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Old 04-01-2013, 09:47 PM   #1
tedweiser
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My first 8 months as a Focus owner - questions & impressions

I bought a 2012 Focus Titanium in August, and I wanted to share a bit about my experience thus far as a Focus owner, and ask a few questions. Overall, Iím quite pleased with the Focus, but there are a few things that Iím wondering about (the numbered items below). I will preface all of this by saying Iím not a car guy (as in fixing/upgrading), so this is not from someone with a technical/mechanical/automotive background.
  1. MPG - Iíve put about 8k miles on the car (automatic), with a 30-minute one-way highway commute four days a week. Iím only averaging 26.7mpg, which strikes me as a bit low. Does that seem consistent with othersí experience?
  2. MyFordTouch - I love it, I hate it. The latest update has made it into a much less usable interface, as it has several new bugs. I will probably also post about the Sync/MFT issues on syncmyride; here is a quick list:
  3. iPhone connects and shows up in the phone section, but is not connected in the music section. This happens all the time and did not happen with the previous version of MFT.
  4. When using the Nav, about half the time, I cannot click the ďSet as DestĒ button on the touchscreen. It actually registers the click (the button highlights) but it doesnít move on to the route selection screen. The only thing Iíve found that fixes this glitch is to remove the SD card and reinsert it.
  5. USB drive indexing, indexing, indexing. I have a 32GB USB thumbdrive with music on it, and it seems to re-index every couple of days, regardless of whether Iíve removed the drive or not. Whenever itís indexing, it seems to kill the responsiveness of the entire MFT/Sync unit, running at about 10% of normal speed.
  6. Every time I start the car, about two minutes later, the music/radio cuts out for about a second. Every time. This happens with the current OS and happened with the prior one as well.
  7. The keyfree entry system is great - when it works. I canít seem to understand when it will work (by touching the inside of an exterior door handle) and when it will not. I can have the remote in the exact same pocket, and sometimes it will work, sometimes it wonít. It works more than it doesnít, but itís still annoyingly inconsistent.

I love the Focus overall, and think it was a great choice. I find the engine to be responsive and it sounds great for a small car, which I think makes it feel faster than it is (a good thing). This is a fun car to drive, no doubt about it. I find that itís almost like driving a car with good power but a turbo lag; if you time your accelerations right, you can keep up with most cars.

The transmission on the whole performs well, though there are some rough shifts (especially downshifts, in my experience) from time to time. I live in West Michigan, notorious for its lake-effect snow, and for the first few weeks of winter, I felt like the Focus didnít handle very well, seeming to slip and wander on every remotely icy surface. It was really due to my perception, though - my previous car was an Explorer Limited so I was used to a smooth ride and AWD. The Focus just has tighter suspension and steering, so it was translating more of the road up through the wheels and the steering wheel. I wonít go so far as saying that it handles as well in winter as the Ex, but it does quite well for a smaller car.

I find the interior quite comfortable, though I never have to sit in the backseat, lol. I do have adult passengers in the backseat frequently, however, and they seem to have enough room (just enough) if the front seats are moved up a bit. The usual traveling party is 2 adults up front and 2 kids in the back, one in a giant Britax car seat and one in a backless booster. They have plenty of room to keep various bags of food and entertainment between them.


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Old 04-01-2013, 11:14 PM   #2
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Seems like we have an almost identical experience so far. Mine's just over a year old.

MPG- I'm not a big advocate on this because I don't drive to maximize efficiency. I've never even hand calculated it, but the dash shows a 29.8 average for what that's worth.

MFT - Beyond frustrating at this point. Love the system when it works, but it just seems to get buggier and buggier with each update. It's one thing in a Focus, but I can't imagine the frustrations people feel with this thing in their $50,000+ Explorers, Lincolns, etc.

iPod Indexing - As you mentioned, I would usually get indexing if I removed the device at some point. Now it indexes a few times a week, for no apparent reason. If I try to change songs quicky by pressing 'next track' a few times in a row, it can't keep up and often freezes while playing one song and displaying info for another.

Phone pairing - Actually been one of the strong points I've experienced with MFT compared to others I know with similar systems. It pairs almost immediately every time. Only complaint is that it only seems to display text messages when it feels like it, but I won't knock just MFT there as it could have to do with my slightly aged HTC EVO 3D

Keyless Entry - I agree it seems to work very inconsistently. Sometimes I'll even have to result to using the fob to unlock so I don't look like an idiot pulling the handle to a locked door for 30 seconds. Same goes for locking with the touchpad, but that isn't a problem as often as unlocking is.


Ironically My biggest gripe is the issue of comfort, but I knew that getting into the purchase, so i can't really complain about it. At 6'2" I also have to drive from the back seat, and for trips over 30min or so, I find it gets uncomfortable rather quickly. If the kinks in MFT can ever finally be resolved, I may check into upgrading to an Escape in a year or so after the biggest initial depreciation has settled. As frustrating as MFT can be, the base systems are less buggy but far more cumbersome to use on a daily basis...at least that was my initial impression after a weeks rental in a 2013 Escape.
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Old 04-02-2013, 06:56 AM   #3
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Mine is as basic as they get- 2013 5 door SE with a five speed. No options. I'm a basics type person.

No issues after six months and 8K miles. Averaging 34 mpg with snow tires and not ideal conditions, no MFT so no issues to deal with there. I've gotten the USB Indexing issue twice, which was done in ~30 seconds, so it didn't seem like something was wrong.

The only time it was at the shop was for a new driver's door and front fender from getting mildly T-boned.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:00 AM   #4
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had mine for a few months now. Average about 31mpg with a 10 min drive one way to work everyday. No mft so no real issues there. I also got the 5 speed so no real issues with the tranny. Only real complaint i have is the absolute lack of pwoer when the car is below 2k rpm in any other gear but 1st. Other than that love the car.
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Old 04-02-2013, 08:51 AM   #5
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Perhaps those 18's on the Ti account for the mileage. I have 17's on my SEL and get 36.5 to 38 routinely in 90/10 hwy/city driving. Now I drive at 60 mph, so I know that's a factor. I don't have MFT, but SYNC never reindexes my permanently affixed 16GB thumb drive.

In the twisties between Santa Barbara and Ojai, I routinely switch to the S mode and use the +/- button to shift manually. That eliminates the lag (which I fiind noticeable only in spirited driving).
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:04 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedweiser View Post
MPG - I’ve put about 8k miles on the car (automatic), with a 30-minute one-way highway commute four days a week. I’m only averaging 26.7mpg, which strikes me as a bit low. Does that seem consistent with others’ experience?
That mpg number is close to the rated 27/37 so it's fine, but many variables affect mileage like throttle (heavy=lower mpg), car load (passengers or other weight in car=lower mpg), elevation (uphill=lower mpg), season (winter gas=lower mpg), gasoline (e10=lower mpg, higher octane=higher mpg?), etc. I've put 7k miles on my 2013 which is also an automatic. In all city driving I get about 23-25mpg but once on a 350+ mile trip, I got a personal best 39 mpg all highway.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedweiser View Post
MyFordTouch - I love it, I hate it. The latest update has made it into a much less usable interface, as it has several new bugs. I will probably also post about the Sync/MFT issues on syncmyride; here is a quick list:[INDENT][*]iPhone connects and shows up in the phone section, but is not connected in the music section. This happens all the time and did not happen with the previous version of MFT.
I agree that the update introduced new bugs. The iPhone connection issue is due to the fact that 3.5.1 now allows you to have your phone connected but have Bluetooth audio disconnected. This is kinda helpful because now you can turn off Bluetooth audio (it works inconsistently) and still have your phone connected for calls. To connect, simply click the Bluetooth Audio button and it should remember it next time. If music doesn't resume when you start the car, make sure your iPhone music is set to resume playback (doubletap home button and see if you can play something without unlocking phone).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedweiser View Post
When using the Nav, about half the time, I cannot click the “Set as Dest” button on the touchscreen. It actually registers the click (the button highlights) but it doesn’t move on to the route selection screen. The only thing I’ve found that fixes this glitch is to remove the SD card and reinsert it.
To avoid pressing the screen, use voice commands to insert navigation directions . The voice commands are: "navigation" --> "set destination address" --> "12345 mainstreet Austin" ---> confirm address on screen by saying "1" or "2" etc. --> press SYNC paddle again --> "set as destination".

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedweiser View Post
USB drive indexing, indexing, indexing. I have a 32GB USB thumbdrive with music on it, and it seems to re-index every couple of days, regardless of whether I’ve removed the drive or not. Whenever it’s indexing, it seems to kill the responsiveness of the entire MFT/Sync unit, running at about 10% of normal speed.
This is a confirmed issue that needs to be fixed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedweiser View Post
Every time I start the car, about two minutes later, the music/radio cuts out for about a second. Every time. This happens with the current OS and happened with the prior one as well.
This happens to me often but only on Bluetooth audio. It also gets choppy and starts skipping pretty frequently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tedweiser View Post
The keyfree entry system is great - when it works. I can’t seem to understand when it will work (by touching the inside of an exterior door handle) and when it will not. I can have the remote in the exact same pocket, and sometimes it will work, sometimes it won’t. It works more than it doesn’t, but it’s still annoyingly inconsistent.
I have experienced this a few times but it's very infrequent. Make sure you completely lock the car when you leave (I double tap for the horn) and when you come back, touch the handle for a second, then pull open the door. If you touch/pull at the same time, it can often not recognize. Also, maybe replace your car remote battery.
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Old 04-02-2013, 12:05 PM   #7
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I have a 2012 Ti HB with just under 16,000 miles and my lifetime average, all tanks included, is over 37mpg. My Ti has 17" wheels and I'd surmise the impact on mileage for the 18" wheels is about 1.5-2mpg.

I have the occasional issue with the touch open for doors but I find if I remove my hand and wait a second then try again it works almost every time.

The new version of MFT has given me more problems than all the previous versions. The issues that the new version has is:

1. Had difficulty holding a connection to the same Android phone (SGNexus) that I've had since I bought the car.

2. The audio (USB) will start-up playing the list of songs from the top of the alpha-numeric order even if I was playing an album when the car was shut off. It does this about half the time and never in the previous version. Similarly, if the album completes while driving and I don't start a new one the audio stops as it should, but when I start the car the next time there's a 50% chance it will start playing from the beginning of the song order as before.


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Old 04-02-2013, 12:18 PM   #8
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We got our's last May and have 7700 miles on it and the dash indicated MPG seems stuck at 26.7 with hand calculations from 26-29mpg and this is with minimal hwy driving and my wife's 1.2 mile one way commute to work but this is with the 5 speed.
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Old 04-02-2013, 02:17 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tedweiser View Post
I bought a 2012 Focus Titanium in August, and I wanted to share a bit about my experience thus far as a Focus owner, and ask a few questions...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe84FL View Post
Seems like we have an almost identical experience so far...
Quote:
Originally Posted by ShoOff View Post
...Only real complaint i have is the absolute lack of pwoer when the car is below 2k rpm in any other gear but 1st. Other than that love the car.
Hey folks!

A great first step to getting any of your physical vehicle concerns resolved is making an appointment at your dealership. For in-vehicle technology questions, your best bet is going to be contacting my colleague, Jaclyn. She posts on this forum under the name FordIVTTeam.

Additionally, I can assist by getting your cases in the hands of your individual regional customer service managers. To get started, send me a PM with your VIN, dealer, mileage, daytime phone number, and full name; I'll do the rest!

Thanks,

Crystal
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Old 04-02-2013, 10:04 PM   #10
tedweiser
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Thanks!

Thanks for all the great replies. I've lurked here on and off since I "decided" to become a Focus owner last August, but I'm glad I came out of the shadows for a couple minutes.

I say "decided" because I think the Focus chose me. I was driving home from work one Thursday and there was some kind of bump in the rear end of the vehicle that struck me as odd. It was just a normal thump, but for some reason I thought to myself, "The Explorer has over 100k, maybe I should get a new car." I have no idea why I thought that, other than the illogical thought that 100k actually means things will go wrong; I loved the Ex.

The next morning we left to spend the weekend with some family, and during the drive over I said to my wife "I think maybe I should get a new car." Bold, right? She absently said "Yeah, maybe", which I interpreted as a yes. While hanging with family over Friday and Saturday, we got talking about cars and I started checking out Ford's website and what the x-plan pricing looked like. I love the new Explorer (mine was a 2005), but really wanted to get a Flex. My wife thought this was ridiculous, saying something about it looking like a hearse.

Undeterred, when we arrived home on Sunday, I was tasked with running out to McD's to get the kids some food. Luckily, McD's is right across the street from the Ford dealer, so I swung in there on the way and walked around a bit, drooling over Ex's and trying to figure out how to sell her on the Flex. The coolest Flex on the lot was next to a 2012 Focus Titanium, and the blue color (not Sonic Blue, more on that in a minute) caught my eye so I walked over for a closer look. I've never owned a "small" car, but I was suddenly smitten.

I made the family return with me later that day to check out the Focus, and it took some selling, convincing them that our road-trip car could downsize from Ex to Focus. Since it was Sunday, we couldn't actually get inside, of course, but that didn't matter. I knew. I asked my wife about the color, and she said "it's blue, you like blue." My six year-old daughter, who has endless polarizing opinions on everything, said "Daddy, I LOVE IT. It's TEAL!" At which point, I knew I needed to find a different color. Not that there's anything wrong with teal, it's just not for me.

So we go home, I find a Sonic Blue at a dealership 30 miles away, and it's spec'd with MFT, TI, etc. I email our sales guy at the hometown Ford dealer and tell him, I'm buying this with X-plan, can you get it down here? He chuckles and says I'll see what I can do tomorrow.

Monday while I'm at work, he calls me with the details of my pricing on the Sonic Blue one, confirms that they can get it in dealer trade, and asks me if we're a go. We go back and forth a bit on whether I'll trade in my Ex, but they offered me a ridiculously low $5,500, so I passed on that (I eventually sold it for $8750 with very little effort and probably could have gotten more). I met my wife at the dealer on my way home from work and we signed the paperwork before ever seeing the actual car (it did not get there on Monday).

I took delivery on Tuesday after work and burned about a half-tank of gas on the 3-mile drive home, subwoofer bouncing along to something on my iPhone. We left at 7am the next morning for a week in Maine, so it sat in the driveway for a week after the 3-mile drive.

To summarize:
Thursday PM - got notion of buying new car
Sunday PM - discovered Focus while looking at Flex's
Monday PM - bought Focus before seeing the actual one
Tuesday PM - took delivery of Focus
Wednesday AM - left for vacation

I swear, I am an obsessive planner and researcher, except in this one instance. I just thought "this is the right car at the right time", and I haven't looked back once - except when trying to get three tall people in the car at the same time. And that didn't really bother me, since I was driving.

Sorry for the lengthy overshare, and thanks for humoring me.
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