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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all,

This is my first post, but I've been lurking for a bit.

I picked up our white Titanium 5-door (fully loaded - handling, winter, parking, MFT, etc) the first week of September. After the last several weeks of driving the car, I figured I'd post some feedback, both positive and negative, to see where my observations stand. Note: I grew up in a Ford family (but have not and do not exclusively own Ford vehicles - I traded in a 2006 Honda Civic for the Focus), I love cars in general, and although my feedback may weigh a little heavier on the negative and nitpicky side, I love the car, and I love the manufacturer. Most of my complaints are minor design oversights.

Also, I'm staying away from the common MFT bugs and lockups. These are well documented already.

Positives

- Styling. Ford made some giant leaps above the previous (way-too-long-lived) generation(s) here in the US. The car is sleek and attractive, roomy, and has the "feel" of reasonable interior quality to me.

- Handling. The steering is snappy (almost too snappy, if that's possible - sometimes small corrective nudges result in bouncing back and forth in the lane), turning is flat, grip is aggressive, and yet the ride is comfortable.

- Feature richness. Let's face it, these cars have a lot to offer in ammenities. The Focus has all of the features of our Acura RDX, except for one (seat memory). This is impressive for the price.

- Fuel Efficiency. We're ~3k miles in already(!), and we're averaging 30 MPG. This isn't bad, and is only slightly less than we got with the Civic. We generally split city/highway driving by roughly 60/40. Efficiency was near the top of the list when considering a new car this year. I'm glad Ford had a strong contender on this axis that also happened to score well on the other important axes.

- MFT. (Obviously this is both a positive and a negative). Yes, it's buggy, and there are a ton of not-very-driver-friendly design decisions that Ford made, but I love technology, and I love where they're going with it in terms of tech. Clearly it needs work. Because MFT is getting so much negative attention, and because the majority issues are in software and not necessarily in hardware, I have faith that Ford will address the most important set of issues (crashes, bugs, non-operational features). Realistically, though, they probably will not address the "would be nice" requests; those are the types of requests that entice consumers to newer models. (PS - be careful about blaming Microsoft on this. Doing so is like blaming Apple because some third party software runs poorly on iOS. In the case of MFT, Microsoft developed the platform, but Ford created the software that runs atop it.)

Negatives (organized roughly from most to least important or impactful)

- The back seats don't go down flat. We generally transport quite a bit of stuff (a main reason for our choice of the 5-door), and we identified this as one of the biggest drawbacks of the Focus for our needs. Most of the competing platforms that we looked at have solved this problem quite well (for instance, by hinging the seat base to rotate forward to make room for the seat back).

- Turning radius. The Focus has nearly (if not the) the same turning radius as my Acura SUV. The turning diameter of the Focus seems to be 3 to 4 feet more than the Civic we traded in. U-turns and parking lot situations suffer.

- The driving lights need to be turned on manually every time you wish to use them. This renders the feature much less useful. I would prefer them to work the same way they do in the many other vehicles that I've owned - when they're enabled, they come on with the headlights until they're disabled.

- There's no center dome light. Digging into the center console at night is difficult with no direct light.

- There's nowhere to store change or small items that require regular access. I store a mailbox key in the car (our mailbox is down the street, and so we often get the mail on the way home), and there's no good place to store the key where it won't get buried (i.e. the glovebox and center console have other things in them). I'll have to create my own solution: to velcro a small bag or box into the console lid.

- With devices being plugged into the center console storage, I'd prefer for the 12v accessory outlet to either live in the console storage, or at least for there to be a second outlet in the console storage box.

- Only voice can be used when the vehicle is in motion, even with a passenger. I understand the safety here, but voice control just isn't good enough to require this. There's already a passenger sensor for the airbag. If I have a passenger, allow touch input for destination and other otherwise-locked functionality.

- Turning dual HVAC control off can only be done through MFT. I would prefer a hard button for this.

- With devices being plugged into the console storage but potentially being used outside of the box, they should have left a small notch at the front of the storage box/lid for cords to hang out of the box in a bind-free manner.

- No HIDs. Sure, they have to save something enticing for future models. And they're expensive, I know. I'd like the option for them, now, though. Make future models enticing by making them standard.

- Regarding the passenger sensor, use it to disable dual HVAC when no passenger is in the seat.
 

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- The back seats don't go down flat. We generally transport quite a bit of stuff (a main reason for our choice of the 5-door), and we identified this as one of the biggest drawbacks of the Focus for our needs. Most of the competing platforms that we looked at have solved this problem quite well (for instance, by hinging the seat base to rotate forward to make room for the seat back).
Go play with the seat base, you'll be pleasantly surprised. There's no release, they just pull up from the rear and the seats fold flat.
 

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I've seen pictures of the back seat bottoms folded up and the seat backs folded flat. I'm pretty sure it can be done but you have to take the seat back heat restraints off. I haven't tried it in mine yet so I don't know how to release the seat bottoms so they tilt. That would eliminate your #1 complaint!
 

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- The back seats don't go down flat.
See:
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=257493

- The driving lights need to be turned on manually every time you wish to use them.
If you mean the fog lights, they are designed to illuminate the road markers in poor visibility situations only and don't really provide any enhanced vision in most situations. That's also why they turn off with the high beam, since high beams are bad in those cases.

- There's nowhere to store change or small items that require regular access.
There is a little cellphone holder below the shifter in mine, above the cup holders. I do think that a rubberized cellphone/etc holder on the left below the light controls would have been nice.

- With devices being plugged into the center console storage, I'd prefer for the 12v accessory outlet to either live in the console storage, or at least for there to be a second outlet in the console storage box.
All my electronics have USB charger versions, and there are two plugs in the center box for that. The new chargers for HTC/LG/etc are wall to usb adapters and a separate USB cable. You might see if there is a USB version for the devices you charge in there.

- Turning dual HVAC control off can only be done through MFT.
To return to single zone (MONO mode), press and
hold AUTO.

My dealer also suggested that the S mode on the transmission required the use of the toggle buttons to change gears, but the S mode by itself is a sportier automatic mode.
 

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Glad you like the car, the seats do fold down as others have said, I have the 5 door se model and mine are folded up as we speak. [smile]


Sent from my iPhone 4S
 

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Turning radius 18.1' for a focus and 17.7' for a civic... And focus is 2.6 turns lock to lock and civic is 3.1 turns lock to lock.... This is what I found looking it up on google. So odk whatchu talkin bout

Handling wise its great and its snappy but if you have problems with bouncing back and forth go drive a new tc, its garbage it turns with the smallest move, it really sucks.
 

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Handling. The steering is snappy (almost too snappy, if that's possible - sometimes small corrective nudges result in bouncing back and forth in the lane), turning is flat, grip is aggressive, and yet the ride is comfortable.
Might want to be careful on this one. Myself, as well as a handful of other users here, have had a defective steering rack with symptoms only noticeable at highway cruising speeds (55+). The car would refuse to track striaght and require constant adjustments to the steering wheel to keep the damn thing going in a straight line. It was almost as if you were OUI/DUI when the symptoms were present. Very, very annoying.

Anyways, since I was under warrantee, I got the entire steering rack assembly replaced. Been problem free since.

Just thought I'd point that out.

If you notice more problems about it, there is a technical service bulletin about it. Inquire at your dealership.
 

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I might add that a mdx turns 18.8 a highlander 19.4 and a 4x4 ranger is like 21-23 feet
A fiesta is 17.2' also...
I had to deal witth a rangers shit turning radius for a year its so simple with the focus now
 

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Your seats lay down flat but not level with the trunk floor because of the full size spare.

Your turning radius is greater also because of the handling package. My understanding is the steering doesn't turn as far on Ti w/ handling package so the 18" wheels don't scrub.

I think with the winter package you lose the little pocket in front of the cup holders in the center console also.

Packages giveth and they taketh away I guess.
 

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I concur on this issue as I experienced the same problem. Replacing the steering rack corrected the problem and now the Focus SE we have is a fun road car to drive.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Turning radius 18.1' for a focus and 17.7' for a civic... And focus is 2.6 turns lock to lock and civic is 3.1 turns lock to lock.... This is what I found looking it up on google. So odk whatchu talkin bout
I've confirmed again this weekend that, where I used to be able to u-turn the Civic in the width of the street I live on, I overshoot it with the Focus by the width of the Focus itself. Regardless of the specs on paper, the reality is that the turning radius of (at least my particular) Focus is much less than that Civic. Perhaps the steering locks are improperly adjusted? It could indeed be the handling package, or perhaps even a bad steering rack (as others are suggesting I look into based on the "choppy" steering).

Also, no, no pocket in front of the cupholders. One of the packages must have taketh.

Thanks everyone for your replies! I'll definitely play around with the back seat bases to get the seats to fold flat. See? This is why I posted these! =)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
See:
http://www.focusfanatics.com/forum/showthread.php?t=257493


If you mean the fog lights, they are designed to illuminate the road markers in poor visibility situations only and don't really provide any enhanced vision in most situations. That's also why they turn off with the high beam, since high beams are bad in those cases.


There is a little cellphone holder below the shifter in mine, above the cup holders. I do think that a rubberized cellphone/etc holder on the left below the light controls would have been nice.


All my electronics have USB charger versions, and there are two plugs in the center box for that. The new chargers for HTC/LG/etc are wall to usb adapters and a separate USB cable. You might see if there is a USB version for the devices you charge in there.


To return to single zone (MONO mode), press and
hold AUTO.

My dealer also suggested that the S mode on the transmission required the use of the toggle buttons to change gears, but the S mode by itself is a sportier automatic mode.

Thanks for the tip on the single zone toggle - I did not know that (clearly)! Also, I fully understand the purpose of the driving lights, and I've always contested that they're not even good for that. Their main purpose as far as I'm concerned is to enhance the look of the car with the headlights on. =) PS: I do not believe them to be fog lights. Fog lights are yellow, and are intended to "cut through" fog and enhance topography better than clear/white light can. That's pedantic, though, and not as germain to this discussion.
 

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I've confirmed again this weekend that, where I used to be able to u-turn the Civic in the width of the street I live on, I overshoot it with the Focus by the width of the Focus itself. Regardless of the specs on paper, the reality is that the turning radius of (at least my particular) Focus is much less than that Civic. Perhaps the steering locks are improperly adjusted? It could indeed be the handling package, or perhaps even a bad steering rack (as others are suggesting I look into based on the "choppy" steering)...
And your Honda Civic had 18" wheels, right ? And the same wheelbase as Focus, too. You can't compare eggs with peanuts and get the same values. Put on your Civic the 18" wheels and see what is the radius you get. Or change the Focus to 15" wheels and do the test again.

P.S. My car is better at turns on 17" than my ex-Cougar on 16". The wheelbase on Cougar is greater than the one on Focus though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Actually, it had 17" wheels. I argue that the comparison is valid; the vehicles are in the same class, have comparable features, and comparable target markets. The comparison is at least as good as your comparison to your Cougar. Extending your logic, a Focus should only be compared to a Focus. I'm glad that Ford at least doesn't do that.

Thanks.
 

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I have to say IMO it seems cars with really great handling have bigger turning circles.
The way to make a small rurning radius seems to totally ruin high speed handling.
This is what i have noticed anyway.
It may have nothing to do with handling, but the two go together in my experience.
 

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... Extending your logic, a Focus should only be compared to a Focus. I'm glad that Ford at least doesn't do that...
I understand that you don't know that the 18"s require a steering limiter to avoid rubbing in the new Focus. Thus, the larger turning radius. Put it on 17" wheels and it will turn exactly as your Honda. This was all about.
 

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I understand that you don't know that the 18"s require a steering limiter to avoid rubbing in the new Focus. Thus, the larger turning radius. Put it on 17" wheels and it will turn exactly as your Honda. This was all about.
Putting it on 17" wheels won't change the turning radius. You would need to remove the limiter too.

And its not the rim diameter that effects the turning in the case of the Focus its the width of the tire. Within a very small fraction of an inch all Models of Foci have the same outside tire diameter.

The Ti with the Handling pkg has 235mm wide tires where the base Ti has a 215 as does the SE and SEL.

I would venture a guess that a Civic from the factory with a wider tire than standard would have a limiter to prevent the tire from touching when turned. Lots of vehicles come with a limiter to keep the tires off the body/suspension when turned when fitted with an wider optional tire. My Shelby Daytona did and my PT Cruiser GT does.
 
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