Might buy the Versa instead
March 31, 2017
I bought this car based on my positive experience of my 2014 Focus gas. The 2012 Focus EV that I purchased for $9500 had just come off a lease and had just over 20,000 miles. Needless to say the price I paid was about a quarter of the MSRP and made it a geat value. Other than one recall for faulty door latches I have had no mechanical problems in the 10 months I have owned the car.
Pros: At my electricity rates where I live I can easily charge my car for less than a dollar and under the right conditions can go 70 plus miles.
One of the reasons I chose this car over the Versa was the exterior styling of the car. To me it has a sleeker appearance than the Versa, but this is matter of opinion.
The front seating is comfortable and the controls are easy to reach.
The car has very good 0-60mph pick up and I have never struggled merging into traffic.
The car handles well, but has a wider turning radius the my Focus gas. I don't know if this is because of changes between the 2012-2014 models or because of the diffrerence in weight distribution between the gas and electric models.
The SYNC entertainment system took some getting used to, but once you figure it out, it's an O.K. system.
Cons: First let me say I live in a moderately rural area in N.C. . To give you an idea of my drive I am in the mountains and am 12 miles from my local city of 10,000 people. Some of my cons would not be pertinent to someone that lives in a big city or in a year long warm climate.
On a full charge during warm months I can reasonably expect to go about 70 miles on a full charge. The A/C seems to have little impact on that mileage. When the temperature drops below 50F, the mileage takes a substantial hit by an estimated 10% for every 10 degrees, and using the heat adds probably another 5% drop. For that reason when it gets cold I normally find myself using my the gas Focus and if I do drive the EV I turn the heater on and off when the car gets a little warm inside to try to extend the mileage. This makes for a much more uncomfortable drive.
One reason I might choose a Versa over the Focus would be that this car seems to be a gas car that they yanked the gas motor out and put an electric motor in, and not designed from the ground up as an EV like the Versa. My driveway is gravel and about 1/3 mile long. It is pretty level except for about 200' that has a moderate grade. My gas Focus never had any problems on this grade, but the EV tires would slip and spin telling me this car is rear heavy. A Versa owner nearby at my request drove up my driveway and had no problems. I finally had to put paved runners up this section to assist my E.V. at a substantial cost.
The battery takes up a very large portion of the rear of this hatch so this might be something you need to explore.
The back seat is very cramped for adults but would probably be fine for young children.
This car has the worst low beam headlights I have ever used. Somehow Ford has defied physics and managed to stop light rays at about 50 feet. It is almost pitch dark about 50 feet in front in dark conditions. My local Ford dealer says the lights are not adjustable.This might not be a problem if you live in a well lite city. On the flip side this car has the best high beams of any car I have ever owned. Driving down my local backroads I am constantly having to switch between high and low beams as I come across appoaching traffic.
Summary: I hope it doesn't sound like I am unhappy about purchasing this car because I am not. Most of the complaints I have would not be a problem if I lived in a big city. This is my first EV and don't forsee myself ever not having one unless a cheaper fuel source comes along or electricity rates go crazy. You do have to plan some of your trips and in my rural location I could not make it only with this vehicle. If you live in a similar location / climate as me and don't have access to a gas vehicle I would definitely recommend you look at a hybrid or one of the new lon