Marwell

MK4 Focus - Recent cost cutting

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I want to buy the Focus Active estate so I am following many facebook groups and forums. One of the main reason I like focus it is refinment i.e. low road and wind noise and comfortable ride. Old reviews from 2018 are praising the silence in the car and some tests even measured the noise and compared it to golf/astra and focus was always the best. 

However, I have spotted several complaints about the road noise recently (even here on this forum but also from other sources). We know that Ford ditched the multilink from most of the models, or the keyless entry from the rear doors, boot lighting and so on. It seems some drastic cost cutting measures are taking place. It is possible also the sound insulation suffered recently and the new models are much worst than they used to be? It would be a deal breaker for me...

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I've not had mk2 or mk3 Focus.  I don't find my Mk4 road noisy all the time, however the tyres do seem sensitive to the type of tarmac.  There's a road near us where they have laid the world's crappest tarmac, it's noisy whatever car you're in, but due to the collossally wide tyres, it's extra loud in the STLine.  That said, on good tarmac, cruising, it's fairly quiet.

You're best having a decent test drive in the exact model you want.  

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Thanks for the reply, it is difficut to test drive a car that made recently (most of the test drive cars are from 2018 or Q1 2019) and even then one cannot be sure Ford wont change something in between my order and the producton date. They are covered by the  "we can change anything anytime and wont have to inform you at all" nonsense

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My Fiesta's much the same as Guy reports. My local highways people make extensive use of the "surface dressing" technique and not to a particularly good standard either, with the result that I get constant "drumming" noise/vibration when driving on them. When I have the very rare opportunity to drive on some proper smooth tarmac, the ride is  really smooth and the silence almost eerie!

I guess an ST-Line with wide low profiles  and sports suspension is going to be more badly affected than the higher riding Active though.

It's hard to compare with other cars I've experienced. Certainly the Mk 2.5 Focus I had 8 or 9 years back wasn't as bad on it's standard 16" wheels, but the highways people were making much less use of the surface dressing then!

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Found some (google translated) notes about the 2020.25 MY changes, at least for the German market (some will not apply to UK, but some likely will):

 

     Ford Pass Connenct now series on all series
     DAB for all series now series, since 2020 duty in Germany
     Introduction Active Vignale
     The halogen headlight now receives an LED bulb for dimming
     Orange, Pyrite, Dark Berry. New Panther Blue
     Introduction of optional CD players
     Deletion 85ps EB
     Removal of mechanical handbrake, thus only electric
     No parking heater for 2liter diesel, 1.5liter EB and ST 2.3liter
     No SRA on iLED
     No sync lettering under the display

 

Nothing about sound insulation, so you should be good. Also The Active still has Multilink afaik.

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I've a Focus St Line X and I can't say the road noise is any loader than any other car I've driven. If anything I believe it's quitter. 

Always difficult when reading comments on Facebook, for example, as people only seem to, generally, post when they've a problem with the car. I certainly got concern about the amount of negative comments when first bought mine but 10 months later I've not had a single issue...

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I think its all subjective tbh. For example i had a 1.8tdci mk2 focus. Followed by a 1.6tdci mk3 and now the 1.0 ecoboost st line mk4...essentially i find it really quiet and smooth but again thats probably me going from diesel to petrol...tell you what tho took it down a curvey country lane covered in mud...put it in sport mode and turned TC off...the car came to life...got to the other end with a grin on my face like the cheshire cat...just like when i take my z650 out.

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19 minutes ago, johnH said:

.just like when i take my z650 out.

Would that be the "mini Z900" from the 70s/80s or the modern version?

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15 hours ago, alexp999 said:

Found some (google translated) notes about the 2020.25 MY changes, at least for the German market (some will not apply to UK, but some likely will):

 

     Ford Pass Connenct now series on all series
     DAB for all series now series, since 2020 duty in Germany
     Introduction Active Vignale
     The halogen headlight now receives an LED bulb for dimming
     Orange, Pyrite, Dark Berry. New Panther Blue
     Introduction of optional CD players
     Deletion 85ps EB
     Removal of mechanical handbrake, thus only electric
     No parking heater for 2liter diesel, 1.5liter EB and ST 2.3liter
     No SRA on iLED
     No sync lettering under the display

 

Nothing about sound insulation, so you should be good. Also The Active still has Multilink afaik.

Thanks, I am aware of these changes but I am sure they would never publicly revieled that the the sound insulation was reduced ...

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I don't know about the Active but I have a Titanium that was built after the May changes and there is nothing wrong with the sound Insulation, and I would have known because I drove around for weeks with a non functioning Audio system.

I would imagine that the ST Models do have more road noise on some roads because of the wide tyres and presumably less compliant suspension bushes. 

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9 hours ago, Eric Bloodaxe said:

Would that be the "mini Z900" from the 70s/80s or the modern version?

Modern version. Only passed DAS in august so got a z650 to begin with...will probs end up with the z900 or z1000 in a few years.

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AFAIK ALL Estates have multi-link rear end.

Sound proofing HAS been costed out

Diesels (especially the 1.5) are noisey, Petrols are quite quiet

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33 minutes ago, johnH said:

Only passed DAS in august so got a z650 to begin with..

Yeah, they make it a bit harder to ride a bike nowadays. When I started it was just provisional licence and off you went!😀 The original Z650 was something I lusted after back then, but needed a car for work and couldn't afford both (couldn't really afford either then, tbh!), so that was bikes over for a while.

When I got back into it years later I did some refresher training first and then started with a GPZ500S.

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46 minutes ago, alexp999 said:

How do you know?

Because they're loud LOL

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The 2020.25 MY have only just gone in to production, so you won't have been able to drive on yet.

I've driven a 2019.75 MY and they're still very quiet.

Have you driven both a 2019.75 and previous MY with the same engine/trim?

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We went from a 2014 mk3 1.6 diesel to a Mk4 1.5 diesel and the Mk4 is definitely quieter and not had issues that others have posted. Its not as economical as of yet hoping it improves with only 5k on the clock.

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I've got a MK4 1.5D and i notice the engine noise above any road noise.

It could do with some added sound proofing on the firewall.

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Having owned both a ‘68 & ‘69 plate St Line X, I will say that there minimal changes. Just dropped the multi link, not noisy at all. Different Windscreen manufacturers between years/side glass and rear are same. Also the build quality has improved majorly! No rattles or squeaks and I couldn’t believe it. 

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14 hours ago, CaptainPeanut said:

Having owned both a ‘68 & ‘69 plate St Line X, I will say that there minimal changes. Just dropped the multi link, not noisy at all. Different Windscreen manufacturers between years/side glass and rear are same. Also the build quality has improved majorly! No rattles or squeaks and I couldn’t believe it. 

What was your reason for changing your ‘68 for the ‘69? 

Can you tell the difference between the multi link and the twist beam at all? 

I’m assuming the ‘68 was a mk4 ? 

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I’ve only ever had the twist beam on both so cannot comment on that. But overall I find the car a good drive. Also the reason being that the ‘68 was written off unfortunately. 1.5 is definitely a better drive. Having had the ST225 previously to me the car handles well, I’m pleased with it. Alas I did order to get multi link but missed out, but again I have to say the build quality is noticeably improved. 

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24 minutes ago, CaptainPeanut said:

I’ve only ever had the twist beam on both so cannot comment on that. But overall I find the car a good drive. Also the reason being that the ‘68 was written off unfortunately. 1.5 is definitely a better drive. Having had the ST225 previously to me the car handles well, I’m pleased with it. Alas I did order to get multi link but missed out, but again I have to say the build quality is noticeably improved. 

68 plate was twist beam? Was it a 1.0 ? 

 

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It was 1.0 but oddly I can notice a difference in ride quality between the two. The new one rides smoother over bumps in the road. 

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22 minutes ago, CaptainPeanut said:

It was 1.0 but oddly I can notice a difference in ride quality between the two. The new one rides smoother over bumps in the road. 

So you wrote it off and upgraded to a 182!! 

I would’ve done the same. 

 

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