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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello,

I am new to the forum and considering trading my ~1 year old Kia Soul for a 2012 Focus (leaning toward manual). The Soul has a neat design and some good handling aspects, but the powertrain (engine and tranny) are outdated and pretty bad for today's standards. MPG isn't very good and the thing is just loud and unsettled during highway cruising. (Though the new 2012 Soul has a new engine and 6spd tranny along with new NVH measures and sounds to be much improved from what I've read.)

Anyway, one of my big gripes with my Soul (it's a 5spd manual) is that 5th gear is not tall enough. It is at about 3,000 RPMS @ 70mph, resulting in loud engine noise, a sense of being unsettled, and bad mpg (the EPA rating of 30mpg highway is about the best you'll get).

I have to guess that 5th gear in the Focus is reasonably tall to achieve 36mpg. However, LeftLaneNews says the following about the manual 5spd Focus:

We also felt that it was in need of a sixth gear, seeing that we couldn’t count how many times we were underway along Mulholland Drive ready to shove it into sixth when we had already topped out in fifth.


Could any manual owners tell me about how many RPMs their 2012 Focus does at 70 MPH? Does 5th gear generally seem tall enough and feel relaxed enough between 70-80mph?

Thanks!
 

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It is certainly true the Focus could use one more gear on the freeway.
Since i do not drive at speeds over 55mph.. well maybe 60ish.. sometimes the gearing is not bad IMO.
But it certainly could be better.
The cars best MPGs are at 30 to 50 mph.. as the speed goes up the mpgs drop off.

As for mpgs.. some get great mpgs. other not so great. With high speeds, be certain you get the Kysor shutters on your Focus.

The automatic has better gearing.
And the ST is supposed to be having a six speed. (we all hope so)
Later when the six speed comes around, some of the other models might have it like the SEL or TI (who knows?)
So if you can hang out til' Spring 2012, the new models may all come out in Spring.
(IF they bring out the St as a 2013, I would think the others would be 2013's at the same time..and maybeeee the six speed manual.)
 

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My Corolla five speed manual did 75 MPH at 3000 RPM, pretty standard fare. My current Mazda 5 with 5 speed manual is worse, about 3400 RPM.

I did a calculation based on 0.81 5th gear ratio and 3.82 final gear ratio and the Focus does 75 MPH at 3100 RPM. Sometimes I wonder if auto manufacturers are setting up the manual transmissions to fail against modern automatics. But it seems the real reason is convenience. Car manufacturers think that manual drivers don't want to downshift all the time at cruising speeds but in reality we wouldn't really mind. Would be nice to do 75 MPH at less than 2,600 RPM.
 

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3000 revs = 120KM / Hr

You actually need to gear down to 4th and sometimes 3rd when overtaking.
4 me it's Tall enough.
The car is very quiet, very little engine and road noise at 3000 revs in 5th Gear.
Get yoursef a higway test drive to verify.
 

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I've got a spreadsheet at home with all the rpms at what speed... but I'm in Poland for the next three weeks. The new Focus doesn't sound stressed even when cruising above 3k rpm though.
Posted via FF Mobile
 

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No it doesn't sounds stressed at all. Highway speeds you are probably around 3000rpm and you can slightly hear it, but it does not sounds like it is struggling at all.


Sent from my iPhone 4S
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for all the responses and info. I think my problem with my Soul is 50% the shortness of 5th gear and 50% how loud and crappy the engine sounds at 3K RPMs.

So, considering the Focus's 5th gear is a bit taller (3K RPMs closer to 75 rather than 70 with the Soul) and the Focus engine is much more quiet and refined, I think it will suit me. I still might consider the automatic though with that tall 6th.
 

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Thanks for all the responses and info. I think my problem with my Soul is 50% the shortness of 5th gear and 50% how loud and crappy the engine sounds at 3K RPMs.

So, considering the Focus's 5th gear is a bit taller (3K RPMs closer to 75 rather than 70 with the Soul) and the Focus engine is much more quiet and refined, I think it will suit me. I still might consider the automatic though with that tall 6th.
Test drive them both.
You might not like one of them.
Remember that the Auto is Powershift.
It is basically a dual dry clutch manual Box operated electronically.
Google Getrag Ford
 

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One other point for having the higher/lower (I still can never remember which is which) gearing on the manual is for acceleration. Usually stick owners are driving enthusiasts, and are more interested in performance than economy (at least in USA) so the gearing with a stick is for performance and not fuel economy..
IMO...
 

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One other point for having the higher/lower (I still can never remember which is which) gearing on the manual is for acceleration. Usually stick owners are driving enthusiasts, and are more interested in performance than economy (at least in USA) so the gearing with a stick is for performance and not fuel economy..
IMO...
I feel the gear ratios are more tuned to economy in the 2012 Focus, i mean, have you noticed the huge gap between the gears? From 3rd to 4th is a huge gap that sometimes throws me off as i am expecting a bit more power!

Nothing that is a deal breaker just don't expect the gear box to be similar to one that is geared more for performance.
 
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