I'm currently driving (as a loaner/rental) a 2012 Ford Focus SEL 5 door (hatchback). It's the "basic" SEL model with just the added moonroof. Has the SYNC, dual zone A/C and the 6 speed Auto transmiss...
I'm currently driving (as a loaner/rental) a 2012 Ford Focus SEL 5 door (hatchback). It's the "basic" SEL model with just the added moonroof. Has the SYNC, dual zone A/C and the 6 speed Auto transmission, cloth seats and all the "standard" power features.
Regular car is 2008 Mazda 3 Sport 5-door (being repaired). That's the comparison for this Focus.
Handles very well around town - just like My Mazda3. Sporty, confident, able. Brakes are great, steering is great, power is ... mostly great.
I've heard/read people talking about the transmission "oddities"... yes, it's kind of odd and lurching when just starting out... and for some reason, it allows the car to roll at idle in gear when on a slight incline. I back into My driveway and often have to feather the gas & brakes to get in without hitting the other car. Ford needs to remedy the transmission and it's ability to roll in gear.
The dual zone A/C system is great... Cools down the black interior quickly - black car, black interior, desert location - and allows a better control over temps... Somewhat finicky controls to get air flow to both the face & the feet, but once it's there, it's good. Most others have a button or a marking for bi-level. With the Focus, you have to push the button for face and the button for floor/feet.
The equipment for the price is outstanding! Great sound from the stereo, easy to plug in and control the iPod (Mazda only plugs in, no controls!), excellent A/C (Mazda seems weak), all windows are one-touch up & down.... And all of this for the low $20K mark...!
And the equipment you can get - even better...! There are very few cars out there in this price range where you can have leather seats (including some great dual-tone styles!), power seats, heated seats, dual zone AC and so much more.
SYNC system is great... works & controls the iPod very well - although sometimes, the voice recognition isn't too great, confusing some artist names. But the stereo sounds excellent and is easy enough to operate.
Some of the controls are finicky and difficult to work - too many buttons, levers, paddles, etc.. But once you learn them & get used to them - they're not so bad... But having 4 different sets of switches & buttons on the steering wheel is a bit busy and a bit much.... But, again, once you learn 'em, you'd good to go.
Car is pretty solid & well put together. Have an odd on-again, gone-again rattle from the headliner - right where it opens for the roof. Not so well stuck together there, Ford. But the doors close with a solid "thunk" and most else seems tight and trouble-free.
Easy to see out of - big windows and BIG mirrors make it easy to drive and see where you're going. The mirrors come with "extra" convex mirrors to really help you see....
Some changes I'd make?
* Allow the sun visors to slid a bit more and to be more movable - shorter people get blinded by the sun with the limited movement.
* On the Tuxedo Black exterior, the front fascia is just TOO black with the big plastic grill openings and pieces. Makes the nose look like a flat black shovel. Don't seem to notice this in other colors.
* Offer some kind of body-side molding. The doors are flat and are easily marked, dented, scratched by others. A little protection would be nice.
* Cruise Control - make it so that I don't have to turn the Cruise Control system on EACH and EVERY time I start the car. My 08 Mazda3, 01 Chrysler PT Cruiser - even our 94 Chrysler Town & Country have buttons to turn the Cruise Control "ON" and then buttons for Set/Coast & Resume/Accelerate. With the Focus, you MUST turn it on each time and then set the speed. And it's often easy to hit "set" again instead of "resume"
* Console drink holders. Something needs to be done. With a bottled water, there's no problem. But if you get a cup of soda (with a lid), the armrest cover is always in the way and hits the lid anytime you open the armrest. And if you drink out of a "bigger" cup, forget it. Just hold it in your lap.
* Parking brake handle. On the SEL, the handle is badly placed (forward and left of the gear shift). My leg is always hitting the brake handle.
* Add a "bi-level" button on the A/C system for easier operation.
This Ford Focus has really gotten Me to - well - focus on a possible Ford in My future. When I bought My Mazda 3, it was a the top of a short list of choices. The Focus has easily supplanted the current Mazda 3 in that list... Wow....