Alex.S

Ford UK re multi link change 30th Aug 2019

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This is what Ford UK had to say about the 2019 Focus suspension fiasco...

E7310193-A921-4893-AD0C-877EC01678FF.jpeg

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Another change is the removal of the optional LED headlights from most of their models, I had a friend who'd had requested it on his Titanium only to be told now it's no longer an option! Going by the Ford website it's only available on the Vignale and ST models, unless I'm reading it wrong.

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15 hours ago, Alex.S said:

This is what Ford UK had to say about the 2019 Focus suspension fiasco...

E7310193-A921-4893-AD0C-877EC01678FF.jpeg

Ah! So "customer feedback"is to blame for the deletion of this feature? And Ford don't have any information about the pricing of their own cars?

The motoring press still don't seem to have caught up with this one. " Autocar" in particular continue to mention the Focus's multi-link as an advantage over other models in their comparisons - I have emailed them twice on this point and had no response. Perhaps you could try copying Ford's comments to them.

 

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15 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

Ah! So "customer feedback"is to blame for the deletion of this feature? And Ford don't have any information about the pricing of their own cars?

The motoring press still don't seem to have caught up with this one. " Autocar" in particular continue to mention the Focus's multi-link as an advantage over other models in their comparisons - I have emailed them twice on this point and had no response. Perhaps you could try copying Ford's comments to them.

 

I told them I’d go to trading standards. They then quoted a T&C basically saying they can change anything at any time. I expected that response. 

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1 hour ago, Alex.S said:

I told them I’d go to trading standards. They then quoted a T&C basically saying they can change anything at any time. I expected that response. 

Yeah,  the standard order form has always had that condition on the reverse, and unfortunately a specification change would normally not of itself give a right of cancellation unless for example they had deleted the model variant in it's entirety (as they seem to have done with the Fiesta Zetec). 

Actually I can well believe that most customers would not really care what suspension set-up was used, provided they were satisfied with their car's ride and handling, though I'd be interested to see this feedback and how it was obtained. BMW have now swapped the 1-Series from rwd to fwd for the new model, after research showed that most customers didn't even know, let alone care, that the old one was rwd. They have been quite open about this change though, unlike Ford who seem have been pretty secretive about a change to what has been a key selling point (to magazine road testers, at least) of the Focus since the Mk 1, causing a lot of confusion/annoyance as we can see from the number of threads and posts on the subject.

 

 

 

 

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Alex, genuine question, is it the fact that you feel that Ford have been underhanded, or that it's a physically different setup, that bothers you?

As I don't think the physical change is really that important outside of a race track.

Genuine question, not taking the mickey or anything.

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6 minutes ago, Guy Heaton said:

Alex, genuine question, is it the fact that you feel that Ford have been underhanded, or that it's a physically different setup, that bothers you?

As I don't think the physical change is really that important outside of a race track.

Genuine question, not taking the mickey or anything.

Underhanded 100%! And yes I agree with you re race track. 

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Comfort should be significantly different on a rough B road...has anyone tried both setups in that situation yet?

I made the mistake of buying a supermini after a quick town test a few years ago...ride seemed ok.  Soon as I got out on the rural roads I usually drive I quickly became very nauseous and had to return the car!  I found most small cars including the Fiesta the same, the comfort on the Mk2.5 Focus was the main reason for buying one for me.  I do have dodgy guts and admit it won't be an issue for most people but would like to know either way...maybe the weight of the Focus does help it ride more smoothly than the Fiesta with the same setup?

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3 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Comfort should be significantly different on a rough B road...has anyone tried both setups in that situation yet?

I spoke to a YouTube blogger who said he’d tried both...couldn’t tell the difference 

 

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2 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

Comfort should be significantly different on a rough B road...has anyone tried both setups in that situation yet?

It's going to be difficult to do a back to back comparison now, unless you can find one of the rare cars with multi link!😀 Agree though that, in theory, multi link (if done well, plenty aren't) should give a ride advantage.  Interesting that Ford have kept it on the luxury Vignale version - if they didn't feel there was any benefit at all why didn't they just drop it altogether on the hatchbacks ?

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2 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

It's going to be difficult to do a back to back comparison now, unless you can find one of the rare cars with multi link!😀 Agree though that, in theory, multi link (if done well, plenty aren't) should give a ride advantage.  Interesting that Ford have kept it on the luxury Vignale version - if they didn't feel there was any benefit at all why didn't they just drop it altogether on the hatchbacks ?

Exactly 

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3 minutes ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

It's going to be difficult to do a back to back comparison now, unless you can find one of the rare cars with multi link!😀 Agree though that, in theory, multi link (if done well, plenty aren't) should give a ride advantage.  Interesting that Ford have kept it on the luxury Vignale version - if they didn't feel there was any benefit at all why didn't they just drop it altogether on the hatchbacks ?

I keep forgetting about the Vignale!  I'm a bit of a lux fan so as long as they depreciate like a stone that's the spec I'd be after! :biggrin: 

I suspect the 18" wheels are probably the reason it's been kept on the Vignale, there should be a bit more tyre compliance on the 16s of the Titanium, and I doubt people buying the ST-Line are particularly bothered by comfort.

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Perhaps so they can bill the Vignale as the luxury option.

 

I looked at the vinagle when ordering cos it had the 182bhp and camera as standard but it depreciates like a stone.  It would have been 70 quid a month more than my stline X with its options.

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I guess I am one of the lucky ones who have the multi link set up but my mate has a 1.0 Lt mk 4 with twisted beam.

In my option you do notice the bumps over rough surfaces more with my mates twisted beam even though I have 17" wheels.

 

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2 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

I keep forgetting about the Vignale!  I'm a bit of a lux fan so as long as they depreciate like a stone that's the spec I'd be after! :biggrin: 

I suspect the 18" wheels are probably the reason it's been kept on the Vignale, there should be a bit more tyre compliance on the 16s of the Titanium, and I doubt people buying the ST-Line are particularly bothered by comfort.

Lol yes, you may well get a bargain Vignale in a few years!😀 Could be something in that on the tyres - as has been mentioned on another thread they seem to have gone from 55 to 65 profile on the Titanium.

Wheels/tyres can confuse the issue - when I bought my Leon a few years back it was hard to do a comparison between the lower powered (torsion beam) and higher powered (multi link) cars, as so many of the cars available to test had optional 18" wheels which affected the ride.

 I'm not sure ST-Line buyers aren't bothered by comfort. Sure, you would expect some trade off in exchange for the sharper handling, but not to the extent that ride becomes unacceptable - though obviously we all have our own views on where that point lies. Certainly I find the balance ok on the ST-Line Fiesta, but not on the "full fat" ST, which is why I'm forever droning on (sorry guys!) about an ST-Line with a bit more go (or an ST with a more forgiving seat/suspension set up).

 

 

 

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as the first post needs a microscope, can someone clarify what the confusion is?....ever since a Mk4 came out the cheap ones get cr8p suspension and the bigger engine'd / higher cost ones got proper suspension

its not just about ride comfort, its safety and handling is totally different ball game.... independent suspension vs of a bit of rusty angle iron joining the wheels together  

VW went the same route - if your rich you're life matters, otherwise die.  OK so managed to read the first one, they'll have wriggle room as always reserve the right to change stuff, but for me regardless of deposit etc. .... cancel the order and buy a real car not a joke

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Taken right from the EVO website 16 Nov 2018

Underpinning the all-new Focus is an all-new ‘C2’ chassis, which is lower, wider and stiffer than the one it replaces. Overall rigidity is increased by 20 per cent, while the suspension mounting points are an impressive 50 per cent stiffer.

The suspension layout is similar to before, combining MacPherson struts on the front axle with a multi-link set-up on the rear. Adaptive dampers are also available, but we found the difference between normal and sport modes is subtle to say the least, and probably aren’t worth the extra outlay. On the standard passive dampers, the Focus treads a good balance between overall ride comfort and body control. Neither is particularly pronounced, but seems to find harmony with the Focus’s control weights in the steering and clutch, helping the Focus feel congruous and together. ST-Line models also pick up a firmer set-up, sitting 10mm lower than other models. The ride is still very good, however, and is our preference.

Here lies the first caveat, though, as like no Focus before, the multi-link rear suspension system is not standard across the range, as some entry-level models with lower-powered engines make do with the torsion beam rear suspension set-up borrowed from the smaller Fiesta. Although it’s not an inherently bad set-up, cars on the basic suspension have the same issues as most cars on a torsion beam, namely a bouncier, less sophisticated ride quality and reduction of body control at higher speeds.

Start to lean on the chassis and there is an inherent softness to the suspension, too, but the chassis underneath remains completely in its element, feeling like there is plenty of travel in the suspension, with little you can do to push it out of its comfort zone. This type of limit handling might not be what the average Focus owner will explore, but for the rest of us, it certainly bodes well for the incoming ST.

The steering is also well weighted, natural feeling and articulates the front end just enough to give you a sense of how much grip the front end has to give, and while not quite as sharp as the previous Focus, it is still better than most rivals. The estate version is nigh on identical to the hatch, perhaps feeling a passenger or so heavier when really pushed. The Estate’s compact multi-link set-up is slightly different to the hatch, liberating more boot space, but also has little overall effect on the handling unless you’re really pushing it, in which case the rear axle feels a little more wayward and remote.

 

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12 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

the comfort on the Mk2.5 Focus was the main reason for buying one for me. 

My Octavia seems far more comfortable than my Focus ever was, albeit both cars were more comfortable than my Corsa.

Unsure actually what suspension setup my Octavia has though, will have to do some digging!

Edit: The Octavia has rear multi-link suspension which might explain it's comfort!

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Botus the point is Ford were fitting the multilink across the range to the higher spec cars, like stlinex, and using that as a selling point.

Then they quietly pulled the plug on it, before they'd updated any official documentation.

Added to it is the fact that handling has always been Ford's strength.  Yes, they are mainstream cars but they handle better than the other mainstream and better than the premium cars.   I remember my old MK1.5, it drove so much better than VWs and vxs I had of the same era.

All the reviews I read of the MK4 raved about the handling of the car, it was a selling point for me.  Seems a shame Ford might lose that reputation of punching above their weight.

 

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8 hours ago, Micro said:

My Octavia seems far more comfortable than my Focus ever was, albeit both cars were more comfortable than my Corsa.

Unsure actually what suspension setup my Octavia has though, will have to do some digging!

Edit: The Octavia has rear multi-link suspension which might explain it's comfort!

Weight helps smooth the ride as well, the Octy is a much heavier car, especially an estate with the 4WD setup, is it DSG too?

They're in a different price bracket to the Focus/Golf though...plus I'd want the VRS...which has bigger wheels and stiffer suspension so probably a worse ride lol. :laugh:    

 

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16 hours ago, Botus said:

....ever since a Mk4 came out the cheap ones get cr8p suspension ....

I didn't think my Titanium X was cheap   😂😂😂😂

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58 minutes ago, Guy Heaton said:

Botus the point is Ford were fitting the multilink across the range to the higher spec cars, like stlinex, and using that as a selling point.

Then they quietly pulled the plug on it, before they'd updated any official documentation.

Added to it is the fact that handling has always been Ford's strength.  Yes, they are mainstream cars but they handle better than the other mainstream and better than the premium cars.   I remember my old MK1.5, it drove so much better than VWs and vxs I had of the same era.

All the reviews I read of the MK4 raved about the handling of the car, it was a selling point for me.  Seems a shame Ford might lose that reputation of punching above their weight.

 

the last Honda civic dropped multilink rear for joke suspension across the range.  

It's a terrible shame some accountant (at Ford and VAG) worked out even with two parallel development projects, additional production complexity, the need to train / write double the manuals and carry double the spares a manufacturer can sell car's that are less safe and less comfortable purely because each car (with those costs factored in) comes in 26.5 pence cheaper to build

The only solution is to get underneath and check the physical car you're buying... and regardless of condition or price stick to the principle of comfort and safety matters

 

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16 hours ago, Botus said:

its not just about ride comfort, its safety and handling is totally different ball game.... independent suspension vs of a bit of rusty angle iron joining the wheels together  

While I'm pretty much in agreement with the sentiment of the post, (and I think most of us agree that a multi-link should perform better all round than a beam, if set up correctly), I can't say that I've ever felt safety being compromised simply by virtue of a car having torsion beam. Certainly I've felt a lot more confident in some cars than others, due to a better judged balance of springing and damping for example. I certainly did use to feel unsafe in some of the old rear cart spring cars, though, (done 360 degree spins in both a Morris Minor and a Marina TC in my youth)!😀 And cars like the much praised Renault Megane RS have a beam, though I understand the ride on the Cup version can be a little "firm"!

As @Guy Heaton says, the way that this has been handled is what has upset people. I mentioned elsewhere how BMW have switched the new 1-Series from rear to front drive after customer feedback revealed most customers didn't know, or care, the old one was rwd. Mazda have gone back to a beam for the new 3, and been open about it and cited the reasons why, even admitting it may marginally compromise the ultimate ride/handling balance, but with the benefit of less weight and more boot space. It may be marketing BS when really it's to save cash, but, again they're being open about it. 

Back when I had involvement in sourcing fleet vehicles (Sierra/Mondeo Mk 1 era, so a while back now), Ford were absolute masters of marketing/PR and could certainly spin the proverbial sow's ear into a silk purse. They certainly seem to have lost their touch nowadays!

I hope I'm wrong, but the era of top notch ride/handling may be behind us. All manufacturers are having to accommodate more tech, whether driven by customer demand (connectivity etc) or legislation (speed limiting etc) and either prices have to rise, or something that a lot of customers don't notice or may not care about (e.g. the ultimate in ride/handling) will have to give. And that's before we get into carting tons of batteries in our electric cars!😀

 

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11 hours ago, Guy Heaton said:

Botus the point is Ford were fitting the multilink across the range to the higher spec cars, like stlinex, and using that as a selling point.

Then they quietly pulled the plug on it, before they'd updated any official documentation.

Added to it is the fact that handling has always been Ford's strength.  Yes, they are mainstream cars but they handle better than the other mainstream and better than the premium cars.   I remember my old MK1.5, it drove so much better than VWs and vxs I had of the same era.

All the reviews I read of the MK4 raved about the handling of the car, it was a selling point for me.  Seems a shame Ford might lose that reputation of punching above their weight.

 

I spoke to somebody on YouTube has 22000 on the clock, 2018 ST-Line X , not sure what one. Had minor issues, battery and electric windows. Says sorted himself, not sure how. Had change oil msg at 3000miles. And pre collision assist “way too sensitive”. I remember now! It’s a 1.5 diesel, so has the twist beam. Says he’s had no trouble with it apart from these listed. 

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11 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

Weight helps smooth the ride as well, the Octy is a much heavier car, especially an estate with the 4WD setup, is it DSG too?

They're in a different price bracket to the Focus/Golf though...plus I'd want the VRS...which has bigger wheels and stiffer suspension so probably a worse ride lol. :laugh:    

It's a  6-speed manual, i'm not fond of autos (although the modern ones are quite nice). Can't stand bigger wheels - what's the point, when you hit a pot hole and it destroys the tyre / alloy? I'd rather have smaller wheels with more air between the road and wheel to cushion the inevitable pot holes (Plus means my current snow chains fit the new car too! :P).

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