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Old 12-12-2012, 03:09 PM   #1
halfmoonclip
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Taking our lumps from Consumer Reports ...

The current Consumer Reports (3-series Bimmer on the cover) puts our Foci at the bottom of the chit list, with an ominous black circle as a prediction of the car if purchased either new or used.
For those unfamiliar with CR's symbols, this means a 'much worse than average' evaluation; in their 'best/worst' listings, the Focus is at the very bottom of the heap for 'small hatchbacks', with a reliability rating that tumbled by 170%.

This does not bode well for us now or at trade-in time.

A careful examination does explain some issues. All the other categories were either above or much above average with the exception of two: Transmission Minor, and Audio System.

The 'Transmission Minor' ('worse than average') largely seemed to address the electronic control of the tranny, altho' some of us have experienced troubles with the clutches themselves and larger problems.
The 'Audio System' ('much worse than average') took the worst of the beating, due to troubles with My Ford Touch; those of us who avoided it should be better served.

Absent the audio system rating, the car doesn't fare too badly, but for those of us who have already purchased a car, we're left holding the proverbial bag.

The magazine notes that, on page 20, "Only two years ago, Ford was Detroit's poster child for reliability. It cracked the top 10 among brands in our predicted reliability scores...Since then, reliability has dropped significantly and Ford is now next to last among the 28 brands in our survey..."

My own car has had work done on the clutches and electronic parts of the tranny, and I'm sincerely hoping that better days are coming.
Moon


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Old 12-12-2012, 03:20 PM   #2
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I may be contributing to the 'much worse than average' rating soon. Yesterday, on my way home from work at around 3:45pm, I looked down and noticed that my clock said 10:09. Re-set it when I got home and it sat all night.

Got in it this morning at 6:20am to go to work. It said 10:15. Re-set it again. Today at noon, it was still correct, so I'm wondering if it has something to do with passing the stroke of midnight. If it's wrong again tomorrow morning, to the dealer we'll go. All my station pre-sets are still there, and my phone connected, so this is a head-scratcher.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:21 PM   #3
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I am not a fan of CR for different reasons, but if I'd say "don't sweat about it", what would you say ?
If I'd go for what the guys from the CR are saying is great to have, I'd have to go for a Corola. Not my type, though. People who build / publish their opinions based on other people opinions... hmmm. What do you think you'll get ? I've not seen (yet) a CR report about a car that was against what their "buyers" said about that car.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfmoonclip View Post
...but for those of us who have already purchased a car, we're left holding the proverbial bag.
How reliable my car is or how much I enjoy driving it has nothing whatsoever to do with Consumer Reports.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:27 PM   #5
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While Consumer Reports isn't what it used to be, Ford should be downright embarrassed at the terrible quality of Sync and MFT. Neither should be in Fords' vehicles in their current state. Absent the failing seals, I think the DCT issues are people not understanding how non torque converter automatic works. While the DCT may not be perfect, at least it isn't the abortion Sync/MFT is. Dealerships don't seem to be helping the issue either.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:30 PM   #6
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Had nothing but good times with my car (minus the MFT woes, but more often than not, even that system puts a smile on my face). So CS and anyone who quotes CS as a "reliable source" can suck it
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:32 PM   #7
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While Consumer Reports isn't what it used to be, Ford should be downright embarrassed at the terrible quality of Sync and MFT...
I don't know if you really have or use MFT, but I suppose you haven't, because if MFT is terrible for you, I am affraid to ask how you find "Plans".
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:34 PM   #8
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A rather knowledgeable fellow once said that, before buying a car, we'd do well to read Consumer Reports and Car and Driver.

I've always thought this was pretty sage advice; CR for their hardheaded-to-a-fault evaluation and reliability statistics, and one of the Carzines for a more emotional look at the driving qualities and other factors that make car ownership fun, and far different than buying an appliance.

Whatever faults you may find with CR, it's also hard to argue that the current gen Focus doesn't have some faults of its own, faults that should have been better researched before the car was sold to customers.

So shoot the messenger if you must, but our little Fords are great cars with some issues that really need to be addressed. I'll give Ford some credit for actively trying to address them.
Moon
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:39 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by halfmoonclip View Post
The current Consumer Reports (3-series Bimmer on the cover) puts our Foci at the bottom of the chit list, with an ominous black circle as a prediction of the car if purchased either new or used.
For those unfamiliar with CR's symbols, this means a 'much worse than average' evaluation; in their 'best/worst' listings, the Focus is at the very bottom of the heap for 'small hatchbacks', with a reliability rating that tumbled by 170%.

This does not bode well for us now or at trade-in time.

A careful examination does explain some issues. All the other categories were either above or much above average with the exception of two: Transmission Minor, and Audio System.

The 'Transmission Minor' ('worse than average') largely seemed to address the electronic control of the tranny, altho' some of us have experienced troubles with the clutches themselves and larger problems.
The 'Audio System' ('much worse than average') took the worst of the beating, due to troubles with My Ford Touch; those of us who avoided it should be better served.

Absent the audio system rating, the car doesn't fare too badly, but for those of us who have already purchased a car, we're left holding the proverbial bag.

The magazine notes that, on page 20, "Only two years ago, Ford was Detroit's poster child for reliability. It cracked the top 10 among brands in our predicted reliability scores...Since then, reliability has dropped significantly and Ford is now next to last among the 28 brands in our survey..."

My own car has had work done on the clutches and electronic parts of the tranny, and I'm sincerely hoping that better days are coming.
Moon
This is a very interesting subject you chose to write about. Like you, I read the reviews from Consumer Reports while doing my own research prior to buying my Focus. The sad truth is I haven't read one positive article written about our cars as it pertains to FMT or DCT. Without exception, every car magazine has trounced the Focus in that regard. The criticism isn't without warrant as we all know. However I think it's important to keep in mind that Consumer Reports does revise their ratings periodically and future reviews may prove to be kinder as Ford works through the issues. We'll have to wait and see.

As far as resale value is concerned, you're right, the poor ratings certainly won't help with that. On the other hand, I don't know anybody who'd argue that the Focus has good resale value to begin with.
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Old 12-12-2012, 03:40 PM   #10
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I see a number of others have posted while I was responding.

Let me say that 'MFT' is the biggest sinner in the CR evaluation, with the proverbial Big Black Ball. Those of us who avoided the MFT (based on other evals we saw before purchase) are apparently better served.

There is a black half circle for 'Transmission Minor', apparently reflecting the computer issues some of us have experienced more than the clutch problems that have troubled my car and some others. 'Transmission Major' got a positive eval, leading me to hope that my own car problems are fixable.
We shall see.
Moon
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