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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 jharper12 on 2/28/2011 9:24:47 AM , Rating: -1
Blah blah blah, my personal experience means more than statistics. Below is another personal story about a Ford that died practically new... I'm sure there's plenty more where that came from. So you've had ONE Chevrolet, and that's somehow indicative of an entire brand? Yes, GM required a bailout, but Chevrolet didn't drive GM to bankruptcy: Oldsmobile, Pontiac, Saturn, Hummer, these are the brands that killed GM. Chevrolet in the mean time has the Motor Trend Truck and Car of the year for 2011. Since GM doubled their warranty in 2007, Chevrolet's warranty claims have dropped by 45%. You read that right, after GM doubled their warranty to 100k miles, transferable, Chevrolet's warranty claims dropped nearly in half.

I wasn't talking about GM, I was talking about Chevrolet, and I think the results speak for themselves. Best trucks out there, the Camaro outsold the Mustang last year (without even having a convertible), the Cruze has performed well worldwide since it launched in 2008, we have the Volt which is the first vehicle of its kind, the Equinox is hard to keep on showroom floors, the Traverse is basically "best in class" everything, the Malibu has been a consumer digest best buy for three years... ohh yeah, more consumer digest best buys than any other brand, our FSUVs own 50% of the market, and we're replacing the Aveo with the Sonic in 2012 to round out our lineup with one last design win. Yes, we've had issues in the past with compact and sub-compact cars... the Cruze is an excellent example of how we've over come this issue. It's been out for years, and it's been a GREAT vehicle.

You know what's funny? I post stuff like this up constantly, and all I ever hear back is, "blah blah blah bailout." Meanwhile I can post all day long about awards, warranty, reliability, value, and actual results. How about you try and respond with current facts and results? Sure, GM got a bailout, guess what? Best government bailout in history, Chrysler with Iacocca at the helm, took three years to sort out. If the treasury hadn't simply sold off GM stock at the IPO for $33 a share, the government would have made money off the bailout today... that's a fact. Then GM would have been an example of the most successful government bailout in US history. GM will still pay back the tax payer, they paid off the bailout money already with TARP funds... which is really no different than banks getting money from the reserve.

I could find some guy who drove a Pinto as his only Ford ever, and he'd sound just like you, but against Ford. Anecdotes are hardly facts. Try responding with something real and current... you'll have a hard time with that.

"Bought my fiesta in October. Until friday it has run great, other than mileage not living up to expectations - most of my driving is hwy commute to/from work yet ave mileage is about 34-35. On friday 1/14 I parked my fiesta at home. On monday morning I opened the car and attempted to start it. Lights came on but engine did not turn over. Tried 2nd key, same problem. Checked battery - good. Read owners manual about theft systems and verfied that the theft system indicator light was blinking fast when first trying to start car. I live in the country and odds are small that someone attempted to steal it - should not matter anyway since I have two programmed keys that should work. Tried several things from the internet - locking/unlocking doors, unhooking battery for awhile - nothing worked. Called the ford service shop - they knew nothing, told me I needed to have the car brought to them, I had to call roadside assistance.

Tow truck arrives tuesday AM. I inform driver that car is in Park and there's nothing I can do about it. He assures me that he can get it in neutral to load on the truck. He pulls a small cover from beside the shifter (Auto), inserts a screwdriver and tries to release the shifter lock - no luck. I call service at the ford dealership, they tell me they don't know how to unlock the shifter either. Tow truck driver suggests sliding the car onto the bed of the truck using dishsoap as a lubricant - having no other option we proceed to do so - seemed to work pretty well. As soon as the car is on the truck I get a call from the ford service dept - they've dowloaded some procedure to unlock the shifter - I say great, maybe you guys can use it once the car gets there. Later I get a call from service - they don't know why the keys are not working, there is a serious problem with the electronics to electronics communications, and by the way the shifter unlocking procedure they'd downloaded did not work either - they had to literally break the shifter to get it into neutral. Now I have a brand new car that I cannot drive, nobody knows what is wrong with it, and (assuming they can fix it) if the probelm happens again I cannot put it into neutral to have towed.

This is a complete nightmare. Any constructive feedback would be appreciated. "

Oh, and here's another good one:

"The previous Bronco II had already been cited by Consumer Reports for rollover tendencies in turns; as with the Explorer, however, it was cleared by the NHTSA as being no more dangerous than any other truck when driven unsafely. With a longer passenger compartment, the Explorer added 600 pounds, but Ford did not deem it necessary to revise the suspension or tires to carry the bigger load. It used the same tires as the Ford Ranger with a relatively low rating for high temperatures. Lowering tire pressure recommendations softened the ride further and improved emergency stability through increased traction, but increased the chances of overheating tires. A 1995 redesign with a new suspension slightly raised the Explorer's center of gravity, but it was called inconsequential by a Ford spokesman. Memos by Ford engineers suggested lowering the engine height, but it would have increased the cost of the new design."

When people started dying Ford blamed Firestone, meanwhile Chevrolet had no such issues, because we require tire manufacturers to meet TCP spec before we'll use their tires. You know, being responsible with our supply partners and giving them up front requirements, rather than just blaming them when things go wrong.

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.

“And I don't know why [Apple is] acting like it’s superior. I don't even get it. What are they trying to say?” -- Bill Gates on the Mac ads

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