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2012 Ford Focus SEF: The next member of the 40 mpg club

See more of the 2012 Ford Focus SEF here!
See more of the 2012 Ford Focus SEF here!

2012Ford Focus SEF


The Ford Focus SEF is one of the cars that I featured as part of the article: Belonging is important: The 40 mpg club.

A great sunset and another 40 mpg club member!

So what does the 2012 Ford Focus SEF have to offer on a road near you?

The Focus is part of Ford’s globalized product development strategy. Thus, it is highly identical car built for all markets (this is something that I think Ford should have achieved a long ago!).

It is a compact five-passenger front-wheel drive four-door sedan. The engine is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder providing 120 hp and 112 ft. lb. of torque. The transmission is a six-speed dual-clutch automatic. This Ford’s 0-60 mph time is in 8.3 seconds.

The Focus has a wheelbase measuring 104.3 inches and the trunk offers 13.2 cubic feet of cargo space. The car’s fuel tank holds 12.3 gallons and its highway cruising range is an impressive 480 miles.

On the exterior the Focus SEF has a crisp and progressive look.

At the front the windshield is well raked to provide good aerodynamics (the Cd. is .30). The hood is very compact in length and includes V shaped cuts lines at the edges. The headlights are large pointed units that travel well up the front fenders. The grille is a thin, however, there is a substantial three section air intake directly below. Oval driving lights are at the outer corners.

The Focus’s side profile has a coupe-like shape with a downward sloping back roof. The upper glass extends well to the back. There is a flattened rectangular area in the center of the doors. The front headlights and rear taillights are visible in the fenders. Overall, the car has a sense of forward motion.

At the rear this four-door sedan looks almost like a hatchback. The short trunk lid is flat and includes a slight lip at the top. The rear pointed taillights are large horizontal units that are integrated into the rear fenders. There is a black insert below the bumper that provides contrast.

The interior of the Focus is contemporary looking and includes good class leading materials. The attention to detail earns high marks. Information is provided to the driver by two round gauges. The tachometer is located on the left and the speedometer is on the right. In between these two gauges are readings for temperature, fuel and other vehicle information. The dash top is finished in soft touch material. The center stack flows up from the console. It contains many buttons and switches. The front bucket seats are very comfortable suggesting they are from a more expensive car. At the back, the rear legroom is a bit tight. The split 40/60 rear seat and folds down to increase the cargo area.

The brakes are discs at all four corners measuring 10.9 inches at the front and 10.7 inches at the rear. The Focus SEF’s 60-0 mph stopping distance is in 114 feet. The tires measure 185 60 15 inch.

The suspension at the front includes MacPherson struts, coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar. At the rear the setup includes multi-links, coil springs, twin-tube shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar.

Standard features on this Ford include air conditioning, power door locks, windows and mirrors, cruise control, tilt and telescoping steering wheel, electronic speed-proportional power steering, audio and cruise control on the steering wheel, front reading lights, intermittent wipers, rear ventilation ducts, rear window defogger, external temperature display, front and rear cup holders, remote trunk release, 12 volt power outlet, 4-speaker 40-watt AM/FM in dash single CD player with CD MP3 playback stereo, auxiliary MP3 audio input, pre-wired for phone and more.

Standard safety features include four-wheel ABS brakes, front and rear head air bags, dual front side-mounted air bags, passenger air bag sensing deactivation, child seat anchors, rear door child safety locks, engine immobilizer, electronic brakeforce distribution, stability and traction control, tire pressure monitoring and more.

The EPA fuel rating for the Ford Focus SEF is 28 city and 40 mpg highway.

On the road this Ford offers brisk acceleration, European-like handling, a comfortable ride (as if it were a larger car) and very good fuel economy. Additionally, the Focus provides a quiet ride in most driving environments.

The 2012 Ford Focus’s price starts at $16,229 and the SEF model is priced at $16.924.

If you want a compact sedan that has good handling, a smooth ride and excellent fuel efficiency, the 2012 Ford Focus SEF is a solid vehicle to consider. Furthermore, this Ford provides much content and it is a member of the 40 mpg club. And one more small detail, Ford did not need to take taxpayer money to join the club!

Kyle Busch is the author of “Drive the Best for the Price: How to Buy a Used Automobile, Sport-Utility Vehicle, or Minivan and Save Money.” His automotive site: includes an exclusive article just for you, additional car articles, information about Kyle Busch and his 510,000 mile car, and you can even submit your automotive questions and get expert answers. Follow Kyle on Facebook and Twitter.


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