Focus Fanatics Forum banner

1 - 20 of 51 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I am getting very close to purchasing, but can't seem to pick between these options. Would prefer a manual transmission for fun, involved driving, but I must admit I like many of the tech features on the titanium trim, such as upgraded stereo, auto climate and push button start. The SE would be with sport package, Sync/Sirius, moonroof, and winter packages.
I don't particularly mind giving up MFT from what I have seen and read though I suspect it will only become more smooth and less buggy over time.

Is the Sony stereo much better than the stock? I don't need it to play loud, but do like accurate music reproduction rather than boomy, one note bass. Our current Ford we are trading in is a 2001 Escape that had an upgraded audio package with more speakers and a subwoofer, and for the money it never impressed me. The bass never blended with the rest of the speakers. Anyone with an SE model like the base stereo or regret it compared to the Sony. I couldn't find a good comparison thread for stock vs Sony stereo upgrade.

Thanks for any input!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
313 Posts
I can give you my opinion later today or tomorrow, I pick up my 5speed focus this morning! The stereo is one of the first things I will be checking out


Sent from my iPhone
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
I hardly ever listen to my music loud enough to justify a nice system. I don't really have an ear for the differences between good playback quality and excellent, and I prefer to keep it that way. Ignorance is bliss, as they say.

I couldn't go to another automatic. One of the biggest reasons I'm getting the Focus is because of its transmission. The 5-speed is just that good.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
22 Posts
I think you have to decide what is the most important aspect and roll with it. You could always go with an aftermarket audio system that would likely sound better for $500 or so installed.

Personally, we went with the Titanium. While I prefer a manual I want a 6 speed not a 5. The automatic is a 6 speed. I also love MFT. Once you get the hang of it you'll be unable to live without it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
781 Posts
this is an investment you're going to have for several years. go with what you (or the primary driver) feels most comfortable with. nothing worse than buying a car you're going to have for the next 5 years and hating it every mile of the way.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
103 Posts
Going with the Titanium also means having the subwoofer in the back. If you do a lot of cargo hauling, it will eat into some of the cargo space. That was a significant concern with my purchase. On the SE Sport configuration you're eying, you should be getting 6-speakers anyways.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1 Posts
I bought my 2012 SE 5-speed because of the transmission - the manual is just that good! I admit to being partial to manual shift gear boxes, but this one is exceptionally smooth, with progressive take-up and a light feel. My wife has an '01 Porsche Boxster that doesn't feel as refined as the Focus - and that isn't a slam against the Boxster at all. 5000+ miles with moderate to heavy traffic, and I am still happy with my choice!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15 Posts
I ended up buying the Titanium and I kind of regret not getting the SE.I miss rowing my own gears and the MFT is kind of a neat toy but it's pretty buggy.

Good luck with your choice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
232 Posts
I went with the SEL because I loved the DCT automatic for its economy and advanced shifting, but I also wanted a taste of the techno goodies, just not the MFT. But if you want a manual, you want a manual. I prefer a manual but my wife absolutely refused and fortunately the DCT has enough cool factor to make me happy. I am one of those who actually likes the placement of the manual shift buttons on the shifter, and in S mode the DCT shifts faster and more smoothly than I could muster with my left foot.

On the "technology" front, I was coming off a '99 Eurovan, so I thought all of the whiz bang stuff like SYNC and MFT was just more cr*p to break. BOY WAS I WRONG! The SYNC system on my 300A package is fantastic. The voice controls for the USB and phone are real safety plusses and, guess what, they work flawlessly for me so far. In all candor, I wonder whether the MFT issues reported here are based on early models that didn't have the kinks worked out. For my own taste, I ever so slightly regret not getting the MFT --

I can't do a comparo of the stereos. Mine (6 speaker) sounds great at higher volumes, especially when playing off my 16GB flashdrive. At lower volumes it sounds like, well, a car radio. OTOH, there was no way I wanted the subwoofer exposed in the 5 door cargo area because I actually use that space for wet kayaking gear on a regular basis. I can't imagine saltwater and sand are good for a subwoofer.

So, in sum, I'd go with the higher trim level and live with (and love) the automatic. I think the SYNC is great, can't speak to the MFT but I would tend to be less afraid of it given my experience so far.

Good luck!!!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
226 Posts
SE Sport with 6 spd auto...............probably have an after market low pro sub (under the front passenger seat would be nice) and amp added to the stock stereo.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
532 Posts
I need to learn how to drive a stick. It seems I am missing out on the fun. Perhaps the next time I get a Focus, it would be a loaded SE manual. If not the Focus, I would take my next car in a stick!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
712 Posts
I debated the same thing but was hesitant going to give up a gear or the higher mileage of the 6 speed DCT.

I listened to both the 6 speaker and the 10 speaker Sony systems. No comparison for me and I think the sub and the rest of the speakers blend quite well though nowhere near a high end aftermarket. Also, I did not want to fool with aftermarket because with the new dashboards, aftermarket always screams, well, aftermarket and I like "original built in" look on that handsome dash. MFT, while a bit buggy is absolutely great to use and if the Jan. release cleans it up, it will be perfect.

While originally shopping, I had no real interest in paying for the Intelligent Access/Push button start. However, in practical use, I absolutely LOVE never having to take the keys out of my pocket.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,475 Posts
Cool gadgets aside. The real question is what kind of transmission pleases you.
I have driven manual tranny cars all my life, except one.
Back in 1996, I thought an auto tranny with shifting could be good enough. I was very mistaken.
I sold that car the moment I was able to not owe more than it was worth.
Big mistake buying it for me.
So the issue is will you want to be constantly rowing around every single time you have to drive, or do you want to relax and not bother some of the time?
Or will the auto's indecision drive you crazy?
When you shift a manual the timing is yours, the shift happens the moment you choose. An auto may, or may not shift, and it will shift when IT wants to, not when you want it to. An auto tranny will always have a gap between you wanting and it doing.
The manual will NEVER have that gap.
So IMO those are the reasons to choose one or the other.
For me, the rowing is fun. a natural part of driving. For others, it becomes a boring chore.
For me the hesitancy and slow gearchanging response of an auto sucks, For others, having gear changing and picking which gear as not having to worry is a real bonus.
Pick your poison.

I saw an SEL last night next to me in a parking lot. The do dads were cool. The LED lighting was nice.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
968 Posts
A loaded SE manual was the ticket for me, I recently rented an Explorer with MFT... it was neat but I didn't see it being worth giving up my 5 speed. I have the 203a package with SYNC and the 6 speaker system, I think it sounds great... but I'm no audiophile.

Posted via FF Mobile
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
781 Posts
I need to learn how to drive a stick. It seems I am missing out on the fun. Perhaps the next time I get a Focus, it would be a loaded SE manual. If not the Focus, I would take my next car in a stick!
stick is fun and then you outgrow it. driving stick in the city or stop-and-go traffic is a royal pain. driving stick while on the phone can be hazardous. driving stick while eating is very messy.

"fun" is a relative term and you can enjoy driving an automatic easily, you won't have to worry about shifting all the time.

i had stick vehicles for over a decade, i don't miss a manual transmission one bit.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
stick is fun and then you outgrow it. driving stick in the city or stop-and-go traffic is a royal pain. driving stick while on the phone can be hazardous. driving stick while eating is very messy.

"fun" is a relative term and you can enjoy driving an automatic easily, you won't have to worry about shifting all the time.

i had stick vehicles for over a decade, i don't miss a manual transmission one bit.
I don't agree at all. If I were still able to drive a manual, I would in a second. Not sure if I ever will be able to again, but I miss the hell out of it right now. Autos are too detached from their driver, and the lag from this tranny is maddening at times.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
418 Posts
Auto is a more relaxed drive in traffic.
Manual is more fun and better for overtaking.
I test drove the auto and found the kickdown to be unpredictable.
The shifting was not refined like VW DSG.
I nearly ran into trouble overtaking a truck.
Also the manual is faster 0-60 (according to Auto Magazine tests).
It's really up to the individual's preference and what type of driving will be done.
There's a place for both options.
Also the auto box is full of Electronics and I don't like that. A gearbox should be full of gears and oil.
 
1 - 20 of 51 Posts
Top