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My wife and I made a round trip last weekend covering about 1200 km (750 miles) in our new Focus (SE Sport Hatch, 17" wheels). The trip was mostly highway driving with some city traffic. The following are some of my observations from the trip:

On our way we dropped my son and two other friends off at the airport so there were five adults/teenagers in the car for the first ~100 km (60 miles.) I couldn't believe what we were able to pack into the hatch: 2 large-size suitcases, 2 medium-size suitcases, 3 backpacks, 1 smaller bag and a small laptop bag. (I had removed the hatch cover before we left.) It probably looked like a circus act when we unloaded at the airport. [:D]

Much of our trip was on relatively straight, smooth highway. I found the car stayed in the lane with no or very little steering force, even with a side wind and the road crown. On several occassions I let go of the wheel to see how long it would hold its line and was impressed with its directional stability. This made the long stretches of the drive easy, and reduced driving fatigue.

The speed (cruise) control worked well, and I got used to the paddle lever for disengaging or engaging the cruise mode when approaching or leaving heavier traffic. I have the Powershift transmission. The speed control uses engine breaking on steeper downhill runs to help maintain the desired speed. I sometimes found this annoying, but I guess it might save me from a speeding ticket one day.

As others have mentioned on this forum, the Sport mode was very useful for "stop and go" traffic where road construction slowed things down. Selecting a lower gear let me use engine breaking to maintain a steadier speed.

SYNC (non-MFT) worked well for streaming audio via Bluetooth, except for the occasional half-second audio cut-out about once every hour or so. I'm not sure if this is caused by a glich in SYNC or my Android-based phone. I have all my music on my phone. My phone won't let me use USB mode (for audio) and Bluetooth (for calls) at the same time, so I use a USB cable for charging only and stream the audio through Bluetooth.

We hit a short stretch of rain on the way home, but nothing too heavy. As recommended by others on this forum, I used Rain-X and it really helped to keep the windshield clear with less frequent wiping.

Once or twice I found the sole of my right shoe catching on the side of the center console when I took my foot off the gas. I don't think this is a major safety concern, but I thought it was worth noting.

One other issue I noticed is that with the DRLs, if the light selector is set to "Off" when driving, the DRLs come on and so do the interior gauge lights. The car icon in the center display shows the lights are on, and the "headlights" indicator light in the left gauge is also on. I usually keep the light selector in "Auto" all the time, but at night (or at dusk), there's no easy visual indicator to tell if someone switched it to "Off". I once found I was driving at night with only DRLs. [:(]

Other than the rare Bluetooth audio hiccup, I haven't had any mechanical or electrical issues with the car. Overall, I greatly enjoyed the drive. The Focus performed admirably and I look forward to my next road trip.

Average speed (hwy): 115 - 120 km/h (70 - 75 mph)
Gas mileage: avg 6.6 l/100 km (36 mpg), best 6 l/100 km (39 mpg)
Ride comfort: Very good (mostly well paved highways)
Seat comfort: Excellent (the sport seats have great side support)
Road noise: Very good
Handling: Excellent
 

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i can't beat that long trip u too, whiskey jack , but today i took my first ''long" trip.....

I live in n.e. nys about 50 miles from l. placid in the adirondack mountains ... i have 600 miles on my car and today was the first day i got to really 'drive' it... i took all the well paved twisty back roads w/ no shoulders i could find in the mountains....I drove in sport mode and shifted myself (i LOVE tht.. it's so much nicer than leaving it to shift for itself and i have NO complaints about the power shift.. was alot of fun).... I flogged the car quite a bit and in my 120 miles round trip w/ about 3% town, 10% interstate and the rest back roads the trip meter on the car registers 37.1 mpg.. I'm very happy w/ that.. previous tanks of in-town driving returned 30mpg. the gas gauge barely moved toward 3/4 of a tank from full.

Some observations:
No place for the left foot... damned annoying... im only 6' but can't seem to stretch out my left foot... the wheel well seems to intrude too much on interior space. i don't have any complaints about the console being bothersome, tho.

Handling: was great... car seems more softly sprung than my zx3 and i can't always feel where the tires are on the road so it's important to not take ur eyes off the road as the car can wander pretty quickly. That said, taking ess curves at 20mph over posted limits the car sticks like glue to the road... There's a momentary 'hmmmm what's it gonna do' when u first turn in but then it takes a set and follows it thru.. nice.

Quiet: very quiet.. did the whole trip w/ a/c on and no complaints about power for passing or going up steep grades.

transmission: used sport mode all the way back (left it in auto on way there) and noticed a BIG difference in performance and responsiveness.... Really like the transmission now.. Previously i wasn't so keen on it but i've been converted.. ha ha.

comfort: took a while to find a good 'comfort zone' w/ the electric seat.. I find the seat bottoms way too short for long legged folks like me and there's no thigh support... the seat bottom, unlike the manual seat in my other cars, doesn't tilt back... seems to tilt back slightly while going up and down and back and forth but not as nice as a specific tilt button would be...

Power: no problem passing anything i wanted to on inclines or in tight situations.. using the sport mode it was a cinch... other vehicles rapidly disappeared in my rear view mirror.

MFT: no problems ... used the sirius all the while and made/received a few phone calls... everything worked perfectly....

Was a bit ambivalent about the car when i first got it just driving round town but today's little adventure made me like it alot more.
 

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My first long trip was from Ottawa to Lake Placid about 2 weeks ago. Stayed at the Summit motel I think it was called.
 

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i can't beat that long trip u too, whiskey jack , but today i took my first ''long" trip.....

I live in n.e. nys about 50 miles from l. placid in the adirondack mountains ... i have 600 miles on my car and today was the first day i got to really 'drive' it... i took all the well paved twisty back roads w/ no shoulders i could find in the mountains....I drove in sport mode and shifted myself (i LOVE tht.. it's so much nicer than leaving it to shift for itself and i have NO complaints about the power shift.. was alot of fun).... I flogged the car quite a bit and in my 120 miles round trip w/ about 3% town, 10% interstate and the rest back roads the trip meter on the car registers 37.1 mpg.. I'm very happy w/ that.. previous tanks of in-town driving returned 30mpg. the gas gauge barely moved toward 3/4 of a tank from full.

Some observations:
No place for the left foot... damned annoying... im only 6' but can't seem to stretch out my left foot... the wheel well seems to intrude too much on interior space. i don't have any complaints about the console being bothersome, tho.

Handling: was great... car seems more softly sprung than my zx3 and i can't always feel where the tires are on the road so it's important to not take ur eyes off the road as the car can wander pretty quickly. That said, taking ess curves at 20mph over posted limits the car sticks like glue to the road... There's a momentary 'hmmmm what's it gonna do' when u first turn in but then it takes a set and follows it thru.. nice.

Quiet: very quiet.. did the whole trip w/ a/c on and no complaints about power for passing or going up steep grades.

transmission: used sport mode all the way back (left it in auto on way there) and noticed a BIG difference in performance and responsiveness.... Really like the transmission now.. Previously i wasn't so keen on it but i've been converted.. ha ha.


comfort: took a while to find a good 'comfort zone' w/ the electric seat.. I find the seat bottoms way too short for long legged folks like me and there's no thigh support... the seat bottom, unlike the manual seat in my other cars, doesn't tilt back... seems to tilt back slightly while going up and down and back and forth but not as nice as a specific tilt button would be...

Power: no problem passing anything i wanted to on inclines or in tight situations.. using the sport mode it was a cinch... other vehicles rapidly disappeared in my rear view mirror.

MFT: no problems ... used the sirius all the while and made/received a few phone calls... everything worked perfectly....

Was a bit ambivalent about the car when i first got it just driving round town but today's little adventure made me like it alot more.

Could you please explain clearly to me what the big difference between d mode and s mode is and which mode would you prefer to drive more? Also did you record the mpgs of d mode and s mode? Thanks.
 

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Great detailed write up Whiskeyjack! Nice insight into what I can expect with my car. Thanks for sharing. The bluesfest sounds great too... To bad it isn't a little closer to F1 in Montreal that would be a great road trip...
 

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Thanks for the post Whiskeyjack. Good to hear that you had an enjoyable road trip in the car. As I don't have mine yet, I have a couple of questions if you wouldn't mind answering them (please know that this will be the first car I have ever owned with DRLs so I hope that disclaimer will make my questions seem less naive).

What are the light settings and what do they do? I assume DRLs are on when the lights are off but I don't understand the other settings you reference. Are Auto and Off the only two options, and if so, could you clarify what each setting accomplishes for me? Again, first car with DRLs and I don't want to be that knucklehead driving around at night with only DRLs!

Thanks in advance and I really envy you that you got Kona Blue. Major issue when I ordered so I had to go with a different paint.
 

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the S mode allows u to shift urself... cept u don't need to move ur left foot cuz there's no clutch pedal to press. just use the - and + switches on the shift . the S mode hold shifts (to redline i think) unless u down/up shift manually... The car seems much more responsive in S mode than in D mode.
As for mileage i only have the cumulative of the full 125 or so miles but the avg readout on the dash didn't vary by more than 1 mpg in D vs S mode... hope this helps.
 

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the S mode allows u to shift urself... cept u don't need to move ur left foot cuz there's no clutch pedal to press. just use the - and + switches on the shift . the S mode hold shifts (to redline i think) unless u down/up shift manually... The car seems much more responsive in S mode than in D mode.
As for mileage i only have the cumulative of the full 125 or so miles but the avg readout on the dash didn't vary by more than 1 mpg in D vs S mode... hope this helps.
Thanks for your advice. I plan on driving in S mode when I get my car since I mostly drive in city. Is this a good idea in your opinion? Will I experience any jerky shift like in D mode?
 

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Discussion Starter #18
so there is not additional hardware? you keep it on auto and DRLs come on? and when it's dark, headlamps are activated fully?
DRLs come on when the ignition is on regardless of where the light selector is set. Full headlights only come on when the selector is set to "Headlamps On" or "Autolamps" (and its dark).
 
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