Last post on Feb 25, 2013 at 4:53 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
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Ford Focus, Ford, Car Buying, Future Vehicle, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
#1261 of 1316 Re: This is the same Focus that has sold in Europe and it has been fine[cannon3 [kam327]
Jan 03, 2013 (12:53 pm)
There are very good reasons why the Focus was named to Car & Driver's 10 best a second time
No doubt, the Focus is less boring-to-drive than the Accord, which has been Car & Driver's 10 best more often than anything else on earth. "C&D's Ten Best" are not based on reliability anyway.
If you have only driven the Focus lately, go back to the ST170 (SVT in America) & see for yourself. Consumer Reports rated the Focus SVT more fun-to-drive than the Mini Cooper while offering more comfort! Which other cars can do that?
#1262 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [cannon3]
Jan 03, 2013 (1:19 pm)
Here is what CR says:
For new models that are currently available, our Predicted Reliability rating is based on the model's recent history, provided the model hasn't been significantly redesigned for the current model year. Online, Predicted Reliability is presented in the new car model overview pages in the Ratings Report Card, and Ratings & Specs and in the Vehicle Overall Ratings comparison. It is also incorporated into the Reliability History charts as the New Car Prediction.
We also present Predicted Reliability in more detail in our graphs. In this presentation, bar graphs show the percentage difference between each model's overall reliability and the average reliability of all models. We group models by vehicle type (for example, family cars or minivans), for ease of comparing models that are direct-market competitors.
Our statisticians also do in-depth analyses of the reliability data to provide information to consumers about trends in automotive reliability, reliability of newly introduced models, and other important issues. These analyses are presented in the April issue of Consumer Reports, at ConsumerReports.org, and in newsstand auto publications throughout the year.
To summarize: If the vehicle had transmission problems last year and this year there are no changes they'll predict that it will have problems. If there is no historical data it usually doesn't show anything.
#1263 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [ivan_99]
Jan 03, 2013 (1:58 pm)
But the software HAS changed at least twice and there are hardly any new reports of problems.
BTW the Euro Focus gets a different version of the powershift DCT - it has a wet clutch vs. a dry clutch and is smoother.
#1264 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 03, 2013 (2:20 pm)
I'm not certain if there are more or less "new" problems reported; that's just what they show on their site.
They've recently had Ford high in their rankings, I'm assuming if these problems go away they'll re-evaluate and position them higher.
That is of course if you care about that sort of thing; the two Focuses I've driven (manual and auto) were fine (for the test drive anyway). I'm not totally sold on how they collect data and how it relates to reliability anyway.
#1265 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [ivan_99]
Jan 04, 2013 (8:37 am)
I think Consumer Reports unfairly penalizes companies like Ford. Ford has become known lately for being a leader with new (or at least new for its segment) tech, like MyFord Touch, the dual clutch automated manual, the 1.6L turbo, etc. Ford may not do well in releasing that tech to the masses without problems, but the real question in terms of reliability should really be how reliable the car is once the typical first-model-year problems have been fixed (via recalls and TSBs on cars already sold and running production changes). I don't see how CR takes that into account with current or recent model year cars.
Their reliability ratings are based on consumer surveys. So if consumers complain that MyFord touch is slow or locks up, BOOM - CR hits Ford with poor reliability despite the fact that Ford is continuously releasing software updates which greatly improve the tech.
And then another issue - take the Focus with its DCT transmission. The '12 Focus gets excellent reliability ratings in everything except "Transmission - minor" where it gets a poor. Why? Could be because many of its subscribers are complaining about the DCT behavior (jerky low speed operation, roll back on hills, etc.) without taking into account that that's pretty normal DCT behavior and the consumer just doesn't realize it. And then they give the car an overall poor reliability rating because it scored poor in only 1 of numerous reliability categories. Pretty unfair.
Bottom line - don't trust Consumer Reports! It rewards cars with relatively little technical innovation and that are boring to drive (lookin' at you Camry!)
#1266 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [kam327]
Jan 04, 2013 (8:52 am)
CR does not like MFT because they think it's a safety issue. Never mind that you can do anything you need to do while driving using steering wheel controls or voice control. And you're correct they don't differentiate between one time problems and long term recurring problems.
#1267 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 04, 2013 (8:56 am)
When the 2012s first came out you heard lots of owners complaining about the powershift and some were actually defective. But the defective ones have been replaced and two software updates seem to have fixed the problems with the powershift. I don't hear any new Focus owners complaining about the tranny in the new vehicles whereas before it was very common. That tells me the problem is at least 95% fixed. There will always be people who don't like the way it works just like they don't like CVTs. But most get used to it.
The one thing that still surprises me when I drive my daughter's car is the lack of engine braking when you're in reverse and let off the gas. It basically freewheels until you hit the brakes. Not a problem, just unexpected.
#1268 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 04, 2013 (10:04 am)
Reliability is determined over time as you say. Ford has typically been very reliable in my experience, very reliable. I regret the recent concentration of gadgets and screens and other aspects of the vehicle that strike me as unnecessary at least and dangerous at worst. Most of the Ford advertisements concentrate on the presence of the many "assist" devices all of which are unnecessary and add expense. Many of the reviewers concentrate on ludicrous aspects such as ambient lighting, type of headlight, whether there are LED taillights, whether there are fog lights, the resolution of the various screens and how easy it is to scroll, etc. One very excellent review (IMO) was in Automobile Magazine which compared 5 cars (Dart, Focus, Maxda 3i, honda civic and hyundai elantra). I thought their treatment of the focus was fair and measured. It placed fourth of 5 but was judged the best drivers car. The criticism of the focus seem fair enough, not over the top. They point out that the Focus was easily the most expensive car in the comparo. That is one true fact about Ford, the price of all models has crept up between 1-2K over the past 2-3 years. I think the dodads contribute to the uppricing and I regret that since I want none of them. You can opt our of many by going for the base model but there is a creep to include some of these unnecessary gadgets. Whether it is typical behavior for a DCT or not the Focus DCT has a bad reputation which seems justified since it is the car owners who are complaining. Perhaps the salesmen should alert the drivers during the test drive that the DCT is a different beast than they have encountered. The customer is always right (even if the gearheads understand the facts and think otherwise). I think Ford has lost standing over the past year or so because of the many small snafus which have marked the introduction of the new models. When Ford asks for a premium price they have to deliver a premium product without explanations or excuses. I think they have got ahead of themselves and need to slow down and focus again on quality as perceived by the people who buy their products. Too much advertising which tauts gadgets rather than the quality driving experience. I truly regret the trend toward infomatics, nannies and other gadgets which cost design time and money and distract the driver and divert eyes from the road. It's not just Ford but I am a Ford loyalist so I put my complaint under their name. Stop trying to be "cool"; be good.
#1269 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 04, 2013 (11:14 am)
"CR does not like MFT because they think it's a safety issue."
I don't know about that, if that was it all companies that offer touch screens would be hammered. Ford's just seems to still have some teething issues. I thought the headline last year read something like "Ford drops to 2nd to last place due primarily to MyFord Touch issues." Another recent comparo judged BMW's iDrive 1st and MyFord Touch last or close to it. And remember when everyone hated iDrive.....
"I don't hear any new Focus owners complaining about the tranny in the new vehicles whereas before it was very common. That tells me the problem is at least 95% fixed."
Uhhhhh, go to another popular focus forum, in which I'm an active member, and you'll see plenty of fresh complaints (shuddering, grinding, etc.) My own Focus has been good overall but has had periods of bad DCT behavior. Finally had the clutches replaced in November, resulting performance was a little better, took it out one morning and drove it real hard, and voila it's back to good behavior. I suspect it's the software and in particular the "adaptive learning" that's the culprit. The software is close but still needs a little work (same with MFT). Your estimate of 95% may be a bit optimistic, but certainly most DCTs appear to work fine.
#1270 of 1316 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [pod]
Jan 04, 2013 (11:32 am)
OK, so dual clutch does have a problem, even the pioneer VW/Audi got nailed by "unexpected (therefore dangerous) neutral" syndrome due to overheating from heavy traffic & hot weather.
So, bottom line -- the VW Tiguan & other VW's w/ the 5-cyl got away with a Toyota slushbox, just like how the previous Focus was equipped w/ Mazda's slushbox.
At least my Golf 5-cyl 6-sp slushbox, when using manual mode, can leap off the line even more abruptly than its 5-sp manual version, not to mention the smaller-displacement turbo-lag GTI