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1) Being a tech geek, the MFT is a big factor in purchasing this vehicle along with the fuel economy and interior. I'm really blown away by how many features Ford has put into this car. My potential vehicle is the fully loaded Titanium hatch. Should I be concerned about MFT and its glitchy issues right now or is it something that works well for the most part? Or, should i give Ford some time to work the bugs out?

2) If MFT fails to work for me, do I have alternatives? Can i still listen to the radio and play through an aux port?

3) Having an IPOD loaded with thousands of songs, am i going to have to re-load every single song every time I turn on the vehicle if I leave it plugged in? I see people trying to load 10-15 albums, but i have hundreds on my full 120gb. It's a lot of music, i know. But, i love having access to it all time..

4) I've made mistakes before buying first year model vehicles when lots of little issues pop up. Is this engine/trans completely new to the Ford family or has some of it carried over?

Right now I am going back and forth between a Focus Hatch and the GTI. I love the sportiness and materials in the GTI, but would love the added MPG's, interior, and tech in the Focus. I;m just trying to make the best decision, but just havent soaked in enough info on the Focus.

Thanks for any and all insigh you can provide...this is a big decision!
 

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A lot of guys are going to say no MFT right away. They have had some issues that haven't been resolved but I believe the general consensus is that the latest MFT update (ver. 2.11) has fixed most of the usability issues. I believe it boils down to learning how to use the system and the SYNC voice commands. As a tech guy I think you will know not to overload the system with commands on top of commands, and if you happen to get a delay in response, don't keep adding to the stress with more button presses. A lot of the issues these guys have may also be hardware related, not software/firmware related, as issues with navigation and response issues shouldn't be part of the MFT firmware itself but with the hardware modules that power the various components like bluetooth and navigation.

Personally I have had NO issues with my MFT 2.11 (next to none with the 2.10 before I updated, either) and I absolutely love everything about the car.

At first the transmissions seem to give a bit of choppy feedback but as more miles are put on the car the transmission "learns" itself and smooths out considerably. You have to remember that it's an "automated manual" not a traditional torque-converter automatic, and as such will have small hiccups normal to manual transmissions. Think along the lines of a slight stutter at very low engine speeds, feels like the car will stall but it won't. This feeling will go away after 500 miles on the odo or so. For a few hundred miles expect low speed driving to be a bit choppy as well, the transmission seems indecisive and shifts awkwardly. As I said, this is only apparent for a few hundred miles.

I have about 800 miles on my car now and I have no more stutter at low RPM, and no more low speed choppy shifting. The car shifts very LOW, expect 1500 RPM cruising to be normal until you hit 6th gear. Sport mode brings you down a gear when switching to it, gives you a little more immediate throttle response, but it too will end up shifting to get the best MPG, it's just more eager to downshift to give you the better response.

Overall, I absolutely love the car, and quite frankly with a first year of a new model you always take a risk. I believe Ford has truly done their homework here, though. The GTI is a great car but VWs are notorious for having issues down the line and they are NOT cheap to fix, at least that's what I gather from many VW/Audi owners.

I say give it a shot, I absolutely love my car and I came from a 2008 Mazdaspeed 3. I lost a lot of horsepower, but with the handling on this car and all the features... I lose no fun factor, I just can't squeeze out into oncoming traffic when I make rights on red anymore, lol.

EDIT: I should add that the car has already also received TOP safety picks from both the Euro crash standards and the IIHS. It's still yet to undergo Gov't. crash testing, but with top marks with the other two already I don't expect any less.

I did a LOT of research before deciding on this car... test drove others, checked reliability of others... and Ford's track record with Focus reliability has only gone up in the last several years. I expect the reliability of this car to fare no worse than the previous models, they've only been getting better so far, so.. it's up to you in the end, but I don't think many of us will ever regret our decision.
 
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