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Hello everybody,
I am in the process of buying a new Focus. I am considering between an SEL and a Titanium. I like all the features that the base titanium has but it also has the Sport tuned suspension, which is my concern. I'd prefer comfortable ride over a stiff and firm one. Therefore, those of you who own a Titanium or had a chance to drive both SEL and Titanium, please give me some advice. All the dealers around here only have SE models. Thank you
 

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I just traded in a 2011 Malibu for the 2012 Focus HB Titanium with the Handling Package. I drove both the SEL and the Titanium before purchasing, and honestly the ride didn't come across as being to "harsh". I purchased the Titanium because to me, the rims and low profile tires made all the difference with the vehicle. I have people come up to me constantly asking me what I am driving and how much it cost. This new Focus is a looker!
 

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I had a chance to drive ab SEL recently, and I could not really tell much of a difference driving in a straight line between that and my Ti w/handling. When really paying attention, I may say the SEL was a negligibly softer, but that has more to do with the fact I know it's supposed to be. There was more of a difference in making turns where the SEL leaned more, and was a little less predictable, and returning to a stable position was a bit less compliant. This differences were small, however, until I drove hard. Then the tires on the SEL gave way, which have never done on my Ti. Driving normally, and blind-folded, I'd probably would not be able to tell which was which.
 

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Please don't drive blind-folded as this will greatly increase the odds of crash! [spank]
Ha, ha, I really am trying to cut back...[histerical]
 

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The only 2012's I've driven have been the SE with sport package, and I love driving this car; finally I buy a car without first thinking, okay, now I have to lower it with stiffer shocks and springs, new rsb, etc. And it only has the 215/55-16 AS tires - what a well-connected little car.

Remember that tire sidewalls are like springs, too, so if you +1, or +2 from the 215/55-16, leaving your shocks/springs alone, the lower sidewall height will be stiffer, too, for the same brand of tire. You'd also have to think that the stiffer suspension on the Titanium must have the added responsibility of what is likely a heavier wheel & tire weight (anyone know the various wheel weights, 16, 17, 18?), further contributing to ride "harshness" over sharp bumps.
 

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The only 2012's I've driven have been the SE with sport package, and I love driving this car; finally I buy a car without first thinking, okay, now I have to lower it with stiffer shocks and springs, new rsb, etc. And it only has the 215/55-16 AS tires - what a well-connected little car.

Remember that tire sidewalls are like springs, too, so if you +1, or +2 from the 215/55-16, leaving your shocks/springs alone, the lower sidewall height will be stiffer, too, for the same brand of tire. You'd also have to think that the stiffer suspension on the Titanium must have the added responsibility of what is likely a heavier wheel & tire weight (anyone know the various wheel weights, 16, 17, 18?), further contributing to ride "harshness" over sharp bumps.
Thanks for this. I was disappointed that you couldn't get the sport-tuned suspension on the SE. Good to know it may not make that much difference.
 

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FWIW, what I have been able to dig up looking at ETIS and FordParts.com. The S and SE have the same springs and standard shocks. The SE with the sport pkg, SEL and Titanium have the same springs with the SE sport and Titanium having "touring" tuned shocks, the SEL has standard shocks. The Titanium with the handling pkg gets different front springs than the base Titanium and "performance" shocks. All the trim levels use the same sway bars.
 

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FWIW, what I have been able to dig up looking at ETIS and FordParts.com. The S and SE have the same springs and standard shocks. The SE with the sport pkg, SEL and Titanium have the same springs with the SE sport and Titanium having "touring" tuned shocks, the SEL has standard shocks. The Titanium with the handling pkg gets different front springs than the base Titanium and "performance" shocks. All the trim levels use the same sway bars.
Thanks. Very helpful.
 

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Yes, helpful in understanding the different packages but confusing in understanding the end result. For example, what is the physical difference or effect between standard and touring tuned shocks?
 

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Physically the internal valving will be different with the touring having more damping over the standard and the performance having more than the touring.

The net result will be the shocks with more damping will better control the car when the suspension is being worked hard in spirited driving at the expense of a rougher ride.
 

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The sport suspension is all about control.
Generally the ride will be a little stiffer. But if the shocks are great, they will allow a comfortable ride andd still control the bumps better.
As for tires. The rime size means a LOT.
My new Focus has the 17" rims with 50 series profile tires. So they are stiffer than the 16" wheels.
The 18" wheels are going to be VERY stiff riding, with 45 series profiles as they have to have (are REQUIRED to have) much higher tire pressures and lower side wall ratios.
So the 18" wheels are going to give a stiff ride, no question.
On stutterbumps, my 17' are annoying, with the stock shocks.
I was on one road so far with the concrete bumpy ride, and i was not happy, but it is OK as I want a firm suspension really. I may have to buy some better shocks to be in heaven
The SE cannot get the suspension upgrade, and yet is the highest level for a manual tranny.
ADDED: i ahve upped the pressure in the front tires to 44psi, and the rear to just 36psi. The handling is much better with the higher psi fronts. and the ride does not suffer at all.
 

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Be careful - I was all for the quiet/soft driving feel since I used to drive (my SUV) like a grandma. But I really wanted the 18" rims to complete the look of my Focus.

Now that I have the Titanium Handling Package, I find myself taking turns going 35mph just to rub it in Audi's / BMW's faces (grilles?). I've even shouted "Titanium Handling Package!" while turning before... I think i have a problem. [???:)]
 
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Can you clarify something? Where you wrote "The SE with the sport pkg, SEL and Titanium have the same springs with the SE sport and Titanium having "touring" tuned shocks, the SEL has standard shocks." I believe you're saying that an SE with Sport Handling Package has the identical springs, dampers, and sway bars as a SE without the Spart Handling Package. Correct?
 

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JNo, the SE without the sport Pkg has different springs and shocks than with the sport Pkg. The SE sport, SEL and Titanium use the same springs. The SE sport and Titanium get "touring" shocks the SEL gets standard shocks. The titanium with the psrformce Pkg gets different front springs and "performance" shocks. All trims regardless of springs and shocks get the same sway bars.

The S and SE get the same springs and standard shocks.
 

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I have the titanium handling package because I wanted the 18" rims. Does anyone know if there is a way to soften the suspension if I grow tired of the harsh ride? Or should I have gone with the standard handling package if I didn't want it to be so stiff?
 

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Change the shocks and/ or the springs but most if the harshness comes from the short side wall of the 18" tire.
I think a good chunk comes from the stiffened springs - we'll see this winter, when I switch to 15" steelies.
 
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