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Discussion Starter #1
Hey All,

I was hoping to get folks to chime-in, in indicating what some of the less obvious differences between the above-mentioned three models. I am trying to figure out which model I would like to buy.

Sorry, it’s a long post!

I am all for plain, plain, plain -- and I will be sticking with satin black steel wheels, with satin black lugs, hubs, etc... No wheel covers.

I would be fine with a sedan, generally.

This is what I have learned:


Sedan S:

- steel lower MacPherson strut locating link / wishbone; all other models have aluminum...
- 15 X 6.5" wheels, 63.5mm hub bore; ET of about 35mm
- 195 section width all season tires
- car generally is undertired-- i.e. they're quite narrow, and not very sticky.... but the rim-width / tire width is a happy arrangement; not a very bulbous sidewall.
- traction control CANNOT be be turned off, 'cause there is an ultra-simple message centre, and there are no steering wheel controls
- trunk-thru is 100% -- not 60 / 40
- 60 / 40 is not available
- trunk-thru does not fold down flat
- generally, the chassis is crying out for springs / struts... etc. and the tires are not great
- rear brakes are 9" drums;
- no sport package is available;
- cruise control is not available
- not sure if the seats have any side-bolsters, compared to others
- no centre arm rest (doesn't interfere with shifting, though!)
- no foglamps
- is belt-line moulding all-black?
- door handles are all-black / unpainted.


Sedan SE:

- base tires are steel 16 X 6....again, 63.5mm hub bore, and and ET of 35mm
- note that the wheels are narrower than the 15's in the S model sedan
- 215 section width all season tires
- the rim-width / tire width is NOT a happy arrangement; there is a very bulbous sidewall evident, and the turn-in is sloppy due to this.
- traction control CAN be be turned off
- trunk-thru: 100%, standard, but is available as 60 / 40
- trunk-thru does not fold down flat, unless the 60/40 arrangement is ordered, and the spacesaver spare is ordered.... (I am not sure of this; the absolutely flat floor may only be arrangeable in the hatch, with 60/40 and spacesaver)
- rear brakes are 9" drums, unless sport package is spec'd
- not sure if the std seats have any side-bolsters, compared to others
- centre arm rest is evident, and it may on a minor basis interfere with shifting
- cruise is available (with a package)
- sport package is available; does this gives the car a black beltline moulding???
- sport package seats – have more pronounced bolsters (??) – but are they the same as the sport seats in the Hatch?
- fog lamps standard


Hatchback SE:

- base tires are steel 16 X 6.5 and ....again, 63.5mm hub bore, and and ET of 35mm
- note that the wheels are wider than the sedans’ - with 215 section width all season tires
- the rim-width / tire width combination is better than on the sedan but there is still a bulbous sidewall evident, and the turn-in could be better.
- do the standard (non-sport) seats have exactly the same side-bolster proportions, as do the SE sedan standard seats?
- traction control CAN be be turned off
- are all trunk-thru's 60 / 40?
- or: trunk-thru does not fold down flat, unless the 60/40 arrangement is ordered, and the spacesaver spare is ordered....- rear brakes are 9" drums, unless sport package is spec'd
- centre arm rest is evident, and it may on a minor basis interfere with shifting
- sport pack is available, giving car rear disks.
- sport pack gives all-black beltline moulding
- cruise is available.
- fog lamps - standard


I am interested in as plain a car as possible, but I will be adding the eEMotiv “Black Box” dialable ESC tuning, if the Version 2 form becomes available and is fittable to the Focus.

I would also be looking to get four sport struts, a micro-adjustable end-link - moderately heavier rear sway bar, and sticky summer tires, added to the standard steel wheels.

Finally, I would consider cornerbalancing the car.

So, to summarize -- zippo for bling; don't want to attract attention. But super-duper, by way of handling. Relative low handling limits, due to narrow tires -- but neutral steering, and controllable at the limit.

Any corrections folks can make to this, or comments, would be much appreciated.

Eurofordfan
 

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Your best net would probably be an SE sedan with the sport package, less than $20k MSRP.

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Holy crap, somebody swipe this and add it to a "general information" sticky.

Good work, OP! [thumb]

EDIT: Since I'm trying to get some math put together to determine wheel sizes on the Focus, I'll use your numbers and calculate that the 16x6.5" wheels have 127.55mm of backspace and protrude 37.55mm from the hub.

This may not help much with wheel fitment since these wheels are so small, but you never know.

EDIT AGAIN: I really want to buy one of these.

 

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Great comparison. Yes, the beltline is all black (as it is on the SE).

With the S, cornering limits are much higher than you think though the suspension/tire setup is relatively soft. It doesn't lean a lot in corners, but I prefer cars that are very firm and agile. Almost bought an SE Sport...c'est la view!

Your comment about the springs/struts was right on. With stiffer springs and summer tires/wheels, I think the S or SE will drive very well - they have a lot of potential. I am planning to improve mine next Spring.

I would vote for an SE Sport (or base SE if you are planning to swap the major components out).
 

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Your best net would probably be an SE sedan with the sport package, less than $20k MSRP.

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This... don't forget about drum brakes on S and SE.... the rear discs ad aluminum suspension components sold me on the Sport... (yes, I got mine early enough before ford stopped putting the aluminum LCA's on the front...
 

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Sedan SE...
- trunk-thru: 100%, standard, but is available as 60 / 40
- trunk-thru does not fold down flat, unless the 60/40 arrangement is ordered, and the spacesaver spare is ordered.... (I am not sure of this; the absolutely flat floor may only be arrangeable in the hatch, with 60/40 and spacesaver)
...
- sport package seats – have more pronounced bolsters (??) – but are they the same as the sport seats in the Hatch?
To get a 60/40 arrangement on an SE sedan, you need to order the Interior Trend package. Otherwise, the rear seat base is fixed. You won't get a flat floor.

All front seats are the same i.e. all SE sedan and wagons share the same seats. SE Sport seats are all the same in design up front.

Hatchback SE:

...
- are all trunk-thru's 60 / 40?
- or: trunk-thru does not fold down flat, unless the 60/40 arrangement is ordered, and the spacesaver spare is ordered....- rear brakes are 9" drums, unless sport package is spec'd
Yes, for Canadian cars at least, the seat backs and seat base are 60/40 split. You do not need to order a Trend interior package unlike the sedan.

I'm not sure where you're getting the idea that you can specify the spare tire that comes with the vehicle. A "full-sized" spare is only available if you get a Titanium with the Handling Package. Otherwise, you get a mini-spare.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
To get a 60/40 arrangement on an SE sedan, you need to order the Interior Trend package. Otherwise, the rear seat base is fixed. You won't get a flat floor.
Do I read this that unless you order an Interior Trend package, you get the 100% wide trunkthru, and the seat bottom will not tumble forward? Otherwise, all 60 / 40 seat bottoms will tumble forward in the sedan...

??

TIA GapBoyPCS
 

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Do I read this that unless you order an Interior Trend package, you get the 100% wide trunkthru, and the seat bottom will not tumble forward? Otherwise, all 60 / 40 seat bottoms will tumble forward in the sedan...

??

TIA GapBoyPCS
Yes to the first bit. I'm unsure about the latter. I haven't seen an SE sedan with the Interior Trend package, but all the SE sedans I've seen of varying Rapid Spec options have fixed bases and a 100% wide pass-through to the back.

This was one of the reasons why I ended up going with a hatchback over a sedan. I didn't want to be stuck with a leather interior, and I was too used to having a 60/40 configuration and seat-base tumble-forward in my 2002.
 

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Sonic's Mk3 Crew #17
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Slightly off-topic, could the 60/40 seat back be put into an SE sedan that came with the 100/0 option? Mine has the all-or-none fold down seat back and I wouldn't mind the 60/40.
 

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Of anything there the drum rear brakes is the 'ugly ducking' (and not gonna turn into a swan either)
I would think for any sort of performance driving, disk brake rears would be mandatory.

Added One of the cool things of the 60/40 split is you can have up to three passengers and still have a passthrough for some long object you want to transport.
So the guy who was transporting his sailboat mast out the trunk and out the front passenger window in his hatch, STILL could have had two passengers squeezed in the 60% portion (at least if they were skinny!)
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I know that drum brakes are against the conventional wisdom -- but as for performance driving, I guess I still am pretty easy on my brakes. Mostly, my performance driving, is overtaking slower cars on a two-lane, and also cornering fairly agressively. I am easy on the brakes, as I said.

I do like drum brakes, in that they never pulse and the parking brake arrangement is, in my mind, superior. The Porsche 993, the Mercedes-Benz W123 have drums inside of the rear disks, solely for the parking brakes...

Please excuse my ignorance, but how is it done nowadays, for a disk brake car... with small drums, or some other way? Back when I had my first car, in about 1975 -- my Fiat 124 Sport Coupe had disks behind... and IIRC, the actuation of the brake pads for the parking brake, was pretty darned hokey!

For me, drums are not being in the penalty box.

Finally, one of the reason I like steel wheels (decently wide, mind you) is that the Focus (and many other cars, especially Honda's) don't have over-achiever disk brakes in front, particularly... They are pretty darned small, compared to most German cars. I would never paint my brake calipers, unless they were opposed piston, say 4 piston or 6 piston brakes, and then only if the disks were pretty big diameter. As for painted drums .... Ugh!!! As for painted fist-caliper brakes, Ugh, too!

Just my opinion!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Oh yeah - one more thing: (and folks may hate me for this):

In my mind, a rear spoiler, on a sedan, is a needless affectation. I grant you that the spoiler is subtle on the Focus sedan.

I would pay $ to delete this from the Sedan's sport package.

I would remove it and put rubber plugs in, and paint the rubber plugs body-colour.

To that end, can anyone tell me if the holes, generally, are not big and are in fact round?

Is it likely that I could plug the holes, in the manner mentioned?

FInally, does the spoiler have that high centre-mounted stop lamp, or is that evident on the rear parcel tray, inside of the car?

Thx!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Your comment about the springs/struts was right on. With stiffer springs and summer tires/wheels, I think the S or SE will drive very well - they have a lot of potential.
Uncle Brud or others, do you know of any sport struts that are out there?
I would love to have some of the (I think?) yellow Koni struts...

I would even go to the trouble of possibly cornerbalancing, using custom thickness shims, with the sport struts. However, I'd only do that if I could get antiswaybar end-links that can be temporarily disconnected... so that I could in fact neutralize the suspension.

Ah, I'm sure that the corner balancing is absolute overkill!
 

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If I remember correctly, the hatchback, due to its design is tortionally stiffer than the sedan; so the ride is better and it hadles better.
 

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...does the spoiler have that high centre-mounted stop lamp, or is that evident on the rear parcel tray, inside of the car?

Thx!
The sedan spoiler shouldn't have the third brake light in it. The hatchback does, and the spray nozzle for the washer fluid is integrated in the piece. The third brake light on a sedan is integrated with the decklid portion. It's actually built into the top of the decklid. The only thing I don't like about that particular design idea is that it can be prone to corrosion. Take a look at some first generation Focus sedans. You will probably start to see some corrosion around the light, or at the very least some paint beginning to bubble for those cars pelted with winter salt and moisture.

If you wait a few years, I'm sure you can find a decklid without a spoiler in a wrecking yard, and swap the panel.
 

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Posted via FF Mobile I would still get the sport package. Even if your are just fine with drums, discs still make spirited aggressive driving better and more fun. The sport package is a damn great deal imo to pass up. The alloy wheels will be lighter, less rotational mass = better speed and cornering. The sport seats huge you much better then the standard seats which = stable driver, your dancing with the steering wheel, not hanging out for dear life. Steering wheel is learher wrapped, always nice. If you get the automatic, you get select shift and sport mode. Id get the sport package.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Posted via FF Mobile I would still get the sport package. Even if your are just fine with drums, discs still make spirited aggressive driving better and more fun. The sport package is a damn great deal imo to pass up. The alloy wheels will be lighter, less rotational mass = better speed and cornering. The sport seats huge you much better then the standard seats which = stable driver, your dancing with the steering wheel, not hanging out for dear life. Steering wheel is learher wrapped, always nice. If you get the automatic, you get select shift and sport mode. Id get the sport package.
Thx for the feedback -- to all...

Re the sport package, you do make a point re the lateral bolsters... I will make the comparison, in that regard. Others have said that the sedan seats, and the hatchback seats, in both SE (non sport) and SE sport -- are the same. Not like GM, who in the Cobalt, put decidedly less sport oriented seats in the sedan, versus the coupe.

Good point, also, re the spoiler. I could remove the spoiler, and then later, when a standard / non spoiler sedan made it to the wreckers, I could buy the trunk lid, sand it really well, have it sprayed-up -- and then make the switch. In the mean time, rubber plugs, primed with flexible element primer, topcoated in body-colour -- could work.

I certainly am OK with disks behind, but so long as the parking brake arrangement works as well as the drums.

On a related note, I didn't know that the hatch was more torsionally rigid than the sedan. I'd have figured not, 'cause the rear window (the "backlite" as the Brittons call it) should lend torsional stiffness to the sedan, that the Hatch does not have (unless otherwise reinforced). Maybe it is just that -- it is otherwise reinforced, to more than recoup the loss of stiffness that the design results in.

Again, thx All!

Any more comments are welcome!

How 'bout what folks think of the eEMotiv black box?

Their site is http://eemotiv.com/
 

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Uncle Brud or others, do you know of any sport struts that are out there?
I would love to have some of the (I think?) yellow Koni struts...

I would even go to the trouble of possibly cornerbalancing, using custom thickness shims, with the sport struts. However, I'd only do that if I could get antiswaybar end-links that can be temporarily disconnected... so that I could in fact neutralize the suspension.

Ah, I'm sure that the corner balancing is absolute overkill!
I don't know of any yet(others might), though someone on here has a thread about Eibach springs. I was considering ordering the upper level springs/shocks from http://www.fordparts.com/ (possible from Tousley Ford, as their prices are pretty good - shipping can vary from them on the same part, so be careful there). But, I might wait to what's in the aftermarket.

If I had it to do over again, I would start w/the SE Sport because replacing springs/shocks/wheels/tires, etc can get expensive. Plus, on the SE, you'll get the aluminum lower control arms. Not sure what diff that makes, though, in terms of weight.

The seats on the S/SE seem to be the same and they have nice bolsters.

The drum brakes work flawlessly and stop very well. My experience is that drums are much easier to maintain over the long-haul (and they last forever). They just don't look that great behind an alloy wheel! Let's not forget that old sports cars used 4-wheel disc brakes (early Porsche 356, anyone?), so they should be OK for a Focus.

I'm curious if the upper models (SEL, Titanium) have a different steering setup vs. the lower models. I still don't like the electric steering much.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I don't know of any yet(others might), though someone on here has a thread about Eibach springs. I was considering ordering the upper level springs/shocks from http://www.fordparts.com/ (possible from Tousley Ford, as their prices are pretty good - shipping can vary from them on the same part, so be careful there). But, I might wait to what's in the aftermarket.

If I had it to do over again, I would start w/the SE Sport because replacing springs/shocks/wheels/tires, etc can get expensive. Plus, on the SE, you'll get the aluminum lower control arms. Not sure what diff that makes, though, in terms of weight.

The seats on the S/SE seem to be the same and they have nice bolsters.

The drum brakes work flawlessly and stop very well. My experience is that drums are much easier to maintain over the long-haul (and they last forever). They just don't look that great behind an alloy wheel! Let's not forget that old sports cars used 4-wheel disc brakes (early Porsche 356, anyone?), so they should be OK for a Focus.

I'm curious if the upper models (SEL, Titanium) have a different steering setup vs. the lower models. I still don't like the electric steering much.
Uncle Brud, the sport package does NOT give you any changed suspension. The initial indications in the ordering information, in the dealerships, and the on-line + brochure info intimated that yes, it was a sport handling package - and suspension was a higher grade .... but later on Ford recanted -- and said, no.
Only the Titanium has an available handling package.

Koni sport struts are damping adjustable, but what's more -- they are actually optimized for shorter springs -- at least 1" shorter springs. In their literature, and on-line they suggest the Eibach springs. When packaged as a Sport Package, they have shorter springs that are optimized with the shocks (and they of course are higher spring-rate springs). These are not yet available for the '12 Focus -- but they are available for the '99-'06 Focus... and I find this encouraging. Here's to hoping that they will be available, as time goes on, for the '12 and later Focus.
 
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