Last post on Sep 02, 2013 at 8:37 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
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Ford Focus, Ford, Car Buying, Future Vehicle, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
#1028 of 1324 Focus vs "Focus" vs "Focus"
Jan 05, 2012 (5:47 pm)
We all know that these Mazda3, Volvo C30/S40/V50/C70 are just bunch of "Ford Focus'" underneath. What a lot of people didn't know is that so are (most of) these FWD Jetta/Golf/GTI/A3(& the Seat/Skoda equivalents) since 7 yrs ago. VW hired the original Focus engineer to duplicate the "blade" multi-links in the VW's but w/ more comfort (i.e., longer suspension travel).
One of the first comparison tests in Europe during late 2004 showed that the Golf V w/ lowered suspension can't compete w/ the std Focus I in both the ride & the handling!
But lately in Euro comparisons, the Golf VI (the fine-tuned version of the Golf V) continued to repeatedly beat the new Focus III in the ride/handling compromise until this one...
Golf (VI) GT, w/ lowered suspension:
Unfortunately, the GT’s 15mm drop in ride height over standard models really hampers comfort. The stiff set-up struggles to cope with poor surfaces. It transmits vibrations into the cabin that are filtered out by the more forgiving Focus. This compromise would be fine if it transformed the way the Golf handles, but it doesn’t.
Quite simply, the GT doesn’t attack corners with the same enthusiasm as the Ford or SEAT, and suffers from more body roll. There’s still plenty of grip on offer, and the weighty steering is precise and confidence-inspiring, but it doesn’t provide the same fluid responses you get behind the wheel of the Zetec S.
Seat version of the GTI, also w/ lowered suspension:
Firm sports suspension keeps body roll in check, and while the trade-off in comfort is greater than in the Ford, the SEAT is no worse than the VW over bumps.
What it really lacks is the driver involvement of the Zetec S. The steering is lighter and inspires less confidence, while the brakes are grabby and over-sensitive.
Focus Zetec S, which has firmer sportier suspension set up but not lowered:
Neither the VW nor the SEAT has an answer to the Focus when it comes to driver appeal. Ford has established itself as the class leader for handling thanks to a succession of brilliant models, and the Zetec S showcases this expertise once again.
Its suspension was specially developed for UK roads and suits the car perfectly. With firmer dampers and stiffened springs, we feared the worst, but the enhanced set-up strikes a great compromise between ride comfort and handling ability.
It soaks up the worst bumps at high speed and filters out smaller imperfections around town effectively, yet serves up even sharper responses than before.Thread our trio down a twisty country road and the Ford is the most engaging, confidence-inspiring and comfortable choice.
This isn’t all down to the suspension – the electric power-steering is perfectly weighted and the gearshift is slick. The strong and progressive brakes are also perfectly judged and not as over-sensitive as those fitted to the SEAT and VW.
This all makes the Ford the best car here to drive. Through a sequence of bends, its agility and composure mark it out as something special, and its balanced chassis makes up for any straight-line performance shortfall compared to the SEAT.
This test is also telling me something -- Go get the Golf VI w/o the lowered suspension. & the only one in the U.S. is the "chunky displacement" 2.5
#1029 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [akirby]
Jan 05, 2012 (6:35 pm)
I'm in Maryland. I have a 15 mile commute to work, of which 12 miles is flat, open highway.
Today I managed 29 mpg going a steady 55 mph.
Whoot! 29 mpg at 55 mph in a car rated 37 mpg highway.
#1030 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [gogogodzilla]
Jan 05, 2012 (7:11 pm)
Did you check to make sure it was in 6th gear? That sounds like it's not going to 6th gear at all.
#1031 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [akirby]
Jan 05, 2012 (7:24 pm)
6th gear? Heck, I can get near 40 mpg in that kind of drive in an 8-year old iron-block 2.0L compact with only 4 forward gears in the slushbox.
Something is definitely wrong here. Even a V6 mid-sizer can get 30+ mpg at 55 mph constant speed on a flat road for 12 miles.
#1032 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [backy]
Jan 05, 2012 (7:37 pm)
Of course something is wrong - that's why I asked if he checked to see if it was in 6th gear TO FIGURE OUT WHAT MIGHT BE WRONG.
#1033 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [akirby]
Jan 06, 2012 (7:50 am)
A related question is, what are the RPMs at 55 mph? If it's in 6th gear, they should be very low, probably below 2000 RPM.
Or we could have other factors at work--environmental, driver etc. Hard to know w/o more info.
#1034 of 1324 winter FE
Jan 06, 2012 (8:18 am)
Tire pressures drop about 1 psi for every ten degrees ambient. Tire inflation pressures that give good mileage in summer at 80 degrees are relatively underinflated in winter conditions and can cost 2-4 mpg. Set the tire pressures in the morning before driving the car at all to the pressures on the door pillars.
#1035 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [akirby]
Jan 06, 2012 (11:46 am)
just what are you getting at
#1036 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [backy]
Jan 06, 2012 (7:50 pm)
The revs are about 2000, maybe 2100 rpms.
That said, I wasn't able to properly check anything today as the highway (both morning and evening) was so backed up that I was lucky to go 20 mph.
It took an hour to go 15 miles, each time.
I'll try again tomorrow, though. Also, I'm pretty sure it's in 6th gear, with the revs in the low 2000's. My last car, the MkV GTI, was about the same.
#1037 of 1324 Re: Poor fuel economy [gogogodzilla]
Jan 06, 2012 (8:04 pm)
It took an hour to go 15 miles, each time.
I assume that when you measured 27 mpg on this course earlier, you reset the average FE meter once you got on the highway and checked it when you exited. Also you were able to maintain a constant speed (55 mph) and didn't have the heavy traffic you had today. Correct?
2100 RPM seems a little high for 6th gear 55 mph based on other 6-speed automatics I've driven on 4-bangers. But maybe that is the normal revs for 6th on the Focus at 55.