I only have 350 miles on my 2013, so obviously I can't comment on reliability yet. I will say the transmission is interesting. You definitely have to change your expectations some from a regular automatic. It definitely feels like a manual. If you were in the passenger seat and closed your eyes, you would think the driver was working a manual transmission - complete with a few studders at very low power and some engine braking at times when you get off the gas (at least in sport mode). Having said that, I don't find it unpleasant or bothersome, just different from what we have become used to over the last 30 years.
MK3 Focus = a lot of good ideas rather poorly executed.