Originally Posted by revhigh
It's very evident from reading the forum that people are getting more and more disillusioned with the new Focus. I still like mine, but I have to admit ... I've had more problems with this car in 5000 miles than I did with my last 3 Toyotas in 350,000 miles combined. None of my previous Toyotas EVER saw the shop ... my Focus has been in the shope 4 times now in 5000 miles, and it STILL has the front suspension issue. If they resolved that ... I'd be 100% happy with it, but I really don't think they even know what the problem is.
If it is your opinion that there was nothing wrong with the Mazda 3 why didn't you buy one instead? We already know from ZX3Matt who's wife bought a new 3 instead of another Focus that the 12+ 3 is not immune from the suspension clunk having shared a common chassis development initially.
My car's suspension does not clunk, I have no issues with the DCT so far, and I don't care that the press seems to find the button layout too cluttered looking. It works really well in my opinion, and most of the time I can use the voice commands or the steering wheel controls to accomplish what I want to with minimal distraction.
If the Focus only offered a 5MT or a traditional automatic like the Fusion or the Escape's 6F35 I would not have gone with the automatic and I might not have gone with a Focus at all. I don't like the disconnected feeling of driving around in a car with a torque converter.
The skyactiv automatic transmission is having its own issues, maybe not quite as widely reported yet but there are fewer of them on the roads.
The only thing that is bothering me at the moment is the heated seats don't seem to get very hot but the dealer tried to claim that was normal of cloth seats. Then they either lied to me or to Ford, because they said it only reported 90-100F at the heater pad but they told ford they saw it hit the required 125F, which it did not.
If it was 125F at the pad and the pad is directly below the seat cover which is quite thin it would eventually reach the same temperature as the heater due to the nature of heat transfer. You can't just lose 30F worth of thermal energy someplace without it feeling warmer someplace.
But that's a relatively minor complaint about the car so far.
If I had waited however I might not be driving a Focus, or I might have had to spend far more for the ST to get what I wanted.
I wouldn't buy the 3 because of the interior, the styling, and the fact that even the six speed manual is geared more like the MTX-75 and would be less efficient than the DCT.
But like I said to each his or her own. I like my car, but I wouldn't like it if it had a torque converter.
Manual transmissions are usually far more reliable than automatics. The DCT being an automated manual is therfore technically more reliable by design although it doesn't have a long service history here yet. There have been no horror stories for the most part reported outside of North America, but the same powertrain is exported to the world, e.x. Austrailia/Russia/etc, and there have not been nearly the same level of expletives hurled at it as there have been by those people who were the most coddled by the torque converter and planetary gearsets. 50 years ago it made driving easier sure, but they were dreadfully inefficient and blunted performance massively. Now its less of a hit but having all that extra fluid moving around is not good for efficiency. The best automatics are only now nearing the efficiency of the traditional manual gearbox. Although they are also being geared even taller than usual as well which helps mileage but kills performance.
For the past 30 years of small FWD automatics from Ford pretty much all of the ones built in the Van Dyke assembly plant were pretty bad. AXOD/AXOD-E/AX4S/AX4N/4F50N et al from all the vintages of Taurus/etc have pretty much destroyed my opinion of torque converter automatics. The one in my old oldsomobile might have been ok, but it was far from exciting. The transmission in my first car a $225 dollar beat to junk Cadillac also had a pretty messed up transmission that failed to shift when you floored the accelerator until you let off.
It is my right to express my opinion, and its yours to disagree, but pozi240 clearly agreed with me on the plastic fantastic interior of the 3 as well as the fact that the noisier ride made it feel sportier without actually being better. After all if the suspension is essentially the same you're looking for subtle tweaks and per Car and Driver among others the Focus had the better balance in terms of ride comfort and handling. Its pretty much why in all of the comparison tests that they have done the Focus has come out on top of the 3, the Civic, and even the Dart. That last comparison was between manuals as well and the 5 speed focus still creamed the 6 speed dart.