Last post on Sep 02, 2013 at 8:37 AM
You are in the Ford Focus
What is this discussion about?
Ford Focus, Ford, Car Buying, Future Vehicle, Coupe, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
#1263 of 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [ivan_99]
Jan 03, 2013 (12:58 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 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 03, 2013 (1:20 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 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [ivan_99]
Jan 04, 2013 (7:37 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 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [kam327]
Jan 04, 2013 (7:52 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 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 04, 2013 (7:56 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 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 04, 2013 (9:04 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 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [akirby]
Jan 04, 2013 (10:14 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 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [pod]
Jan 04, 2013 (10:32 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
#1271 of 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [pod]
Jan 04, 2013 (10:31 am)
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.
Careful though. Just a year earlier that same Focus placed first against several of the same cars. Kind of puts Automobile's objectivity and consistency into question.
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.
In the July '11 comparo I referenced above the Focus had the lowest as tested price of the 6 cars tested.
The Focus does seem to be a little more expensive than some of the competition, though it's hard to do an apples to apples comparison these days. And in my case I got such a huge discount (~%20) on my Focus that hands down I got way more value than I would've gotten with any other car in the segment. Of course I'm sure my experience violates Ford's pricing strategy..
#1272 of 1324 Re: Consumer Reports gives Focus thumbs down [kam327]
Jan 04, 2013 (2:30 pm)
That is why I called the automobile magazine comparo fair with respect to the Focus. They praise many of its qualities but feel that the competition has improved and that some issues have been identified since july 2011 which is a long time ago. The Mazda skyactiv 3i won. It and the Dart Rallye(second place) were not around in 2011 and the third place Civic has been cosmetically freshened. They did not disrespect the Focus in fact chose it as the best drivers car by some distance. With respect to all facets (including price, interior, trim levels, etc.), however, they feel that the Focus has been engaged by some fine competition since 7/2011 and has lost the lead. I find that a reasonable conclusion, certainly not inconsistent given the significant time span between the reports.
I would choose the Focus even among the current five (and always wonder whether the Mazda would have been a slightly better choice) but I am a Ford guy. The Improved Focus was new and revolutionary in 2011 but that was then. The competition has caught up for sure and it is a race again.