I bought a used 2012 Ford Focus SEL. While its a sharp looking car, the amount of time it has spent in the shop is ridiculous. The dual clutch is a joke. It went into the shop for shuddering, they replaced the TCM or reprogrammed it (not sure which one).. It lasted a few months but then had to go back into the shop for the same thing. they replaced the clutch. That was 4 mons ago and it is now back in the shop to replace the clutch AGAIN. if I didn't have a warranty, I would be trading it in just to get rid of the headache
Love this car, albeit with a few minor nitpicks. It's fast for a base model, drives great with the 5 speed (I did not want the DCT!), handles fairly well and visibility is very good. Power delivery is linear, throttle response has only a very slight lag from the drive by wire system (1/10th of a second or so) and it really comes alive above 4k RPM. The electric power assist isn't as good for road feedback as hydraulic, but is better than other electrics I tested by far. The interior is somewhat on the small side, especially in the back but is just large enough for me and the seats are high quality for basic cloth. The only real nitpicks are the lack of S level features and a few noisy interior parts-no cruise, manual rear windows and no computer functionality except a trip meter. The engine is a bit coarse also and really needs super to run right. I can live with this considering I rarely use cruise and almost never have rear passengers, but do miss having a realtime MPG calculator. The sound system is adequate, but somewhat mediocre in terms of fidelity. Coming from an older VW GTI, this car has almost the same HP, handling, steering feel and responsiveness while getting much better gas mileage. I've had no maintenance issues except having to replace a dirty air filter and a missing brake fluid cap that someone had sealed with plastic wrap and a rubber band (??).
I ignored all of these comments because I absolutely loved the interior of this car. (I am a teenage girl). At first it was nice but I've had to take it to a specialist to figure out the vibration in the Motor and I am supposed to take it back to Michigan from California and don't feel it's safe. Good luck if you're looking for one I would stop no and listen to these reviews it's real!!
Unfortunately I have to agree with many negative reviews on this page. Recently I have just been constantly, constantly taking my car to the shop. The horn stopped working a while ago, and now I am having engine and transmission issues. Today was the last straw, was just too unsafe to drive. Will have to take it back into a shop. I've never had a car have so many problems this frequently.
I see a lot of complaints about the dual-clutch transmission and rightly so. In my experience it is garbage. When you take it to the dealership do not let them tell you that they don't know what it is because there has been at least one lawsuit filed in CA and there has been a recall on the Transmission Control Module. Make them replace it. Do not allow them to charge you for reprogramming a faulty TCM or Powertrain Module because they are simply reprogramming a bad component and bleeding your wallet dry. My local dealer was thoroughly inept and I eventually took my Focus out of State to Franklin Ford just south of Nashville where I found a woman in the service division that actually knew her job. Yes, I had to look in other States to find a dealer that didn't tell me the same lie the first dealer did. The other issue is that the dual clutches are dry rather than a wet system or the traditional torque converter. Anyone with any sense knows that slamming two clutch discs together over and over with no lubrication is just stupid. On a positive note the car is fun to drive...right up until the point that it leaves you sitting on the side of the interstate or the middle of an intersection with no way to move it...the mileage has been good, and the rest of the car has actually been reliable. Other negatives include an interior that won't even resist water stains so after a short time the seats look like the carpet in a daycare. If you are unfortunate enough to own one of these abominations, have Ford replace the TCM then sell it immediately to anyone willing to buy it. If I had known about this transmission I would have purchased a VW or Honda.
An update: After replacing the TCM in 2015 my Focus is back at the dealer. They said the TCM is bad and that the clutches and slave cylinder need to be replaced. I have questioned the wisdom of replacing parts that we know to be bad in a transmission we know to be bad with identical parts. It makes to sense to me. At this point the only thing that would make me happy would be for Ford to abandon the apocalyptically horrible Dual Clutch Transmission and replace it with one that actually functions reliably. It is clear from the number of complaints on this board and others that there is something horribly wrong with these transmissions.
Yet another update: The horn has stopped working and the transmission problems have made the car impossible to drive. The Used Car Manager at the local Ford dealership called me in response to a message I left about trading in "A car". After I told him that it was a 2012 Focus he never called me back. I went to the local GM dealership and a Sales Associate there told me that she refuses to sell the cars because they are unsafe and should not be allowed on the road. My Focus is sitting on a car hauler waiting to be towed to CarMax for an appraisal because I refuse to drive it. Because of this car and Ford's obstinance about correcting this issue I will never purchase another Ford product.