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Old 11-04-2014, 06:55 PM   #1
psyshack
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New 2014 Focus SE Sedan First Week

I purchased our New Focus Sedan SE 6AT one week ago today. Thought I would give a quick overview of the last seven days with the new little Crown Vic.

Current vehicles we own are a 2007 Mazda3 Touring 5MT. 2009 Civic Hybrid. 2000 Ranger.

I bought the Focus because of some bad engine noise and idiot lights the MZ3 through in one fail swoop. I will be repairing it and keeping the car.

The new Focus is a SE Sedan in Ruby Red Tint, with the SE Sports Package, the standard 6 DCT, Sirrus and a few other simple adders. MPG is very good. First tank of fuel. The dealer tank fill up came in at 40 mpg. It's on it's second tank and holding a nice 43 mpg right now. It has the ability to be a fuel sipping machine.

The over all build quality is good. Not as good as a current Civic. On par with our current MZ3 and far better than our old Ranger. Door seams, hood/truck to fender seams are a tad sloppy. Paint has the now normal amount of orange peel with even paint coverage. The paint is thicker than any modern Honda I have owned. All the doors close with a good solid thud. The feel of the input controls is good. Still not as good as Honda. But a slight step up from the MZ3. So far there have been no squeaks, rattles or material rubs at all.

The car is over all very pleasant to drive. It feels bigger than it is when your driving. The seats are comfortable. And work very well with my torn up back and hips. The road noise in our car is very low for cars in this class. There is no overt wind noise or air leaking around the door or window seals. I drive a 80 to 100 mile day round trip commute. The Focus seems to like the drive and keeps me fresh with it's good road manors. That's why I now refer to it as my Mini Crown Vic. :)

I really like the auto on and off headlights. And the rain sensing function has worked well. The auto dimming function. I don't know about that little feature. The basic sync is kind of stupid and a bit of a pain to work with. One thing I can say positive with out question is the hands free audio quality is top shelf. During a call the hands free audio quality is much better than our Civic. Everybody thinks I'm using the handset. I really like the head restraint system in the Focus. Adjustments are very simple and easy to make. And they seem to adjust very well to my wife's and my needs. We both like how the trunk opens and flips it's self right up. The materials used in the cabin are nice for the cars price point. And the included lower/knee air bad is nice also.

Handling? Thats kind of a mixed bag. Yeah it's better than our current Civic Hybrid. But way off the mark concerning the MZ3. Yeah the MZ3 does have 17" wheels. But the Focus does not have anywhere near the braking power the MZ3 has. The brake caliper and disk are small on the Focus. And it has a fair amount of body roll. Doesn't turn in well and really likes to under steer. It also likes to dart around some. It will just kind or drift off it's line to the left or right. It's really strange. I'm sure there is something a miss in the alignment.

Over all the wife and I really do like the new Focus. BUT!!!

There is always a BUT it seems like now days. :)

The transmission threw it's first fit yesterday at 418 miles. It blew a 2nd to 3rd gear shift at biblical levels. It ground the gears three times before it could find cogs that wanted to play well will each other. It did it again at 564 miles today. Between the 418 and 564 mile data points it has shuddered, done the rotating grinding noise and had some shifts where it acted like it was firmly in it's learning curve.

So after it's 564 mile major gear grinding episode I took it back to the dealer today. The service manager and staff were very nice. The owner of the dealer and the salesman I bought the car from all wanted the issue addressed right now. This is a small town family owned Ford dealer. And I have bought cars from them in the past. The fluid from the tranny was drained and inspected. There were some tiny fragments in the oil. And the oil did have a metallic sheen to it. None of this surprised me at all. Heck the transmission is breaking in after all. Fluid was bottled up and will be going in for analysis. When I told them about the how the car darted around when driving down a straight road they are all familiar with. They offered me a loaner of my choice. They told me to pick what ever I wanted to drive off the lot and they would put a temp tag on it and provide ins. verification. I declined there offer for today.

But we did put a game plan together. The car does not qualify for the current extended warranty for seal and clutch parts. But the owner of the dealer stepped right up to the plate and offered me a free dealer extended warranty in writing on the transmission for as long as we own the car. That would include a complete transmission, fluids and electrical parts, labor and any towing that might be needed. We agreed when I bring the car in for it's first oil change they would check the firmware and up data anything the car needed. They would also change the tranny fluid again. They would do a complete alignment. If the darting around did not stop after the alignment they would put a set of new OEM tires on it and replace any questionable components. And if needed replace the tires on the spot if there was any strange wear. The service manager asked the parts manager to go a head and bring in a new clutch and seal set. And to make sure they are the current updated step and to hold the parts under my vin number and name. The service manager told me there would also be a new set of all weather floor mats installed in the car for my trouble.

After everything was in writing and the notary stamped everything and all party's signed the docs. I asked the service manager how many of these transmissions have they had to deal with over the last four years. He told me they have had to replace two clutch assembly's and two sets of seals and one complete transmission. The one complete transmission replacement was because of gears clashing and grinding. He assured me if this car shows any signs of being a can of worms, we won't have to own it. He assured me the service dept. and owner of the dealer will not let us down. His words "We as a dealer will make this right, what ever it takes."

So I will see what happens. I've dealt with this dealer in the past. I would have taken them at there word and a handshake. But paper does make it nicer. :)


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Old 11-04-2014, 07:21 PM   #2
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good for them for stepping up to the plate. Although I haven't had any issue with mine yet (only at about 1,200 miles) I have pretty good faith on my dealer also doing the right thing if it was necessary, partially due to being a repeat customer that the owner knows by my first name when he sees me. I don't know that they would offer as good of a deal for me as your dealer did for you but if it becomes an issue you can bet I'll print this thread out.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:24 PM   #3
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Do you have rain sensing wiper blades? i didnt know that was an option on the SE model.
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:28 PM   #4
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That's a good Ford neighbor you got for sure!
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:31 PM   #5
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That dealer Sounds amazing! Wish I had like that here...
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Old 11-04-2014, 08:43 PM   #6
psyshack
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jburks View Post
Do you have rain sensing wiper blades? i didnt know that was an option on the SE model.
I meant the headlights coming on when it rains. No rain sensing wipers.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:28 PM   #7
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You definitely found a winner of a dealer there.

A few thoughts:

--You might want to (if you are so inclined) check out this thread...at least the first few posts by the OP http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=415994.

With the interesting shift you experienced, your transmission is breaking in and adapting to your driving style. Without going into much of any detail, this is not like any transmission you will have ever owned.

Edit: I see you already have checked it out. Interesting the dealer would drain the trans to inspect given the break in period

--I like the phrase "litle crown vic"

--Regarding body roll, braking, and turn-in: It takes some getting used to with the Focus. There are a lot of active assist systems at play and it doesn't respond exactly how you expect when you're new to it. I finally got around to getting new tires on mine and I can tell you that tires alone make a world of difference. The ProContacts that come from the factory are nice but in the future, they should be upgraded. The braking will come with time but I agree...from the factory it is a little under par.

Many, many, many users around here have installed coilovers or done other suspension mods and while I haven;t any installed on mine, I can also assure you they make a huge difference as well.

--Finally, let yourself fall in love with the car. Seriously. There are a myriad of opinions around here and some aren't so great. I bought mine only because I got a great deal on it, but looking back I think I would have regretted my other options. I want to drive this car well past 100k and hopefully you will, too.
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Old 11-04-2014, 09:57 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chemistkremer View Post
You definitely found a winner of a dealer there.

A few thoughts:

--You might want to (if you are so inclined) check out this thread...at least the first few posts by the OP http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=415994.

With the interesting shift you experienced, your transmission is breaking in and adapting to your driving style. Without going into much of any detail, this is not like any transmission you will have ever owned.

Edit: I see you already have checked it out. Interesting the dealer would drain the trans to inspect given the break in period

--I like the phrase "litle crown vic"

--Regarding body roll, braking, and turn-in: It takes some getting used to with the Focus. There are a lot of active assist systems at play and it doesn't respond exactly how you expect when you're new to it. I finally got around to getting new tires on mine and I can tell you that tires alone make a world of difference. The ProContacts that come from the factory are nice but in the future, they should be upgraded. The braking will come with time but I agree...from the factory it is a little under par.

Many, many, many users around here have installed coilovers or done other suspension mods and while I haven;t any installed on mine, I can also assure you they make a huge difference as well.

--Finally, let yourself fall in love with the car. Seriously. There are a myriad of opinions around here and some aren't so great. I bought mine only because I got a great deal on it, but looking back I think I would have regretted my other options. I want to drive this car well past 100k and hopefully you will, too.
I'm very aware of the nanny systems at play in the new Focus. And yet another reason why I'm keeping my 07 Mazda3. All nanny systems can be turned off in the Mazda! And comparing the Focus to the Mazda3 really isn't fare in the handling dept. But they are straight up first cousins.

Now comparing the Focus to the 06 Civic EX 5MT w/Navi I use to own is more inline. The Civic had the same size wheels and tires for starters. And a better over all abs system and stability control. Plus it could all be turned off also. The Civic turned in much better and stayed flatter. It rotated a lot better and did not under steer as bad. I don't have a problem with the Conti's on it. If anything they add the the little Crown Vic identity. I'm fine with that seeing this car was bought to eat hwy miles for breakfast and dinner. I still have my Mazda3 for back road bashing and the once in a while auto cross or outlaw rally.

Love is such a over used word now days. I love my wife, kids, family and very close friends. I like or dislike my cars, house, computers, guns or mirad of others things. :)
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Old 11-05-2014, 03:24 AM   #9
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Reading your post I am wondering why you did not buy a Civic or Mazda3, as you seem to have a very strong preference for their characteristics.
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Old 11-05-2014, 07:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyshack View Post

Love is such a over used word now days. I love my wife, kids, family and very close friends. I like or dislike my cars, house, computers, guns or mirad of others things. :)
Unless you find your car develops a personality.

Next thing you know, you're having conversations with it and it actually talks back to you!

Sometimes, you'll get out and feel its sadness and watch as the headlights seem to be following your silhouette venturing off in the distance, and it's wondering where you could be going that is just so much more fun than it.

Who would have thought that Ford was the first to create genuine, original emotion from a machine. So many computers working together create flaws and those flaws and its own self-discovery birthed a consciousness. Heck, it can even learn!

Now that is love.






Of course, your experience will always be different.
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