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I'm looking to replace my old gas guzzling Impala with a 2012+ Focus SE/SEL with under 50,000miles/80,000km. My wife has a 2007 Focus SE which I am familiar with driving and they are great little cars.

Few questions:

It would be with the automatic transmission-something I have read is or was an issue- did they get that solved yet?

Would you prefer a sedan or hatch? I'd love to have the cargo space (can't afford SUV right now) but I think I prefer the appearance of the sedan.

What is the difference between SE and SEL anyway? (can't afford to look at Titaniums or other higher optioned models)

Any other things to look for when test driving them? (I did work at used car dealerships for 7 years so I have a pretty good idea)

Looking forward to getting a newer car! [driving]
 

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#dailydriven
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well the difference between SE and SEL is options. generaly the SEL is going to be closer to a titanium and have 17's, rear disk breaks, dual zone climate control, syn with sirius, optional leather. that type of stuff. where as the SE had 16's, rear drum breaks and none of the other good stuff. they can all be optioned to be pretty close to each other though so you'll just have to compare what you find.

I prefer the hatch so i'm a little biased on that one. It seems the new clutch pack and software updates have fixed a lot of the issues for most people. Do a thorough test drive of the car before you buy it with lot of slow rolling and stop and go. you will be able to tell if it has the issue or not.

The transmision is the biggest issue to look for while test driving.
 

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well the difference between SE and SEL is options. generaly the SEL is going to be closer to a titanium and have 17's, rear disk breaks, dual zone climate control, sync with sirius, optional leather. that type of stuff. where as the SE had 16's, rear drum breaks and none of the other good stuff. they can all be optioned to be pretty close to each other though so you'll just have to compare what you find.

I prefer the hatch so i'm a little biased on that one. It seems the new clutch pack and software updates have fixed a lot of the issues for most people. Do a thorough test drive of the car before you buy it with lot of slow rolling and stop and go. you will be able to tell if it has the issue or not.

The transmission is the biggest issue to look for while test driving.
Actually this is not an accurate comparison as it ignores a lot of the information.

The base SEL had 16" wheels, sync w/ myford without the sirius reciever, four wheel disk brakes, one touch auto windows for the four door windows.

The SEL 300A was better equipped than an SE 203A in 2012 yet was actually cheaper to purchase, though a loaded SEL was more expensive than a base Titanium due to the trim option packages.
 

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#dailydriven
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i stand corrected. i knew there was a ton of options that could change the price. i was just giving a basic list.
 

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At the bottom of this page of threads is one titled "Considering a new Focus but worried". The comments there should give you a good idea of trouble areas.
 

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Get a 5 speed and you will have a great car!
I know people get tired of this particular drumbeat, but I agree.
Odds are in your favor that an auto transmission won't cause you any serious issues, but there is a distinct possibility it might.

I put a LOT of miles on my cars...I expect at least 200K before I need to look for a replacement. In order to get there with as few issues as possible, the big stuff (frame, motor and transmission) needs to be as solid as I can find.
Consequently, I wouldn't recommend the automatic in this car yet as it's not as solid as I would like.

If you were one of those people who trades every couple years, you'd probably be fine. But where you're looking to ditch your "old gas-guzzling Impala" and think "under 50,000" is new, you don't sound like one who trades off often.
 

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High mile cars posted that didn't have serious issues have primarily been manuals for ALL generations, really nothing new there.

When you look at the High Mile threads (such as in Focus & General Chat) you'll see this repeated often.

IMHO if a DCT owner pays for a clutch job between 100k & 200k it's similar to a manual owner doing the same, and better than rebuild/replacement of a "std" automatic. The only downside is that a std. manual clutch is a "home repair" possibility to save significant $ vs. a shop replacement (otherwise costs are similar).

(Replacement with a J/Y automatic in either case is a separate category)

Not saying 200k on an automatic doesn't happen, but it's reported less often.
 

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I'm looking to replace my old gas guzzling Impala with a 2012+ Focus SE/SEL with under 50,000miles/80,000km. My wife has a 2007 Focus SE which I am familiar with driving and they are great little cars.

Few questions:

It would be with the automatic transmission-something I have read is or was an issue- did they get that solved yet?

Would you prefer a sedan or hatch? I'd love to have the cargo space (can't afford SUV right now) but I think I prefer the appearance of the sedan.

What is the difference between SE and SEL anyway? (can't afford to look at Titaniums or other higher optioned models)

Any other things to look for when test driving them? (I did work at used car dealerships for 7 years so I have a pretty good idea)

Looking forward to getting a newer car! [driving]

I just have two things to add to the comments above. While the potential for Auto transmission problems is higher, there are a few things you can do to ensure the one you buy is relatively trouble-free:

-1) Take it for a very long test drive. Let the whole car warm up to operating temperatures then take it on the highway and accelerate hard. Additionally. after the systems are warm, try accelerating at a firm rate from a dead stop. If the car seems to hesitate, slip, shudder, shake, or stall you'll want to move on to another car on the lot.

(If you can) Have the techs put it up on a lift and ask them to remove the aeroshield inspect the seam where the transmission meets the engine. (It's on the driver's third of the engine bay) If the seam damp with oil, shows a past oil leak, or looks like it's been disconnected then reconnected, you'll want to walk away from that one as well -- its clutch packs are likely compromised.

It is completely true that the manual is the better buy in the long run. However, the auto DCT has a stigma attached to it and has soured many owner's opinions and perceptions of it. If you purchase an earlier build, you'll be covered by an extensive warranty on the critical tranmission components prone to failure. I only say this (and I'm not bashing the manual) -- I'd have one if my wife could drive one) because you'll get very vocal opinions against the DCT and for the 5sp.

2) To expand on the SEL conversation, there were many fleet cars that were given the SEL spec but not the fully optioned spec so you may find that it's not comparable to a titanium and in some cases the SE could be the better choice.
 

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some of the earlier, like you are looking at DCT's have been extended to have a 100k mile warranty by ford. That put my mind at ease. If it is going to have a problem, I will see it by 100k, and ford covers it. If it isn't going to have a problem then I am good! And if it survived to 100k miles, I am pretty confident that it is a solid component and think its fair to pay for it myself after that.

I bought a used rental 2013 with 40k miles on it. I figure the rental period let them test out everything and replace the early failure items, what is on it is good to go!

Also, check the aeor shield, they are sometimes removed for oild changes and not replaced. Mine wasn't. It was easy enough to replace for $125 I think with all the mounting hardware.
 

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i am 4 clutch packs in on my dct and it is finally been great...ive driven it more now then when the last clutch started failing and this one has yet to show any symptoms. I really think they got it 99 percent figured out. I leave the 1 percent because i believe that some shops are better at performing the repair than others. I have enough faith in it now that i just purchased a 2015 focus yesterday for the SO commuter. There are simply some symptoms that are gonna come with this transmission that you need to realize are part of it. The big one is the slight shudder you get when accelerating fairly aggressive. There is a difference between normal operation shudder and non normal. we are 105 miles in on the 2015 and it has the tiny shudder and i know its normal. The cars are great man. Just know that if you get the dct, there is a chance your patience will be tested. Slight, but its there. If you are tested and you hang in there and dont jump ship, it can be a worthwhile purchase. The only other thing to listen for during the test drives is the bumping sound coming from the front of the car at 5mph or lower. Go through a slightly rough parking lot and just go through it normal. That is the only issue with mine at this point and its not a game changer. Its just the rattle sound makes the car sound cheap. It can be fixed very easily by urself, but if your buying a car. Make them do it :)
 

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I'm looking to replace my old gas guzzling Impala with a 2012+ Focus SE/SEL with under 50,000miles/80,000km. My wife has a 2007 Focus SE which I am familiar with driving and they are great little cars.

Few questions:

It would be with the automatic transmission-something I have read is or was an issue- did they get that solved yet?

Would you prefer a sedan or hatch? I'd love to have the cargo space (can't afford SUV right now) but I think I prefer the appearance of the sedan.

What is the difference between SE and SEL anyway? (can't afford to look at Titaniums or other higher optioned models)

Any other things to look for when test driving them? (I did work at used car dealerships for 7 years so I have a pretty good idea)

Looking forward to getting a newer car! [driving]
I would advise that you spend several hours reading the 3 years of posts about DCT automatic problems here so at least you won't be blind-sided if you buy one and "happen" to get one of the problem units.

I have never heard one complaint about the manual transmission and can vouch for the rest of the car being great.
 
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