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Old 02-23-2013, 11:20 AM   #1
Fomco
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Seriously considering brand new focus as DD

Hello all,

Just a quick intro, I've been shopping for a new car for the last few months on/off and I think I am pretty close to coming to a decision as to what I want. Sadly it's been a difficult choice because there really isn't much out there in terms of value, and although I was thinking about buying used the difference between financing a used car vs. just buying a flat out new one is minimal.

I've narrowed it down to about three cars. A honda fit (yes it looks goofy, but the car is quite peppy, fun to drive and very roomy on the inside), the hyundai elantra, and of course the ford focus.

All three cars come in hatchback models with the exception of the Elantra (I was looking at the sedans) and all 3 cars are right around the same price of each other. Regardless of which car I am going to end up with, it WILL be a manual transmission. What I liked most about the Focus was that it was a fun driving experience and I've gotta say they did a great job with the cabin redesign and exterior look. Comes w/ a lot of goodies for a fairly decent price. I am looking at the hatchback SE model 5spd and they had one listed for 20k at my local dealership. The dealership is running a special right now where its up to 4500.00 off MSRP and plus I am going through the Costco auto buying program which should help net me some savings (don't know how much but every bit counts), in terms of value and performance the car is pretty good.

The only thing stopping me is Ford's questionable reliability on their line of cars. I know that they have improved tremendously over the last few years but I have been reading some problems on this site mainly w/ the automatic transmissions and I guess Ford had a bad batch of engines from the first model year (can't remember what, leaky oil seals or oil in coolant...something oil related lol) but I am wondering if they have improved on that for this year. I know I'll be avoiding the transmission issue considering I am getting a manual but the 5spds are so hard to find nowadays that it's hard to find a good review on those transmissions and whether or not they have any problems. It's kind of hard to screw up the design and longevity of a manual transmission though so that point is kind of moot.

I guess what I am asking is, for those of who you bought your focuses over other cars in that segment, how do you feel about your choice x amount of miles later? I am looking for comfort, quality, good fuel efficiency and fun spirited driving factors. Even the base model focus I test drove seemed to have handled very solidly and the road noise was surprisingly minimal. How is your car faring in reliability so far?


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Old 02-23-2013, 11:37 AM   #2
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My cars are great (both of them). I also have a rep who bought one and has 50,000mi on it in less than a year and he has had no problems either and really enjoys it. If the car looks good, fits well and you like how it performs, buy it. Don't get too hung up on the what ifs and experiences of others. When I got mine, I looked at the reviews, saw the issues and went and bought it anyways because it was what I liked the most of the cars I was interested in. Of the other cars, there were plenty of dissatisfied owners complaining of problems so I figured it was a crap shoot any how. Might as well get the one I like and handle any problems when or if they arise. (I've actually had 3 '12 Focuses, my first one succumbed to a bad hail storm, it was all cosmetic damage but I wanted a NEW car not a repaired one so traded up.)
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Old 02-23-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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Focus, Elentra & a Honda Fit, wow. Why not the Civic? A Fit is in the Festia & Mazda 2 section.There is always going to be sales & offers, so I wouldn't jump onto that. To give you a better idea of how they drive & would work for you, How 'bout renting each one for a day or weekend. That'd give you a better idea of what works for you. For a used car, I'd look at a '10-'11 ses & then you wouldn't have any issues w/ the a/t if you wanted one of those. Good luck & let us know what you end up w/.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:28 PM   #4
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Almost a year and 7,000 miles later no problems, no regrets.
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Old 02-23-2013, 12:56 PM   #5
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I was in the same situation as you, but with the mazda 3, subaru, and Focus. I chose exactly what you are looking for, 5 speed hatch.

I've got 588 miles on it in less than a week, not much of a test, but I put over 50k a year on a car in a slow year.

If you like the focus, I suggest you look online and find exactly the one you want at a dealer, then work a deal on that. Your not limited to what they have on the lot. I ended up finding one at a dealer I liked around 50 miles away. They trucked it down for me!

You work the deal that you want, they shouldn't be the one in control. Take your time, and be prepared to walk if you don't get what you want. The economy is in the tank, its a buyers market.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jester1911 View Post
You work the deal that you want, they shouldn't be the one in control. Take your time, and be prepared to walk if you don't get what you want. The economy is in the tank, its a buyers market.
I thought it was a seller's market, but it depends on your point of view...

Otherwise you're right; the customer is there to get a good car backed by a good company, at a fair price.
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Old 02-23-2013, 02:39 PM   #7
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read this forum carefully.

Here is a quick rundown of problems the focus has:

Clunking/shuddering transmission (DCT)
Transmission seals failing which require clutch replacement (DCT)
DCT transmission overheating in traffic and requiring a rest period to cool down
Clunking suspension
MFT problems
Gas Mileage ranging from OVER the rated mpg, or gas mileage falling WELL BELOW (such as myself and dozens of other people here) the rated numbers
Those are the biggest problems.

If you are getting the manual, you can avoid most of these problems.

If you have any major issues, be prepared to be given the run around by ford service.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Some Guy From NY View Post
read this forum carefully.

Here is a quick rundown of problems the focus has:

Clunking/shuddering transmission (DCT)
Transmission seals failing which require clutch replacement (DCT)
DCT transmission overheating in traffic and requiring a rest period to cool down
Clunking suspension
MFT problems
Gas Mileage ranging from OVER the rated mpg, or gas mileage falling WELL BELOW (such as myself and dozens of other people here) the rated numbers
Those are the biggest problems.

If you are getting the manual, you can avoid most of these problems.

If you have any major issues, be prepared to be given the run around by ford service.
I'd say DON'T read this forum carefully! It's like reading Facebook political pages, full of information that is both good and totally misleading depending on what you Want to believe. My experience and Some Guy From NY are completely different, who are you going to believe? We are both telling our own experience and have plenty of others to back our version. No offense to SGFNY intended, just saying there are other perspectives out there that are just as valid.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:41 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogerschro View Post
I'd say DON'T read this forum carefully! It's like reading Facebook political pages, full of information that is both good and totally misleading depending on what you Want to believe. My experience and Some Guy From NY are completely different, who are you going to believe? We are both telling our own experience and have plenty of others to back our version. No offense to SGFNY intended, just saying there are other perspectives out there that are just as valid.
it's a flip of a coin. There are 2 sides to every story, but he needs to know both. If he has transmission problems in 2k miles he needs to know that these problems DO EXIST and have been well documented on these forums.
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Old 02-23-2013, 03:46 PM   #10
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I had a similar debate before I bought the Focus and though my choices of cars were different (Focus, Mazda3, and Impreza), my criteria otherwise were the same. It had to have a manual transmission and it had to be a hatchback/wagon format.

I chose the Focus because it was the newest platform overall and felt like it would be the best highway cruiser amongst the three. We have 14k miles on it now and haven't had any problems with it. We are averaging 33 mpg with mostly highway driving around 70 mph. It could be better, but I won't complain too much since it is rated at 36 mpg.

Just stick with the manual transmission and avoid My Ford Touch and you'll be a happy camper.
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