In summary, the car is fine for what I wanted, which was a fuel-efficient back and forth to work car.
I am extremely happy I bought the S package instead of paying for more ammenities.
Had I paid over $20k for this I would have been very disappointed.
This car has very low torque below 2000 rpm, which combined with gearing makes it difficult to start and slow to accelerate.
Once you get to a certain RPM though, it takes off.
Styling, interior is roomy.
I'm 6'5 and the seat is no all the way back.
Plenty of headroom also.
The gearbox needs to be redone to lower first and raise 5th.
There is veno torque at low RPM, so combined with the gearing, the car is difficult to start on a hill.
I've been driving manuals for 16 yrs, so it's not operator error.
You need to run the RPMs up a little before releasing the clutch or it will shake.
The steeper the hill, the higher the RPM needed to start.
Also, there is almost no difference between 4th and 5th.
If you investigate, you see that 5th on the manual is lower than 6th on the automatic.
It should definitely be higher.
They probably did this to allow cruise control to work due to the anemic torque at low (highway)
Great summary, and I agree.
I don't know if that issue can be addressed, but if it were this car would be even more fantastic.
Unlike the 2009 Focus, when in traffic and trying to pass, the 2012 model takes off at light speed (@ ~55mph).
I was pleasantly surprised, but take-off speeds (0-2000RPM) do seem anemic at times and adding too much gas at once will cause some grinding (the DCT being an "automated manual transmission", and both human and controller computer can cause grinding if the system is given too much gas...
I wonder if the lack of torque converter in the DCT has anything to do with the initial sluggishness; the lack of it is why - from what I do know - that a manual transmission can end up grinding between gear shifts...).
It's still a great car, even the
SEL Premium, but the low RPM issue and the one little DCT foible are caveats that I hope do get addressed.
That would make a 8.6/10 car 9.999/10 with ease, and solidify Ford's reputation that they encountered a problem and fixed it.