Here is some info by Bill Visnic, Motor Matters Paid Advertising Content pressofAtlanticCity.com
The point of the 2012 Ford Focus SFE - a special high-efficiency optimization package -- isn't so much about its 40 miles per gallon highway rating as it is the fact you have to give up none of the Focus' intrinsic goodness to get to that 40-mpg economy. Car-company marketers are convinced today's efficiency-minded buyers want to see a "40-mpg" rating. Some are even fearful their small cars might not sell without it.
Ford probably thought the SFE setup would appeal mainly to penny-pinchers, so it's unavailable for the Focus 5-door hatchback, which many believe to be the better-looking of the two 2012 Focus body styles. This is only a minor annoyance, as the Focus 4-door sedan's sheet metal is not unsexy. Leaving the Hyundai Elantra out of the equation, the 4-door and 5-door Focus makes for what probably are the most premium-looking compact cars on the road.
The triumph of the 160-horsepower Focus SFE is that you get the coveted 40-mpg rating and don't have to sacrifice any of the new 2012 Focus' already renowned refinement. That includes not having to manually shift for yourself: the only way to get the $495 SFE package is to get a Focus in the midgrade SE trim with an automatic transmission. Many "high economy" packages of the past typically have required a manual transmission on the path to fuel frugality.
The automatic PowerShift has six forward gears, and that's good. But the design is a new and slightly acquired taste. As opposed to a conventional automatic with its creamy torque converter to impart the automatic transmission "feel" we're all accustomed to, the PowerShift actually is a manual transmission with a sophisticated module to "automatically" manipulate its twin clutches. It's not a new fad -- Volkswagen, Audi and BMW have offered these dual-clutch automated manuals for some time -- but Ford's calibration of this "automatic" transmission has left many cool to its sometimes erratic and abrupt mannerisms. We don't find the Focus SFE's Powershift transmission a deal-breaker, but we'll say others do a better job programming these high-tech automatics.
The PowerShift intrinsically is a manual transmission, and that's one of the things that help the Focus SFE hit its magic highway fuel-economy number. Other modifications include active "shutters" on the front grille that selectively vary airflow to the radiator when it doesn't need much cooling air, low-rolling resistance 16-inch tires, aerodynamic wheel covers and a rear spoiler.
Whether you achieve 40 mpg on the highway with the Focus SFE will be dependent on many factors. Seeing 35 mpg on the onboard fuel-economy readout was no problem. Teasing those screen readouts into the 40s takes more talent, fortitude, a good tailwind, plus an excruciatingly patient right foot. Like most of the cars you'll see advertising 40-mpg highway numbers, it's probably best to figure on 35 mpg, which still gets you a long way, even on the Focus SFE's small 12.4-gallon fuel tank.
Back to that "no sacrifices" thing. The Focus SFE comes with the same outstanding ride quality and nimble dynamics that we've enjoyed on every version of the new 2012 Focus. To get the big efficiency numbers, you used to have to drive a "stripper," but the Focus SFE isn't anything like that. The interior is first-class, with materials that Ford manages to make look better than they probably cost. In any trim -- even the "fuel economy special" -- the new-generation 2012 Focus is a seriously classy compact car.
2012 FORD FOCUS SFE
VEHICLE TYPE___________________5-passenger FWD compact sedan
BASE PRICE_____________________ $17,400
MOTOR TYPE___________________ 16-valve DOHC 4-cylinder w/DGI
HORSEPOWER (net)______________ 160 at 6500 rpm
TORQUE (lb.-ft.)_________________ 146 at 4450 rpm
TRANSMISSION_________________ 6-speed dual-clutch automated manual
WHEELBASE____________________ 104.3 in.
OVERALL LENGTH_______________ 178.5 in.
TURNING CIRCLE (curb-to-curb)__ 36 ft.
FUEL CAPACITY________________ 12.4 gal.
EPA MILEAGE RATING___________ 28 mpg city, 40 mpg highway