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2012 Ford Focus sedan and hatchback

2012 Ford Focus interior
Ford creates special trim level to play with the big boys in the compact sector

It appears that 40-mpg is the "must have" fuel economy threshold for today's compact cars in the North American market. Ford is joining the fray with its 2012 Focus now that the official EPA numbers are available. 

Ford is going the Chevrolet and Honda route by making a special, hyper-optimized trim level that gets higher fuel economy instead of going the Hyundai route by making every single trim level achieve the same high fuel economy ratings. In this case, the Focus SFE (Super Fuel Economy) achieves 28 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. 

The Focus SFE makes use of a 2.0-liter direct injection inline-four engine that produces an impressive 160hp. In order to get the best fuel economy from the vehicle, Ford uses a dual-clutch PowerShift transmission, special 16" steel wheels with aero covers, and active grille shutters (to improve aerodynamic efficiency). 

"Our customers tell us that fuel economy is the top reason for purchasing a Focus," said Derrick Kuzak, group vice president, Global Product Development. "The all-new Focus meets that demand with great fuel economy, class-leading technologies and features, exceptional standards of craftsmanship and driving dynamics typically reserved for larger, more expensive vehicles."

As for the competition, the 2011 Chevrolet Cruze can achieve 42 mpg on the highway with the Eco trim level, the 2011 Hyundai Elantra gets 40 mpg highway in all trim levels (with automatic and manual transmissions), and the 2012 Honda Civic HF gets 41 mpg on the highway (39 mpg in other trim levels, with the exception of the hybrid). 

Regardless of how each auto manufacturer reaches the “magic” 40-mpg mark, it’s good to see them going for more fuel efficient gasoline engines than having to resort to more expensive hybrid powertrains.

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RE: 40mpg city
By Madlyb on 2/28/2011 8:18:56 AM , Rating: 1
Why do idiots hate on Chevrolet when they know nothing about the vehicles or the brand?

Because most of us have owned General Motors vehicles (1 Chevy, 2 Pontiacs in my case) and have found them to be sacks of crap. My worst Ford lasted twice as long as my Chevy. My Pontiac Sunbird was in the shop the day after I got it and before I got rid the POS, the dealer spent more money fixing it than I paid for the car.

And last time I checked, Ford was the only major US Car Company that hadn't had their ass picked up off the floor by the US government.

So, tell me how it's different this time, that GM finally gets it and I will tell I heard that in the 80's...and the 90's...and...

RE: 40mpg city
By cjohnson2136 on 2/28/2011 9:01:51 AM , Rating: 2
How does having one Chevy qualify as being able to determine all Chevy suck?

RE: 40mpg city
By Iaiken on 2/28/2011 10:55:14 AM , Rating: 2
Pick your brain up, dust it off and realize:

Pontiac = GM = Chevy

What planet are you from?

RE: 40mpg city
By theapparition on 2/28/2011 9:19:37 AM , Rating: 3
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but your anecdotal evidence is not fact.

Just as many horror stories could be told about Chevy owners with bad Ford experiences, or Audi owners with bad BMW experiences, or yes, even Chrysler owners with bad Honda experiences.

And just so everyone doesn't forget, Ford did go to Washington with hat in hand and only backed off when it became a PR nightmare. Don't make them out to be more altruistic than they are.

As to GM, no one is going to defend the crap all 3 US automakers came up with in the 80's. You mentioned Sunbird, which stopped production in 1994 as a Chevy Cavalier twin (so in other words, another 80's car).

But if you haven't seen the cars that both GM and Ford are putting out, then you are seriously burying you head in the sand. GM cars have come a long way, with many of their new models winning some serious awards. Chevy has some seriously good models right now. Cruze, Malibu, Equinox, Traverse, Camaro, and of course, the Corvette. And so does Ford. Chrysler? Well, maybe someone else can comment. I'm glad the competition and marketplace has forced these automakers to adapt and make better products.

Just to reiterate, your few bad experiences do not make it fact.

RE: 40mpg city
By jharper12 on 2/28/11, Rating: -1
RE: 40mpg city
By jharper12 on 2/28/2011 9:30:37 AM , Rating: 2
Ohh dear Lord, I really just said, "Anecdotes are hardly facts."

You win this round... but not because of anything to do with car brands. Only because I wrote today's "Worst Sentence on Daily Tech."

I apologize to the world. Anecdotes are facts, but by no means indicative of expected results.

RE: 40mpg city
By Madlyb on 2/28/2011 10:32:51 PM , Rating: 1 word...Decaf.

As you said, they are my personal experiences and they drive my opinions, but excuse me if I don't expect my brand new car to go into the shop three times in the first month, but I guess I should think about all the other drivers who didn't have $16K worth of warranty work done on a $15K car (Pontiac) or have to replace the transmission at 38K miles (Chevrolet)or have to have a port rethreaded because the spark plug was crossthreaded at the factory (First Pontiac), no problem. So, would you like some real hard numbers by an independent third party?

Consumer Reports just released their annual report and GM was next to last just ahead of Chrysler, another perennial pile of bolts.

BTW, in your elongated rant, you slipped and and said we, so it kind of becomes obvious why you get so worked up.

So, go ahead and defend Chevy all you want, call us all idiots because we didn't make the same choice as you or have an opinion different from yours, but don't ever expect your opinion to change mine. Because at least my opinion is my personal one and not the company line.

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