Thought I'd report my experience.
2012 Focus SE 5spd hatch manual, purchased 1/2012, 3000 miles.
- Extremely poor fuel economy (19 mpg city, 30 hwy)
- Knocking sound in front end when breaking, I can feel the knocks on the break and clutch pedal. Sounds like a loose part.
- The engine sounds like a diesel tractor on cold starts, then it gets smoother.
- Engine occasionally knocks when idle.
- iPod connection no longer works (I hear it needs to be rebooted by pulling a fuse)
- SYNC cannot index tracks if you have a certain number of songs (I have about 140 GB.)
- Sometimes I close the car and the radio stays on.
The good stuff:
- Handling is truly excellent for a $21k car
- Voice commands work surprisingly well; I drove an SEL rental last December that just could not understand me at all, but mine seems to work ok.
- Sport seats are excellent
- Fit and finish is pretty decent. There's a tiny rattle from the right side when listening to the radio, but nothing serious.
Other minor annoyances:
- Even with the doors locked, it is possible to open the door from the inside - my daughter did it accidentally while the car was in movement. The Honda I had previously did not allow that. There's a lock on the side door panel that can be twisted to permanently lock the door from the inside, but then the central locking system won't release the door and you have to open it from the outside.
- There are a few tough plastic edges around the console mount that gave me a callous on my right knee; the factory should put some rubber around the console mount.
- The rubber mat on the driver's side (winter package) is not affixed to anything and keeps sliding up under the pedals.
- When using the heated seats, every time I stop on a traffic light, the heat increases dramatically (I guess it's voltage variation from the alternator)
I'll take the car to service for the issues; I'll keep the forum posted on the progress.