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Discussion Starter #1
Hi there everyone, I'm new to this board. I started a new job recently in which I have a 70-80 mile a day commute. Fortunately I can occasionally work virtual office but it's still a helluva lot of miles.

My current ride is a fairly low mile 2004 Audi A4 1.8T Quattro. It is getting a little long in the tooth and is lacking most of the amenities to make such a long commute tolerable (navigation, bluetooth, cupholders, etc). Not to mention that every time my A4 needs even minor servicing it costs about $300 to get it fixed. The car is chiptuned and I'm nervous about piling the miles on since the maint costs are outrageous (god forbid the clutch or turbo go out on it). I would consider keeping it though for tough winter driving (I have snows and rims for it) if whatever I buy can't be a full replacement. The car is paid for.

I have been contemplating something that I can buy and pack the miles on that will still be fairly fun to drive, my wife could also use it on days I don't need it for running errands, etc (she has an MDX). I've test driven the Focus 2012 a couple of times and thought it drove pretty well and the tech in the car seems to be quite good (the voice recognition seemed to work very well for me when I used it). I've also looked at buying a Golf TDI, Audi A3, Elantra, etc. So far I am leaning towards the Ford but I have some questions that you all might be able to help me out with since the local dealer is kinda clueless;

1. Titanium vs. SEL. I understand that there are a lot of differences between the two but not very clear on all of them as they don't appear to be very well documented. How much stiffer/firmer is the ride on the Titanium? My wife and I thought the SEL rode pretty well.

2. Smart key... I know it allows push button starting of the car, does it also allow for smart entry ala Prius where it lets you open the hatch, doors, etc, if the key is in your pocket?

3. Navi. I usually use Navi on my iPhone 4 primarily because part of my commute involves tough traffic. How good is the Nav in the Ford Focus and how good are the traffic alerts (timely traffic alerts can be a 20 minute difference in my commute)? If I do not get Nav on the vehicle how difficult is it to integrate my iPhone to it for Navigation?

4. Maintenance schedule. How expensive is the car to maintain? I understand it has a timing belt vs. chain. On my A4 I had to put a new timing belt on at 5 yrs and it cost about $1100 to do that and the water pump replacement.

5. Leather. My A4 has leather that's pretty tough, but my dog has still managed to scratch it up. How tough/durable is the leather on the Focus? How good are the seat heaters?

Thanks, I have searched around and gotten answers to some of these things but would love to hear owner impressions.

I get Ford X plan pricing so at least the price of the car will be a little less than full boat (still an amazing amount for a Focus though, my little sister has a 2008 that we paid $16K for with most of the goodies!).

Thanks.
 

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3. Navi. I usually use Navi on my iPhone 4 primarily because part of my commute involves tough traffic. How good is the Nav in the Ford Focus and how good are the traffic alerts (timely traffic alerts can be a 20 minute difference in my commute)? If I do not get Nav on the vehicle how difficult is it to integrate my iPhone to it for Navigation?
Lots of early troubles with the MFT, just look around the forum here. They'll get them fix in a software update I'm sure but for now, I'd stay away unless you want some heartache. First year run for this model, it's still pretty early production and Sync is a fairly new platform but this applies to other aspects of the car as well.

4. Maintenance schedule. How expensive is the car to maintain? I understand it has a timing belt vs. chain. On my A4 I had to put a new timing belt on at 5 yrs and it cost about $1100 to do that and the water pump replacement.
I'm an Audi guy as well (the Focus is my second car). Fords are way cheaper for maintenance especially since pretty much anyone can do it, not just the dealer or specialized european shops. The cars are less engineered (I mean that in a good way) so they're just plain easier to work on.

I get Ford X plan pricing so at least the price of the car will be a little less than full boat (still an amazing amount for a Focus though, my little sister has a 2008 that we paid $16K for with most of the goodies!).
It's a totally new to the US platform. For better or worse, they really divided up the trims to hit a wide range of price points. So you can still get a base car for close to that and if you want a more tech'd out model, then it'll cost you. Personally, I feel that it's a much better car for the money. We'll see how they hold up over the years.
 

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My Titanium rides fine, but it is not a luxury car. Yes, the intelligent access let's you open the doors with the key in your pocket (I love it!). I have the Nav and have only had minor problems. Even with those, I really like it.

Can't tell you about the maintenance cost (yet).

The leather seems tuff. And I have not yet had to use my seat heaters.

Overall, I recommend the car and specifically the Titanium. Oh, and the parking assist is well worth the cost! Especially since you get the rearview camera.
 

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I bought mine for my new commute, 104 daily round trip miles. I went back and forth between this and the Jetta TDI. The tech on this little Ford blew the Jetta away, and I think it has alot more character. Right now I'm getting 35 combined mpg's, so not as good as the Jetta but WAY better than the 15 my truck gets.

The Nav has issues, but they are software not hardware, so it can be fixed with updates... it is Microsoft...

Love the leather seats. I treated them with conditioner / protectant to kid proof them, but haven't let the dog go for a ride yet.

The ride is stiffer with the sports package on the Ti, not the standard Ti. I chose not to get it but got the 17" wheels and can say it is a comfotable ride for a small car.

I never do this, but since I knew I would pile miles on quickly, I got the extended warranty and maintenance plans so it won't cost me a thing to maintain for 5 years.

Hope this helps...
 

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1. Titanium vs. SEL. I understand that there are a lot of differences between the two but not very clear on all of them as they don't appear to be very well documented. How much stiffer/firmer is the ride on the Titanium? My wife and I thought the SEL rode pretty well.
The SEL has the softest setup of all trim levels, but my understanding is they are all fairly close. I have the Ti w/handling pkg which is the firmest, but it's not that bad at all. My 535i w/sp is firmer.
2. Smart key... I know it allows push button starting of the car, does it also allow for smart entry ala Prius where it lets you open the hatch, doors, etc, if the key is in your pocket?
You can unlock your doors by touching any of the (4) handles, and lock the car by placing a finger over the black sensor (not a button) on either front door. You can also open the hatch. So far no problems.
3. Navi. I usually use Navi on my iPhone 4 primarily because part of my commute involves tough traffic. How good is the Nav in the Ford Focus and how good are the traffic alerts (timely traffic alerts can be a 20 minute difference in my commute)? If I do not get Nav on the vehicle how difficult is it to integrate my iPhone to it for Navigation?
Traffic alerts are only as good as the service providing traffic, in this case, Sirius. You can set the Navi to automatically route you around traffic incidents during navigation. No doubt this is the best Nav I've ever used. Far superior to even Honda/Acura and Toyota/Lexus. It really is a phenomenal system. You can even search POIs by name using voice commands! The map is also the most detailed, best looking one out there showing every little pond, RR track, and even side of the road cemeteries! Your iPhone will pair with Sync to do bluetooth audio streaming, handsfree calling, etc..., but nothing to do with any nav apps on your phone.
4. Maintenance schedule. How expensive is the car to maintain? I understand it has a timing belt vs. chain. On my A4 I had to put a new timing belt on at 5 yrs and it cost about $1100 to do that and the water pump replacement.
It's a Ford, routine maintenance will FAR cheaper than the Audi. I'm more concerned about long term reliability of the powertrain.
5. Leather. My A4 has leather that's pretty tough, but my dog has still managed to scratch it up. How tough/durable is the leather on the Focus? How good are the seat heaters?
The leather feels durable, but time will tell. No one's had the car for more than a couple of months.
 

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The SEL vs. Titanium....when it comes right down to it, if you want the MyFord Touch, then for the price, the Titanium is the way to go. If you don't care about the touch screen interface, then the SEL will save you some money and you can get most of the options you might want, though Navigation is linked to the touch screen.

As others have said, the Titanium comes with the sport suspension and some extras, such as intelligent access with push button start, so that's the reason why MyFord Touch on the SEL doesn't make sense from a cost perspective.

So, the exact differences between SEL and Titanium:

Titanium has all the features of the SEL PLUS:
17 inch sport aluminum wheels(16 inch aluminum on the SEL)
Sedan has the rear spoiler(5-door SEL has it already as well)
Piano black fog lamp surrounds with chrome accents
black headlamp surrounds
sport-tuned suspension
intelligent access with push-button start
MyFord Touch with 8 inch center stack touch screen
SIRIUS Satellite radio
Sony Audio system with 10 speakers including subwoofer
HD radio with iTunes Tagging
Sports Seats


While this may seem like a lot, the MyFord Touch & Sony package on the SEL includes the MyFord Touch, SIRIUS, Sony Audio, and HD radio stuff, so once you take that into account, the Titanium just has some extras added in like the intelligent access and 17 inch wheels. $995 is the price on the 301A package.

So, price, Titanium is $2000 more than the SEL, and the MyFord Touch & Sony package adds $995 to the price of the SEL, so you are looking at $1000 for the sport tuned suspension, 17 inch wheels, intelligent access, and Sport seats. There are some hidden things in the Titanium as well, like the engine cover that are not listed as "features" on the sheet I have as well.
 

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I was under the impression that the suspension/handling is only different on the Titanium if you add the option. The standard titanium doesn't have it, right?

I went with an SEL with 303a. Leather package + my ford touch. There was about a $600 difference for me between the loaded SEL and the Titanium with leather package. It isn't much of a price difference, but I didn't feel that keyless entry was worth it to me.
 

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I was under the impression that the suspension/handling is only different on the Titanium if you add the option. The standard titanium doesn't have it, right?

I went with an SEL with 303a. Leather package + my ford touch. There was about a $600 difference for me between the loaded SEL and the Titanium with leather package. It isn't much of a price difference, but I didn't feel that keyless entry was worth it to me.
The regular Titanium has the sport suspension, but there is a "Titanium Handling package" that adds the 18 inch wheels with summer tires, and also includes a full-sized spare I believe. I'm not sure if the handling package has an improved suspension or not, but I don't think it does.

The SEL will have a softer ride than the Titanium as a result, no matter what packages you put on the Titanium or SEL.
 

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The regular Titanium has the sport suspension, but there is a "Titanium Handling package" that adds the 18 inch wheels with summer tires, and also includes a full-sized spare I believe. I'm not sure if the handling package has an improved suspension or not, but I don't think it does.

The SEL will have a softer ride than the Titanium as a result, no matter what packages you put on the Titanium or SEL.
the Handling Package includes "optimized suspension components" along with the 18-inch alloy wheels w/ low-profile Michelin Sumer tires(which are normally like $240 per tire or so), and a full size spare in the back(not a Michelin though just a full size doughnut)

Here's a cool article on the suspension if anyone is interested.

http://blogs.insideline.com/straigh...ocus-titanium-suspension-walkaround.html#more
 

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No problem, OldArmy.

Looking back at the top post in this thread, the 2012 Focus is a very different car than the previous generations. There are really TWO different 2012 Focus models, the low end(S/SE), and the high end(SEL/Titanium). You will notice that the SEL and Titanium have the cup holders side by side, while the S/SE have them one in front of the other as a clear sign of differences in design, even if the other differences are more subtle.

Think about it, the new engine and transmissions compared to the previous generations...160 horsepower with a dual-clutch automatic is a huge difference. The materials used are higher quality as well compared to the previous generations. Car warms up faster, and on the SEL and Titanium, you have options like dual-zone electronic climate control, the MyFord Touch as an option, and other features. Prior to the death of Mercury, we would probably have seen the SEL/Titanium as Mercury branded cars with the features that are available, and the S/SE would have been the Ford branded vehicles. As a result, if you want a car that is the replacement for the older versions of the Focus, go with the SE as your fairly basic car. For those just looking for a good car in this segment, the Focus has the luxury options to compete with cars up into the $25,000 range.

So, the 2012 Focus, it's NOT what most people think about when they hear the name Focus. I just hope that Ford continues to push the technology with each new model year so it doesn't end up stale the way the 2010/2011 Focus was.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guys, I very much appreciate the warm welcome and super fast answering of some of these questions.

I have never purchased an extended warranty on a vehicle, but will have to do some research if it covers the routine maintenance, depending on how long it is for.

I have read about the many woes of MyFord Touch, but it appears that updates are coming that will improve things. I would probably order a car with a specific color/options so that it would be built in July or August when some more of the kinks are worked out (of course my local dealer was hell bent on selling me the single red SEL they had on their lot). I have historically never bought a new model car in the 1st year of production because of all the problems being sorted out. Hopefully getting one with a later build date will cut down on the chances of getting one with lots of issues.

I am confused about the traffic navigation setup, I read an article that indicated that Ford had selected Inrix XD traffic for all of the traffic alerts in the MFT/Sync vehicles that were 2012s and later. If the traffic is generated by Sirius that kind of blows, because in my experience the traffic updates from satellite and FM are always too late to be of much help and also do not cover secondary roads.

I will have to see if I can check out a Titanium to see what the sport seats are like, I was pretty happy with the seats in the SEL, although it could use just a little bit more thigh bolstering and of course power would be a nice addition.

Can anyone tell me what kind of tires the SEL vs Titanium includes? I am debating on if I would have to get a dedicated set of winter tires/rims like I have for my A4 if I was brave (or crazy) enough to drive the Focus in icy Colorado winter conditions.

Thanks!
 

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I am confused about the traffic navigation setup, I read an article that indicated that Ford had selected Inrix XD traffic for all of the traffic alerts in the MFT/Sync vehicles that were 2012s and later. If the traffic is generated by Sirius that kind of blows, because in my experience the traffic updates from satellite and FM are always too late to be of much help and also do not cover secondary roads.
I have Sirius traffic on my A4 Nav. You're right, it's always wrong or the gridlock you're sitting in isn't listed. I definitely won't be renewing that data package.

I don't have a nav in my Focus, but I'm pretty sure that it uses Sirius for traffic if it can dynamically change routes. The lower end Sync vehicles offer free traffic updates by text message, which is probably where Inrix comes in. You basically input your work route into the website and it will SMS you alerts during your commute hours. It's creative but not at all flexible.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So, I optioned this;

Ford Focus, Titanium, white tri-coat metallic paint, Equipment group 401A, Winter package, Nav.

Comes to $26550. I believe with my X-Plan pricing it will be closer to $24800 and then there's a $500 rebate, so final price of $24,300.

The SEL, with similar options (winter package does not appear to be available) is $25575. So the difference appears to be LESS than $1000 since the winter package for the heated seats was something like $500 by itself on the Titanium.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I have Sirius traffic on my A4 Nav. You're right, it's always wrong or the gridlock you're sitting in isn't listed. I definitely won't be renewing that data package.

I don't have a nav in my Focus, but I'm pretty sure that it uses Sirius for traffic if it can dynamically change routes. The lower end Sync vehicles offer free traffic updates by text message, which is probably where Inrix comes in. You basically input your work route into the website and it will SMS you alerts during your commute hours. It's creative but not at all flexible.
Here's the article that seems to indicate that traffic on the 2012 MyFord Touch vehicles is Inrix based;

http://www.inrix.com/pressrelease.asp?ID=89

I'm not sure if it supplements the satellite traffic, replaces it, goes through your mobile, etc. I suppose it's also possible that the article is simply dead wrong.

I am curious if anyone has a Ford Focus with Nav and is getting re-routed traffic that is timely, and fairly accurate as that would be an indicator that they are using the Inrix XD data source vs. satellite.
 

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When it comes to navigation, I wish I could plug in a Tomtom GPS that would link to the touch screen rather than the system they use in there. I decided to skip MyFord Touch since I didn't want to pay extra for it in my 2012 SEL, but since Tomtom offers a map subscription plan that is cheaper than just one new map for the Ford system, it really makes more sense to get a standalone GPS IMO. Yes, it's not in-dash, and the Tomtom 2535 has a 5 inch touchscreen on it, which is big enough for the purpose in my opinion, and that comes with a lifetime of map and traffic updates at no additional cost for $350 as a one-time, vs. $700 for a SD card in the Focus.

As I said, what I really want is to be able to plug a Tomtom GPS into the 8 inch touch screen of MyFord Touch.
 

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I have 6700 miles on mine so far, 90-100 mile commute per day. I've been really happy with mine. Saving money on gas was my main consideration for downsizing and I haven't been disappointed. I've never had a car that came as close to the numbers on the sticker as I felt they should have but this one does. I'm averaging 35.4 MPG's so far (I'd say 80% highway / 20% city).

It's also roomy and comfortable. We had planned on the Focus being my commuter car and using our 2010 Equinox for driving around town, family trips, etc. But there's plenty of room in the Focus and since it saves on gas we end up taking it everywhere.

I chose the Focus over the Cruze because it looks more sporty and was more fun to drive. This is my first Ford in 15 years (and first new Ford ever). The true test of a car to me is, if I were to total it today would I go out and buy another one tomorrow, and with this car the answer is yes.

Anyway, good luck with your decision!
 

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The SEL and the Titanium have the same suspension unless you go for the performance Pkg with the 18" wheels and summer only tires. The Titanium comes standard with 17" wheels vs 16" on the SEL but the tires are the same width just a different aspect ratio and they are the same model. 17's are available on the SEL.

The navigation that comes with the basic sync in the SEL works fine just speaks directions but no maps. I leave my TomTom in the console on my other cars because I find the maps a distraction so the lack of maps is not an issue for me.

I haven't tried the traffic, weather, sports, etc that is part of sync and don't really expect to.

The Bluetooth and USB connectivity and voice commands works well but the system will butcher the pronunciation of names from your phones address book. This is more amusing than an issue.

I find the intelligent access with push button start to just be a gimmick along with the 8" touch screen of MyTouch so a Titanium was never in consideration because of how much they add to the cost.

BTW my SEL has the basic 300 Pkg, winter Pkg (wife has to have heated seats, I have never used them on any of our cars), and moon roof.
 

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The SEL and the Titanium have the same suspension unless you go for the performance Pkg with the 18" wheels and summer only tires. The Titanium comes standard with 17" wheels vs 16" on the SEL but the tires are the same width just a different aspect ratio and they are the same model. 17's are available on the SEL.

The navigation that comes with the basic sync in the SEL works fine just speaks directions but no maps. I leave my TomTom in the console on my other cars because I find the maps a distraction so the lack of maps is not an issue for me.

I haven't tried the traffic, weather, sports, etc that is part of sync and don't really expect to.

The Bluetooth and USB connectivity and voice commands works well but the system will butcher the pronunciation of names from your phones address book. This is more amusing than an issue.

I find the intelligent access with push button start to just be a gimmick along with the 8" touch screen of MyTouch so a Titanium was never in consideration because of how much they add to the cost.

BTW my SEL has the basic 300 Pkg, winter Pkg (wife has to have heated seats, I have never used them on any of our cars), and moon roof.
Do you find it as funny as I do that almost every SEL you see at dealers has the MyFord Touch added? I just don't understand why it is so difficult to find a BASE SEL with no extra options. I went with the 5-door SEL with 300A and NO extra options, except the Red Candy color.
 
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