Originally Posted by roderunner
The manual is excellent on the Focus. Gear spacing is just about right. Clutch operation is smooth and light. One of the nicest shifting I've seen and IMO adds significantly to the driveability of the car. If you read the Car and Driver review and enjoy driving, there shouldn't be any question.
A little bonus -- if you have a weak battery or starter malfunction, you can always push start.
Technically you should not push start a modern car as the raw unburnt fuel can damage the catalyst so that's not really a great idea.
5th gear is fundamentally too short at 0.815:1 vs the 0.702:1 6th gear in the DCT, or the 0.625:1 in the Cruze with the eco gear set for 6th gear.
Having driven both I really had to think about getting the 5MT, but because of the way Ford packaged the car in 2012 in order to get the features I wanted I was locked out from getting the 5MT as well, even though they made the car for Canada in the same trim and options with a manual from the same plant which doesn't make sense to me as to why they would limit a potential sale.
Don't get me wrong the gearbox is not bad, but it just doesn't have the advantage over the DCT when it comes to highway cruising.
Fundamentally the mtx-75 has the same basic gear ratios as my former 1994 Geo Prizm LSI, particularly when it came to final drive and 5th gear ratios.
However the Focus does weigh in nearly 359 lbs more or so than the elder car. Mostly do to creature comforts and safety improvements made over the years.
On the plus side the clutch pedal and clutch actuation felt damned near the same, but the gear shift felt a bit different. Nothing I could not have gotten used to though.
Had Ford make the car available with a 6MT with a similar gear ratio spread to the DCT and a taller over drive gear I would have gone with that.
It comes down to personal preference. I could have gone either way, but for highway cruising that 6th gear comes into play beautifully and I don't mind shifting the DCT manually if and when I want to.
I do kind of miss depressing the clutch pedal, but on the bright side I love how smooth the gear changes are even at wide open throttle.
Had I waited for the 2013s though I would have ordered an ST instead probably.