Gutless automatic - Happy Blue!
Just got back from a long weekend in Israel. Didn't use my regular company and got a 20,000 mile Focus 1.6 Auto. Thoughts....

1. Passenger seat is too low, especially for SWMBO and myself, both of us being about 5'7".

2. Cabin is quite nice, but bland and not as well built as my Outback (there's a surprise!).

3. Performance around town was poor. Lack of bite to the power delivery, noisy, gutless and uneconomical. On the motorway it was very nice, but there are so few opportunities to cruise the length of the country at 75mph that it would have been better with a five speed box (not four) with four short ratios and a very high fifth.

What is surprising is that the 2.0 auto Chevrolet Tacuma we usually hire is more perky and better in the cut and thrust of traffic, although it is noisier and less economical than the Focus.

Pity, but I ain't swapping to the automatic Focus anytime soon.
Gutless automatic - Chris79
Im glad im not the only one, I've just picked up a 1.6 style focus from Avis as a hire car for a couple of days. its the first time i've ever driven a focus and was pretty pleased to get one as all i've ever heard was good things about them. I got a 1.6 auto the same as yours and it is a massive dissapointment for all the reasons you said above. I was driving home trying to be objective and compare it to all the other like cars i've driven i.e. Astra, golf, 308, Megane etc, and my initial impresion is that it really isn't that great.

Im sure people will disagree with me, possibly rightly so, but I really can't see what all the fuss is about with the focus.
Gutless automatic - Avant
The Ford 1.6 engine isn't one of the new breed of small-capacity turbocharged engines, and it just isn't powerful enough for an automatic if you want anything approaching lively acceleration. People who like their Focuses mostly have manuals or bigger-engined automatics.
Gutless automatic - EoinM
It's an older engine coupled to an equally old gear box.

99 brake and 4 speed. It's probably the weakest link in the focus chain to be honest. Even the 1.4 would be more pleasant.

If you want to try an auto in a Focus, the 2.0 tdci with the powershift gearbox (similar to VW's DSG) is the one to try. Otherwise forget it.

I personally reckon Ford are losing out by not fitting that box to petrol engines, they may do so with the new turbocharged units in time when launched. I even think the 115 brake 1.6 would be good as its a nice unit with plenty of go for what it is. I have heard the 115 brake is a little on the conservative side too

Edited by EoinM on 21/04/2009 at 16:14