Last post on Jul 28, 2013 at 5:39 PM
You are in the Ford Focus
What is this discussion about?
Ford Focus, Sedan
#1939 of 2014 Re: 2005 Ford Focus ST [basiliskst](It's even better than the BMW!)
Oct 20, 2007 (10:17 pm)
"Observations? It is still a joy to drive with perfect on-center feel and tracking (lacking in so much of the competition). The Focus goes where it is pointed with a sense of purpose and control. It exits a curve with wonderful torque and power."
The Focus may not have the comfy long springs found in luxury cars like VW, Accord & Mercedes, but the sport suspension of the U.S. Focus ST keeps the normal ride height while other sport packages found in Mercedes, VW/Audi & BMW all have their mighty long springs chopped short! So this makes a perfect comparison b/t the Focus ST & those big guys w/ sport package.
This is what happened when these Euro hatchbacks -- BMW 3-series(E46), Mercedes C-class , Audi A3(MkII) & Alfa 147 -- are equipped with sport package:
"Individually none is bad, but the general (in)competence level has shocked me because even the best car here doesn't come close to the basic dynamic standards set by the four-and-a-half-year-old Ford Focus. And for the money being asked that's criminal." -- British magazine AUTOCAR(pp46-51, 11 June 2003)
So let's take a look at the best driver's sedan from BMW -- the E36 ('92-99 3-series). It's more involving & has more steering feel than the newer models but still rides much comfier than those old ones w/o multi-link rear suspension. & I went collect a mint '99 328is.
To my surprise, besides having RWD so adding LSD can play power rear slide, this car has no advantage over the lighter-weight 2.3 Focus ST! I like heavy steering, so I would change the voltage signal in the Focus pwr-steering wire to keep it hefty. But this BMW's steering is still too heavy for me! & despite the slow ratio, it still can't track straight at high speed if the the road isn't perfectly smooth or leveled, so constant correction is needed whole day long! While the quick-&-light steering from the Focus requires only one finger to track straight steadily & effortlessly! Everything in this BMW requires so much effort (especially when Focus's clutch is so light) while very little was achieved. I wonder what all the fuss was all about. RWD set up means the engine doesn't have to sit ahead of the front axle. But w/ so much curb weight, a heavy 6-cyl is needed & an agile front end doesn't seem to be there. What's worse, the car plows straight forward badly at low speed if the steering wheel is turned after stepping on the throttle hard. & the sport packege's lowered springs made the ride comfort rather nightmare-ish over deeper bumps such as speed bumps.
"There is a lot of road noises"
As far as the road noise goes, you might have to sound insulate your inexpensive Focus w/ Dynamat or something.
Another advise from me -- Invest a Quaife LSD from Focus Sport. Turn off the traction control & toss your ST around w/ the 2.3 throttle This is the best FWD toy you can get.
Oct 21, 2007 (10:31 pm)
Creakid1 advised that the 2005-2007 Focus ST with a Quaife limited slip differential "is the best FWD toy you can get." I'd agree with that wholeheartedly, even without the after market limited slip differential. For the money, the Focus ST is unbelievable.
It's not that I couldn't afford a more expensive car. It's that the ST wowed me by contrast with more expensive cars. Why spend more when the best driving experience was also the lowest cost. That's what I call value.
If I could, I'd find an after market trunk lid liner and do a few more refinements to address road noise, but the 2.3 liter engine really sings and I don't want to cover up that perfect burble.
Most cars fade into the background of daily life. Reliability is all that is asked by most consumers. My Focus has been bulletproof reliable, but it gives more than that. Every day I still think, "Gee, this is a great car to drive." I have fun driving it. That new toy feeling hasn't worn off and I've put 25,000 miles on in a little over a year. I'm not bored yet.
I've driven bigger, more powerful performance cars but none have had the same lasting effect on me as the Focus ST.
Thanks for the lead to Focus Sport and some possible upgrades like the Quaife differential.
#1941 of 2014 Help to fix muffler of 2002 SE
Oct 24, 2007 (12:00 pm)
The muffler of my 2002 SE has started leak because of rust. If I replace whole exhaust system it will cost me more than $400. Is there anyone know how to fix it instead of replaceing it? Thanks!
#1942 of 2014 Re: Best FWD toy [basiliskst](Best 4-seat toy, FWD or not!)
Oct 25, 2007 (9:11 am)
Here's a RWD rival w/ closer curb weight from BMW...
"To cope with the performance, the flagship Coupé gets M Sport suspension as standard. This sees the car lowered by 15mm, and so it serves up sharp steering and bags of grip. But while body roll is limited, the ride can become crashy over bumpy surfaces, and the electro-mechanical steering doesn’t provide consistent weight and feel."
If you can afford to buy the best driver's car, then why bother ruining the fun w/ electro steering?
The Focus 2.3 ST should fear no rival, 'cause there is none.
#1943 of 2014 Another joker from around the world
Nov 05, 2007 (10:49 am)
Please, there is no such thing as high-tech Control Blade multi-link rear suspension all wrapped up in a tall narrow compact exterior the way the original Focus is. Not the newer Mazda3/S40/Focus-II w/ bulky exterior width.
Here's a new challenger from Europe compact enough to match, but trying to get away w/ low-tech rear suspension, plus electric steering?
"To provide poise in the corners, the suspension has been lowered by 18mm at the front, and 15mm at the rear. The electrically assisted steering has also been reprogrammed, and is claimed to give greater weighting and more feedback. Sadly, the SRi fails to live up to its promise. Turn into a bend and you’ll discover an artificial feel to the steering and a chassis that’s too easily upset by mid-corner bumps and the torque of the turbo powerplant.
The stiff suspension set-up also means that the Corsa crashes and thumps over even the smoothest surfaces, making motorway journeys a pain. A springy action to the six-speed gearbox and a jerky throttle compound the dynamic deficiencies."
Does the new line of "fun" compact Saturns coming up from Europe have any future?
#1944 of 2014 The '08 American invention ruined it
Nov 06, 2007 (1:43 am)
Oh no, we need to be competitive in the fuel-economy area, especially when most Focus buyers here are bunch of cheapskates. So instead of having efficient engines like Honda's, let's just pull out the belt-driven hydraulic power-steering pump.
This original Euro classic now doesn't just look domestic. It's as boring to steer as well!
"Moving to the new design, some of the ingredients have changed, such as the conversion to electrical power steering...
Though much is the same, the new Focus has a different character than the old one, a more sober, mature character. The steering maintains the effortless, light feeling of the old car, but it's less hyperactive. While still precise it feels slightly dulled when going straight ahead, something I'd chalk up to the setup of the electrical power steering to require less inputs when driven at high speeds on the highway and fewer kickbacks from the wheel. The conversion to an electric rack also leaves the wheel mostly devoid of feedback, an area which the old Focus was very strong. The Focus' handling has also been tweaked fairly substantially to increase its stability. The new model now reacts neutrally to input, safely understeering its way out of problem situations, which is in sharp contrast to the current car's desire to oversteer upon throttle lift-off or when trail braking. Our Sport Package equipped Coupe tester featured a rear stabilizer bar for a slightly flatter ride, but there's still a fair deal of body roll."
So you don't get to play oversteer w/ this high-tech Control Blade rear suspension anymore? Our fun playful puppy has died
#1945 of 2014 Lack of Effeceint Engines?
Nov 06, 2007 (2:34 pm)
Please refrain from making comments based on biased fiction instead of Facts.
The 2.0L in the Focus has a combined EPA of 28 mpg. The 1.8L in the Civic has a combined EPA of 29 mpg. Hardly much of a difference when you consider that the Focus has a 4 speed auto vs the 5 speed auto in the Civic. Focus has a bigger engine (more torque) and has 2 cubic feet more in the passanger compartment and in the truck.
#1946 of 2014 Re: Lack of Effeceint Engines? [mschmal]
Nov 06, 2007 (6:37 pm)
More low-end torque should meant even higher mpg. As shown in other manufacturers' results, such as the 2.8 BMW gets better mpg than the 2.5 BMW if they are both tuned to have the same high-end hp.
Consumer Reports' real-world testing has been consistently complaining about Focus' low mpg, even after switching to Mazda-ized engines. While these Mazda-ized engines used in the Focus are tuned to have stronger low-end torque & weaker high-end hp than the ones used in the Mazda3, CR's real-world testing praised the 2.0 Mazda3 for having the best mpg!
My torquiest Focus engine -- the ST 2.3 -- feels weaker than my '98 Corolla 1.8 at low rpm. I get 40mpg cruising my 5-sp Corolla LE on the fwy, while my 5-sp Focus ST can't even come close.
Despite all that, I still hated my Corolla due to the poor steering, handling, ride & driving position. That's why I got rid of it & bought the Focus ST. How many people in (the "badge snob") S. California do that?
#1947 of 2014 Stupid 4 speed Auto.
Nov 07, 2007 (4:37 am)
I really wish Ford would dump 4 speed autos. It doesn't hurt so much in the Focus as in other vehicles.
The new 08 Escape actually gets lower MPG than the bigger Edge!
I know Ford is retooling a plant in Mich to make more 6F trans and they already have excess 3.5L capacity so that is coming to the Escape. But by then the competition will have moved on also.
FORD LETS GET THE STUFF TO MARKET!
#1948 of 2014 Re: Stupid 4 speed Auto. [mschmal]
Dec 01, 2007 (11:49 am)
"A first for Ford is the firm’s new PowerShift gearbox, which is similar to VW’s DSG semi-automatic transmission. Using twin clutches, it pre-selects the next gear, allowing faster changes. The six-speed ‘box can be used as a full automatic, or with steering wheel-mounted paddles. It goes on sale in spring, costing around £950."
Ford thinks that Focus buyers in America are bunch of cheapskates that don't deserve the best transmission. So only people overseas get it.
But heck, I don't care 'cause I drive stick.
"Following in the footsteps of the hatchback range, this is the first picture of the new Focus saloon (below left). Getting the same Mondeo-style looks as the three and five-door cars, the booted car features a revised tail with a fresh bumper and LED lights. Unlike the hatches, it will only be available with 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0-litre diesel engines, as well as 1.6 and 2.0 petrols."
Click the lower right picture to see the sedan.
I still think my 2.3 "classic" Focus ST rules, in terms of looks, normally aspirated power & handling fun!
Having the old Mondeo nose
http://www.wheels24.co.za/Wheels24/Galleries/w24_GalleriesModelPicDisplay/0,,675- - - - -13649,00.html
looks more cool than having the new Mondeo nose, IMO.