This is our third Focus. First was a 2005 which was very economical to drive. Bought a 2014 SE automatic last year and liked it but there were a couple of options I wished I'd gotten with it. A couple of things I didn't like about the '14 were no 12V plug on the dash and no lock buttons on the doors. Traded it in for the 2015 SE this year and glad I did. Everything I didn't like on the 2014 was corrected on the 2015, 12V plug on the dash, lock buttons on the doors, etc. I had no problems with the shifting on the 2014. Not as smooth as a full size car but it it shifted fine for the 12,000 miles I had on it. You have to realize even though it's an automatic you feel it shift like a standard. If you don't like power shifting get a Fusion. The 2015 does seem to shift smoother than the 2014 and has the manual shift paddles which I tried and they work but for me the Focus shift points are fine in automatic so I wont use the paddles much if ever. I got the 2.0L engine for the power with larger wheels and get a steady 34 mpg around town. Longer trips on the highway I get a little better (mid to high 30s) but don't hold back on the speed. This car handles great. I drove others in this class Toyota/Honda/VW and this one is the most fun to drive. Electronics work fine and blue tooth and USB work as they should. Sync voice commands are still a challenge if you don't speak clearly. I like having both the analog and digital gauges on the 2015 (the 2014 only had an analog spedo). The heat/AC controls are great on the 2015 as there is a individual on/off button for everything including each vent/defrost. No more trying to figure out which position on a dial to use to heat your feet and the windshield at the same time. All in all the 2015 hatch is fun to drive, handles and looks great, and has enough room for our two large dogs in the back.
This car is a huge disappointment. I have owned 9 different NEW Ford vehicles and I am 43 years old. I have had problems with only 1 until now. the previous one Ford stepped up to the plate and fixed. This one they will not. The transmission issues on my wife's 2015 Ford Focus is an abomination. Even my kids who are preoccupied with their phones in the car notice how bad it is! It will shudder, vibrate and shake the whole car when accelerating from a stop and from first to second gear. It feels like it is going to fall out of the car. I have had it in for service 3 times and the first time they reprogrammed the PCM (powertrain control module). It actually got worse. The second time they said it was normal because it was a manual transmission that is shifted automatically. What? I am fairly certain that when we purchased the vehicle it was marketed as a 6-speed AUTOMATIC!!! False advertising! Ford also states that the transmission technology is to better fuel efficiency. I also do not remember signing any papers stating that ride quality and safety will be compromised for fuel efficiency. I will be pursuing the lemon law if it is not remedied soon.
Honestly, there is one reason i would never buy this car again. The transmission is horrible. We have had it in three times, and had the clutch (its an automatic), replaced once. Today i am taking it in for a 4th time. All they say is "we'll test it and if its score is X we'll look into it further. If they don't fix this, i'm going to just sell it and buy a Subaru. The other thing that is horrible is the Microsoft Sync software. My wife even has a Windows phone and its horrible to sync. It's too bad, this could have been a great car, but the transmission is just THAT BAD.
I have had two Hondas and one Smart Fortwo in my life. This focus is awful compared to the rest. The smart car seemed like a real downgrade from my Hondas but it shines like a gem compared to this piece of garbage. The main thing that I cannot get over is the transmission. Ford, what in god's name possessed you to release a vehicle that drives like this? Every single time you press the accelerator from a red light or stop sign the transmission kicks, jerks, and vibrates through most of first gear. It feels like the transmission is going to slip right out of gear each time and it scares me. I never know when the transmission might go. For being a "dual clutch" its awful. The Germans have been using these transmissions for a long while now and they run beautifully. Why Ford still cannot get it right baffles me. Next is the driving position. I am 6'3" so my seat is all the way back. I cant look out the window without half of my view being obstructed by the B pillar. And no the back of my seat is not tilted way back. A great looking car with great potential killed by sloppy American engineering.
Do yourself a huge favor and do not buy this car with the "automatic" transmission. It is the worst car I have EVER owned ( and I have owned more than I would care to admit) in terms of the transmission and reliability. Ford is well aware of the defective transmission and its electronic controls and still is somehow able to foist this piece of trash on the American public! The dealer is now replacing the clutch on this POS and Ford has told them that they can expect the part in 12 weeks. Nice! The transmission issues started around the 11000 mile mark and haven't been fixed yet. The car now has 14000 miles on it.
Six-Speed Automatic Transmission ($1,095); SE Sport Package ($1,095 -- includes full body styling kit, paddle shifters, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglights, rear spoiler); Powert Seat Package ($495 -- six-way power driver seat, rear parking sensors)
Direct-injected inline-4, gasoline
DOHC, four valves per cylinder, variable intake-valve timing
Compression ration (x:1)
Horsepower (hp @ rpm)
160 @ 6,500
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm)
146 @ 4,450
Six-speed auto-double-clutch manual with console shifter and steering-mounted paddles with sport/competition modes
Transmission and axle ratios (x:1)
The Focus gets off the line well, with even a chirp of front wheelspin as the tach climbs past 2,500 rpm. Full-throttle upshifts are surprisingly lazy considering this is a dual-clutch automatic transmission. Those upshifts come between 6,300-6,500 rpm, depending on the gear. The engine sounds decent enough and isn't thrashy at higher rpm, but it never feels as if it has any power to spare. Turning traction control off and switching the transmission to Sport mode along with power-braking (overlapping throttle and brake prior to launch) turns on some kind of launch control system, or at least an rpm-holder. It holds revs at 2,600 rpm, then the car leaves the line with a bit more force and wheelspin than normal. In truth, it made barely more than a tenth of a second time difference. Manual shifting is via steering wheel paddles only, not the console lever. It blips the throttle on downshifts but does not hold gears to a rev limiter; it auto-upshifts at 6,500 rpm.
An excellent stopping performance, especially in terms of the consistency of pedal feel and stopping distances. The brake pedal has a short travel and a nice, firm feel. Gives you confidence. Minimal nosedive and the Focus stopped straight, with no side-to-side tire squirm. About the only noticeable thing was some brake odor by the fourth stop, but that's not at all unusual. Consistent distances: First stop was the shortest at 120 feet, fourth stop was the longest at 123 feet and the sixth and final stop was 121 feet.
Slalom: This car is a handful in the slalom. Ample body roll combined with minimal rebound damping makes fast transitions a bit hairy. Oversteer is present but controlled by ESC. With traction control off, the Focus feels like it will swap ends. Light steering doesn't help. Skid pad: Likes to rotate with TC off. The instability in the slalom translates here to good balance with low limits. ESC removes the fun from the equation by turning it into a stomp and steer affair. Steering could use more feel. Better roll control and damping would really bring this car to life.