2012 Ford Focus SE Sedan Review

this is the 2012 Ford Focus s II now this is of course the sedan version because the focus is available both as a sedan and as a hatchback in the United States so let’s hop in let’s hop under the hood and of course let’s see if I fit in the trunk we do expect a performance engine at some point in the focuses life but for now this is the only engine on offer its Fords all new all aluminum two-liter direct injection

four-cylinder engine it produces 160 horsepower and 146 pound-feet of torque it’s made it to either your choice of a 5-speed manual or a 6-speed powershift automatic gearbox that powershift automatic gearbox is a dual clutch affair so it’s more like Volkswagens DSG here on the inside that the Ford Focus gets a little bit more interesting than your typical small car in America and that’s

because the interior quality here is very high you know we have a nice soft touch – here we have a very nice infotainment button set up it is a little busy there kind of a lot of buttons there we’ll go over that in a bit but everything is very nicely done and well the fit and finish is very good for an American car Ford has done a little bit more than that there are still some seams that are a little peculiar

like here in the dashboard this speaker grille isn’t quite right but that’s to be expected in a mass-market car to be honest there’s always going to be something a little bit wrong but what Ford’s done is they’ve hidden these things very well so if you look at these door seems they’ve deliberately designed the door panels so that the gaps are not obvious so panels overlap one another rather than butting right up against one another making those seems a lot less visible inside the Ford Focus everything

that you touch in here is very good so all the touch points are excellent the base model focus and the base model se however don’t get the leather wrap steering wheel that this model gets or the leather shifter that’s available as an option on our sticker here you can see this costs one thousand one hundred thirty dollars and that gets you the leather up steering wheel leather wrap knob the silly rear spoiler and that’s pretty much it rear seat comfort is pretty average in this segment we get the folding rear seat but in the SE in our particular se model

this is not a 60/40 folding seat it is a single folding rear seat so you have to choose whether you want some extra cargo or you know three or four passengers so that would be just limited to the front two I’m six feet tall this front seat driver seat is adjusted for me as you can see I have some legroom left back here it’s not a whole lot of legroom but again this isn’t a very

big car this seat is fairly firmly upholstered might be a little bit tiring on a long car trip and the seat cushion is a little bit lower to the floor but this car does start at $17,000 so I wouldn’t really expect any more now the up level focuses now they have a similar problem but they have a much larger price tag so you might want to spend some time in the rear seat before you plunk down $27,000 or so for a Focus titanium any American will tell you they value a large trunk and the Ford Focus delivers a fairly good sized one this is again the largest size roller bag can carry on a domestic flight so you can see you can fit a decent number of those here in the trunk the odd thing of course about the focus is because

it has this sort of a of course these trunk hinges impede on your cargo area let me not forget that but because it has this very short trunk lid and this very sloped almost a hatchback like form it means that you’re left with more of a trunk slot than a true trunk lid so depending on the shape of your item it could be difficult to get it in and out of there but that of course means it’s time to see how well a journalist fits in the trunk let’s see how this goes oh yeah that’s quite a surprising amount of room in here actually you could you could get lost

I’d give this a solid 7 out of 10 let’s take a look at the infotainment systems on the Focus this is something that Ford has really done a very good job of lately to be honest in these lower cost vehicles that’s thanks to Microsoft Sync what we have here is a USB port that’s here in our center console and as you can see I have my iPod Nano connected to it my iPod my iPad all variety of USB devices work extremely well with this system and over here in the center console we get the sort of million button array we have direct access buttons for CD radio Sirius auxilary an auxilary includes that USB an iPhone interface as well as the phone here on the right side we have a keypad for direct access to Sirius and am/fm radio stations as well as assisting in the navigation of your phone and other items now this screen up here is a fairly decent resolution screen and it’s flanked

by another one over here in the gauge cluster the one of the gauge clusters controlled by this keypad over here on the steering wheel and this one is controlled by either your choice of this button arrangement here or this button on the steering wheel in addition to that on the steering wheel if you can see here in the video we do get a voice command button here we get our track up and down fast-forward phone buttons over here and our cruise control buttons are over here on the left but that’s not what’s interesting about sync what’s interesting about sync is the voice command option which works very well compared to you know wide variety of different voice command able systems sync really is superior so that makes this screen up here which is fairly decent and fairly easy to use a bit redundant and we’ll demonstrate here so now that we have the system on and

I have my ipod connected here as I said we’re listening to Sirius satellite radio and again the voice command buttons here on the steering wheel so we can command it away saying please say a command us B as you can see the system has now changed to my ipod here you can say its playing brown chicken brown cow now if we like this song we can tell sync to play similar music so we do that by hitting the button again USB please say a command place similar music similar music there we go now what it sides a similar music is pretty random and I have no idea why it’s now playing The Beatles after immediately playing Madonna go figure you can also voice command particular tracks particular playlists genres artists etc with the system the phone integration works very well you can voice command people from your phone book the voice commands are fairly natural and the system understands you fairly well the microphone is up here in the center console and the speakerphone voice quality with your phone is very good it’s actually among

the best I’ve tried a ride variety of different systems again I’m in a different one of these almost every week and this system is probably among the best which is very good of course for a first time car buyer or a young car borrow someone’s interested in technology this is of course the base sink system if we go back to our Mon Rooney here I don’t know if you can see that in the video let’s see if we can get it a little closer you can see that this is part of the rapid spec system on this car which is $1,300 it also includes cruise control the alarm and Sirius satellite radio now if you pop up to the more expensive trims of the Ford Focus then you’re greeted with the large 8-inch

MyFord Touch system which is vilified for being quite slow I’ll pop a link to the Ford Flex video somewhere along here and you can see how that system works it’s essentially the same in the Ford Flex as in the Ford Focus out on the road there are a few things that surprise you when you get behind the wheel first up we have a fairly firm suspension if you’re looking for a soft ride in

your small car then you should look at a Buick or Chrysler or something along those lines but if you’re looking at something that’s perhaps midway between your average sedan in this category and a Volkswagen GLI then the Ford Focus is your vehicle that really pays dividends in the handling Department because this baby sticks to the road like glue the only unfortunate thing that comes with that though and comes with most modern cars is this electric power steering it is numb and vague and it’s a little bit difficult to tell what exactly the front wheels are doing because of course that’s front-wheel drive so they’re not only powered but of course now we have this non electric power steering system associated

with it as well unlike many cars however that have numb steering there is a slide benefit available in the focus if you choose the correct option package and the correct trim line in your focus then you can get the self parallel parking option which will literally Park itself

all you do is you pull up and the car will tell you whether or not you think it thinks you will fit in a spot to either your right or your left and you just follow the instructions on the screen put the car in reverse and let the car do all the steering for you that’s really one of the only benefits to the electric power steering systems other than a very minor improvement in fuel economy that is the other thing about the sport focus

however is its fuel economy we’ve been averaging 33 miles per gallon and that’s on my daily commute which involves roads like I’m driving on right now which is a narrow mountain highway plenty of shifting plenty of ups and downs and of course some high speed travel on Interstate 280 as well one of our Facebook Readers asked if the Ford Focus was a good first car and the answer is yes as far as first cars go it seems a little bit expensive to my sensibilities to pay seventeen to probably twenty two thousand dollars or so for a first car but our se model as equipped here is just over twenty one thousand dollars and if I was looking for a first car either for myself or god forbid

if I had a 16 year old child that was looking to drive their first car this would be a very good choice for me the focus gets very good safety ratings over all the manual transmission is kind of fun and I think for my first car

I’d want to at least start out with a manual it has all the features that I would demand with the exception of a power driver’s seat you know we have Ford Sync we have am/fm CD we have USB iPod interface we have Sirius satellite radio we have two large you know and large as a relative term mind you but two large LCD screens in the dash year one in

this gauge cluster and one of course in the radio that will go over in just a bit and so it fit fulfills my tech desires as well as my desire to have a decent handling sedan it is fairly fun you can fit five people in here fairly easily to go to lunch I wouldn’t I wouldn’t pick fairly large people of course I mean this is still a small sedan but it is possible to jam some co-workers in the rear the trunk is pretty big and Ford dealers are easy to find so parts should be relatively easy to find as the car ages and fairly inexpensive reliability it’s a little bit too early to tell but with forwards the recent reputation we shouldn’t expect this to be too much worse than Honda or tote as

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