2012 Ford Focus

gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
So I'm a little baffled as to why there isn't already a 2012 Ford Focus discussion. In fact, all I see are a handful of postings about the new Focus in the general Focus board.

Is there not much interest in the upcoming Focus? Am I the only one who was excited about the new Focus?


  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H EdmundsAdministrator Posts: 11,126
    Glad you created the discussion - someone has to start it!

    You might find others talking about it the sedan version in Midsize Sedans 2.0.


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  • markus5markus5 Member Posts: 102
    Somebody had to be first so there it is, you are it. However, It is sort of curious that there has been very little activity on the board. If there is to be availability of this vehicle in early 2011, then "Job 1" should be upon us, and, it seems to me that some years ago there were some postings on this board from readers who claimed to have contacts with "insiders" at Ford.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    I haven't been on Edmunds townhall very much lately, so I wasn't not sure if it was simply less active.

    Anyway, I'm thinking about the new Focus, probably not in 2011 but maybe 2012. It looks like a great car, and I can't believe domestic makers are finally mulling over the concept of premium small cars. I really do hope the Focus is successful enough to establish the segment here.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    I hope they give us the wagon or at the very least the 4 door hatch.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Not so much in "midsize sedans". If there is a compact sedans forum there may be some discussion there. Midsize sedans has gone quite silent lately.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    It's a 5 door hatch and it is coming. That has been widely reported in just about every auto centered website out there. The wagon is Euro only. Ford has their configurator up so you can price the new Focus in either sedan or hatch version.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaMember Posts: 801
    edited January 2011
    Everything I can find online just says the 2012 Focus will be available in early 2011....

    A more specific launch date would really be helpful to prospective buyers! =) I was planning to buy a 2011 Mazda3 5-door (to replace my 2006 Mazda3 s 5-door) but I'm holding off until I see/drive the 2012 Focus 5-door.

    If the Focus Titanium 5-door drives half as good as it looks, I'll be buying my first Ford instead of another Mazda! I want mine in Kona Blue with the Titanium Handling Package and Winter Package and that's it...so I'll probably have to order one. I'm sure most will come with the Titanium Premium Package, Navigation, and/or Moonroof, none of which interest me.

    As a side note, I'm glad to see that Ford is offering heated seats with cloth interior and not just on the optional leather!
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • markus5markus5 Member Posts: 102
    edited January 2011
    I'm waiting too. However, not looking to go as high on option packages as you do. I have found that the larger wheels & tires usually result in more NVH and become quite expensive.. BTW, my 2004 ZTS Focus has heated cloth seats. they worked out pretty well. I was never big on leather.
  • 4ref14ref1 Member Posts: 7
    All the Ford website says is 5 door available srping 2011.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaMember Posts: 801
    I'm waiting too. However, not looking to go as high on option packages as you do. I have found that the larger wheels & tires usually result in more NVH and become quite expensive.. BTW, my 2004 ZTS Focus has heated cloth seats. they worked out pretty well. I was never big on leather.

    When I was car shopping in Dec. 2005, I remember test driving a 2006 Focus ZX4 ST, which was the 'performance' version of the sedan. It had the 2.3L 151hp Duratec 23 and was only available with the 5-speed manual. I remember that heated cloth seats were available on it, too. Up until the 'face-lift' in 2008, I'm pretty sure that the upper-trim-level Focuses (Foci?) had the heated cloth option.

    I ended up buying a 2006 Mazda3 s 5-door Touring instead. Actually, it has the same 2.3L engine as your ZTS and the ZX4 ST, except the version used in the Focus didn't have VVT (variable valve timing). The Mazda version makes 160hp vs. Ford's 151hp, big woop! =) I got the cloth interior, but leather was actually an option...but even the leather ones weren't heated! The only way to get heated leather in the 2006 was to spring for the Grand Touring model, which had a base price just over the $20k mark...no thanks! =/

    I also understand what you're saying about increased NVH with larger wheels (and the corresponding lower profile, performance-oriented tires). The 4-door version of my car had 16" wheels standard and 17" optional, but Mazda made the 17" standard on all 5-doors. I was willing to live with a little less comfort and quite a bit more road noise for the looks. But the OEM Goodyear Eagle GTs were bald at 28k miles and I got the shock of my life when they quoted me a price to replace them at the Goodyear dealer- for four identical OEM tires it would cost over $1100 out-the-door!!! I refused and went to leave (on my bald tires), not sure what I should do. One of the mechanics was kind enough to pull me aside in the parking lot and recommend Dunlop SP Sport Signature tires instead. I paid about $650 for them, they were quieter and improved ride quality a lot without any noticeable loss in handling. They have 52k miles on them now....

    The 18" wheel/tire package looks amazing, but looking at the tire specs, it's not worth it. It has P215/40VR18 performance (summer) tires. The Titanium's standard tire size is P215/45VR17. That's an even lower profile sidewall than the 50-series I have on my Mazda. And Dunlop makes that size and they're around $150 each...so I can live with that. The 18" 40-series tires combined with a firmer suspension is probably more than late 30-something butt could handle! =)
    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    Hey igo,

    Did you find the equipped tire info on the Ford website? I can't seem to find anything other than generic wheel size and type info. Thanks.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    Am I the only one a bit confused by the Ford stable of technology? The offerings seem a bit redundant. Ford Sync (without Touch) offers navigation and traffic, right? But Touch provides "better" navigation, but only if you purchase the Sirius navigation application?

    For those of you who have had an opportunity to play with Ford Touch (ie, in an Edge), what are your thoughts? To be perfectly honest, most of it doesn't look like stuff I'd be particularly interested in. A lot of it consists of car controls redone to interface through the screen; I myself would probably find ordinary knobs and controls to be much more intuitive and therefore safer. And a lot of it strikes me as gimmicky stuff that I wouldn't want to do in a car that I'm driving anyway.

    The only technology that I normally use right now is navigation. I'm willing to concede that my next car should have voiceless phone integration, but that is already available with Sync. Using a smartphone link to create a wifi hotspot seems kind of neat, but then again, why wouldn't you just use the smartphone?

    A top of the line, stand alone nav system would cost $300-$500. The Touch nav application costs $700, not including Touch itself. This just isn't adding up for me.

    Can someone explain why I'm not seeing the light here? I should add that I've become technologically stilted over the years. I have an ipod but never use it, and my current cellphone is about as dumb of a phone as you could get these days.

    One last random question: what does the console look like for those who do not opt for Touch? Are there noteable expanses of blank space on the console?
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    I posted a couple of months ago regarding the same topic after looking at the new Edge. Consumer Reports made similar comments in it's latest magazine when reviewing the Edge/MKX. Too much techno. Too much redundancy. I don't need to push a button, say a word that is hopefully understood the first time and wait to see if is verified to change the fan speed, thank you. I would rather just reach and turn a dial. Done, quickly and no electronics to repair 5 years down the road. The slide, touch function of the new Mytouch stuff seems to be very difficult to get used to and with gloves on almost impossible but hey, you got the voice control routine to fill in when it's cold. I really was considering the Edge but I want the Limited model but don't want the mytouch junk. No can do so am looking elselwhere.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    Well, after surfing about and scanning a number of different Ford Edge forums, I think I can safely shift from probably-won't-get-Touch to definitely-won't-get-Touch. Seems like many users are suffering from all sorts of bugs and problems. I was pretty hesitant when I heard that Microsoft was developing , Touch, and the latest user experiences seem to confirm my fears. I've been pretty unsatisfied with Microsoft on my PC lately, so I certainly wouldn't trust them with a car.
  • igozoomzoomigozoomzoom Waleska, GeorgiaMember Posts: 801
    Did you find the equipped tire info on the Ford website? I can't seem to find anything other than generic wheel size and type info. Thanks.

    You'd think tire size information would be on the manufacturer's web site, right? =) I tried to find it on Ford's site also, but to no avail. When all else fails, go to cars.com-

    2015.5 Volvo S60 T6 Drive-E Platinum, 2012 Mazda CX-9 GT
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    I just found a Ford link that reports arrival at dealerships in mid February.

    http://www.fordinsidenews.com/forums/showthread.php?6770-Last-Focus-Rolls-Down-W- ayne-Assembly-Line
  • tim156tim156 Member Posts: 308
    edited January 2011
    Tire info from the Ford esourcebook:
    S: P195/65HR15 BSW
    SE: P215/55R16
    SEL: P215/55R16
    Titanium: P215/55R17
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    Thanks for the info, Tim. That tire info doesn't quite match the cars.com link provided earlier by igo. Can you post your source url too?
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Member Posts: 315
    I went out and test drove the Corolla, Focus and Mazda 3. I hated the corolla and The 2011 Focus is dated but they are really dealing on those. I really wanted to like the Mazda 3 but man does it ride rough. I mean I have a truck with an off road package it rides smother the the 3. I have decided to wait for the 12 Focus. 2.0 Direct inject 10 more HP than current and get 40+ MPG on the highway. It also has the 6 speed auto with manual mode. I will go to the auto show in Cincy and if I like I am ordering one. If you order before the end of February you get a $500.00 Sync credit.
  • tim156tim156 Member Posts: 308
    Check out the 2012 Focus Owner's Guide here:
  • smallcar1smallcar1 Member Posts: 76
    I was going to buy a Mazda3 but did not because of the rough ride. The S had a rougher ride with its low profile tires than the i did with regular tires. According to Ford's website the Focus sedas all have low profie tires which could mean a rough ride. The Focus also is wider than most compacts.

    The '12 Focus also has 10 more foot pounds of torque. Did the '11 Focus have a good ride?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    edited January 2011
    I admit it, I like my cars fully loaded, errr, that is fully loaded save one option, the despised autotragic transmission.

    With the above in mind, I was thrilled to see that Ford is offering all kinds of bells and whistles on the full zoot 2012 Focus, however, for those of us with the requirement of three pedals under the dash, we have to settle for the lowly SE model. Yo! Ford! What's up with that?

    I guess my Mazda3 will have to soldier on a little longer.
  • robr2robr2 BostonMember Posts: 8,805
    Probably because experience has shown that the 7 possible customers willing to buy a fully loaded car with a manual transmission just isn't a big enough market to chase.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Given that the engine is no different across the various models, it costs nothing to offer the manual across the board as well. As for the seven possible customers, in this market segment it's going to be a whole lot more than that.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Make that 8. I am with shipo on this.

    Why market it as sporty and fun to drive and then take away the thing that makes it so on the top models?
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    edited January 2011
    The thing is, only Ford and GM seem to be taking this approach with their latest offerings; pretty much every other car in this segment offers a manual transmission in even their full zoot models. Dumb move Ford, really dumb move.

    For my part, I'd really love to have a new Focus Titanium with all of the trimmin's and a manual transmission. If Ford chooses to eschew this market segment, my only real options will be either another Mazda or another VW.

    Now, if Ford was looking at the numbers for the previous version of the Focus and trying to extrapolate how many manual transmission models they might sell in this version, then I, A) understand their reasoning, and B) call the analysis an epic fail. Why? Simple, the old Focus was so unbelievably lame that no enthusiast worth his or her salt would consider that car (stick shift or no); not so the new one which should (or at least could) garner many conquest sales over the likes of the Mazda3 GT (which is offered in a stick).
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    You guys can blame me, in part, for the situation. I currently drive a manual, but I'll be shopping for an automatic. Part of the reason is that I want others (ie, my wife), to be able to drive my car at any given moment.

    But a bigger reason is to allow me to focus on my driving. WaaaaAAHH?!! you ask? I know it doesn't make any sense, but having to work the stick is one more area that requires attention and takes a hand off the wheel, and driving is becoming more and more complicated, with cellphones, and texting, and horrible traffic, and bad drivers, and GPS systems, and crap on the road, and screaming kids, and so many other things that divert the driver from the core task of driving safely.

    I say all this in spite of the fact that: I barely text at all, and never in the car. I barely use the cellphone in the car. I don't use an ipod or other devices in the car. I usually hand the GPS to my wife and have her enter the address in. All I typically do is listen to the radio. I like to think of myself as a driver dedicated to driving and staying 100% alert to the situation.

    BUT, I know I will have to deal with all that sooner or later. My next phone almost certainly be a smart phone. I have an 18-month old, and another kid will probably pop up in a few years. Synch will surely help, but I'm frankly NOT willing to give myself the benefit of the doubt when it comes to something like driving.

    Call it cynicism, call it being overly protective, if you want. But I believe many people think too highly of their ability to multitask behind the wheel.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    I feel quite the opposite. Shifting keeps you more in tune with the car and keeps you from being distracted.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Member Posts: 315
    I am headed to the dealer tomorrow to test drive the 11 Focus SES model. The only reason I am is because I requested a Brochure from ford and they sent me one with a $750.00 cash bonus on top of any deal I can get. All 3 Ford dealers agreed to sell me any Focus for invoice then I get a $3000.00 rebate then $750.00 more. That is Really tough to pass up. I forgot to mention the Moon and tune discount of $900.00. I will let you know how the SES rides
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    edited January 2011
    This is the first I've seen.

    http://www.automobilemag.com/reviews/driven/1101_2012_ford_focus_drive/index.htm- - l

    The DSG tranny seems to be a "searcher". Hope that is preproduction and they get it settled down. These manufactures are skating on thin ice if they try to achieve a couple of mpgs by having these trannies jump around.

    I'm also not a fan of the shiny piano black plastic Ford uses on the dash. Some like it but it looks cheap to me. Rest of the interior looks really good though. Handling sounds great too.
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Update: Google search reveals several more "first drive" reviews are out there including Edmunds.
  • yerth10yerth10 Member Posts: 431
    Will both Hatch & Sedan versions get a Flex fuel engine which can run on E85 as well. Edmunds says so.
  • merckxmerckx Member Posts: 565
    In that this Focus is really jusy the 2001 model warmed over because Ford didn't have the conviction to send us the redesigned new one, you'd think any car guy would find it to be mediocre at best.

    But I think the 2011 Focus has a very pleasant ride. I find myself liking it a lot more than I'd imagine.....Dealers are indeed offering generous discounts on them now...i think this Focus has a lot to offer.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    To whom it may concern,

    I have been closely following the development and ultimately the release of the 2012 Ford Focus with great anticipation; and have been planning on buying one sometime this year. Unfortunately I find that the only version of the new Focus that is available with a manual transmission is the SE model, a model that cannot be had with many of the premium options bestowed upon the SEL and the Titanium versions.

    I have to ask, what genius decided that those of us whom prefer to drive a manual transmission don't want such options as an HD Radio, Climate Control, Rain Sensing Wipers, and Heated Exterior Mirrors?

    This glaring oversight will prevent me from buying a Focus. Dumb move Ford, really dumb move.

    Best regards,
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    Response from Ford:


    Dear Shipo,

    Thank you for contacting Ford Motor Company on 1/23/2011 11:32:42 PM. We appreciate the time you have taken to write us.

    We are happy to hear about your interest in the completely redesigned 2012 Ford Focus! Unfortunately, there are no plans at this time to offer the 2012 Focus with a fully manual transmission. The 2012 Focus SEL and Titanium will be available with the SelectShift automatic transmission with manual mode which allows the driver to change gears up or down, without using a clutch. SelectShift is engaged by moving the shifter to the Manual (M) position. Shifting is done manually with a gearshift-mounted switch by pressing the “+” rocker switch to up-shift and the “—” rocker switch to downshift the transmission. Sequential gear engagement does not require operating a clutch and the system automatically protects against damaging shift scenarios.

    This is a decision based on our extensive market research. This research includes input from loyal customers such as yourself. We always love to hear our loyal customers' opinions and would like to document your product feedback regarding an available manual transmission. To provide your product related feedback, please follow these steps:

    1. Visit www.corporate.ford.com.
    2. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select the "Contact Ford" link.
    3. Scroll to the bottom of the page and select "Ideas and Suggestions" under the "Email" section. The link directs you to the appropriate feedback page.
    4. Complete the form and select the "Submit" button.

    If you are in the market for a new Ford vehicle and would like to learn about the current incentives available or receive a brochure, please contact our Marketing department at 1-800-334-4375. We are here Monday – Friday, 9 A.M. – 6 P.M. EST to assist you. When you call, we can also set up a demonstration drive at a time and location of your choice to experience the vehicle first hand.

    Thank you for contacting Ford Motor Company.

    [Customer Relations Rep]
    Ford Motor Company
    Ford Marketing Program Headquarters
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    My response to their response:


    Hello [Customer Relations Rep],

    Thank you for taking the time to write me regarding my disappointment about the lack of manual transmission availability on the new 2012 Focus Titanium; I appreciate the personal touch in this day and age of automated this-that-and-the-other-thing.

    Unfortunately, my feeling is that the information you presented me with sounds like a bunch of marketing double talk. From my perspective, the new 2012 Focus is the very first American car offered to the market in this segment that can compete (and win) against the likes of the Mazda3, the Golf/Rabbit/Jetta/GTI/GLI siblings, the Civic, and the Corolla. Every one of those cars listed offer a manual transmission on all of their various trim levels, and all of them sell well enough to keep the manual transmission in the line-up. If Ford chooses to ignore what their competition is doing, then Ford needs to be prepared to lose sales to said competition.

    As for the SelectShift automatic transmission, your marketing department may say it has a "Manual Mode", but saying it doesn't make it so (a true manual mode would require a clutch pedal and an "H-Pattern" shifter to sprout in their proper locations every time the "Manual Mode" option is enabled; something that I doubt will happen anytime soon). The English language is very specific in cases like this; if one were to refer to a dictionary one would see that the SelectShift transmission has a "Semi-Automatic Mode", a mode that is a very poor alternative for those of us whom prefer to shift our transmissions for ourselves.

    On the subject of your "extensive market research", all I can say is that if sales of pre-2011 Focus were part of the decision matrix, the selection of this particular metric was a poor choice of criteria. Why? Because the previous Focus was a vehicle that no enthusiast worth his or her salt would even consider over something like the relatively sporty Mazda3. Said another way, for folks (like myself) that prefer a small economical car with good driving dynamics, the pre-2012 Focus wasn't even remotely in the game.

    Unless Ford ultimately decides to reverse the arbitrary decision to discriminate against the segment of the driving population which prefers to drive cars with manual transmissions, the 2012 Focus has gone from the number one position on my "short list" of new cars to not even being considered as an "also ran".

    I will take your advice and submit a comment under the "Ideas and Suggestions" section of the Ford web site.

    Best regards,
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    My comments posted to Ford on their "Ideas and Suggestions" contact link:


    I've had an E-Mail exchange with [Customer Relations Rep] via Ford's crcfmc-AT-ford.com address regarding the availability of a 2102 Ford Focus Titanium equipped with a manual transmission. As she tells the tale, it's not going to happen; period, full stop, the end. I would like to suggest that Ford offer something along the lines of a limited edition 2012 Focus with a name badge which says “Titanium-M”; an otherwise fully optioned car that can only be had in black with a stick shift. By separating a "Titanium-M” badged Focus from the run-of-the-mill Focus, by bet is that any limited run of such a car would sell out before even the first copy made it to a dealership.

    For my part, unless Ford decides to offer the Titanium model with a manual transmission, it looks like my next car will either be another Mazda3 or maybe a VW GTI, both offered with a 6-Speed manual transmission.

    Best regards,
  • iwant12iwant12 Member Posts: 269
    Myself, I like an automatic tranny, but that "rocker switch" in the new Focus is bogus. Why not a gated shifter, or a slap shift, or paddle shifters? I think the new Explorer has the same thing, which to me is a major turnoff. Sans the rocker switch, the new Focus looks like an impressive car.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    My latest Car and Driver also contained a review. It's available online here:

    http://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/car/11q1/2012_ford_focus_u.s.-spec-first_dri- ve_review
  • backybacky Twin CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    You must be looking at different info than I am. Edmunds.com indicates that heated mirrors are available on the SE. You can also get a lot of telematics (SIRIUS, MyFord, SYNC), leather-trimmed seats, heated front seats, moonroof, alloys, sport-tuned suspension, etc. Quite a lot of equipment for a "base" model. About the only big items missing are navigation and a power driver's seat. I guess if you really need features like climate control, HD radio, and rain-sensing wipers, you won't like the SE. But few (if any?) economy cars come with all those features. Hardly any have power seats. And of course there's portable nav systems.

    If you want a top-trim hatch with a stick, there's always the GTI or A3...
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    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 CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    edited February 2011
    According to Edmunds.com 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?
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    I just found this fairly detailed review at cars.com.


    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.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    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?
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    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 CitiesMember Posts: 18,946
    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.
  • gambit293gambit293 Member Posts: 406
    Whoops, yea. Or like a competitor to onstar and sync.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Member Posts: 315
    Does anyone know when the new Focus is going to show up at the dealers?
  • m6userm6user Member Posts: 3,181
    Believe I read sometime in March but not positive.
  • shiposhipo Member Posts: 9,148
    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.
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