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Old 02-16-2012, 09:33 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by kam327 View Post
If fuel economy benefits was the primary reason Ford chose to use this transmission (according to the bulletin Black Bengal posted yesterday), how does the Corolla with a conventional 4-speed auto trounce the Focus in combined fuel economy????? Consumer Reports reported 32mpg in their overall testing vs the Focus' 28mpg. And the Elantra with its conventional 6-speed did slightly better with 29mpg? Popular Mech showed the Elantra trounced the Focus in a 70-mph highway test.

(Even though the Corolla is rated 2mpg less by EPA, the user average on fueleconomy.gov is greater than the Focus', reinforcing Consumer Reports' results.)

Where's the 10-15% efficiency increase with this new technology and all of its low-speed idiosyncracies, that is single-handedly driving many folks away from the Focus and Ford in general???

Yes, those competitors have slightly less horsepower and acceleration but so what? Does that really matter in a compact car that most folks will purchase for fuel economy?

Yes the Focus' strengths are steering and handling, which I greatly appreciate and am willing to live with the transmission for those reasons, but the general public doesn't seem to really care about handling. They want efficiency and reliability, two Focus weaknesses.

In my brief experience with the car there is only one benefit to this transmission - very smooth high-speed shifting and power delivery. I'm having a hard time justifying that benefit given the low-speed drawbacks we have to put up with.

I am glad I'm getting 32mpg on my commute, but would I be getting the same if they just carried over the '11 Focus' powertrain? And having a normal automatic transmission experience?

Just askin' the questions......
I agree Ford may have "out-scienced" itself with the DCT. But I think there is something to the fuel savings.

According to Fuely.com, overall economy for the 2012 Focus is essentially the same as for the Corolla. Considering the Focus is almost a different class of car from the Corolla, is more substantial, faster, etc., this is an accomplishment.

The DCT's benefit is only in urban/suburban driving. It has no fuel economy benefit on the highway compared to a conventional automatic or manual. So if other cars beat it at 70 mph, it could be aerodynamics, gearing, etc. but not the DCT per se.

I expect Ford will continue to work on the DCT and will get it to a state where it is acceptable to most drivers, but I bet there is a fair amount of second-guessing going on in Dearborn on this topic.
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