2014 SE hatchback 5-speed manual
By DJ on Tuesday, April 21, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000
overall rating 9 of 10rating details
- Overall Rating
Pros: "Fuel economy (5-spd), sporty driving dynamics"
Cons: "Expensive for its class"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"This is one of the most entertaining FWD vehicles I've driven. Cornering is sharp, brakes are very good, transmission is excellent and has short throws. Winter performance is sketchy, although that could be more my unfamiliarity with driving a FWD car weighing less than 3000# with summer-only tires. My previous vehicle traded in for this was a 4000+# 2003 Ford Crown Victoria LX HPP, which was a reliable workhorse in the winter, always taking me where I wanted to go (up hills, down hills, around curves) and never taking me where I didn't want to go (places like ditches, trees, jersey barriers, etc.). For the Focus in snow-prone areas, I recommend winter tires. And prayers for those times where it understeers through a curve and takes you to one of those places I mentioned that you don't want to go.
Fuel economy thus far is tough to gauge; we had a pretty brutal winter about a month after I got the car, and between the extreme cold and the above average snowfall the fuel consumption in any vehicle takes a dive (idling after start-up to warm, staying in lower gears in the snow, higher air density, lower energy density in the winter blend gas). During the break-in period I saw 28-37 mpg city/highway. This generally falls within the fuel consumption rating on the window sticker (26 city / 36 highway / 30 combined).
Interior is attractive for this class of car. The ergonomics are good in my estimation (6' 150# male). I opted for heated leather seats; a must in the Snow Belt, and the seat heaters work well. The leather is low-end but not uncomfortable. Some other reviewers noted that the car takes an unbearably long time to warm up and heat the cabin in winter, and that has been my experience as well. The Sync system works about as well as or better than every other speech-recognition system I've used in the past several years.
The sole quality issue I encountered thus far is regarding the rear seat folding mechanism. Last weekend I folded the seat bottoms forward and seat backs down to create a flat loading floor (you can also just fold the seat backs down, but when you do so it will not be a flat surface). Once I had gotten home and unloaded, I tried rotating the seat back into its original position, but the whole seat back assembly popped out of the odd mechanical latch that appears to be meant to lock it into place and allow it to rotate. No problem, I thought, I'll just pop it back in, but it simply would not. This is a pending service call.
In terms of utilization, this car is fairly comfortable. I have a family of (2a+3c), so we often have all seats in use. This is adequate for <30 minute trips, and most of them are. The hatch will hold the entirety of a full-on grocery trip for said family, but it won't be adequate for a camping trip unless we leave the kids home. Obviously this vehicle is not intended to service as a primary family vehicle, and I wouldn't recommend it as one unless your family is (2a+1c) or (1a+2c). In my household this vehicle is primarily a commuter car, and it serves that function admirably.
All in all, it is a car that I had to get, not one that I wanted to get. All the same, it is an excellent car, with no qualifiers."
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