Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM
You are in the Ford Focus
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Ford Focus, Sedan
#1882 of 2014 European Focus for 2010.
Dec 12, 2006 (11:49 am)
I mostly aggree with you, I just don't think Ford needs the C1 platform just to make a good Focus.
Can Ford make a profit selling Focuses? Ford needs put its energy right now in makeng the most profitable vehicles the best that they can be.
Focus is really not the highest priority right now. Keeping F-150 and SuperDuty # 1 in truck sales is priority #1!
Our Focus, in terms of driving dynamics, is only exceeded by the Mazda3, the Rabbit/Jetta, and possibly the Civic. All cars which are substantially more expensive.
What is killing Focus is the dated styling and the rental car interior.
Ford does not need to put the Focus on the European platform, making it more expensive, in order to boost sales.
The spy shots for the next Focus are floating around, and I think its a much better looking car.
I am disappointed that Ford is not offering a 5 speed auto in the next Focus, but they don't listen to me anyway.
#1883 of 2014 VW sales are tanking right now btw.
Dec 12, 2006 (11:50 am)
#1884 of 2014 Re: European Focus for 2010. [mschmal]
Dec 13, 2006 (7:30 am)
I got a sneak peak at one of the new Focuses and I've gotta say "WOW!". It's so much better looking than the older model going out. The interior is all new and looks vastly different. It's center stack reminds me of a Volvo S40.
I never really found the need for the Focus to change to the C1 either. The current platform rides very well and has pretty responsive steering. The thing that's bothered me the most is the build quality. Hopefully they'll make it better this time around.
#1885 of 2014 Re: European Focus for 2010. [comp386]
Dec 13, 2006 (7:00 pm)
Mschmal also makes the point that excellence does not necessarily mean the Ford of Europe chassis and that styling both interior and exterior are strikes against the current model. On all of that I agree. The refresh in 2005 still looks like the original Focus. People pay for fresh styling. And the 2005-2007 dash styling is actually worse than the original in my opinion, speaking as an owner of 2005 ST. At best the current dash is uninspired and at worst clunky. I'd also point out that the safety bar is now higher. Side curtain airbags are a competitive must and I think more gears in the automatic. A big emphasis on a better interior is essential. But, on driving dynamics the Focus is only behind the Mini and the Mazda 3 (and I hope the upcoming Volvo 3-door P1800 grandchild). If you can keep the driving dynamics and reduce road noise and NVH overall, I suspect Ford could stay well ahead of the class curve.
I'll have to think about the F-150 angle. I half expect Dodge to do a better Ridgeline in the mid-size space. If fuel prices continue to go up (as they will), a new and vastly better Ranger may be as important to keep the current casual truck driver in trucks. If Ford becomes only a full-size truck manufacturer, that's a dead-end. Ford can't ignore cars and can't be mediocre (or be perceived as mediocre) on cars. Build quality is one of those moving targets. Tighter body gaps, a quieter interior with material surfaces that match in shape and texture, and solid mechanicals are all important. It's essential to have no recalls to tarnish a good launch.
I wish the Fusion had a more inspired interior because the I-4 with the 5-speed automatic is really amazingly good. And the Fusion avoided the Contour's mistake by providing a real backseat. The 2007 addition of side curtain airbags solves the only safety concern from 2006. Fusion/Milan are getting good press mentions. If the Fusion had the interior design and quality of the Hyundai Sonata it would be invincible. It's not that the Sonata is perfect but it looks more upscale than it is.
Finally, power trains have to be a major emphasis for Ford. Ford does chassis design well, but fuel efficiency demands are going to continue to increase and NVH is a major measure of perceived quality. Ford is not on the forefront of silky smooth and high efficiency powertrains.
I love my ST even with the things I wish were still better. It's more fun than should be legal. I want Ford to be successful rather than marginalized. I'm looking forward to the next Focus and hope it hits the ball out of the park.
#1886 of 2014 Re: European Focus for 2010. [basiliskst]
Dec 16, 2006 (8:42 pm)
"The refresh in 2005 still looks like the original Focus. People pay for fresh styling."
But the new C-1 wide-body (That's right, over 6-ft wide, it's even wider than the Lexus LS430!) Focus MkII is actually less handsome looking than our unique '05-07 face-lift Focus MkI.
The MkII may be quieter & have slightly better ride & handling, but not the steering feel or the light-weight nimbleness of the MkI. The MkI has a lively & predictable rear-wheel drift. The MkII rear can't even break loose.
"And the 2005-2007 dash styling is actually worse than the original in my opinion, speaking as an owner of 2005 ST. At best the current dash is uninspired and at worst clunky."
It may be ugly, but the new dash has more airflow w/ less noise than the old dash. Unfortunately, my early-production '05 ST has some nauseating rubber smell at warmer conditions such as after parking under the sun or if the heater has been turned on. So far, my Ford dealer said it's just "normal new-car smell" & refused to fix it. Do you have this problem if you breath the ventilation air for more than 30 minutes?
Anyway, I hate to get rid of this car. It's a great toss mobile at the limit. Dynamically, no fwd car beats the Focus SVT. Consumer Reports' comparison test found the Focus SVT beating the Mini Cooper in BOTH ride & handling. So I test drove an used SVT after I bought my new ST, & found out that only the SVT has a nice meaty heavy power steering. Plus, the std SVT front seats (not the Euro-package Recaro) are more supportive & comfy than the smallish sport seats found in the ZX3 hatch & my ST sedan. Ford only need to add these 2 SVT features to the ST, along w/ better sound insulation & just a smidge softer dampers.
#1887 of 2014 Re: Moving up Focus vs Jetta [basiliskst]
Dec 19, 2006 (10:16 am)
I wanted to say that I am a happy 49+ year old driving an 06 SES 5sp 4 door. The three biggest complaints are the factory stereo, seats and no rear headrest. My older son is growing fast and he still has enough leg room but no head rest is a dump cost cutting measure. Another is the seats in general could be more comfortable. I don't want to get a bigger car, I want to get good fuel economy without giving up comfort. Why is it that most if not all the fuel efficient car makers feel that only gas hogs can have nice seats?
P.S. My previous car was a 96 Audi A4. I ditched that because it was a gas hog.
#1888 of 2014 Nice seats + Fuel Economy.
Dec 20, 2006 (11:10 am)
Check out the Nissan Versa.
These seats are amazing for a $15,000 car.
#1890 of 2014 Ford Focus Rebates
Dec 21, 2006 (7:49 am)
Does anyone know if the Focus rebate will be increasing from $2500.00 at Christmas or soon thereafter. Am seriously considering purchasing one now but wonder if I should wait to see if the rebate amount goes up. Would appreciate a reply soon if someone knows the answer. Thanks a lot.
#1891 of 2014 Re: Moving up Focus vs Jetta [gypsy_tech]
Dec 22, 2006 (3:19 pm)
"The three biggest complaints are the factory stereo, seats and no rear headrest."
The '05-&-later stereo in my ST doesn't just look ugly. It sounds ugly, even w/ the optional Sony speakers & the trunk-space-robbing subwoofer. I found the prettier unit in the older SVT nicer sounding.
The less-flat front seats w/ more lateral support from the ZX3 & my ST sedan are finally available in all the '07 (including the SES) Focus' except the wagon, but only w/ the optional leather/sway leather.
Again, the old SVT's large supportive std cloth/leather seats are the best. They even got power seat-height adjustment, just like the new Jetta & some Mercedes std seats.
But are you complaining about the comfort of the rear seat? The U.S.-spec Corolla also purposely kept the roomy rear seat uncomfortably shaped. I found that out when I traveled over seas riding their Corolla taxis.
I can't stand most cars' rear headrests blocking my rear view, especially the lower-right corner. But some earlier ZTS Focus' did have them. Maybe you can retrofit.
Focus engines, even the recent ones developed by Mazda, still can't match the fuel economy of Honda & Toyota engines w/ similar output.