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Old 02-16-2012, 08:33 AM   #571
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Quote:
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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Old 02-16-2012, 08:34 AM   #572
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It's always pick your poison. Most buyers of the Focus buy it for the combination of fuel economy and handling. If it is just economy you want, the elantra or corolla or other car may be fine, if it is performance then the VW or Mazda or other is what you want. I think Ford did a great job of balancing those options and went for a better driving experience rather than just economy. Some will drive it conservatively and get great milage, others will be more aggressive and get less. That will combine the no# and have an overall lower EPA than the Corolla for instance that will not be used as a sport car by the majority of buyers who are wanting economy.

Just stating opinions'....
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Old 02-16-2012, 08:49 AM   #573
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"Most buyers of the Focus buy it for the combination of fuel economy and handling."

Agreed, which is why I don't regret my purchase. I'm just suggesting that if they went with the Fusion's 6-speed, for example, they may have been able to get comparable fuel economy and eliminated the biggest weakness of the car. I'm just not seeing conclusive evidence of a 10-15% economy benefit of the DCT.
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Old 02-16-2012, 09:02 AM   #574
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"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."

Yes the Focus is 0.7 sec quicker to 60 and 0.4 sec quicker in the quarter mile according to CR and still gets roughly equal economy according to fuelly users, but 12% less economy according to what I assume to be the more standardized testing of CR. The vast majority of folks aren't driving their Foci to the limits like that on a daily basis though. I bought mine for the balance of economy and comfort / handling, which I got but the DCT detracts from that experience.

Again, I still don't see good evidence of the DCT providing "class leading fuel economy". It can't match the Elantra's economy at 70mph even with the addition of the grille shutters and low resistance tires (according to PM).
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:29 PM   #575
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This TSB flash, I know I've read somewhere but what is the build date after which I shouldn't have to worry? My build date is 1/11/12 so I'm assuming I'm fine, just want to be sure. Only have ~800 miles so far and have had no problems *knock on wood* but don't want a surprise!

As for fuel economy, I don't drive for economy, I drive for fun! Well, okay, I drive to get from point A to point B, but I want to have fun while in route. This car handles better than anything I've driven in years and it gets pretty dang good gas mileage compared to what I am used to, so I'm a happy camper!
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:35 PM   #576
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This TSB flash, I know I've read somewhere but what is the build date after which I shouldn't have to worry? My build date is 1/11/12 so I'm assuming I'm fine, just want to be sure. Only have ~800 miles so far and have had no problems *knock on wood* but don't want a surprise!

As for fuel economy, I don't drive for economy, I drive for fun! Well, okay, I drive to get from point A to point B, but I want to have fun while in route. This car handles better than anything I've driven in years and it gets pretty dang good gas mileage compared to what I am used to, so I'm a happy camper!
I know mid August was a big cutoff date. Mine was built 12/2/11, I had the latest TSB performed before delivery on 1/31/12, it was smooth for the first week but I now have a low-speed shudder....
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:48 PM   #577
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Hmm. I may check with my dealer to see if they know anything about this. When I get a new car, I drive a lot without the radio on so I can listen to what things sound like. I like to know what it sounds like new so when I start hearing strange sounds, I can know if it's a problem or if that's just the way it's always sounded. I drove my husband's Jeep Liberty for the first time in quite a while the last time we had bad weather and it was making what I thought was a strange sound. I asked him if he heard it and he couldn't even hear anything while I was hearing it loud and clear, it was a clicking in the right from suspension. I got to poking around and found there was a little rock stuck up there and once I got that dislodged, I drove it again and it was fine. Yeah, I'm the handy woman in my house, hubby wouldn't know a lug nut from a nail, of course he was raised by his mother and grandmother so I guess I can't really blame him but it can be frustrating. SMH
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Old 02-16-2012, 02:53 PM   #578
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My build date was Aug. 11 and I've had all latest flash's done. It is performing much better. My mileage around town is about 27 - 28MPG and on long freeway drives its 37 to 40MPG. I'm super happy with the MPG. As far as the DCT....I would prefer a more conventional trany and I suspect if I had known about Focus Fanatics before I leased I probably would not have gotten the Focus. It's a great car otherwise and my dealership seems to be pretty savy so all in all I'm satisfied.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:25 PM   #579
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"Hmm. I may check with my dealer to see if they know anything about this. "

It sounds like it was a pretty common problem at least in the early builds. That and the metallic clunks and other noises that in that bulletin posted earlier Ford said was normal. Thankfully I don't have any noticeable noises or clunks, just a herky-jerky acceleration from a standstill, like a poorly driven manual. What concerns me is it all of a sudden started happening after a week and 300 miles of smooth operation. I just hope it works itself out by the end of the "1,000 mile break in period."

"As far as the DCT....I would prefer a more conventional trany and I suspect if I had known about Focus Fanatics before I leased I probably would not have gotten the Focus."

That's what I'm talking about! The DCT which in most of the early car reviews was panned is probably driving a lot of prospective buyers away, or if they bought it, giving them a negative impression of Ford.
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:26 PM   #580
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TopKat I suspect that you have nothing to worry about. Despite a number of people who have had issues with the transmission many many more have not including myself. Most people who are happy with their cars never get on these sites to post compliments. It seems that people show up in droves to complain which is human nature. The latest TSB that I'm aware of is 12-1-4 if memory serves me correctly. It was issued late December to very early January so I'm willing to bet that any car manufactured from Jan to present has the latest programming.

It is my opinion that Ford has resolved the issues so I wouldn't worry about it. Besides, if it's leased you can always turn it in and walk away from it. I went through similar issues with my 2008 VW Jetta. That one was so bad that they eventually recalled it and installed a new Mecatronics Unit. It performed much better after the recall but make no mistake, it was much more jerky than the Ford DCT. The only thing about VW's DSG that I liked a little better was the quicker shifts. I suspect that Ford is able to program the DCT to perform similarly but chose instead to go with a smoother more relaxed shift style for American taste. That's always the way it seems for any car destined for the USA. Tune it for lazy drivers, LOL
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