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Saturday, February 5, 2011

2012 ford focus review


The 2012 Ford Focus has been fully redesigned. The 2012 Ford Focus is set to go on sale in early 2011. The only transmission Ford is talking about is an automated dual-clutch six-speed manual, which it calls PowerShift. Ford points to a modified control-blade rear suspension, electric-assist steering and a "torque-vectoring" front differential system known as Dynamic Cornering Control as evidence of this.

The new 2012 Ford Focus looks to be a big improvement and a strong contender in the small car segment--The 2012 Ford Focus is the best car for you if you want to experience the sort of compact car that’s got the rest of the world swooning

Should you wait for the 2012 Ford Focus? Expect 2012 Focus prices to start around $16,000 for the debut four-door sedan and four-door hatchback. -- The 2012 Ford Focus is designed by Ford’s European arm and follows the company’s sporty new “kinetic” styling themes. Ford calls the look “energy in motion.” Finicky foreign drivers and auto writers praise the road manners of those cars. Ford aims to link the interior of the 2012 Focus to the spirit of its exterior. The 2012 Focus platform is an evolution of the one that underpins the current European Focus and begins a migration away from today’s Mazda 3 design. Focus will continue to use four-cylinder engines, but from Ford’s new design family that promises fuel economy gains of 10-20 percent thanks to turbocharging, advanced new transmissions, and efficient, high-pressure direct fuel injection. Ford says PowerShift reduces fuel consumption up to 9 percent compared with an automatic transmission. Following 2.0-liter, Ford is expected to make Focus available with a direct-injection turbocharged 1.6-liter four from Ford’s new EcoBoost engine family; it should have around 180 horsepower-- Part of Ford’s aim with the 2012 Focus is to raise Americans’ compact-car expectations. In many overseas markets, the 2012 Focus will enjoy a climate in which cars its size carry premium prices; one European Focus model sells for the U.S. equivalent of $35,000. Higher-cost versions have an 8-inch central screen.

Ford won’t release 2012 Focus prices until shortly before the car goes on sale--EPA ratings for 2012 cars were not available in time for this review, but Ford will use fuel economy as a 2012 Focus selling point.

A massive step forward from the previous generation Focus, the seats have been upgraded, the dash and gauges redesigned, some high-quality trim installed and a reasonably thick steering wheel sits comfortably in your hands. Add in the optional MyFord Touch system, 8-inch LCD screen and 10-speaker Sony audio system (available on the $20,270 SEL trim level and standard on the $22,270 Titanium) and the entire dynamic of the interior is changed. Looking straight ahead at the dash it would be easy to think this was a true luxury car – although the rather low-grade leather on the seats (expected in the compact class) give away the car’s more humble origins.

If you’re wants are more basic, Ford will sell you an entry level S trim sedan for $16,270 – roughly $400 less than the base price of last year’s model.

Along with that vastly improved interior, the "2012 Focus" does deliver a more premium drive, thanks to upgraded sound deadening, not to mention an overall size that has grown. With an extra 1.5-inches wheel to wheel and a track that’s roughly 3-inches wider up front and 2-inches wider in the back, it just feels larger and more solid on the road. The sedan is 3-inches longer end to end, although the hatch is actually 4-inches shorter. That extra size is noticeable on those canyon roads, with this compact pushing the boundaries of the segment. Helping to deliver that feeling is an accurate and responsive electric power steering system, a fully independent suspension (rare in the compact class), not to mention what Ford calls Torque Vectoring Control. Essentially it’s an electronic limited slip differential, using the standard stability control system to add brake to the inside wheel in a turn to reduce wheel slip and deliver maximum traction.
And with how easy it is to over-work the tires on a front-wheel drive car, it’s much appreciated. The Focus does suffer from an all-too-common trait of modern cars – an unwillingness to downshift. Some cars in this class do offer more power, but only in higher-grade trims like the Forte SX or Mazda3 s.

While not quite as dramatically styled as the new Elantra, Ford is near the leading edge of design in the segment. A significant leap forward for Ford, in building the new 2012 Focus, Blue Oval product planners decided to follow a path similar to what Chevy has done with the new Cruze, adding size and content to the compact car segment – appealing to the American consumer’s desire for larger cars. Starting at $16,270 it’s not a bargain-priced domestic car, even if it is cheaper than last year’s model.

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