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Old 04-19-2011, 12:15 AM   #1
Foriaelalse

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Todays session:





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Old 04-19-2011, 10:28 AM   #2
UFJon

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Just needs alloy wheels and that'd find itself in my driveway! Though, maybe in Kona...
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Old 04-20-2011, 01:04 PM   #3
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I've just discovered there's a Race Red SE hatch with the sport package at my local dealer, I may go take a look at it tomorrow (with camera phone in hand of course)
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Old 04-24-2011, 03:47 AM   #4
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I got to drive the Focus!!!

I ended up driving the Race Red SE hatchback with the Convenience and Sport Packages I saw earlier, which was great as that's almost the exact spec I want (except it didn't have Sync and I think I prefer Kona Blue). I don't remember the exact price but it was a touch over $22k.




More pics: http://img51.imageshack.us/g/0420011650.jpg/

First things first, I loved it. It looks excellent in person, inside and out, and my God is it a smooth drive. Compared to my car, which is a bit jittery and fidgety sometimes, the Focus is ridiculously stable out on the road. I didn't get to drive it a whole lot, but I did manage to get up to about 60 or so and it was very quiet - even more so than the Fiesta - and solid. The steering to me felt a bit lighter than the Fiesta's, which addresses essentially the sole complaint I have about that car; it's extremely nice to drive as a result.

Handling/steering: Compared to my Mazda, I'd say the Focus doesn't have quite as much steering feel, though I think that could just be an impression extending from the Focus's considerably better NVH. The thing with my car is that it has good and bad days; most of the time, to me, the steering is a bit too heavy and sometimes a bit dead-feeling, but on good days it lightens up a bit while retaining just enough of the heft and is really quite enjoyable. The Focus is vastly superior to my car's steering on bad days but perhaps slightly behind it on a good day - it matches my car's "best" steering weight pretty closely but doesn't have quite the feedback through the wheel rim. Overall though the fact that the Focus' steering is 95% as good as my car's is at its best, all the time instead of just when it feels like it, gives it the easy advantage. (in an aside, I should probably get my car checked out to see why the steering effort varies - it's rather annoying)

Two other advantages of the Focus' steering relative to the Mazda's: it's lighter around town regardless of whether my car is having a good day or not, and at highway speeds, as I mentioned before, it's very stable and planted-feeling. Road trips in this car would be a breeze.

Engine: I didn't really notice much about the engine; it was quite a bit more subdued than the Fiesta's, which emitted a noticeable growl when you revved it. I think the superb NVH suppression is mostly responsible. The Focus is such a seriously quiet car that it's honestly a bit hard to judge engine noise - or responsiveness, unless you just stare at the speedometer. At one point I happened to glance down and notice I was pushing 60mph; it honestly felt more like 35 or 40. Similarly to the Fiesta - even more so, in fact - it feels slower than it is because it's just that refined.

Interior: The interior is very nice. The dashboard has a nice soft-touch padding, of course, and while I didn't look too closely everything seemed to fit pretty well. The glovebox door is damped unlike in the Fiesta, as is the grabhandle (the rear seat doesn't get them, so there's only one, for the front seat passenger). The sport seats are comfortable, with generous bolstering. One particular highlight for me are the gauges, which I absolutely love. I already really liked the Fiesta's gauges, which are similar, but the Focus's look much more expensive, with a classier script and those cool blue needles.

One caveat: while, from what I understand, the SEL and Titanium trims have soft-touch door tops, the SE does not; apart from the nice cloth armrests, the door panels are entirely finished in a rather cheap hard plastic. While I've read enough car magazines that I tend to think soft-touch dashboards are the be-all end-all, realistically the door panels should probably get priority for that stuff as it's the surface you're more likely to touch.

One other complaint I had was that while the SelectShift feature worked well and all, like the reviews have said its placement on the gearshift is awkward. I'm not sure I'd be able to find a comfortable way to use it, so I'd probably just ignore it.

I didn't get a chance to sit in the rear seat but, with the front seat adjusted to where I was comfortable (I'm 6'1"), legroom looked comparable to my Mazda3. That is to say, I would fit fairly comfortably but without much room to spare. Cargo room looked good.

So, overall, I was extremely impressed. The 2012 Focus is a seriously refined, solid and expensive-feeling car, along with being very enjoyable to drive. Even though I only drove it briefly, I already miss it, and I really, really, really want one.
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Old 04-24-2011, 04:46 AM   #5
Foriaelalse

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You lucky dog!

Sounds like a promising car!

I visited the dealer to test drive them but I was not able to because they were all SOLD! Turns out people claimed them within the first week!

Here's what I found compared to some of the current competition:

2011 Mazda 3


I acually got to test drive this one, but I'll start with the interior.

The interior was not too shabby, however there seemed to be practically no soft touch materials anywhere. Everything fit together very well though which is pretty good. The cloth seats at first were very comfortable but later through the ride I noticed them digging into my back a bit making an uncomfortable ride. The rear seat was average at best, but I'm 6'3, which meant in this sedan, NO ONE could ever sit comfortably behind my seat. Unless of course you're a baby in a high chair.

The drive was average. I found the steering wheel to be too heavy at low speeds and at highway speeds, the car felt almost out of my control. Not in a durastic and dangerous way, just enough to feel like the car is driving you rather the opposite. I found the brake pedal a bit too sensitive and I could not get used to it fairly quickly. Also at points the car felt heavy and sluggish.

Overall it really isn't a bad car, it's rather good. But in this segment it is not my first or second choice.

2011 Chevy Cruze


The Mazda was the only car I test drove that day so the rest of these are my interior impressions.

The Chevy Cruze I looked at was a high trim model. Leather seats and a few perks like Sunroof. While the dash overall is pretty attractive, the cloth material they used to run along the dash board was super hideous and cheap. Somthing about the door panel was not fitting my arm very well, and the seats were possibly the thinnest leather I have ever sat on. The Mazda cloth was more comfortable. The trunk was a very good size for this market.

Overall I didn't really like it. I'm sure there are several who do, but it just didn't phase me and I wouldn't really consider one.

2011 Hyundai Elantra

The interior to this car was very roomy. The center stack is attractive however I wasn't really drawn to it too much. The seats were great, and the rear legroom was excellent. Out of all the cars today this one had the biggest trunk space. There were soft touch materials which was nice to see. Other than that I didn't really take note of anything else which I suppose is a good thing. Means nothing bothered me too much.

I would like to test drive the Elantra to get a better sense of the car, as I think it could be a back up choice if the Focus is not doable for me. The Elantra is cheaper and bigger.

And last but certainly not least,

2012 Ford Focus


This car left a smile on my face. I was a bit releaved that not all of the compact cars were going to leave me a bit blank.

The cloth seats were the most comfortable I've sat in the whole day. The materials were great and fit together excellently. The steering wheel was a great size for me, and probably the best telescopic range in the segment. The seat tracks I was very impressed with! When I moved the seat all the way back I actually had to move the seat UP a bit to get to my comfortable driving position! Again, I'm 6'3 so this was astonishing to me.
The rear seat was a bit cramped but with some adjustments everyone in the car could fit faily comfortably if you wanted. The lay flat seats were great aswell. I'd say the rear seat room was actually greater than the mazda 3's. One issue I found was the arm rest acted as a bit of an obstruction when reacing the seat warmer tabs. I also found the control levers behind the steerwheel were a bit too close to the wheel itself. Other than that it was a great interior for sure!

The Focus is my first choice in thie segment, and I am just waiting for the chance to test drive it.

That's all from me.
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:32 AM   #6
Filling25

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i dont like the focus sedan, the greenhouse infringes on the boot too much; then again I dont like the car much at all anyway
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:12 AM   #7
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Old 04-24-2011, 08:31 AM   #8
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:17 AM   #9
bonyclayd

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http://www.leftlanenews.com/color-me...-problems.html

Noooo Ford's getting rid of Kona Blue!!! (and Tuxedo Black as well!)

I hope they replace it with something really similar, as I've grown to really really like that color, it was definitely my favorite on the Focus...
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Old 04-28-2011, 08:48 AM   #10
Foriaelalse

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Oh no I wanted that nice metallic black! I hope they bring in the brown from the Edge, I'd totally dig that!

EDIT: No they are getting rid of that too. -_- They should make it up by adding even more colour choices.
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Old 04-30-2011, 12:07 PM   #11
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Yeah, I'm hoping Kona Blue gets replaced by something really similar, like Europe's Ink Blue (which I'm assuming is not the exact same color). Otherwise I'll just need to make Blue Candy my favorite, which it was for a while until I decided it looked a bit too bright for the Focus. This Blue Candy SE I found while dealer websites looks pretty damn good though:



The 17" wheels really set it off nicely. Interestingly this particular example appears to be equipped with the Sport, Convenience and Sync packages, a combination that according to the Ford site is impossible with Blue Candy.

(In an aside, Blue Candy's supposed to be available on the Fiesta for 2012 and I think it will be ideal on that car)

I also managed to find the exact Focus I want (Kona Blue SE sport w/ painted 16" wheels) on AutoTrader:

Link

It's $1300 more expensive than the one I configured, but the outside is exactly the way I'd want my Focus to look.
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Old 05-05-2011, 02:49 PM   #12
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So this is pretty much my ideal Focus (that I can realistically expect to afford). Image quality isn't the best but you get the idea:

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Old 07-06-2011, 12:44 AM   #13
Foriaelalse

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That's hot!

If I had to get a Focus sedan, it would have to be exactly like this!





Sooooo hot! My first SEL in person.

There is also a Red Candy SEL hatch and a Black Titanium Hatch there, but cars were blocking my view. Tomorrow I will go in with my good camera and get some shots.

The shots above are with my cell phone.
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Old 08-05-2011, 04:51 PM   #14
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I had a play around with the UK configurator to make my ideal Euro-spec Focus...




Your vehicle
New Ford Focus (5 Door - Zetec - 1.6 125 S5 - 5 Speed)

Base price
17,500.00

Selected options
Panther Black Metallic - 495.00
Hcl Rack/Geccharcoal - 0.00
Appearance Pack - Zetec (Privacy glass, 17" Alloy) - 525.00

Total price: 18,520.00 (although you never pay the full list price for a Ford)

Very nice but I still prefer my Mk1.
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Old 08-05-2011, 08:12 PM   #15
Foriaelalse

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Here In Canada, that car is $25,000+ CAD.

Canada, where everything is over priced.
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Old 08-05-2011, 09:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Old 08-05-2011, 11:31 PM   #17
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:14 AM   #18
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Old 08-06-2011, 01:57 AM   #19
nerohedfrs

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America - S, SE, SEL, Titanium
Europe - Edge, Zetec, Titanium, Titanium X

So yeah, you're right SV.
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Old 08-06-2011, 03:02 AM   #20
Foriaelalse

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Ah thinks are much different in Europe. Thanks for the heads up guys!

Here's some Titanium and SEL love from my local dealer.



























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