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mach1muscle 11-11-2012 04:50 PM

car shopping(new member)
Went to the city and looked at and drove several compact cars. The hyundai elantra, the Ford Focus, looked at the Dodge Dart. We really liked both the Elantra and the Focus. We live about 8 km out of town and we burn an ungodly amount of fuel with our grand caravan and our 7.4 L GMC crewcab.(particularly the latter) We think the fuel savings that one of these cars would bring would make their payment. Looking at cars just above base models to keep payments low. Both my wife and I have owned manual trannys but now prefer automatics. For myself, I am 6'7 and find it difficult to operate the clutch in a smaller car, especially if I need the seat up a bit because someone is sitting behind me. We drove the focus with the auto and it drove and shifted fine. Yet it worries me that its fairly new technology and I see there are numerous concerns about its reliability. If I knew for sure that the manual would give me many more troublefree miles then I think I would go this route. I like that the Elantra has a longer warranty and a bit more room for rear seat passengers. Ford is offering a winter tire package in our area which we really like too, tires,rims, and tire pressure monitors for free.

mach1muscle 11-12-2012 10:57 PM

I guess I should ask a few questions if I want some feedback. Should I be worried about the DCT tranny or is it likely to last as long as a conventional automatic? I am looking at low mileage 2012s as well now. I need to keep the payment as low as possible. Any issues with the 12s that would have been corrected on the 13s?

zetecDon 11-13-2012 11:37 AM

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Like any model that is newly introduced there is going to be some bugs that have to be worked out. Ford is/has worked and improved the Focus with time. They have a lot of Technical Service Bulletins about the DCT transmission and the MyFordTouch(MFT) but they have always had updates available for them. You should be fine with any year as long as you know the car is up to date on all it's services.

Phokus 11-13-2012 12:22 PM

6'7"! Holy crap you're tall!

Well anyhoo. I'm sure you'd enjoy the focus as long as you fit in it.
I sure am enjoying my 2013 Focus, I moved to it from a 2009 Focus

lyonsroar 11-13-2012 01:01 PM

This isn't the first car with a dual clutch automated manual....VW has been using them for years under the DSG moniker. The DSG transmission in the GTI has been proven to be exceptionally reliable (apart from the recall/ defect that was found in the mechatronics unit)

It is often the very last thing people upgrade when modifying. The DSG is actually the preferred performance transmission in the GTI...the manual starts to slip MUCH sooner than the DSG will.

cbdallas 11-13-2012 01:05 PM

If I'm to be honest, as much as I like my car, I'm not entirely sure I could recommend a Focus to anyone until Ford has implemented an actual remedy (as opposed to a Band-Aid) for the grinding issue some people are experiencing. It appears they've addressed the clutch issues (between better programming and non-leaking transmission input shaft seals), but if memory serves, there is at least one person on this board who lawyered up and got Ford to buy his Focus back because of the unresolved issues with his transmission. I realize that's only one car, but there are plenty of others here and on YouTube that have some pretty nasty noises coming out of their transmissions. From what I can gather, this issue starts around 12,000 miles. Since mine only has 2,000, I await this issue with great anticipation. NOT.

This is unfortunate because other than this fly in the ointment, I really like this car. I love the way it looks, it handles as well as anything I've ever owned (with the exception of my Mazdaspeed6) and it seems to be made of pretty high-end materials where the interior is concerned. There is a chance mine will never develop a leak, or a grind, but I just don't have enough miles on it to know that yet.

What you should prepare yourself for if you buy one is that DCT, under the best of circumstances will not behave like a traditional automatic. There are certain situations where it seems like it doesn't know exactly what to do, such as slowing down, and accelerating immediately afterward...or driving very slowly through parking lots. Most people don't get that right even when driving car with a manual transmission, and since this is basically an automated manual, you can see where a computer and a few actuators might misjudge certain situations. This behavior is deemed normal. But lurching, leaking and grinding aren't normal, and until Ford acknowledges that and comes up with some real fixes, the best advice I can give is to proceed with caution.

lyonsroar 11-13-2012 01:11 PM

I think mostly the people that complain about the transmission are those that have never driven a manual or ridden with a skilled manual driver for any length of time.

My MazdaSpeed lurched and bucked during low speed maneuvers in parking lots. A lot of it had to do that first gear was really nearly useless. The car didn't like being in first gear and it told me about it. Even the most skilled manual driver (even a computer) makes little mistakes here and there...I don't think people expect these little mistakes in their "automatic" car so they freak out.

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