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Discussion Starter #1
Got to make a decision tomorrow, guys, and I'm really up against it, since I can't drive examples of each.
Trying to decide on ordering an SE with the sport package, leather, heated seats and sunroof, or an SEL with fewer options. The SE is 1.5K cheaper, but my bride is willing to spend the extra money for the SEL to keep the dual climate control and power driver's seat and a few other bells and whistles.
How much of a difference in handling is there between the two packages? Will I really be unhappy with the basic suspension?
The examples I have driven have all been with the base, and it they seemed like good handlers without excess body lean. I like great handling, but I am waaaaaaaay past the boy racer stage.
What the hell do I do?
Thnx,
Moon
 

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base SEL doesn't have power seats IIRC...you need to order the premium package which can add about 1300$

there are a couple of threads on here comparing the two trim levels
 

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Also keep in mind the SEL will have the chrome belt line that runs below the windows. Some like it and some don't. Also you can't get an SEL as a manual if that matters to you.
 

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The se sport seats feel better to my rear and back than the sel seats. at least my 2 tone cloth ones are. From what I understand the se sport has a bit tighter suspension than the sel. I think the car (in ingot silver at least), looks better without the chrome belt line. I also think the wheels on the se sport look better than the sel wheels. but beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. the se sport doesn't get the interior led lights which would be cool but not worth very much $. As for the dual climate, it's a small car to try to have "dual zones" and the manual controls are not a problem. Just get llumar air 80 on your windshield as the heat gain in these cars is very high, at least in the desert, the heat coming off the dash was incredible. the tint cuts it and makes the climate control much easier and more comfy.
 

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Lucky for me, my beautiful bride cared more about our new Focus being a stickshift than she cared about dual zone.... which she really wanted. She did get her sunroof and turn signal mirrors though!
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Discussion Starter #6
Stick shift really isn't in the mix. I'm the only one in the house that knows what to do with another pedal, and I'd like others to be able to use it in a pinch.
The day when a stick got you better mileage and better performance no longer applies to the Foci, much as I enjoy stirring the gears myself.

In any case, I've arrived at a decision and we are back to the SEL. Checked out the road test comparo in C&D, and in the group test they were using an SEL optioned pretty much like what we will order. They were happy with the handling.
Too, my bride likes the bells and whistles on the SEL that aren't on the SE, and the price difference is about $1.5k when the auto trans is factored in.
Off to the dealership tomorrow, but I'll have some questions about Sirius radio before too long; we're avoiding the touchscreen business.
Moon
 

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Also keep in mind the SEL will have the chrome belt line that runs below the windows. Some like it and some don't. Also you can't get an SEL as a manual if that matters to you.
Sorry but that is incorrect, the SEL has a base 5 speed manual transmission. the Auto is an option to add on.

the Titanium is the one where you can't get a manual.
 

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Stick with the SEL... That's what I ended up doing with the same choices of cars you had on the line. The only way I'd shift to an SE sport with your options is if you wanted a manual and you were ok with 16" wheels. Here were the 2 models I had considered:

SE + Automatic + 203A + Sport Package + Winter + Moonroof + Tuscany Red + 17" Painted
SEL + 302 A (Leather + 17" + a bunch of other goodies) + Winter + Moonroof
Difference between both: $650.

It was also good to know that ambient lighting, chrome beltline, auto climate (biggie!), and a nicer console were a part of that deal too.
 

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Sorry but that is incorrect, the SEL has a base 5 speed manual transmission. the Auto is an option to add on.

the Titanium is the one where you can't get a manual.
I wish we had standard equipment like you guys do in Canada, but as of right now, we can't do much more than an S / SE with manuals in the US :(. 6 speed is automatically standard in US spec SELs.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Stick with the SEL... That's what I ended up doing with the same choices of cars you had on the line. The only way I'd shift to an SE sport with your options is if you wanted a manual and you were ok with 16" wheels. Here were the 2 models I had considered:

SE + Automatic + 203A + Sport Package + Winter + Moonroof + Tuscany Red + 17" Painted
SEL + 302 A (Leather + 17" + a bunch of other goodies) + Winter + Moonroof
Difference between both: $650.

It was also good to know that ambient lighting, chrome beltline, auto climate (biggie!), and a nicer console were a part of that deal too.
DG, you are making my head hurt; that is so close to what we've been talking about. Test hopped a Tuscany Red interior a couple weeks ago, and it was really sharp and avoided the cave-like quality that black interiors often have. The stone wasn't enough contrast with the silver, and would show the dirt. Indigo from our jeans shows up on the light grey seats in my bride's panzer.
Said bride really likes the dual climate thing (her panzer has that as well), and I like the six way seat...what the hell, it's only money.
Moon
 

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DG, you are making my head hurt; that is so close to what we've been talking about. Test hopped a Tuscany Red interior a couple weeks ago, and it was really sharp and avoided the cave-like quality that black interiors often have. The stone wasn't enough contrast with the silver, and would show the dirt. Indigo from our jeans shows up on the light grey seats in my bride's panzer.
Said bride really likes the dual climate thing (her panzer has that as well), and I like the six way seat...what the hell, it's only money.
Moon
Exactly :). My head hurt as I was running through the options and looking at what was on dealer lots when we were shopping. I have a black interior isn't too cave like IMO, as the headliner and upper trims are lighter colored, and the SEL center stack glossy trim lightens up the area. But if you can get a tuscany red with the option combinations I described above on a dealer lot (pretty rare on the SE and also if you're not getting MFT on the SEL), that would be awesome.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
DG, it's looking very much like we'll have to order. I'd like to have the car sooner, but I'll wait to get one the way I want. Not sure if it is a new policy, or if sales have been running strongly, but our local dealerships don't seem to have much choice in anything on the lot.
Moon
 
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