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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey all, we're a retired couple with two daily drivers, a '12 Honda Fit 5 speed and a '15 Fiesta hatch 5 speed. Both cars are great, the Honda does a few things better than the Ford and the Fiesta bests the Honda in a few others, All in all it's a toss up. Use to be that Honda was the king of reliability, but that's no longer true.
But with two grandkids, and two carseats, it's getting a little tight. Looking to get into something just a bit larger. The Civic Hatchback and the Focus hatch come to mind. For about 20 large, you can get a 6 speed Civic, or for a bit less, a new Focus ST. The Focus outpowers the turbo Honda by 50 horses, but the Honda's get better mpg. You can't get a regular Focus hatch with a stick. I'm thinking if I wait till the end of the model year, you can get a Focus even cheaper. (in fact, you can still find new '17 ST's) Anyone out there with experience with either car? I'll be doing some test drives in the near future.
 

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You can't get a regular Focus hatch with a stick.
You sure about that? I know a couple people with newer Foci with sticks, and IIRC, the manual will still be available on the Focus Active hatch. Is there a trim level that it's not available in?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I don't mind buying a Ford that was built in Mexico, (at least it's north America) but I will not buy a Ford that's made in China as is the Focus Active. There were Focus SE hatch's built with sticks, but they were 120 horse 3 bangers like in the Fiesta, all little too much weight for that little engine to push around. I'd buy a used SE tomorrow they made a stickshift hatch. Normally I like buying 3 year old similar to off lease cars. They're low mileage, still have powertrain warranties, and about half the price of new. That's kinda how I bought our Fiesta and our Honda. Even though you can get a rockin' deal on a '15 Focus ST, I'd rather buy a turbo car new.
 

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You sure about that? I know a couple people with newer Foci with sticks, and IIRC, the manual will still be available on the Focus Active hatch. Is there a trim level that it's not available in?
2018 model builder shows that only the S Sedan comes with a 5 speed and the SE Sedan comes with a 6 speed (both manual). The S comes with a 2.0. The SE can get the 1.0 turbo and you can get the 6 speed manual, 6 speed power shift pos or a 6 speed powershift with select shift.
 

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I don't mind buying a Ford that was built in Mexico, (at least it's north America) but I will not buy a Ford that's made in China as is the Focus Active. There were Focus SE hatch's built with sticks, but they were 120 horse 3 bangers like in the Fiesta, all little too much weight for that little engine to push around. I'd buy a used SE tomorrow they made a stickshift hatch. Normally I like buying 3 year old similar to off lease cars. They're low mileage, still have powertrain warranties, and about half the price of new. That's kinda how I bought our Fiesta and our Honda. Even though you can get a rockin' deal on a '15 Focus ST, I'd rather buy a turbo car new.
I think you'll find the 3 banger smokes the 1.6 liter. Mine is a little bear. Of course mine is hopped up on 94 octane premium and makes more horses and torque than an 87 octane one. Having almost 150 ft/lbs from way down low makes a big difference.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Very true and I agree, but the Focus weighs 600 lbs more than the Fiesta. Imagine driving your Fiesta carrying three 200 lb guys with you at all times. And imagine driving it with 87 octane. I bet that saps most of the fun out of it. The standard Focus comes with a 2 liter as well which makes up for the extra weight compared to the 1.6 in the Fiesta, but it's a moot point since no stick shift hatches. I'm thinking that when the '19's come out in the fall, you'll be able to buy a new left over Focus ST for $18k out the door. Time will tell and I'm in no rush. The only decision we'll have to make is which car to keep, the Fiesta or the Fit. I like 'em both.
 

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No the 87 octane motor is fun. All that torque is amazing and you can drive around at 2 - 3 grand all day with lots of snap.

A 94 octane motor is just better. At low RPM its smoother as the computer never has to pull time, screw with the valves, or dump boost. And if you want to go places in a hurry, it does. ;) I think about 10 horse and 15 ft/lbs is what some people have measured.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I have never driven a 3 pot turbo, so I don't how to compare it to a NA 4 banger. I have, however driven a 300 horsepower Mustang ecoboost turbo 4 and an older 300 horsepower Mustang V8, and personally, I prefer the old V8. Bottom end is softer, but, I like the way the V8 power builds, and there's no replacement for the sound. As for the 1 liter in a 3300 lb car, that little motor will be working hard just in normal driving. The same engine in a 2600 lb Fiesta will have a much easier life. At least, the 2.3 turbo in the Focus ST will rarely be stressed. My current 1.6 Fiesta still pulls at 1500 rpm in 5th, and is plenty fun in the canyons, as is the little Honda. And I'm pretty sure both cars will still be running strong at 200k miles. I appreciate your advice and and your experiences with your SFE.
 

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The 1.0 in the heavier Focus is not a good combo. Lots of reviews out there. Car is under powered and real world mpg is about 1 over the 2.0. We have a Focus SE with 2.0 and the DCT auto. Strong motor, great mpg on the highway. The DCT eats clutches annually. Look for a used 2.0 with manual tranny. You’ll be pleased


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LOL. One thing I find with my SFE is I drive it like a muscle car. You don't have to rev it up and you can burble around without any real revs. Now its not really like the 500 HP, 560 FT/LB, 502 I had in my 69 Cutlass, but its the same in some ways. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hey Fiesta Hack, thanks for the info, kinda what I figured, but I need a hatch, which narrows my choice to an ST. As for driving a turbo like a muscle car, it depends on the muscle car. A classic Mustang GT 350 was a small block and build to rev, like the original 302 Z28 Camaro. But the GT 500 and others like it was all big block torque twisting muscle. Nowadays, everybody and their mother are building 2 liter, 250 horse turbos that they're dropping in 3800 lb sedans and SUV's. They lug the hell out of these motors and evidently they're holding together. The question is, ten years from now, when the warranties have long been gone and the miles have piled up will these cars still be running and worth anything. I do know a 20 year old Lexus ES with 300 k miles is probably still purring like a kitten, but a 20 year old GTI has had a hard life, is dirt cheap, and a risky purchase.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Been weighing all the good and the bad and it looks like Honda wins. There's no late model Ford hatches with sticks, except for Focus ST's, so we'll be Honda shopping. Also weighed the +'s and -'s between our Fit and our Fiesta and the Honda also wins. It handles a little better, is bigger inside, seats are more clever, shifts a little nicer, and has a higher reliability factor. And I'm not real thrilled with Ford's way of doing things. So put an ad in for the Fiesta and it sold the next day. Gonna miss it, but time to move on.
 
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