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Old 11-18-2012, 01:22 PM   #1
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focus 2012 or 2013 hatchback, or fiesta?


New member... have found helpful info on this site. Thanks very much.

I love my 2000 ZX3 5 speed manual (white) - bought new. After a few bad experiences early on with recalls (ford's fault) and botched repairs (not ford's fault), I have been served well. Now, with 224+K miles, engine still seems good (to me? - not burning oil or smoking at least) but the normal wear things are failing. I want to keep fixing it, but husband wants me to get a new car. I do a fair number of long road trips - so the statistical probability of inconvenient breakdowns far from home is rising exponentially these days....

In the meanwhile, husband has had 2 focus sedans 2005 and 2009 - both fine.

I like the look of the new gen 2012/2013 foci (yeay, finally a hatchback option), but seems like SO much more car and a lot more $$$ than my 2000 (even allowing for inflation). I also like the fiesta - which actually seems to be the logical "replacement" car for my 2000 ZX3. Any opinion on this?

If I go with a focus hatchback, manual (fuel savings does not seem to outweigh initial cost of transmission upgrade), is there any fundamental difference (beside price) between 2012 and 2013 models? Is 2012 the "new model year" for that car? Saw some threads speculating before the 2013's were actually on the road, but I assume by now folks have had them long enough to form some opinions.

(PS, this is not the first ford I have run into old age)

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Old 11-18-2012, 07:28 PM   #2
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IMO, the Fiesta is supposed to be around the same size of the old Focus. So if you like the size you have and don't feel the need to go larger, I would say go Fiesta. This way you could either save money on the purchase, or get more goodies that you wouldn't get on a similarly priced focus.

The "Superminis" or sub compacts of today are pretty much what the small cars were 10 years ago. I'm not quite sure why it has gone this way. One could argue that Americans are getting bigger fatter and lazier and need larger and more accessible vehicles. However this phenomenon is not unique to American. It looks that Europe and elsewhere has also been going through the size increase.

I would also consider the Kia Rio. I was looking at those the other day and it looks like a lot of car for the money. Especially with the discount they have going on in Canada this month. I don't think I would have considered a Kia of 10 years ago but I don't think their quality of today is anything to worry about.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:58 PM   #3
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I rented a 2012 Ford Fiesta when I was in California, I was not happy about the choice initially, that is until I got inside and drove it. I was pleasantly surprised by the fit and finish, handling and the connectivity with my Nexus Phone. I wanted to drive it just to drive it, who knew I would like it so much. Until that point, I never drove a Ford and I had the idea that it was not a good car. After driving the 2012 Fiesta, a good friend of mine happened to call me telling me that he is now working at Ford selling cars. I did some homework before showing up and with the information I had purchased a 2012 Focus Titanium. It is a blast to drive and I love the MFT Sync with the 8 inch screen. I couldn't be happier. If I was going to do this again, I would have picked up the 2013 only for the rear view camera, try as I might, I cannot reverse properly in this car, it will take some practice on my part, but having the rear view would be helpful.
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Old 11-20-2012, 04:07 PM   #4
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Hey Vlance, I just bought a 13 Focus SE hatch. All I can say is wow. This is such a great car. I got mine only 10 days ago so I have a little new car fever. Mine is a 201A with no MFT (or giant screen), leather, moonroof and nice wheels. The price was OK, but I think I got my monies worth. I am a taller guy and I have to pull the driver's seat forward a bit to reach the pedals. The back seat has enough room for my 8 yr old. I just took 2 trips from Burlington to Richmond VA and the ride and comfort is great. The features fit my needs. I would say if you can find one (Havelock maybe) rent one for the weekend (focus that is) and try it out.
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Old 11-21-2012, 05:58 PM   #5
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Hello, thanks for the input.

So, I checked the numbers and confirmed that, except for the engine displacement, most of the specifications put my 2000 Focus zx3 right in between the new focus and the fiesta.

More interestingly, I went ahead and test drove both a 2012 fiesta and a 2013 focus - liked them both, and yes fiesta felt a bit small, focus felt a bit big compared with my car. Furthermore, the Focus felt very similar to the 2009 sedan we have (except I tested a manual). No complaints. I also noted that the clutches in both new cars were VERY easy to push in. Neither car has a truly flat back when you fold the seat down. If I had to decide today, I'd probably choose the Fiesta - just because I like the smaller feel - any occasional passengers will just have to live with it!

Then, I got back into my car.... I still like my car! I just read an Edmund's review and someone there got over 300K on theirs! Maybe I can too!
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Old 11-22-2012, 12:37 AM   #6
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focus vs fiesta

hello, your post prompted me to register and join in the forums.

First, i am glad to hear that your 2000 focus has held up so well and with 200,000+ miles. I am still alittle bit concerned on the reliability of the Ford's. But, trading out of my 2006 audi A3( with all its gremlins and problems) i still have high hopes.

Alrighty, for my opinion on the fiesta vs focus:

I had a loaner fiesta for my wife's 2009 escape that was in the shop for 2 weeks. i was really impressed with the fiesta, very impressed. i liked the handling and the power was ok for a sub-compact car. But, it felt too small, i.e. the safety issue if crashed. But the overall impression of the fiesta brought me to look at both as a replacement for the audi.

I decided on the focus for several reasons:
1. The focus is larger, has more space, and about the same fuel mileage (per the sticker on the windows) than the fiesta.
2. MFT and sync. Flat out, this technology is what really got its hooks in me. Yes, its alittle buggy, but the touch screen is responsive and overall its awesome.
3. back up camera. Even though its a small car, the camera really helps along with the sensors. The sensors are pretty accurate, and the camera has nice guidelines and colored zones. Oh, and with the windows tinted, the camera makes seeing out the back easier.
4. better power. Even at only 160hp, the focus can get up to speed with just a little bit of hesitation. it seemed like i have to push the fiesta to get speed.
5. the titanium had all of the ammenities i had with my audi: leather seats, moonroof, hatchback design, good road feel, very nice styling, etc.

Thats about all i can think of right now. Good luck with your final decision!
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Old 11-24-2012, 02:40 PM   #7
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I had the same debate and after driving all of them I opted for the new Focus HB. I wanted the manual, but once I drove each car with the small and big LCD screens I got fixed on the large LCD screen. I looked at the Fiesta but it was after the Focus so I went back to what I had test drove 3 times in a year. I love the car.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:57 AM   #8
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2014 Focus or Fiesta?

Just to bump this up...
The lease on my 2012 Focus SE Hatch will be up in January, so I've begun thinking about what to replace it with. I'm going to try another lease. My Focus is just the 201A package but with the Sport Package, Moonroof, and Winter Package too. It looks like you can't really configure a new one in the same way any longer. I noticed though that I could get a Fiesta Titanium hatch with a moonroof for a little less than a Focus SE with a moonroof. Has anyone gone from a Focus to a Fiesta? What's the experience been like? I'm thinking I could do it even though it's smaller: 75% of the time in the car it's just me and the other 25% is me and my 3 year old. my wife won't drive it because she doesn't like a manual. :)

I haven't driven a Fiesta yet; gonna wait till December so I can try out all of the cars in the slush. :) 2014 Mazda3 (I had an 05 before the Focus) looks cool too, but I bet it's gonna be on the expensive side for the hatch and I need to save for a new house.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:27 PM   #9
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I think you will just have to drive the Fiesta to know if you want to go with a smaller car (compared with Focus - i don't know the Mazda). The fuel efficiency between Fiesta and Focus is similar, and you can get all the horns and whistles on either car, so it's a matter of up-front dollars and size. Thinking that the 3 yr old might grow a bit over the next couple of years ;), but I don't have any experience in that department! I am still driving my 2000 ZX3 now with 232k.
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Old 08-06-2013, 02:29 PM   #10
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My wife has a 2011 Fiesta, we bought it brand new and it has 45k miles on it. It drives great, has less power, and has less techy stuff them my 2012 Focus SE but its still a great car. Now for 2014 you can get the color screen or whatever for the radio and some other things have been redesigned a little bit all over. As for the car itself I like both of our cars and have no complaints about either of them.
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