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2012 Ford Focus



  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    edited March 2011
    If different wheels & tires (size/aspect ratios) are included in an upgrade package, and, you also mention larger brakes, this will be more "unsprung weight". These factors would necessitate certain incremental adjustments to the "normal" suspension settings. It seems to me that this is going to be the case, from an engineering standpoint whether or not you are seeing specific mention of it in the literature that is generally available.
    Have a good DRIVE !
    I will be waiting for an opportunity to have one myself. Hopefully without the salesperson sitting there yapping at me.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The SE Sport Package doesn't include "larger brakes", it includes "rear disk brakes" which if anything weight slightly less than rear drum brakes. As for larger diameter wheels and unsprung weight, there have been many studies done which illustrate quite convincingly that 16" to 17" wheels are the sweet spot for wheel size from a handling perspective. Larger than that and the rotational mass and unsprung weight both start working against the suspension to a high enough degree to degrade handling.

    Said another way, for any car that doesn't require 18" or larger wheels to fit around the brakes, the best handling option is to go for a slightly smaller wheel. Relative to the Ford Focus, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see a Focus SE with 16" or 17" wheels and the Sport Package (for the rear disk brakes) turn in better lap times on a tight track than a Focus Titanium with the "Titanium Handling Package".
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    The SE Sport Package creates an odd interplay among the 3 trim lines. From what I can tell, many but not all, of the SE Sport Package features are standard in the SEL and Titanium. Namely, the cosmetic items and the rear disc brakes are standard in the SEL.

    I can't quite tell if the 16 inch wheels in the SE Sport Package are the same as the 16 inch wheels standard in the SEL. The trim comparison would seem to suggest that they are different wheels.

    Also, the sport seats in the SE Sport Package are standard in the Titanium but not even available as an option for the SEL. However, both the SEL and Titanium can be upgraded to leather seats. It's kind of odd that a feature jumps over the midline trim.
  • hackattack5,

    I think you are right on! You can not go wrong with either vehicle. The fuel economy, affordability and your incentives make this a very sweet deal! Enjoy your Fiesta or Focus!

    Ford Customer Service Division
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    I think the mish-mash of features on the different trim levels of the Focus is Ford's attempt to semi-placate those of us that like our premium options (climate control, high end audio, auto wipers...) in a car with some sportiness and a manual transmission.

    Thinking about the above statement further, the SEL seems to be the luxo version, and in that model the lack of a manual transmission is kind of irrelevant; the lack of a manual in the sportier Titanium is another matter entirely. Had Ford simply allowed the Titanium to be configured with a stick, then the option list for the SE could have been limited and caused far less confusion for the buying public.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,919
    edited March 2011
    I do believe that Ford found in its research that the American buying public doesn't know how to drive a stick or doesn't want a stick bad enough for them to build the Titanium model with a stick shift option. It is a dying breed, having said that, the 2012 Ford Focus that I love the most is the one with the stick, the SE. I liked the wheels I saw on it, too. Still interested in the car and I will not buy until 2013, so a lot can happen between now and then. Would love to get a good, competent stereo with the SE model, interested in how many watts the best stereo Ford offers in an SE model would have.

    2012 Ford Focus SE in Alan Mulally blue...I...I mean Ford blue!

    Man, I like the SE model in this blue. I am popping the 2012 Ford Focus SE in 5-speed manual trim back up above the 2012 Kia Rio on the top of my future purchases list. That is if Mitsubishi doesn't tempt me with another Lancer GTS or Lancer GTS Hybrid.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    "I do believe that Ford found in its research that the American buying public doesn't know how to drive a stick or doesn't want a stick bad enough for them to build the Titanium model with a stick shift option."

    I don't buy that argument even in the least. My bet is that Ford is basing their decisions on flawed data from the previous generation Focus (a horrifically boring vehicle that was semi-popular in stick form only because it was cheap) instead of looking at cars like the Mazda3 (a car which budget minded enthusiasts flock to). By contrast, the new Focus has completely shed its crappy econobox (in North American form) cloak and moved squarely into the enthusiast realm occupied by the Mazda3 and European variants of the Focus.

    From a simplicity (in both marketing and manufacturing) perspective it would be so much cleaner for Ford to offer a manual (say the current 5-Speed) in a trim with limited options (call it SE-lite) for the economy minded folks of the same ilk that bought the previous Focus with a stick. For the folks which would otherwise opt for a Mazda3 GT 6-Speed they could offer the Titanium with say a 6-Speed manual. From my perspective, ugly though the new Mazda3 may well be (I like the looks of my current Mazda3 but it won't last forever) and with as poor as the relative fuel economy numbers are, I'm much more inclined to buy a new Mazda over the Focus simply because Mazda hasn't forsaken the enthusiast.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    edited March 2011
    15,000/40mpg x $3.5 gas price per gallon = $1312 Total price with Gas
    15,000/50mpg x $4.0 diesel price per gallon = $1200 Total price with Diesel.

    Or the formula is that (15,000 x $3.5) / 40 mpg = $1312. If you make mpg the variable, then the formula would be (miles x gas price) / total cost = mpg, or 15,000 x 3.5 / 1312 = 40mpg. So if you spent $1200 in diesel, the equivilant mpg for gas would be 15,000 x $3.5 / 1200 = 43.75mpg. So if you can get 44mpg in your gas car, than that's the same as getting 50mpg in a diesel.

    I'd say based on your highway driving style, if you're able to obtain 50mpg in a TDI (that has an EPA estimated MPG of 42) then you can just as well obtain 44mpg in a Focus (that has an EPA estimated MPG of 40).

    Of course these are just in the best highway conditions. Most folks won't be spending their time cruising down a flat highway at 60mph 100% of the time except maybe on long road trips. Average MPG is more likely what folks will get. And even calculating average mpg people get mixed up.

    If a car can get 44mpg on the highway, but only 30mpg around town and if you drive 50% of the time on the highway and 50% around town, some folks would split the difference and say that their average was 37mpg...wrong.

    If you drive a tank with 200 miles around town at 30mpg you'll use 6.67gal, and you'll use 4.54gal to drive 200 miles on the highway at 44mpg. That's 11.21gal used to drive 400 miles, which equals 35.68mpg, not 37mpg. It's not a big difference, but it can make more of a difference depending on the spread between your highway and city mpg. \

    Even if you drive 400 miles and 90% (360miles 8.18gal) is on the highway at 44mpg, that 10% (40miles 1.33gal) of city at 30mpg will make your average mpg drop to 42.06 (9.51gal used to drive 400 miles). If your "real" city driving was only getting you 20mpg that 10% of your driving would drop your average down to 39.29mpg. So you really need to look at a lot more than just the highway mpg in the best possible conditions.

    If you're prepared to spend in the low $20K range for a car to maximize mpg, you'd be better off buying a Prius II that averages 50mpg according to the EPA, (and like TDI and most other cars, people report getting better than the EPA estimates due to their driving habits) that comes in about the same price as the Golf in the below link. Of course not wouldn't be the time to buy one with the current fuel prices and situation in Japan.|hatchback&- - - veh3=101363292&veh4=101364749|hatchback&show=0|1|2|3|4|5|6|7|8&comparatorId=2401- - - 190

    It's interesting when comparing the Fiesta to the Focus that the Fiesta actually has more front seat headroom then the Focus.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    The flaw in your argument is that it assumes diesel will remain static at a 14% premium over regular unleaded. Around here (New England) diesel prices fluctuate annually from a few cents lower than regular unleaded to a few cents more than premium unleaded.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    edited March 2011
    Is there any real advantage to using E-85. The Edmunds stat sheet mentions flex -fuel capability for new focus ?( i was surprised to see that for the first time. Is it a misprint ?). Around here I saw $2.99 vs. $3.75 for unleaded regular. I have heard some of the stories about this product. Some say that it is horrible will ruin your engine, others say that the only detriment is that it simply will not deliver all the energy (and MPG) of the petroleum based product. Does EPA use the Flex fuel for their mpg statistics on vehicles that are designated as flex fuel ? (confused now)
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    As far as I know the "EPA tests" are actually performed by the manufacturers (with the EPA spot checking to make sure there is no cheating), and the manufacturers use either 100% gasoline or E10 (10% Ethanol). If you run E85 in an engine designed to run on that fuel, then no harm will come to the engine, however, your fuel economy will drop significantly as E85 contains far fewer calories of potential energy for any given volume when compared to gasoline.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Around where I live (Ohio) 87 octane is around $3.59 while diesel is over $4.00. Your correct in that depending on the price difference, this may or may not be a factor, but I've always noticed diesel coming in at 20-50cents higher than 87 octane.

    What about anyone else?
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    edited March 2011
    Splitting hairs here; you cannot buy "87 Octane" anywhere in Ohio. That said, what you can buy is a fuel with an AKI (Anti Knock Index) of 87. To the best of my knowledge the only places in the Continental 48 where one can buy gasoline with an octane rating of roughly 87 (which has an AKI rating of about 83) is up in the higher elevations of the Rocky Mountains.

    As for diesel prices versus gasoline, I read something a year or two back that looked at national averages and calculated diesel to slot in between Regular Unleaded and Premium Unleaded on a per gallon cost basis. Granted periodic and regional swings to one extreme or the other can dramatically alter the cost per mile, but even when diesel is more expensive that Premium Unleaded, it is still the least expensive fuel on a per mile basis that we can buy.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    I did a couple of checks on this website, where you can enter any location:,%20MA

    For Boston, the lowest regular gas was in the $3.30s and $3.80s for diesel
    For Bangor, Maine, it was $4.14 for diesel and $3.50 for regular.
    City gas/diesel
    Denver $3.24/$3.59
    Phoenix $3.35/$3.69
    Atlanta $3.29/$3.55
    New York $3.59/$3.99
    Pittsburgh $3.37/$3.87

    So I'd stick to my previous post's calculations, in that if you're getting 50mpg in a diesel, that's equal to about 44mpg in a gas car because of the extra cost of buying diesel.
  • shiposhipo Posts: 9,152
    You cannot stick to your previous calculations because this it the time of the year (at the tail end of the home heating oil season) when diesel is always at its highest point relative to gasoline.
  • ivan_99ivan_99 Posts: 1,681
    Does the Focus offer a diesel in the US?

    Has anybody driven the Focus? We've lost focus of the thread (cheap one...)


    For a base hatch it starts $3k more than the Fiesta; is it $3k better? Not to turn this into a comparison board that is...

    I haven't seen any Focus...Focuses...Foci (?) at any dealers yet.
  • mz6greyghostmz6greyghost Posts: 1,230
    No diesel here in the US.

    I've seen one with dealer plates on the road last week, as well as one I saw at the recent local auto show (but wasn't allowed to sit inside).
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,025
    Yes, please.

    A little off-topic convo is fine, but we've pretty much lost direction in this discussion, so let's try to swing it back around.


    Need help navigating? - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    Last post on this. From this webpage showing annual prices:

    Year/Gas/Diesel/% extra for diesel

    Average % cost increase for diesel since 2005 = 7.3%

    So I'll admit I was wrong to calculate a 15% premium on the price of diesel when the premium is only 7.3% since 2005. So that means if you compare a diesel getting 50mpg it's equal to a gas car getting 46.5mpg because of the 7.3% additional cost for using diesel fuel.

    So if you can get in the low 40s MPG with the Focus on pure highway driving, then it's pretty close to the diesel mpg if you figure in the cost of diesel.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    "I might have a chance to test drive a 2012 soon"

    . . . or not. I didn't realize inventory listings on dealer sites simply reflect vehicles that have been allocated, though not necessarily delivered. I just spoke to three area dealers. One had one 2012 Focus, which had arrived several hours before I called. It had already been test driven around 3 or 4 times. The rep I talked to said he did not think it would be around for further tests for much longer. He said he has received about 30 calls today for the "hot" Focus.

    Normally, I might dismiss a lot of this as puffery, but it seems believeable for the 2012 Focus.
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    Ivan 99:
    I drove a 2012 focus SE sedan with the 201 package. It was last Friday and it was raining cats and dogs. I was not impressed enough to buy it. I am waiting for a SEL to come in and drive it. I read in one of the car magazines that the new Focus drives better when loaded with options. I sure hope so. If I am not impressed with the SEL I will purchase the SES Fiesta. Is it possible that I have waited so long and read so much hype about this Focus that I had no other possible outcome other than dissapointment?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,919
    edited March 2011
    what was it about the '12 Ford Focus SE sedan you didn't like? Did you drive the stick '12 Focus SE sedan?

    2012 Ford Focus SE...this one comes with a stick. Need test drive.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • elbubselbubs Posts: 5
    edited March 2011
    Not seeing pricing being discussed on here..

    So anyways I am looking to purchase a 2012.
    What do you guys think of a Focus 2012 Sedan SEL 303A rapid spec for $20692 before tax & title?
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    What do you guys think of a Focus 2012 Sedan SEL 303A rapid spec for $20692 before tax & title?

    Sounds very good to me. I get $23,385 as the list price for an SEL sedan w/303A. $20,692? That's 11.5% off sticker for a car that just went on sale? I can't imagine finding one cheaper this spring. :)
  • elbubselbubs Posts: 5
    Thx just ordered it came out 21125 after adding winter package.
    Hopefully ill get it by early june.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    Do you know what tire/wheel package is on your model? That is an excellent price by the way!
  • hackattack5hackattack5 Posts: 315
    My dealer told me $100.00 under invoice as long as I order it and not take one off of his lot.
  • elbubselbubs Posts: 5
    Its the 17" painted alum wheels. Whatever comes with the 303A rapid spec upgrade.

    I usually don't care much about wheels. I just wanted leather and the nice looking dash besides the standard ugly mess so 303A spec it is.
  • dodgeman07dodgeman07 Posts: 574
    Okay, I see the 17" aluminum wheels are included with that package. Reason I asked pertains to ride quality and not looks. I was happy to see Ford at least offering 16" rims on the SEL so I can get a slightly higher profile tire.

    Please let us know how your new Focus rides on rougher pavement. The 17" with 50-series rubber should do pretty well.
  • gambit293gambit293 Posts: 406
    My latest Car & Driver (May, I think) has a small sedan comparo, pitting 2012 Focus against four other sedans: Elantra, Mazda3, Jetta, and Cruze.

    Spoiler: the Focus trounced the competition prettily handily, although they panned the MyTouch system. Mazda3 came in 2nd, followed by Elantra, Cruze, and finally Jetta (which they described as old-camry exterior styling and old-cavalier interior styling- OUCH!).

    I can't find a link to an online version.
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