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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey guys I'm new to the forum. I currently drive a 4x4 tahoe and live in atlanta however I just took a job in tampa therefore I got to looking for more fuel efficient cars. I really liked the focus titanium hatch but the ones I've test drove all had trans problems. So my question is this, I've been looking at 2015 models and was wondering are the transmissions any better in the 2015 models? I would prefer to not have to deal with any issues especially since I'll be 7 hours away from home lol
 

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Moved to the MkIII section.

You'll get the full set of guesses here.
 

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Guessing is right. Since no one has a 2015..except a few who just bought them.. No one will know for awhile.
So the comment about guessing is right on.
If you really want to eliminate the guessing.. buy a MK3 Focus with a manual transmission.
PS the ST hot rod version (manual only) does not get the same gas mileage as the regular Focus.
Plus the very best mpgs are at around 55mph. When you are going 70 75 mph the mpgs drop.
you should look at some of the mpg threads to see that issue.
 

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The transmission on the 2015 is the same DCT, the only thing that has changed is the firmware and the seals they are using. It is very unlikely that you would experience seal leakage, like the 2012 models, but you will still experience the eccentricities of DCT; jerkiness/bumpiness at crawling speeds, and shutter/shudder between first and second until the clutch is truly broken in. I found the best way to break in the clutch is to drive on surface streets as much as possible during the first thousand miles. If you do a lot of highway, as I do, then the brake in will take much longer, mine took up to 11,000 miles. To get a true comparison of what competing DCT feel like, I would recomend spending the afternoon at carmax, driving Hyundai Velsters and Dodge Darts from around 2013, they both have dry DCT and you will notice some of the same nuances on these two competitors. DCT is not a bad trans, but it is no match to conventional turbines as far as smoothness is concerned. If you absolutely cannot have the DCT, then choose the manual, even with 5 speeds, the manual on the focus is excellent. It is what I intended to get in the first place, but I got such a great deal on the DCT that I skipped on the manual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Well I'm trying to avoid a manual. I drive a 1990 nissan with a 5 speed to work and it gets old in traffic. I know this is a focus forum but what would be a good alternative car besides the focus for mpgs and reliability?
 

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Well I'm trying to avoid a manual. I drive a 1990 nissan with a 5 speed to work and it gets old in traffic. I know this is a focus forum but what would be a good alternative car besides the focus for mpgs and reliability?
On mileage, the competition is par to par, but on reliability and resale value, one cannot beat the Honda Civic and the Toyota Corolla. Do keep in mind that these two use CVT, which have their own set of nuances/annoyances. Another competitor is the Chevy Cruze, which offers a more comfortable driving experience albeit less sporty than the Focus, and it uses a conventional turbine automatic, but just like the Focus, Cruze does not hold its value well. I would also consider the Hyundai Elantra, they are loaded with extras, but what I do not like about the Elantras is how much road noise they let trough.
 

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Well I'm trying to avoid a manual. I drive a 1990 nissan with a 5 speed to work and it gets old in traffic. I know this is a focus forum but what would be a good alternative car besides the focus for mpgs and reliability?
Dodge Dart, Mazda3, VW Golf.

Some of them still have DCT's though. Except the Mazda.
 

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Dodge Dart, Mazda3, VW Golf.

Some of them still have DCT's though. Except the Mazda.
I actually test drove all these before deciding on the Focus. I found the build quality on the Dart to be just unacceptable, lots of rattles and creaks on a brand new car that is still sitting on the lot. The transmission on the Dart is butter smooth, since they changed over to a traditional automatic and only offer the DCT on the eco version, but I just could not get over the interior styling, it looked to me like a car from the late 90's, with all the cheap black plastics and organic look of the dash. The Mazda 3 drives great, but it is built so flimsy, exterior panels are made of very thin materials, the paint is also much thinner than on the Ford, and the interior is ugly in my opinion, specially the instrument cluster and that unsightly faux-VW navigation screen in the middle of the dash. The VW Golf is what I would consider the closest competitor to the Focus, the DSG is smoother than the dry DCT on the Focus, but not by much. Shudder/shutter is not a concern on the wet dct of the VW, but you still get the jerkiness at crawl speeds, and the DSG has to be serviced every 40k miles at an expense of about $400US. Only in a manual would I say the VW is better than the Focus, but only for the additional 6th gear, the manual on the Focus is absolutely solid and the clutch set up is excellent.
 

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I actually test drove all these before deciding on the Focus. I found the build quality on the Dart to be just unacceptable, lots of rattles and creaks on a brand new car that is still sitting on the lot. The transmission on the Dart is butter smooth, since they changed over to a traditional automatic and only offer the DCT on the eco version, but I just could not get over the interior styling, it looked to me like a car from the late 90's, with all the cheap black plastics and organic look of the dash. The Mazda 3 drives great, but it is built so flimsy, exterior panels are made of very thin materials, the paint is also much thinner than on the Ford, and the interior is ugly in my opinion, specially the instrument cluster and that unsightly faux-VW navigation screen in the middle of the dash. The VW Golf is what I would consider the closest competitor to the Focus, the DSG is smoother than the dry DCT on the Focus, but not by much. Shudder/shutter is not a concern on the wet dct of the VW, but you still get the jerkiness at crawl speeds, and the DSG has to be serviced every 40k miles at an expense of about $400US. Only in a manual would I say the VW is better than the Focus, but only for the additional 6th gear, the manual on the Focus is absolutely solid and the clutch set up is excellent.
I think for the money and for the handling, the Focus ti does the best, Yes, the DCT is quirky and for some that makes it unacceptable, but if you learn how to drive it you will find it to be reliable. If you insist on it behaving a certain way, you will exacerbate the problems and make it very temperamental. The best way to drive it in slow traffic and stop and go seems to be sport mode, where it engages more firmly and holds a gear longer. It does NOT like to be babied. If you are a timid driver, it will give you fits. (however, if you thrash it in slow conditions it will start to jerk you around too). Just be positive in your use of it, like you would a manual, expect a few shudders here and there as if you didn't work the clutch quiet right and it will quickly settle in to a fine working trans. *
Most if not all the actual problems with the DCT, programing, seals, clutch packs etc. have been worked out. It is still however a computer operated standard transmission and will behave as such. Computers don't get it right all the time any more than we do. Just don't fight it. The few times I felt like my DCT was acting odd, I'd shift to 'S', manually shift it a few times and go back to 'D'. or just put it in sport and drive it for a while that way. It never failed to get the trans back in sync and feeling normal.
My only advice if you are thinking about one is this: if you do not trust the transmission, and tend to over analyze things, don't buy it. You will not be happy with it. MY GF had one and couldn't get past the DCT feel. It worked fine, I never had any issues with it but she thought she did, so we traded it for a C-Max. She LOVES her C-Max and wouldn't trade it for anything. You might want to take a look at it. The Hybrid gets 46+ pretty consistently for her in city/highway driving and feels a lot like the Focus. ( same platform, with more head/ rear seat room)
I thought my SEL was the best car I have ever owned and never once felt the DCT was a problem. When it did something weird, I thought "that was weird" and didn't give it a second thought. It never let me down. ( I said 'was' because I traded it in on the Electric Focus. Love the FFE even more, except the loss of the leather seats...)
Happy shopping![loveff]


* ( for clarification, I understand there are those who have had actual issues with their DCT and my comments
are not intended to dismiss or deny the issues existed.)
 

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Well I'm trying to avoid a manual. I drive a 1990 nissan with a 5 speed to work and it gets old in traffic. I know this is a focus forum but what would be a good alternative car besides the focus for mpgs and reliability?
I have driven my 2012 for 2.5 years now and no longer notice the DCT stuff going on. When others drive my car they come back and let me know there is something wrong with the transmission. My response, which seems to clarify it for them, is that it is a manual transmission that someone else is shifting for you. It is not an automatic transmission. I get a big "oh... that explains it."

My commute to work is 55 miles round trip each day and I average between 30 and 34 MPG in combined city/highway driving (depends on temperature). With the present fuel prices I fill up for under $20. It's perfect!

I would expect the 2015 to be about the same except for the 1.0L Ecoboost package which only has a 6-spd manual and shuts itself off at stops (stop/start).
 

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Well, essentially its the same firmware from 2014, last revision, which is what is installed on new builds, is from May 2014, and the seals are part of the revision F package, brown seals , which started mid summer 2013.
 

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Well, essentially its the same firmware from 2014, last revision, which is what is installed on new builds, is from May 2014, and the seals are part of the revision F package, brown seals , which started mid summer 2013.
OK, better, but how do you know all this too? Has anyone confirmed the firmware and hardware are the same or have been revised?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well I've looked at similar cars and I don't think any of them even hold a match to the focus. The interior in the focus is loads better and I just like them a lot better than anything else. At this point I'm pretty fixated on this white 2012 titanium hatch with 20k miles, navi, sunroof and all the goodies. Plus it has a warranty still and my credit union offers an extended warranty which replaced the $5k transmission in my f150 with no questions asked. My dealer said it was the most trouble free transaction they had ever made and the extended warranty only costed $2k so it instantly paid for itself:)
 

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I actually test drove all these before deciding on the Focus. I found the build quality on the Dart to be just unacceptable, lots of rattles and creaks on a brand new car that is still sitting on the lot. The transmission on the Dart is butter smooth, since they changed over to a traditional automatic and only offer the DCT on the eco version, but I just could not get over the interior styling, it looked to me like a car from the late 90's, with all the cheap black plastics and organic look of the dash. The Mazda 3 drives great, but it is built so flimsy, exterior panels are made of very thin materials, the paint is also much thinner than on the Ford, and the interior is ugly in my opinion, specially the instrument cluster and that unsightly faux-VW navigation screen in the middle of the dash. The VW Golf is what I would consider the closest competitor to the Focus, the DSG is smoother than the dry DCT on the Focus, but not by much. Shudder/shutter is not a concern on the wet dct of the VW, but you still get the jerkiness at crawl speeds, and the DSG has to be serviced every 40k miles at an expense of about $400US. Only in a manual would I say the VW is better than the Focus, but only for the additional 6th gear, the manual on the Focus is absolutely solid and the clutch set up is excellent.
If I'm not mistaken, the Dart uses a Hyundai transmission. I agree the Dart (and now the Charger) have an ugly 90's look interior. I abhor the Mazda's touch screen (as do a lot of car journalist testers). Looks like someone just propped up a tablet on their dash. I really like the VW GTI's, Probably sets the standard for the most expensive looking interior in it's class. BUT, Volkswagens, in particular, the GTI's are known to be a troublesome car. The Focus has a pretty stiff body and uses thicker sheet metal than some of the competition. Aside from the GTI, I think the Focus still has one of the best looking interiors.

The DCT does take some getting used to. But it is mostly at lower speeds, like 45 mph or less that you sometimes get the jerkiness. On highways it is pretty much like a traditional transmission.

The 2015's have just started to hit the lots. I'd price the 2015's (try cars.com or autotrader.com) before settling on the 2012.
 

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I agree. Mr. Torta just had an air of authority I was curious about....
Allow me to clarify. Where I work, a vehicle management company, we have a Ford fleet, so until very recently, I had direct access to OASIS/ETIS. Because of my license, I would get notifications of TSB and software updates based on model, I could also look up live information as soon as it had been entered by a dealer based on VIN, it is one of the reasons I chose Ford as my brand for my personal vehicle, as I was "in the loop" per say. Unfortunately, a management decision at my company has downgraded associates in my position OASIS access to limited, meaning I no longer have the access to the wealth of information that a dealer would, because of this, my direct confirmation of TSB and software updates only goes up to June 2014, since then, I have to rely on dealer service advisers for information on my own car, as any other costumer would. I can tell you this has been frustrating, as many times I have had to instruct the service advisers at the dealer on how to actually use OASIS.
 

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If I'm not mistaken, the Dart uses a Hyundai transmission. I agree the Dart (and now the Charger) have an ugly 90's look interior. I abhor the Mazda's touch screen (as do a lot of car journalist testers). Looks like someone just propped up a tablet on their dash. I really like the VW GTI's, Probably sets the standard for the most expensive looking interior in it's class. BUT, Volkswagens, in particular, the GTI's are known to be a troublesome car. The Focus has a pretty stiff body and uses thicker sheet metal than some of the competition. Aside from the GTI, I think the Focus still has one of the best looking interiors.

The DCT does take some getting used to. But it is mostly at lower speeds, like 45 mph or less that you sometimes get the jerkiness. On highways it is pretty much like a traditional transmission.

The 2015's have just started to hit the lots. I'd price the 2015's (try cars.com or autotrader.com) before settling on the 2012.
Indeed, the transmission on the Dart is the same, or at least related to, the DCT on the Hyundai Veloster, which has had its own share of problems. The Powershift is not a bad transmission, it just lacks the level of refinement the North American consumer is accustomed to in an traditional hydraulic coupling automatic transmission. Early US MK III Foci did have genuine hardware problems with seals and faulty transmission controllers, by mid 2013 those have been solved, but that does not eliminate the "traits" of a dry DCT that may be disconcerting to the average consumer, jerkiness at low speed, delayed shift response with drastic throttle inputs.
 
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