Originally Posted by femaven
I occasionally get some hesitation from a stop and grinding between 1 and 2 along with hesitation on the shift. I'm not sure if this is related but according to the dash, I typically get about 29 mpg with mostly highway driving, well below the stated 35 or so mpg. I've got 16k miles on the car so I don't think it's a matter of the engine/trans being broken in.
The hesitation issue may be the nature of the beast. I bet you experience this when accelerated fairly gently, with shift points at say 2,300 - 2,500 RPMs, like in much urban/suburban traffic? Early shift points are engineered into almost all cars these days for better fuel economy, so this isn't unique to the Focus. However, after the upshift the engine is barely turning more than 1,500 RPMs and there just isn't much torque available, so the engine seems to bog or hesitate. Once up the torque curve a bit, things are fine again.
Why is this so noticeable in the Focus? Conventional automatics have a torque converter to multiply the torque produced by the engine and smooth out unevenness in power deliver. The Focus has none; the clutch can help with this at launch, but not in subsequent gear changes. So the solution to me seems to be live with it or drive it more aggressively.