Originally Posted by drdab99
I can't judge what CR has to say about the Focus because I have not read it, but be aware that CR is more of a detriment than an asset to those who want a true feel for the product they are considering. That point was brought home to me a number of years ago when they basically did a hatchet job on the profession that I've devoted my life to (I'm a veterinarian).
I don't mind that they are critical of some of the things they review - nothing in life is above criticism, whether it be my profession, automobiles, or toasters. But the criticism should be fair and based on fact. CR's "reports" are researched and written by nonprofessionals going by the opinions of other nonprofessionals. Not that that in itself is so bad, but there should also be some real research involved and they should incorporate more unbiased professional input. That's what journalism is all about. In the case of the Focus, I understand that they did not even evaluate the basic car - they evaluated the car with optional equipment (MFT and DCT). I know that these options are in most Foci sold and so there is legitimate reason for taking that into account, but comparing DCT cars and standard automatic transition cars is comparing apples and oranges. At least some (NOT all) of the consumer complaints about the DCT have come from car buyers who did not understand what they were buying - and Ford can be legitimately criticized in that regard as well. CR also does not take into consideration any improvements which may or may not have been accomplished since the early production run.
There is no scientific method to their "science". Nor do they intend there to be. They are only interested in generating lists, because that is what consumers want. But understand that their lists are steaming piles of subjective crap.There are legitimate criticisms of the Focus, particularly in regards to the MFT and DCT technologies, and legitimate criticisms of how Ford has handled the introduction of the technologies into their vehicles. Do a little digging and understand all of the pros and cons, and then make up your mind. But don't waste your time on reading a CR "report". It will just be 30 minutes of your life that you'll never get back.
Great post, probably the best post in this thread! While there have been some great discussions both in this thread and many others on the subject of MFT and DCT, most of it has been blown out of proportion (with some exceptions of course, and some members here having to "fight" with bad dealerships, which futher exacerbates the problems). But, your view of CR and its overly subjective reviews is spot on. I've noticed that for years..... I guess a LOT of people here forget the meaning of the title, "Consumer
Reports"... its simply that, nothing more. Just a clearing house of lists compiled by regular folk, many of whom don't even own the product, but, took the time to fill out a vague questionaire on it because they were bored. When you take CR to task on why thier ratings can change drastically from one review period to the next, they will simply state "we are NOT resonsible for the quality or accuracy of the actual reviews, will simply compile the data and put it out in an easy to read and interpret format" .... I guess you should certainly take that with a heavy "grain of salt" then... LOL.
I, myself would much rather talk to actual owners who have driven the car for a while and take the "objective" approach to making a fair assesment. Was the DCT perfect and without issue, no, in a lot of cases, certainly not. Has software updates and shaft seal replacement fixed these issues, in most cases, yes. Certainly in mine anyway. Is MFT really as bad as some would have you believe? NO, and the latest 3.5.1 has been a major improvement, and even prior to that update, I still enjoyed MFT and preferred it over any other infotainment system in prior cars before it... it still "wows" new passengers in my car everytime. Has it affected resale value to the detriment? Some will say yes, I haven't found that, at least in my area. A quick cursory search of dealerships and online ads certainly support a very strong resale of MKIII Focus, at least on par with other brands in its segment.
Thanks for that post DrDab!