Originally Posted by flyboyike
Seriously, suss, you're the first person I've ever heard of that didn't buy a stick because the top gear ratio wasn't tall enough.
Its not the only reason, but given my last car with a manual was 18 years old and had essentially the same 5th gear and axle ratios the car would be spinning at a similar engine speed at 70 mph as confirmed by running the gear ratio vs vehicle speed calculations factoring in the rolling radius of the tire and the other factors.
I know the Focus would have been quieter at 3000 rpm having a brand new exhaust system and no exhaust manifold leaks, but since the newer car would weigh in at nearly 500 lbs more the city fuel economy would suffer on the low end every time you have to accelerate that additional mass up to speed.
As nice as the MTX-75 is, and I had driven one around a small steering and handling loop in Dearborn at an SAE conference that was held at the Dearborn Development Center, I didn't want to be running the engine at around 3000 rpm all the time just to do 70 mi/hr on the expressway. The DCT does just over 2600 rpm at 70, and is closer to 3000 rpm at 80 mph. That's the advantage of gearing for you.
Had they kept the axle ratio the same but added a 6th gear with a numerically lower (taller) gear ratio to match the DCT the real world fuel economy could have been even better as well.
The MMT6 in the ST has a taller secondary final drive, but a much shorter 6th gear ratio which means that over all it would still not be as efficient as the DCT or have the engine spinning quite as slowly if applied to the NA GDI engine.
I was kind of conflicted about the DCT vs the 5MT at the time, but so far knock on HSLA (High Strength Low Alloy) steel, the DCT has done well so far over the past 11.xK miles.
The 5MT would have been cheaper on the SE, but it would not have been available due to packaging restrictions the way I wanted without changing the paint color from Frosted Glass to either Ingot Silver or Sterling Grey.
I had been going back and forth between getting a lower level S/SE with a manual, possibly in sedan form, or going for the hatchback and getting it equipped a bit nicer than I was initially expecting to be able to get. However the SEL was only ever available with the manual in Canada.
So I could have gone either way initially, although now I'm not sure I would go for a 5 speed manual at the moment. I do however tend to shift the DCT manually quite frequently just because I can.