Ford added an automatic to U.S. spec Focus in 2016 for the SFE 1.0 model. Supposedly it's different from the DCT that's been used since 2012 MY. That one was called Powershift and this version of automatic is called a Selectshift. No one has yet been able to answer if it's a DCT or not. The main objective is if it is a regular automatic and not a DCT it would be a consideration. Otherwise it's the 6-speed manual and I would never buy any Ford with a CVT because it's garbage. Too many problems listed on all types of review sites from consumers on just how bad it is. Basically a lemon transmission. Does anyone know if this automatic specifically with this engine is a regular automatic transmission?
Still not all that clear what kind of auto this is, but doesn't sound like a CVT, as they don't have conventional gears as such, and you can rarely select them. CVT's are hated so much now, that some manufacturers have been forced to mimic gearchanges so it feels more like a regular gearbox. Honda Civic is one example. Helps it to sound less like an angry swarm of bees under your hood!
If I were you though, manual all the way, then you have control over your shifts, economy, engine braking etc etc, nothing will beat a manual.
CVTs are popular in Asia; transmission preference is mostly a cultural thing.
The DCT can be done right, and Ford may have gotten all the issues fixed, but there is also a cultural element in play. Call a transmission an automatic like Ford was doing with their DCT, and people will expect it to behave just like the step automatic transmission they are familiar with.
CVT gearboxes are becoming very popular here in the UK. The DSG boxes, as fitted to VAG products, are so unreliable and coupled with the fact the vehicles tend to be a bit more upmarket, has given the CVT a boost. Personally, any automatic other than a hydraulic automatic does not suit me, but here in the UK manual transmission has always been the transmission of choice. A lot was to do with our love of small (lower powered) cars, which were never available with an auto box due to the power sapping design of hydraulic transmissions. Later designs were much better, but still robbed a small engined car of too much power.
The new hydraulic transmissions are great, with 7 and 8 ratios (I started with 3), and are popular on quality saloons.
Yet to read a review that praises a CVT, they are generally hated by auto journalists, they completely numb the feel to a car, flooring the throttle to overtake has little response, other than annoying noise, and cruising on the motorway is like being stuck in 1St gear with the engine revving extremely high. Avoid at all costs I'd say, the benefits if any aren't worth it!
I'd consider a new auto if I could change gear manualy like a duel clutch gearbox. I'm a fan of Peugeots new 8 speed, they are very efficient. DSG's are great for performance, super quick, but I still prefer a proper manual myself.
Thanks for the replies. Totally familiar with all the known information on DCT's. I've even looked on Focus forums. No one really knows what a Selectshift is. Suggesting it's a DSG sounds right. Ford is trying to distance itself on that subject. Ultimately since it is tricky if I were to get one it would be the manual. I'm completely burned out on complexities. I've driven the Focus 1.0 SFE MT and put it through some serious paces. Here in the U.S. not many can wrap their mind around it that version in general. People think it's too small an engine. The torque delivery says different in performance compared to the 2.0 4 cyl. It's one of the best hypermiler type car I've test-driven (Fiesta even better w/less curb weight). As far as CVT's, I would rather it had one than whatever this auto version is. CVT's don't actually bug me. Drove a Mitsubishi Mirage and rode along in an Outlander. Then drove a Subaru Impreza and Legacy. They were all fine. The best version was the Legacy. It felt closest to a traditional torque coverter automatic. It didn't drone and I blasted through the simulated gears with paddle-shifters and actually enjoyed it. Professional car reviewers can have some good feedback but they aren't writing the check so what they say has little effect for me. There are a few reviews out there praising CVT's. It's really all perception. I preferably don't like tombs on wheels. The ultra-luxury makes and models are neutered. Too quiet. Too tame. I don't want flat-out noise either but just the right amount makes a car not feel lifeless. I'm one of those driver's who will find the good in everything. Wrapping it up, Ford still doesn't have it figured out. Here's the 180 - a Hyundai Veloster with a DCT I drove was excellent, didnt feel weird at all. A few years back I went to buy a 2012 Focus when that style just debuted and the test drive killed it. A hard shift hit going under 35 mph. The WTF moment where you're terrified as to what just happened. I played it cool with the salesman at the end of the test drive and made a B-line to an Asian make car and bought it over a Focus.
Most professional car reviewers are enthusiasts, and what they are looking at in the car isn't what most people are really concerned with in their daily driver.
The flat torque curve of a turbo can really make up for the engine size; it just can suck down the gas if you can't stay out of boost.
Had a Prius, so a CVT wouldn't bother me, and I see the simulated gears on them as defeating the purpose. Never drove a DCT, but it sounds like Ford fixed the issues by 2016, so it might be worth another look.
Though if you are fine with a manual, then you can't beat it for the control it gives. The friend that taught me to drive one got sick of driving them in traffic every day, which has kept me from owning one.
I learned to drive in a manual and drove them for 25 years. I then got an automatic and had a 25 years affair with them. For the past 18 months I have gone back to a manual. Quite enjoy it, get far better mpg (using a bit of mild hypermiling) than I ever could with an automatic, but on the odd occasion I have been stuck in long queues of stop go traffic (2 or 3 miles, usually) I find it a nightmare. So for regular busy traffic an auto is first choice and for quiet country roads a manual does the business.
I agree with all of that. The situation I get caught in is multiple drivers in the family, so usually have to get automatics. The stop-and-go traffic, been there and the car I had once for long commutes was a knee killer for the clutch. I had work that was physically demanding so not to tear up a knee joint, sold that manual car and had an auto. Loved that car until I drove some newer competitors with a manual. Literally from about 2011 foward all the cars have light clutches that don't hurt the knee. I found a good deal on a Mirage CVT, but it sold. The back up car I've kept on a shopping list is still a Fiesta SFE. It's probably going to be the one.