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2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 Ecoboost 6MT


regfootball

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DRIVEN:

2015 Ford Focus SE 1.0 Ecoboost 6MT hatch, msrp a tish over 20k (my fave colors for Ford, Tectonic and stone interior)

 

HIGHS:

Sleek hatchback shape

New physical controls in center stack for climate, radio, etc, overall nice dash layout and gauges, driver oriented

Nice plastics with the dark and light in most places, stone interior really lightens up the interior

Nicely composed and quiet for an econocar at speed, feels solid and stable

Finally gets a six speed!  Very good shifter, snick, snick

Feels exactly like the Fusion MT, same powerband, same road feel, just a smaller version

NO vibration from the powertrain.  Seems impossible, but almost entirely creamy smooth, and revs freely.

Once wound up, provides decent momentum that belies its displacement.

Low rpms at higher speeds due to gearing.

Capless fuel filler!!!!!

 

LOWS:

The original Focus had class leading room and felt very spacious.  This body style, is closed in and tight.  All metrics are tight.

Dash intrudes on what space you may have from the arms down.  Roof intrudes on everything arms up.

Smash down roofs and claustrophobia on these cars these days is getting old.

Interior feels cheap in places if you start to nitpick, yes its a low cost car.  But the seats felt weak and thin and unsupportive in the lower back.

You have to work the shifter to keep the car on the boil if you want to keep up in the stop and go and freeway merging

Shifter is tall, and too far back.  The Cruze shifter is perfectly placed and the perfect size.  This misses the mark some.

Tiny trunk considering its a hatch.

The three cylinder, which is shockingly quiet most of the time, makes a uniquely crass and disturbing sound during harder acceleration and from a stop that lets you know its an odd bird.

Ultimately, its really missing a cylinder, makes you feel the car is missing out providing its worth compared to MSRP.

 

SUMMARY:

A cute curiosity this car is.  Keep in mind there was large me and sales guy in the car during the test drive.  I really wanted to take this out myself, because with only one litre of dispacement, i know every pound along for the ride would make a difference.  If you were a 110 pound college girl driving solo, your results may vary.

 

The numbers on this engine are paltry, but surprisingly overall it felt nearly as fast as my 2.2 Cobalt.  But it is way more refined as you would expect.  Overall I am calling the car refined.  The 3 popper is amazingly quiet at certain speeds or rpm and the car is REALLY smooth most of the time.  It is not however a really good stoplight to stoplight car.  It really is meant for long cruises and higher speeds.  This is directly opposite of my Cobalt.  The Focus would be a perfect car for my situation that recently ended (driving 90 miles a day almost all interstate or 4 lane roads).  I would be able to put this 3 cyl Focus into 6th and rack up big mpg due to its gearing.   And furthermore, this Focus felt exactly the same as the Fusion 1.6 MT i drove before....just a smaller version.  Ford is doing a good job at making a consistent feel across their vehicle line of world cars.

 

But despite the refined feel, ultimately there is enough of the 3 cylinder showing its spots with a nasty sound when working hard....and there is a lot of extra shifting in traffic.  THe clutch i think is good but i wasn't able to drive it smooth...it would take some time to get used to.  It can seem exceedingly fussy at times (maybe not if you ever owned a Geo Metro or Suzuki Swift of yore).

 

Ultimately you wonder, the Cruze Eco gets better mpg and has burst.  It has a fourth cylinder.  I think the good qualities of this Ecoboost 6MT Focus would also be similarly enhanced if it were not missing the cylinder.  Everything about the car is livable and even a bit rewarding.  But I think that three cylinder noise needs to be toned down and they need to beef up the drivers seat.  A 1.4 or 1.5t would be perfect for this car, and probably make it a little rock star.  A GOOD 8 speed dual clutch might be a better tranny choice too. If the car had the fourth cylinder, I would give it a B+.  With the price it is, and the need for more go juice down low and less thrash when working it hard, I might have to give it a B-.  Maybe we say B since Ford was willing to try something daring and new, and the Tectonic color is cool.

Edited by regfootball
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