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2012 Ford Focus Hatchback (2.0L engine)

2012 ford focus review

As I have promised before, a review on the 2012 Ford Focus, it is a really nice car.  The 2.0L Duratec engine produces 170HP's mated with its smart 6 speed automatic transmission have plenty of powers to pull in Indonesian road.  I recommend Automatic transmission for the Focus, as the tranny is so smart and smooth.

2012 ford focus review

I test drove the car last September, however due to my job, I have no time to update this website and write a complete review on the Focus.  I miss you guys, really.  Ok, back to the review, the Focus was launched at IIMS, the largest motor show in Indonesia and my brother in law informs me that the new Ford Focus has an automated parking system and can stop itself at speed of below 35 km/h when an obstacle is detected.  So I asked him to call a dealer for a test drive appointment and they bring the car to my hometown.  I test drive the Focus in my neighbourhood and I found that the car is really nice.  In terms of acceleration (this was done outside the built up area), the Focus is pretty fast, faster than its closest rivals the Civic and Corolla.  I did not time the acceleration, since thats not what I need in real driving scenario.  What is needed is how quick the car responses to kick down and how predictable is the respnose to the kick down, so you will feel that you are driving a manual car altough you are driving an automatic.  It was smart and swift however.

The ride was pretty much quiet and soft enough to guarantee comfort for the passenger however, and not too soft for high speed driving.  However due to the weight of the car tight cornering was not as good as my Vios.  More on comfort, there are enough room for 4 adults.  I'm 180 cm tall, my brother is 175 cm, and my brother in law is 180 cm too but he is way fatter than me.  The dealer's representative is 165 cm short.  Well, there are no complaints from everyone regarding the space on the car.  Comfort is good!  Driver ergonomics also excellent, and every control crucial to operating this car is within my reach too.


Air conditioning is also good and can cool the hot sunned car in a matter of minutes.

Audio system, not tested, but I suppose it should be good as its SONY brand :)

SONY audio

With the permission of the dealer, I decided try the automatic parking system, which I was then having difficulties to activate it as the system always gives error.  I follow the instruction from the dealer's representative and he is sitting on my side supervising me.  All of the step I took is correct, however he and I don't know why the error took place.  These are the steps: First, press the park assist mode in the centre console, and then drive slowly at about 1 m from car parked in paralel while watching the MID in the dashboard.  When the Focus finds a suitable spot, the car will inform you that the spot is suitable.  On my case, the Focus never says a suitable spot is found, and it gives error message instead.

Assuming the Focus can find a suitable stop, you will need to drive few metre ahead, change the gear to reverse and release the brake pedal.  The car will then parks itself, and when you feel that the car is in the desired position, you will need to brake it and engage the parking brake.

Well anyway, but finally manages to get it working for once. 

Then I test the Focus's automatic braking feature.  First I wanted to aim my Vios or Vellfire as the test subject.  However I decided to test the automatic braking with somewhat less expensive object.  I got a bad feeling on this.  So after looking around, I've found a trash can to test the feature.  Well, following the dealer representative's instruction, I just direct the car to the trash can, set my speed to 20 km/h, and lift my feet from the throttle.  The Focus crashes the trash can.  Okay, may be that because the trash can was too small so it goes beyond radar. 

So I tried for a bigger object: the security outpost!  The procedure is different now: direct the car to the security outpost, stop, lift the brake and fold my feet and let the car self running at 5 km/h.  And bang, the Focus crashes the security outpost.  I don't know why, the outpost was made of metal and had several glass window, more the size is about the same as a car, it should show on the Focus's radar.  I owe the ranger an apology :)

What a pity I did not took a video of the car crashing the security outpost!

I suspect that I had received a bad batch of the car.  I was lucky that I did not use my Toyota Vellfire as the test subject.  The Vellfire is a IDR 760.000.000 (roughly USD 77.000) family van and crashing a Focus to a Vellfire is a really bad idea!

As I was really 不好意思 to the dealer's representative, I've thinking to buy the focus without the automatic braking and automatic parking system at a cheaper price.  However the real fault is happening here: the engine suddenly overheats, the engine temperature indicator is rising and the car's acceleration becames jittery then smoke emerges from the hood.  The radiator fluid leaks!  This is a serious problem as low speed crash that happens pretty often, and even that causes radiator leaks.  I don't know if that it was only the piping or the real radiator that leaks.  I don't dare to check as I'm not a car mechanic.

This picture is the damage that happens to the front end of the car.  Only minor scratches

minor scratches at Ford Focus

The radiator fluid leaks

the engine bay

Focus radiator leaks

A real green fluid leaks...

Well that's it I guess.  A really nice car with fault.  I canced my order of the car due to this radiator problem.  Bluetooth, audio, voice command and other features are not yet tested as the car is already dying... 

The image was taken using Nokia Lumia 710.  Not bad for a camera phone :)