We purchased a 2013 Ford Focus SFE in September 2012 and have driven it 1,200 miles so far. No problems at all. This model is a Focus with SE trim to which the optional SFE (Super Fuel Economy) package is added. For 2012 the SFE package cost $495. For 2013 the SFE package adds only $95 to the cost of the vehicle making the additional fuel savings over the SE a no-brainer. We recently got 42 MPG on 70-mile highway trip. 32-33 MPG is typical for our combined driving. The dual clutch transmission (DCT) drives like an automatic transmission but is actually a fuel-saving automated manual transmission. Great materials, inside and out: best in class. LLR tires by Continental handle very well.
We own a 2013 Focus SE & Focus Titanium - both have had the transmission problems as many have experienced. A few weeks ago my dealer informed me of the TCM recall for both - had them both done and car shifts and drives 110% better - I can squeal the tires on take off (huge improvement from the sluggish, hesitant shifting between 1st & 2nd gear).
I read a lot of reviews about the 2012 Focus before deciding to buy the 2013. The transmission does shift different than your normal automatic, but it doesn't bother me since I drive a commercial truck with a standard for a living. I love the style, the features and especially the gas mileage of my Focus, especially since I came out of a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee. I've only had it for a week, but I've been around cars long enough to know what works well and what doesn't, and I must say that the Ford Focus doesn't just work well, it excels.
I bought a Ford because I had driven a Ford rental and found it an extremely comfortable drive. I make frequent trips of over 100 miles and my previous car just wore me out- it was so uncomfortable. The Focus front seats are very comfortable, as is the steering wheel. Then I discovered the shuddering joys of the dual-clutch tranny. I couldn't believe a car manufacturer would knowingly produce thousands of cars with such clearly defective and dated technology. Especially as they were trying to make a comeback in the car market. Anyway, I got used (believe it or not) to the shudder I experienced when starting up and just appreciated the comfortable ride, the bluetooth technology, and being able to listen to my ipod while driving. The car gets decent gas mileage (approx. 31 highway/26 city) and has been very reliable. I've mostly just taken it in for regular maintenance. The interior storage is the worst I've ever experienced resulting in there being hardly any. The glove box is most poorly designed glove box I've ever seen (no sides), to the point where it's almost useless. I ended up putting a squarish bag in there just so all my stuff wouldn't fall out. I hate to think what I'll get for my Focus in trade or resale.
One of the happiest days of my life, getting rid of this piece! I had the transmission replaced 5 times. It continuously tore holes in the oil tank, so that was replaced too. But don't worry, Ford will give you a 100,000 mile warranty and replace it over and over because they acknowledge that their engineering is below standard. It's really fun to drive along with the transmission jerking you around. And, you never know how the car will take off from a stopped position, so many surprises in an accident just waiting to kill someone. The navigation starts about 5 minutes after you need it to. Once, I was in a parking lot, clicked the unlock button on the key fob, and the car began to make a lovely loud sound just like that of a boiling kettle. Everyone in the parking lot ran because we were sure that car was about to blow up. I bought the car brand new but have learned the valuable lesson; never buy a Ford!