leg room: -.4"/-3.9"
    Passenger volume: -9.6 cu ft
    Cargo volume behind 2nd row vs trunk: +7.3 cu ft
    Fuel Cap.: -5.1 gal
    Focus 459 mi/tank @ 37mpg, Fusion 577/tank @ 33mpg
    The only significant numbers are length, rear leg room, shoulder room and total passenger volume. (After all it's a C segment vs. a D segment car). The front seat numbers are so close I don't think I'll really notice much difference.

    Since I originally compared these numbers, I've had a chance to sit in an SE hatch. I'm average size, slightly over weight and I didn't have any problem getting into either front seat. When I had the manual driver's seat adjusted to my liking, there was plenty of leg room for me in the back.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    Thanks for your thoughts, netranger. Can I ask how tall you are? How about the sales rep?
  • netranger4netranger4 Posts: 149
    I'm 5'6" tall and the sales rep was 5'10 or so. We joked about the rear seat room. My comment was that Olive Oyl, Popeye's girl could probably
    get in with no difficulty with the driver's seat in the rearward position.

    If there had been more rear seat legroom, it would not have been necessary to hollow out the front seatbacks to accomodate the passengers knees.

    This design was brought over from Europe with some modifications for the U.S market. However, Europeans tend to be rather trim and of moderate height. On several trips to the UK and Continental Europe I was amazed at the lack of overweight people.

    The car would be right at home on the narrow streets found throughout Europe, which it was designed for. As I stated, the build quality was probably the best I've seen coming from U.S. assembly plants. Fit and finish beyond reproach.

    The sales numbers will tell the story, as will future postings by discerning prospective purchasers.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    edited April 2011
    Here's my two cents.

    Drive:
    It's very, very quiet, even when compared to the mid-size segment, and the engine note is very nice. It has a little growl and never got rough when it revs up higher. It was very composed when pushed with very little body roll and the steering effort was just about right, not too heavy or light in my opinion. It's powerful enough for me, nothing spectacular though. I can't say anything bad about the drive. I'd say it makes the least amount of compromises of any of the compacts in that regard.

    Interior:
    The front areas are not at all cramped. At maximum rearward position, I could hardly reach the steering wheel unless I pulled the telescoping wheel all the way out, and I'm 6'3". I pushed the steering wheel back in, moved my seat up, and lowered it. After I did that, I could sit behind myself, and I was comfortable in both places. Is it roomy? No, but my son's carseat fits back there well (He's 3). Cargo room was great.

    Tech:
    It has just about anything and everything, but the learning curve is high. There are too many buttons. I would personal skip the MyTouch and stick with the regular Sync. I don't think Ford's quite got the MyTouch system down yet.

    Does it hit the mark? I guess that depends on what your priorities are. Leg room is down from the previous model, but refinement, build quality, and mileage are all up. It's a far better looking and handling car. The 2012 Civic will still be middle of the pack but a good choice for reliability. The best competitors, in my opinion, would be the new Elantra or Cruze.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "The best competitors, in my opinion, would be the new Elantra or Cruze."

    Unless one wants a sportier model with a stick shift, then the Elantra and Cruze are both ruled out and replaced by the likes of the Mazda3 and the Golf, Jetta, GTI, and GLI siblings.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    edited April 2011
    True, but the new Jetta is a turd, even in GLI form (excluding the Sportwagen as it's still based on the previous model). It's far behind industry standard as far as fit and finish and materials quality. The GTI and Golf are premium entries, even when compared to the expensive Focus and Cruze, but they're still great options. The Mazda3 is still a good alternative, but it's not quite as well rounded as some of the others. It tends to err on the sportiness end of the spectrum at the expense of some content and efficiency.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "The Mazda3 is still a good alternative, but it's not quite as well rounded as some of the others. It tends to err on the sportiness end of the spectrum at the expense of some content and efficiency."

    Hence my qualification regarding "sporty" and "stick shift". FWIW, depending upon the configuration, the GTI can be had for less than a new Focus Titanium.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    "FWIW, depending upon the configuration, the GTI can be had for less than a new Focus Titanium."

    True, but minus alot of options. Given similar options, the GTI is between $3k and $4k more expensive. As much as the Focus is described as a premium compact, the GTI is even a step above that in price. Even the regular Golf is more expensive given the options.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    edited April 2011
    Here is another 2 cents:
    Had my first sit down and drive yesterday. A red SE sedan with "Sport Package" (automatic). Subjectively, quality build is abundant through-out, the sedan is more appealing visually than the Hatch, which is 8 inches shorter but appears to look even shorter than that. My test drive revealed a car quieter than my '04 ZTS FOCUS, as the sales rep was in the car and we drove through a fairly congested area on the short drive, very few performance impressions were revealed to me. Interesting observation: the wipers on the rakish windshield are a throwback to the vehicles of the fifties, (they rotate from the center bottom out rather then left -right, back and forth.) Anecdotally, my passenger said that if we should buy this model, she could not see the speedometer, as she could in the older model, in order to alert me that I was speeding.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,784
    Anecdotally, my passenger said that if we should buy this model, she could not see the speedometer, as she could in the older model, in order to alert me that I was speeding.

    So, you really want this 2012 Focus now, yes? ;)
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,038
    Interesting observation: the wipers on the rakish windshield are a throwback to the vehicles of the fifties, (they rotate from the center bottom out rather then left -right, back and forth.)

    I think that is done due to the long rake of the windshield. The Civic uses the same design. I wouldn't be suprised that the long rake would creat a geometic puzzle. Making a left to right design work would probably required an articulating and expensive wiper arm - similar to the single wiper design used on some MB products.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    This design was brought over from Europe with some modifications for the U.S market. However, Europeans tend to be rather trim and of moderate height. On several trips to the UK and Continental Europe I was amazed at the lack of overweight people.

    Yes, & the leg room is modified. Euro comparison found occupants in the rear get marginally more leg and shoulder room than they’ll find in the Golf.

    The car would be right at home on the narrow streets found throughout Europe, which it was designed for. As I stated, the build quality was probably the best I've seen coming from U.S. assembly plants. Fit and finish beyond reproach.

    LOL At 6ft width, its just as fat as the '06 Lexus LS430 sedan! The original Focus, @ 5'7", evaded Japan's old car-width tax, just like the E36 BMW.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    Leg room is down from the previous model, but refinement, build quality, and mileage are all up.

    That's the whole conspiracy behind it -- auto makers are not stupid. If the leg room is sufficient, then there's no need for consumers to buy any sedan more expensive then this agile yet refined Focus.

    Why do you think the Lexus IS also has no rear leg room? They need to sell their LS460 sedan. That's why their GS sedan, which used to have supreme rear seating & a cushy ride...not any more!
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    About 6 years ago, the width was about the only thing that kept me from buying a 2002 Focus Wagon. I felt like I was nearly on top of the front passenger. I think my limit is around 70" wide.

    I wouldn't call wide fat because wider is better when it comes to handling. A Lexus LF-A is 74.6" wide and a Ferrari 458 Italia is 76.3" wide. Both are cars with big engines and relatively low curb weights.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    True, overlap is not necessarily a good thing for sales. As car size goes up, so does profit margin. It seems to be something GM hasn't quite figured out yet, but they're learning.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    Good for you, 'cause I can't stand not having multi-link rear suspension in a narrow little car. & the Mini Cooper rides uncomfortably. In fact, its comfiest-riding model -- the base Mini -- still handles worse than the better-riding Focus SVT, per Consumer Reports.

    Having slightly more width & much less height in order to handle better is no big deal, especially if the ride comfort is also no better.

    High center of gravity hurts the ride-handling compromise. Just take a look at the SUV's. The best ride-handling compromise I've seen is the base-model RX-8 w/ std 16"s. It rides softly over bumps while providing the level of handling limit I can't even reach on public roads.

    Having SUV-like high chairs in such a small package is what makes the old Golf/Jetta & Focus so great, b/c their FWD car platforms keep down the center of gravity.

    By the way, narrow cars like the Mini Cooper & even the tall-&-narrow Focus SVT already provide more than enough handling for street use. The '06 Focus SES also has a pampering ride, unlike its relative Mazda3.
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    Yeah, I'm used to a 1999 Camry so just about anything is an improvement in handling and feel. Even my wife's Freestyle feels more composed despite having a high center of gravity.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    Autoblog has another review, this time of a Titanium sedan:

    http://www.autoblog.com/2011/03/30/2012-ford-focus-titanium-review-road-test/

    The review is pretty favorable, though they do mention the tight rear and the fact that the prominent center console seems to restrict front space.

    I'm about 5'6 also, so netranger's comment concerns me a little bit. Then again, I'm coming from a celica, which has a pretty cocoonish cockpit design as well, so maybe I wouldn't notice anyway.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    That's the whole conspiracy behind it -- auto makers are not stupid. If the leg room is sufficient, then there's no need for consumers to buy any sedan more expensive then this agile yet refined Focus.

    Why do you think the Lexus IS also has no rear leg room? They need to sell their LS460 sedan.


    Hm, not sure the IS v. LS is the best example. Those cars seem to be targetting pretty different audiences, regardless of size. I'm not so sure an IS owner would upgrade to an LS simply because he/she needs more space. But I see your point.

    Speaking of makers not wanting to poach themselves, has anyone seen any discussion of c platform sharing among Ford's other badges? I know there was some discussion of a new Mercury Tracer based on the Focus platform. I think it's safe to say that endeavor is over.

    Considering a top of the line Focus pushes about $30k, fomoco might as well slot a Lincoln a bit above that level.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    Hm, not sure the IS v. LS is the best example. Those cars seem to be targetting pretty different audiences, regardless of size. I'm not so sure an IS owner would upgrade to an LS simply because he/she needs more space. But I see your point.

    Many drivers who buy the Lexus IS for the badge, not for sporty driving. That's why the smaller-engine IS250 is also available. When consumers want both the badge & luxury comfort, Toyota knows how to blackmail them by keeping the room & cosseting ride on the LS side.

    The first time I noticed this was in the early '90's when Mazda redesigned the 626 & got rid of the stiff/shallow uncomfortable suspension, but also got rid of the roomy rear leg room. Then the "Cabin Forward" Protege came out. It is the roomiest Mazda 3-series they ever built, but the the noisy interior & lack of pampering ride comfort... At the same time, the luxury comfy 929 offered less rear leg room than the Protege :sick: I guess they really don't want to "overlap".

    Speaking of makers not wanting to poach themselves, has anyone seen any discussion of c platform sharing among Ford's other badges? I know there was some discussion of a new Mercury Tracer based on the Focus platform. I think it's safe to say that endeavor is over.

    Considering a top of the line Focus pushes about $30k, fomoco might as well slot a Lincoln a bit above that level.


    Good point! How about a Lincoln Tracer (remember Mercury Zephyr & Lincoln Zepher?) vs Mercedes C-Class 1.8 Kompressor, Lexus IS250, etc.? :P

    Welcome to the club of restricted rear leg room...
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    Almost everyone knows, who has done any research on the stats behind the primary reason for vehicle crashes, is people not paying attention (even momentarily) to their surroundings when driving with the car in motion (surely 90 to 99% of the time if any speeds above 30 mph are the norm during your commute).

    So after watching a few You Tubes on the new 2012 Focus, which uses Ford's iTouch or whatever it is, is yet another example of new models coming off the assembly line bragging about all their flashy technology, Bluetooth this and iPod that etc etc, yet it too has joined the ranks of yet another vehicle that demands you take your eyes OFF the road in order to do the simplest of chores, like change the HVAC settings. These are crucial controls, and in cars only a few short years ago, a hand could fall blindly to the knob and find the detent spot intuitively and all the while not having taken your eyes off that car in front of you (and the child trying to breach its mothers grasp at the bus stop in front of it, or the impatient idiot beside you swapping lanes every 15 seconds trying to get that 1 car edge in heavy traffic) for even a fraction of a second.

    And it's not just HVAC's! Consider ALL the other many many eye draws that forces you to pull your eyes to a display screen (including even the humble 8 button row of LED-lit buttons that in no way can be considered superior or safer than a twist knob with 5 distinct detents) away from the road.

    If you are stopped at a light, and using your hands to shade sun reflections to see what the stupid screens say, then at least you are stopped. But we all know that many minutes out of a 30 minute commute every day, is actually spent looking at (not only directly below your peripheral vision in front of you where the speedometer is, but off to the centre) of the dash instead of the bleeping road!

    And consumers seem to be eating this crap up like mad! Absolute craziness and irresponsibility if you ask me. On both the manufacturer's and the consumers part. People should vote with their dollars and tell these manufacturers that we don't want anymore distractions in our cars than we already have! If we don't, insurance companies will, with the premiums they will no doubt dish out on more and more of these vehicles that pull the drivers eyes away from the task at hand. It is a relatively rudimentary stat graph that is used to tabulate these incidents. And lest anyone need reminding, the original task is driving the car by looking at the road, not the dash. Imagine.

    I hope I live long enough to see these shallow trends of perceived needs inside of our cars, go the way of the dodo bird.

    This post is not intended to rain on any parade of a new Focus owner. I wish I could post it in every new car forum that is applicable. (I wish to an even greater degree that every manufacturer would see and read it and take it to heart). It would be in the Cruze and Sonata forums and basically every other brand forum too.

    Rant off, :mad: :lemon: :sick:
    Sam
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Yeah, I'm used to a 1999 Camry so just about anything is an improvement in handling and feel. Even my wife's Freestyle feels more composed despite having a high center of gravity.

    You're used to a 1999 Camry... Even the 1983 Camry LE w/ 102.4" wheelbase (shorter than the '92 Civic sedan's) and overall length of only 175.6" got gobs of rear stretch-out rear leg room, & the 2012 Focus sedan doesn't have any! Good luck getting used to sitting in the back seat of the new Focus...
  • arumagearumage Posts: 922
    If you don't like it, don't buy it. It actually costs less that way. Just post what you don't like about the MyTouch system as related to the Focus, and be done with it. This is definitely the wrong forum to rant about your feelings about technology in cars in general.
  • robr2robr2 BostonPosts: 8,038
    Well one could just use the voice activation to do basically anything that requires touching the screen or turning a knob or using another device...IMHO, that's safer than what most people do now.
  • samm43samm43 Posts: 195
    This is definitely the wrong forum to rant about your feelings about technology in cars in general.

    Which one would you suggest?

    I'm sorry my point was lost on you. If you have driven a Cruze (and many others) you would find out that you have to look at the screen to do practically anything, and that being on the base car. I'm guessing anyone who thinks about what I said can't live in denial for long if they are really honest about it, but I am the first to admit; the truth hurts.

    Sam
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited April 2011
    Totally agree!

    Car manufacturers are idiotic enough to seal off the width of the rear-view visibility on sedan/coupes as well! So they can force you to buy their radar "bind-spot detection system"???

    If you are stopped at a light, and using your hands to shade sun reflections to see what the stupid screens say, then at least you are stopped.

    The soft buttons is what I hate about my newer cars such as the '99 BMW E36 & '07 Focus. I constantly had to do that just to turn on or off the A/C compressor or air recirculation. A '90 Honda Accord even has 2 separate mechanical buttons for "fresh" & "recirculate", or perhaps even A/C "on" & "off".

    Did you remember BMW once advertised about their pollen filter -- Even if you blink just for a fraction of a second due to sneezing induced by pollen, you are already traveling so many more yards on the fwy before you see the car in front of you stopping!

    You don't need to use your eyes when shifting your stick shift through all 6 freaking gears. The technology was already there. Why design something that requires your eye sight off the road? :mad:
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