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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 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.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson

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