20th Dec 2011, 18:17

People don't seem to understand the new "dry-clutch" automatic transmissions. By nature they are jerky. There is no torque converter as there is in most transmissions. The Focus uses a dry clutch system, whereas the Fusion uses a typical torque converter. All the magazines that have tested the new Focus clearly point out that the transmission is, by nature, jerky. In spite of this, they still rate the cars ahead of all the Japanese competition.

It amazes me that people will buy a car without a test drive, which would clearly show them how the car behaves. I refuse to buy any car unless I can put it through a rigorous series of panic braking, high-speed cornering and flat-out acceleration tests, as well as at least half an hour behind the wheel. Any dealer refusing my request for a proper test drive will be crossed off my list of prospective dealerships. In 40 years of buying cars, no dealer has ever refused to allow me the time or freedom to give a car a proper test drive. If they want to sell a car (and they all do), you WILL be allowed to try it out.

If the car had been test driven, the owner would have known the car had a stiff transmission, and if he had researched the car, he would have understood why.

21st Dec 2011, 16:20

"All the magazines that have tested the new Focus clearly point out that the transmission is, by nature, jerky. In spite of this, they still rate the cars ahead of all the Japanese competition."

You left out one crucial piece of information in that statement: all the magazines also state that the automatic in the new Focus should be avoided because of the "jerkiness." They also complain that the transmission has poor shift timing while in manual shift mode. I've only seen magazines recommend the manual transmission Focus, the automatic is generally disliked. This is a serious problem, considering how much of the market automatic transmission equipped vehicles take up in the US. Ford really needs to fix this problem if the Focus is to become a truly popular vehicle.

21st Dec 2011, 19:55

"Import" and "Domestic" really are just labels for the manufacturers at this point. It is easier to distinguish between companies from overseas and the US by using these labels. Anyone knows every car is a global product nowadays. You are merely referencing the company of origin when you state it is an import or domestic vehicle.

I do agree thought that the argument is old and tired. People should just drive what they like and get over it. Everyone has an opinion, but it does no good on sites like this when people are looking for a good honest review of a vehicle by an actual owner... good or bad.

22nd Dec 2011, 14:26

I could not agree more! It's an old & tired argument that is not relevant in any manner to this forum.

25th Jul 2012, 21:35

My 2005 Corolla with only 67,000 kms had been going good till now. Only had replaced front brake pads, battery and serpentine belt (all expected). And all maintenance including oil changes done at the dealer.

However, at this last visit to change oil, transmission fluid as per schedule, and tires, which had worn out, the service adviser surprised me with the bad news that the water pump was leaking. Cost to replace (including the mandatory radiator flush) would be $350. He later gave me a 10% discount without me asking. But I am really surprised that the water pump gave out so soon. I have read online that 2009 Corollas have a water pump problem. Disappointed with this.

26th Jul 2012, 09:51

Age old argument... years vs. mileage. In your case, your car is about 7 years old, and who knows, it might have been built in 2004, which would make it even older. Sometimes the scheduled maintenance is set up for miles and not years. That's not always good for certain cars. You also might want to start looking closer at other components, as your car edges to 10 year mark, even if your mileage stays low.

27th Jul 2012, 18:53

We never worry about age or mileage. Our 10-year-old GM has over 100,000 miles on it. It's never had anything but one battery and one set of tires. It's never even had an alignment or A/C serviced.

Same for our 7-year-old Ford. The Ford hit a curb so hard it blew out a tire, but when I had my alignment shop check it, they said it was perfect, and didn't even charge me for checking it.

My friend's 3-year-old Toyota could not even be aligned, because the suspension had sagged so much just from the car's weight that it was not alignable. I had the same problem with another Japanese-built car. That's why we now only drive rugged American-made vehicles.

28th Jul 2012, 21:11

It's been said before, but I'll say it again: THIS DOES NOT HAPPEN!! Import vehicles (or ANY vehicle) do NOT sag under their own weight.

We have a '96 Toyota Corolla with 208,000 miles on it. It's never had any alignment issues of any kind, and got its very first alignment at 199,000 miles when one of its ORIGINAL outer tie-rods was replaced. While teaching my youngest son how to drive last week (in the '96 Corolla, which will be his car soon) he misjudged a turn and quickly smacked into a curb at over 35 MPH. The car hit the curb so hard I do believe it may have even caught some air on the rebound, and there is now a large scrape and a dent on the muffler and tailpipe from when it hit the ground on the way down. The only reason this didn't completely destroy the car (and I made him pull over so I could check, because I was sure something was broken after that) is that the curb was not particularly high (maybe 4 inches) like many curbs are. The alignment by the way, is completely fine and the car still doesn't pull.

Say what you want, but hitting a 4 inch curb almost dead on at over 35 MPH is going test the strength of a car's chassis.

I also own a 2006 Honda CR-V that is frequently used off-road and around the yard for work. The trails this thing has seen are by no means easy, and if it did not have 4WD, it wouldn't have made it through them. Of course I do not travel at high speeds over rough terrain, this would be dangerous and could cause damage in ANY road vehicle. The CR-V has also been used several times to pull trees and such across my large yard (over 2 acres) and down the embankment to woods. It has had one set of tires replaced and is currently at 93,000 miles. It had one alignment done at 87,000 miles, because it was free of charge with the tire purchase. It never had any alignment issues before the alignment, and still has none.

Never have I heard of ANY car sagging under its own weight. In this day and age, it just doesn't happen.

By the way, if you don't mind my asking, aren't you a former stunt driver? How is it that you of all people managed to hit a curb?