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Old 06-02-2011, 08:51 AM   #1
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2012 Focus - Aftermarket Stereo possibilities.

Okay, it's still very early and the 2012 model is still brand new..

But, for those of us who have bought a Focus, or who are thinking about buying a Focus, with after market audio in mind.. Here is some research I've done explaining different possibilities.

As we know, today's car electronics and stock stereo systems are becoming increasingly complicated. Gone are the days when the radio, was just the radio, and swapping an aftermarket headunit for vastly improved sound was very easy.

These days, it takes a lot more effort, due to the way radios are integrated into the entire car.

As we also know, having an aftermarket headunit with speakers, amp(s) and a couple of subwoofers in the trunk makes for the best sound. Unfortunately, this is becoming more and more of a challenge, however with some trims on the 2012+ Focus, it will be possible.

The Focus has several stock stereo options. I am not going to get into full details, but here are the generalities.

(1) Base radio, no sync.

(2) Base radio, with sync.

(3) Sony radio, with sync.

(4) Sony radio with sync & MFT.

The above four options also come with varying amounts of speakers (4, 6, or 10).

Let me just flat out say this. If you are thinking of putting in an after market stereo, there's really no reason to get option (3) or (4). Especially (4). Why spend the extra money on something you are just going to yank out?

If you get option (4), pretty much forget about it. The level of integration (climate control etc.) is so high that you would lose wayyy too much functionality.

Option (3) will be possible, but again, why buy an upgraded sound system just to yank it out. One could argue that you would like to have the 10 speaker system, and then add trunk subwoofers w/ aftermarket HU to it, but I'd argue that 6 speakers are just fine. Just my opinion.

That leaves us with Options (1) and (2), which are the most viable for aftermarket installations.

We all know to install an aftermarket HU, there needs to be a dash kit available to fit either a single or double DIN unit. It also needs to keep any functionality that may be lost when removing the stock dash area.

Looking at the radio in the focus, this appears to be a nightmare. It is weirdly shaped, with buttons that control items on the screen, in addition to a hazard light and lock light buttons. (The annoyances of modern cars... Why are these things on the radio again?)

In looking at possibilities, I stumbled upon some Ford Fiesta material. The Fiesta radio is essentially the same as the Focus radio. See below photo.

So what is available for the Fiesta? A quick search yielded some promising results.

Metra has released a single-din (NO DOUBLE DIN) dash kit for the Fiesta, that includes all buttons needed to keep the functionality of the LCD screen above the radio.

Wiring harnesses are also available.

Option (1) does not include Sync, so a good possibility would be to get an aftermarket headunit with bluetooth for phone, and an aftermarket GPS unit to stick on the windshield. It appears double DIN may not fit on our Focii unfortunately, if it turns out being the same as the Fiesta. So we'll be stuck with Single DIN. Not a big deal in my book.

Option (2) includes Sync, which is a little bit more messy, but there are aftermarket Sync "retention modules" that exist. I haven't done my research on this, but I've heard it works decent enough. I ordered my car with Option (1) to avoid these troubles.

Hope this helps for anyone thinking along the same lines as myself.

herbz is offline  
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