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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey everyone. I initially wanted to buy a used 2015+ Honda Fit or Mazda 3 Hatchback for their solid reliability but I'm shifting my focus onto a 2012+ Ford Focus Hatchback with Manual Transmission. I love the looks of the Focus and the manual transmission has a solid reputation.

Out of the following deals, which one would you pick? All of the cars listed below are Manual Transmission, comes with new winter & summer tires, new brakes and rotors.

1. 2012 SEL Hatchback with all the options, 160K kilometers (99K miles), clutch replaced last year. New water pump and thermometer recently replaced. Sony sound system with subwoofer. TPMS needs to be replaced. $6250 CDN

2. 2013 SE Hatchback with all the options. Claim to be lady driven. 120K kilometers (75k miles). $7200 CDN

3. 2016 SE Hatchback with winter package. 45K kilometers (26k miles). $10500 CDN


I'm leaning toward option 1. 2012 SEL because the clutch is only a year old, which negates the risk of purchasing a high mileage car, is this a sound theory? The Sony sound system is also a bonus as I listen to alot of music. As for the TPMS problem, is it an easy fix or an area of concern?

Option 2. Less mileage but I'm taking on the risk of having to replace the clutch.

Option 3. Very low mileage, seems like it has less features than the older generation, paying significantly more but still within my budget.

Which one would you choose and why?
 

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All three seem fair, really depends on your budget. The tpms is probably just a tire sensor battery needs replaced. No big deal. Wouldn’t worry about the clutch on No2. More curious why no1 killed the clutch so quick. My 2006 still on original clutch at 160k, and my daughter learned on it and has driven it since 80k.
Glad you are smart enough to limit your quest to manuals, too many first time posters on here buying dct’s and then being angry, their own fault for not researching.
 

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Good move on getting the MT. I'm on my second 3rd gen MT car and have had no real issues other than maintenance.

Clearly the 12 and 13 are more attractive due to the options and cost.

I, personally, would be inclined to spend the money on the newer example. Although I prefer them loaded option wise so it would be a hard choice.
 

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I’d take the 2016 for two reasons. Only 26k miles & also has the updated body style.
If the '16 Focus doesn't have the auto stop-start (and I don't know if the manual transmissions had them), I'd go with the '16.

If the '16 does have the auto stop-start I'd avoid it and go with the '13, lower miles than the '12.

The auto stop-start is a "feature" where the engine dies when in neutral (e.g. at a light), then starts again when you press the gas pedal. Maybe it saves a mile or two per gallon in gas, especially in city driving, but I'd be worried about the long-term effect on the starter / engine.

Here's a Youtube video showing what I'm talking about. Maybe some people like it, I don't.

Edit: I have a '12 and '14 Focus (both manual transmission), neither with auto stop-start (started in '15 or '16).

 

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My 15 MT does not turn off at stops. Just like the 13 MT I had the revs drop to about 800 when at a stop with your feet on the clutch and the brake. As soon as you let off the brake the revs return to normal around 1000+/-.
 

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I don't care about a bunch of extra features (above the SE), so I'd go with #3. That's close to a new car for a reasonable price. You should expect to put another 100K miles on it with only basic maintenance. Drive all 3 and see what you think about the options and driver's seat.

On the start-stop thing mentioned above, I had it on a Focus rental in Germany last year. Irritated me at first when it clunked on/off, but I got used to it.
 

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Get the 16. The newer front end really makes these sharp little cars (especially if you have the LED DRLs and black headlamps). Also the interior storage is a bit better on the 15+ with the little cubby in front of the shifter and better cup holder design. The steering wheel is better and no chance of getting your hands sliced open when that chrome begins to peel on the 12-14s (ask me how I know).

Also I believe the computer programing is updated so the AC works better. It was terrible on my 12 focus and many similiar complains despite being correctly charged. My 15 will freeze you out even on the hottest days. Also, the 16 will have a factory backup camera which is nice with the lines that move with the steering wheel angle. I think some minor suspension or steering tweeks were made with the mk3.5 as well, and the center stack on the dash and HVAC are a bit more refined and less busy.
 

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Also I believe the computer programing is updated so the AC works better. It was terrible on my 12 focus and many similiar complains despite being correctly charged.
Might explain my '13. It's fine once it's rolling on really hot days, but if I start it and sit for a minute, it blows warm air for a long damn time.
 
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