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Old 01-08-2013, 05:55 PM   #31
lddavis
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[QUOTE=Just Tom;4530989I haven't driven the Cruze[/QUOTE]I can see your point. The Focus (especially the ST) is a bit brash. But then, I still find that kind of appealing in a way.

It's probably unfair to compare crappy rental models, so not much to say about the interior features. The one thing I have to slam is the terrible fabric they used on the dash and seats. It's this scratchy woven polyester horror, as though the car was made from leftover 1970s polo shirts from Sears.

But the Cruze drove ok. There's a dead spot in the center of the steering, probably so it doesn't seem twitchy on the highway. So less responsive than the Focus, and less quick of a turn-in. A bit underpowered, but that's common to most of the base models in the class.

I found the door oddly constricting, having to fold into the seat in a way I didn't with the Elantra or the Focus.

I would have likely preferred the Elantra, but there was just something... wrong with the suspension. There were times when a sideways force (bump while steering, wind gust) on the highway resulted in a a little lurch to the side. Disturbing. It didn't even happen all the time, so I couldn't get used to it. Only when conditions were just right (or wrong).
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:51 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by lddavis View Post
I can see your point. The Focus (especially the ST) is a bit brash. But then, I still find that kind of appealing in a way.

It's probably unfair to compare crappy rental models, so not much to say about the interior features. The one thing I have to slam is the terrible fabric they used on the dash and seats. It's this scratchy woven polyester horror, as though the car was made from leftover 1970s polo shirts from Sears.

But the Cruze drove ok. There's a dead spot in the center of the steering, probably so it doesn't seem twitchy on the highway. So less responsive than the Focus, and less quick of a turn-in. A bit underpowered, but that's common to most of the base models in the class.

I found the door oddly constricting, having to fold into the seat in a way I didn't with the Elantra or the Focus.

I would have likely preferred the Elantra, but there was just something... wrong with the suspension. There were times when a sideways force (bump while steering, wind gust) on the highway resulted in a a little lurch to the side. Disturbing. It didn't even happen all the time, so I couldn't get used to it. Only when conditions were just right (or wrong).
Funny that you'd mention the fabric. One car reviewer referred to it as leftover speaker covering. Sounds tacky to me.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:03 PM   #33
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... Be a man and get the manual Focus. No transmission problems.
Thanks for the advice. I've been buying cars with manual transmissions only for >40 years, and was leaning in that direction already. (Other things in my life have done more to make me confident in my manhood, btw, even if I had preferred automatics instead. ;) The thing is, this time I'd like my next car to be one my wife doesn't mind driving and she does not enjoy driving a manual, so this could be a tough compromise. (She'd probably be happy with a Corolla as a second car, except for it being underpowered.) Besides, I think you probably bought the only '13 Focus sedan in the country with a manual trans. All the manuals I've seen while searching dealer inventory are hatchbacks.

Even if Ford gets the DCT's software perfect and makes its hardware bulletproof it will never behave like an automatic with a torque converter, so she might do better driving a "real" manual (she first learned to drive in one) than the DCT. No need to adjust to the DCT's unique "characteristics" like so many drivers seem to have a problem doing if you're the one working the clutch yourself. If Ford just gave buyers the option of getting a conventional automatic (a la Mazda3, Civic, Corolla, ...) this would be so much easier. (Probably driven by CAFE standards to eke out every possible mpg improvement in their bigger selling models.)

Unfortunately, as you noted, the DCT isn't the only problem early 3rd gen Focus owners have experienced that is delaying my decision to buy. Probably most of the people who bought all those Civics and Corollas didn't have the lattitude I do in waiting to buy something, so they passed on the Focus. That, or fun-to-drive isn't as high on their list as it is on mine. But then, how much fun can you have driving back and forth to the dealer to try to get them to fix noisey suspension, power steering failures, etc.? Or, stuck in the middle of DC with your GPS going all mayhem on you. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4h0Qvc6_MfQ (EDIT: I am not endorsing the company nor products promoted by this video, just the humor. At least I thought it was funny. Someone who has had similar problems may not.)

It looked like Ford had been doing so well with the Fusion's reliability for the past few years, I hope they get it right with the Focus soon.

Last edited by Arco-Zakus; 01-09-2013 at 02:15 PM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:35 PM   #34
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Funny that you'd mention the fabric.
Yeah -- normally it's not the sort of thing that I'd zero in on. I didn't really care, for instance, that the Elantra has more hard plastic than the Focus. But this stuff was bad enough to stand out.

It's not ugly. In my car, it was all black, and the coarse weave gives it some visual texture that's more interesting than if it were smooth. But it's not pleasant to touch. Also, I suspect that coarse weave would make it more attractive to dirt and hard to clean.
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