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Ford Focus ZX3 vs. VW Golf



  • jmorrissjmorriss Posts: 10
    Both the Focus and the Golf/GTI are great cars, but I think(!) that I sense a little religion going on here.

    I bought the Golf because I just plain like it better. Yup, it's more expensive. Way more expensive. But that's because it comes standard with ABS, side airbags, 4-wheel disc brakes, those $200 remote entry keys, a gigantic discount on my insurance(it costs me less for full coverage on my 2000 Golf than on the 1990 Golf I just sold!)

    I wish that I liked the Civic Si or the Focus ZX3, but they just didn't do it for me. And the Honda salesman didn't like it much when I spun the engine up to 8 grand and got the Si going 75 in third.(that's why it was built, no?)

    Finally, around Boston, if you hunt for the internet discount shops, you can get a great deal without much haggling. (hunt a lot, because different online dealers will quote you different prices. My fiancee bought a VW from a carpoint dealer for $300 under sticker, while I bought one for $50 over invoice from a different dealer who also works with them.)

    I got a guy to order the exact car I wanted from the port(in Boston) and he sold it to me for $50 over invoice.

    That's a 2000 Golf GLS, with sunroof, Monsoon system, 5-speed, ABS, and so on... for $17,400 out the door.($18445 sticker, for reference.)

    The turbos are a little more, because of current limited supply, but you can find them for $300-$500 over invoice if you're not picky about color.

    Yup, I got religion, and it's called fahrvergnugen!

    Pardon the ranting.
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    yes, there are already several body kits, and a bunch of other aftermarket stuff already available for the ZX3. Check out the ZX3 regular and aftermarket discussions - there are lots of guys in there who have already performed some of these mods.
  • CarMan@EdmundsCarMan@Edmunds Posts: 38,518
    My mom has been buying Volkswagens ever since her first bug back in the 60's, and my dad has been getting Fords for about ten years now (he loves the taurus), so it was only a matter of time before my car would explode (GTI), and I would need a new one. My dad, also, is exactly 6'6, and could not fit in any of the VW's smaller products w/o putting his seat back. To some, this is not a comfortable position, especially when your family has back problems. The Focus, on the other hand, is huge. Gues which I (6'4) bought?
  • greycapgreycap Posts: 19
    Well, I think that applied to the Golf, this description is an exaggeration; however, there is no doubt that the Focus is superior in this respect.

    This issue is not of interest only to tall people; I am only 5'8", but what there is of me is configured with relatively short legs and a long body. I can't fit into a 3-series BMW without tilting the seat back! A sunroof in this car forces me to tilt my head sideways around the coaming. When visiting Germany, I am struck by the size of it's people; how they fit into their cars, I don't know.

    In my case, a more upright seating position is much easier on my back. The Focus has more headroom than many full-size cars and was definitely a consideration when I bought one.
  • alfaromeoalfaromeo Posts: 210
    Could anyone tell me if the 'bucket' seat option is worthwile? (on the focus that is!)
  • zx3boizx3boi Posts: 3
    Hey everyone!
    I am about to get a ZX3 in a few more days. I have always been a huge fan of all VWs and I originally wanted a 2000 Jetta. But as we all know VWs idea of a reasonably price car for young buyers is not really reasonable(even though they are so cute!) So anyway, after checking out the Focus sedan my father told me to look at the ZX3 which I later fell in love with. At the age of 19, the ZX3 is much more practical to me than the Golf especially for my uses.
    I was reading recently that Ford's idea with the Focus sedan and ZX3 was to the similar appeal of that the new Jetta and Golf have for a price that the average family can afford to buy one for their kids. After nagging and nagging my parents, they refused to shell out $20,000 for a Jetta and I have never been a huge fan of the Golf. So to shoppers who realize they don't need all the extras of a VW or just can't afford them(like me), the Focus is the perfect alternative.
    For all u poor people like me, look on the bright side of the ZX3. How many economy cars give you a standard cd player and 130hp engine?
  • thegtiman1thegtiman1 Posts: 13
    Lets say SLOW... Lets say blow up fords.... Lets say work like I am for the 1.8t I am getting... This is not an attack just sympathy. Good luck wave to you in the rearview..
  • My mommy and daddy won't shell out 20 grand to buy me a new car. What should I do? How could they be so cruel? All of my friends parents bought their spoiled kids new VW's. Why are my parents doing this to me?
  • plush1plush1 Posts: 12
    Man, that new Focus is pretty nice - the hatchback is anyway. I'm not a big Ford fan or anything but the Focus is pretty impressive. Oh, I just wanted to say one thing to gtiman1 - give it a rest man. Golfs are pretty cool and all but there's always something faster! So the next time you're out there thinkin' you got the fastest car in the land, don't get upset if something faster like a Mustang comes blazing up on your trail...Peace.
  • Hate to break it to you but hey everyone thinks that Fords are fast..PSSTTT Ha Ha yeah right.. Bud I also own a 1995 Saturn SC2 with bolt on mods and guess what the 4.6L Nose to Nose Competition and boy are they pissed when they cant beat me. So try again with another worthy car and maybe youll have a conversation here... Lates.....
  • gtiman1gtiman1 Posts: 4
    O.k for the record "plush1" I will give it a rest, life is way to short to argue the different aspects of makes and models and of course what it all really comes down to which is personal preference. That said please don't quote a Mustang as something faster, I've owned one and know better, now if it was a Trans Am now that's a different story! Up to now out of all the cars I've owned VW rule! But that's just personal preference again...........
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    Gosh, are you people getting snotty! Comparing different classes of cars now, and jumping all over that kid just because he's enthusiastic about his new car. He's right, (whether he pays for it himself or not) the ZX3 is a really neat economic option! Enjoy all your cars folks!
  • judasjudas Posts: 217
    What bolt on mods, exactly, allow you to run quicker than the 14 second 1/4 mile time that a bone stock 4.6 liter GT will run? Unless you've got some sort of forced induction or nitrous there's no way you're even going to get close, and if you do have one of the above, try racing a Stang with the same mod.

    Beating something at a stop light to stop light race isn't that impressive. I beat a friends high 12 second Mustang in a street race in my high 14 second MR2 just because it was impossible for him to get any traction off the line because he was making about twice the power that I was. Did I brag about it afterwards? Of course not, there's no reason to.
  • Im a Colorado native and im still here. The mile high should clue you off. Those cares run no where near that figure and by the way bud this is not a cobra as you are elevating it. Were talking GT. I have the advantage of power to weight ratios. Any way its hard to believe but I have done it left and right up and down. Its not the traction its a Ford. The Saturn has torque gobs of it and in the long run I have no chance but damned if doesnt run with them. Believe it or not its the truth.
  • I got my ZX3 in April and my best friend bought his Golf GL [or is it GS, the baseline]in May and we are both pleased as punch with our cars. I am a bit more of a back road burner so I love the slightly better handling and the better mid range punch. He on the otherhand, loves the ride and overall feel of the Golf. He thinks my car is too twitchy and I think his car is a bit too soft. Overall though, we both have fabulous cars that would put anything to shame for the price not even 5 years ago.

    My advice is go drive both and go from there, in this price range, no real reason to look at any other car as they are simply not as good.

    Jimmy =)
  • First of all, id like to say im a fan of all cars.
    Customs, Imports, Exotics, Classics, Lowriders, anything... as long as it looks good/kicks [non-permissible content removed].
    I also spend alot of my spare time car shoping. After all, i just moved to the Sacramento area In california and live like 2 minutes from the Roseville Automall (THE first "Automall"). Ive looked at almost every car availible in the US in the past year (did most of this while helping my mom shop for a new car, she bought a 2000 Suburu Legacy GT Limited Sedan) and im probably going to get a new car in the next year or earlier, depending on how long my current car lasts... (its been having ALOT of engine trouble lately).

    Figuring that ill probably only be able to spend in the 15k range, and need a car that can carry stuff but prefere cars that are nimble and small, ive come down to the Focus Zx3 as my #1 Practicle choice for a car. But if i could spend in the 20k range, i would either go with a Golf 1.8t, a Bug 1.8t, or a Suburu Impreza 2.5RS.

    I test drove the Golf a few months ago, and i was impressed... but as some of the previous posts have stated, it is a little "soft" in terms of suspension, but not soft and stiff like a BMW (test drove a 3 series as well). Last week, i drove a zx3 and i was very impressed... It didnt drive like a ford! (seriously) Heck, it didnt feel like a ford at all... It felt like a VW. 130hp doesnt sound like much, but its more than most cars at that price range, but its more than a base golf and that much less money (btw, you can order a New ZX3 for just $100 over invoice). The actuall interior space is very simular, but the Focus has much more head room. And yes, the golf does have more "neat" stuff in it like VW's have, and the quality is a little better... but once again, theres the price difference. And i know that alot of people cant stand buying american, just as i know alot of people cant stand buying foreign, but the focus is simply not a typical ford in any sense, even reliability. The focus has been out in Europe for much longer than it has in the US, and if you were to go there right now, you might notice something... Focus's are EVERYWHERE in europe (my cousin was just over there). Now if Europeans are buying fords... thats got to mean something.
    Dont forget that the 2001 focus ZX3 will have 16 inch wheels in the premium package for basically free (try pricing it out) which is another good mark for the focus if your planning on buying.

    Btw, just to make everyone know that im not ford-happy... if i were to buy any reasonable (ie not super expensive) car i could today, i would buy a Lexus IS 300 ;)

    BUT, i just read an article about the Focus-R that its going to come out next summer probably, and will have a base cost just UNDER 20k! (220hp for 20k with no mods required? Nice)

    Let the flaming on me commence!
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Sorry, flame-free zone. :-)

  • are you talking about the base golfs? they are junk and just reek of cheapness. the focus hatch is a damn nice car for the money
  • jtaimjtaim Posts: 34

    I don't think you've been in a base Golf or else you would say something so outright wrong. Other than having different cloth seats, no power windows, and no armrest, the base Golf (there is no base "golfs", the only base Golf is the Golf GL), uses the same rich materials as in the higher trim Golfs and, in fact, the same materials as in the more expensive Passat. And if you read any review of the Passat, you'll most likely see a compliment about the rich-looking, rich-feeling materials and design of the interior.

    "junk" and "reek of cheapness"? uh, no.

    p.s. My next car will probably be a Focus 5-door so I have nothing against the Foci.
  • Golfs are totally not cheap. VW is the closest thing to BMW for the money.
    Problem with Golfs is the money though, but with the Sports Suspension option for 2001 I would actually thing about getting one in the $20k price range (1.8t of course)
This discussion has been closed.