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Old 08-13-2012, 12:14 PM   #44
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What I Drive: 2013 Ford Focus ST2 Ingot Silver

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Of course my SEL wasn't available with a 5 speed as it was a U.S. spec. model, but even still after having driven both I'm still not disappointed with the DCT, although sometimes I do miss rowing through the gears.

The problem I found with the mtx-75 was that it had essentially the same gear ratios as my 1994 Geo Prizm LSI 1.6L I4 and 5MT. This wrapped within a much more substantial car, the Prizm when new weighed all of about 2359 lbs vs the close to 2950 lbs of the Focus hatchback which would blunt performance and fuel economy around town, as well as still leave the engine spinning at or over 3000 rpm at 70 mi/hr, where as the DCT with its 6th gear being a second overdrive ratio at 0.7x:1 put the car at 2600 rpm at 70 mph give or take a few rpm.

Now had a 6MT been available with similar gearing to that of the DCT (minus the second final drive ratio if possible), that might have been more interesting to me. The ST does have a 6MT but I'm not sure its geared this way as it is set up more with performance in mind. Having had the chance to test drive an ST at one of the Ford Drive events I found the clutch a bit touchy at first with a fairly high bite point, kind of like a light switch, although I was able to feather it and modulate it to get a smoother launch.

I don't deny that the MTX-75 is a decent transmission, but it wasn't right for me, although I very nearly went and ordered almost the opposite of this configuration, an SE sport sedan 5MT, or possibly a base S, but almost nothing comes off the price of the base S on Z plan, which I'd qualified for since my grandfather had retired from Ford.

Had there been a Frosted Glass SEL 5MT/6MT or a SE Sport in Frosted Glass with a manual I might have gone in that direction. However Ford did a stupid thing and limited the color to only have the light stone cloth or leather interior in the Focus, but only the charcoal black interior in the 2013 Escape.
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