This was a rental car for me. Normally I would not post a review on a car I rented as opposed to having owned, but there is not much information online about how Ford is getting on regarding fixing the problems with the Powershift dual clutch automatic transmission. So I am posting this in case anyone else is wondering about it.
I was thinking of buying a Focus, and had heard that is was a great car with the exception of the transmission. So, when I needed a car for a few days while travelling, I chose a Focus to find out for myself. I chose one on the rental car lot with nearly 40,000 miles on it, figuring that at that mileage, if there was a problem with the transmission, it would be readily apparent. Well... I was right - it was.
Starting from a standstill, the widely-discussed clutch issue was present on this car. As the clutch was (automatically) applied when the gas pedal was pressed, the clutch juddered as if it had warped clutch plates. The whole car juddered, and the car seemed to react to this by applying and cutting the fuel to the engine, making the problem worse and "surging" acceleration. It feels just like being driven in a manual car that has loose engine mounts and a warped clutch, by a driver who does not know how to drive a manual.
This is a shame, because the rest of the car is fantastic. I have driven lots of cars, and this is probably the best handling car I've ever driven. It goes round bends like a go kart - totally flat with no body roll and it sticks to the road like glue. It also has good engine power and acceleration. If you like driving fast on curvy back roads, you can do it in this; ridiculously fast. And it has fantastic fuel economy - a steady 70 mph on the freeway gets you 45 MPG. Travel at 60 mph and it gets 52 MPG.
The road noise is low, except on the worst surfaces. The ride is good with minimal impacts from potholes felt inside. The seats are semi-comfortable, but do hold you in very well and prevent you from sliding out if you decide to take advantage of the handling and pull some lateral g.
So, a great car, and no, I won't buy one until they fix the transmission issues.