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Focus ZX3 vs VW Beetle

I'm looking to get a new car, but I don't know
which one to get. I like both, but I need to hear
from actual owners of either to get a better
picture than what salesmen are telling me. I know
that the price range is quite different, but if I
lease the Beetle, its residual is around 65% for 3
years (that makes up for the difference). Please
help with advice.


  • But you don't get to keep the car at the end if you lease. You would end up paying more if you buy it out later. Did you read the topics on both the focus and the Beetle? You'll get a lot of opinions from real owners there. I've never driven a beetle but i own a focus. I think the Focus is a great car in and out. A lot of it depends on price issue like cost, maintenance, gas...,etc.
  • 2000zx32000zx3 Posts: 4
    Ford did well with the Focus. The market needed this car. Mostly speaking of the ZX3 model of course. My opinion the Focus is all around better than the Beetle. What a sweeeeeeeeeet car.
  • teddy9teddy9 Posts: 1
    I have been renting cars for the last 10 yrs and was so impressed by the handling, power and feel of the new Focus ZX3, that I bought one!! I love the car's intérior and all the extras. Of course in Canada, it is more expensive but it was worth it. I do 30 miles/gallon on average and love the powerful ZX3 motor. It is an all around better car than the Beetle, no question.
  • rbehrendsrbehrends Posts: 1
    I am a Honda owner for many years. Just fell in love with the beetle styling.
    I am wondering if all these reports pertaining to oil and electrical problems is what its made out to be. Hate to be in love and let down.
  • bostontbostont Posts: 37
    I owned a 1969 Bug for 25 years. Loved it. Best car I ever owned. My niece has a 1999 New Beetle, has had very little trouble. My sister has a 2000 New Beetle, loves it and no problems. The 1998 Beetle had some problems but I guess they were caught for 1999 and the 1999 problems were cured for 2000. I want one and hope to be able to buy a 2002 when my lease runs out for my present vehicle. I haven't driven a Focus.
  • powerslidepowerslide Posts: 48
    Check out the "Beetle problems" forum. Then tell me you still want a Beetle. I think you would have a big letdown from your Honda.
  • govugovu Posts: 62
    I own a 2000 NB. I've talked to many others out there. None of us have had any significant problems. (My biggest complaint is that I squish a lot of bugs.)

    I've also read through the "Beetle problems" forum. It would be naive to think that there would be no problems with a new line of car. Read the 1000+ posts about the NB on this site. Then read the posts about its problems, noting the authors and the number of different problems mentioned (vs. the number of different times the same person says the same thing).

    Considering my 50 mpg (diesel), low insurance, and how much I enjoy the car, I wouldn't trade it even up for any car out there. Well, I might take a Porsche, sell it, and use the cash to buy another Bug...but that's a different story. I wouldn't want to -drive- another car, especially not with gas prices where they are.
  • powerslidepowerslide Posts: 48
    I see Consumer Reports has dropped the New Beetle from its list of recommended cars because of the reports of poor reliability. Recommended cars must have average or better reliability.
  • chrismarchrismar Posts: 18
    I just got my 2001 CyberGreen GLX 1.8T last weekend and I absolutley love it!!!!!!!!!!
    I get compliments just about everyday and lots of questions and stares. Its a very fun car!
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Congratulations chrismar! I love happy car owners!!

  • Anybody know the DMV requirements for registering a car purchased out of state? I am looking at purchasing a 2001 TDI in Arizona or Nevada to bring back home to Calif. Any help would be appreciated!
  • I hope no one here is suggesting that a Ford Focus has anything on the quality or longevity of a New Beetle or any of the other new Volkswagens? Surely you jest.... The Focus is OK...for a cheap car. You get what you pay for though. There will be alot of TDI New Beetles still on the road when 90% of the Ford Focus' are rusting away in a junkyard. The Focus is the kind of car you RENT from Avis. A New Beetle TDI is the kind of car you buy and keep for 8 -9 years.

    I've got one word for you: Escort.
  • Glad I found this site. I am anxiously awaiting the new year so I can get my TDI that I have been admiring for awhile. My Dad suggested I look at the Focus due to its ratings in Consumer Reports, etc. The price is alittle easier on the pocketbook also. I went to my friendly Ford dealer yesterday and decided the XZ3 was a bit too ugly for me, but it was the closest to the VW in size, etc. I haven't driven one (they only had a 2000 base model that someone actually SMOKED in YUK!). I have to agree that the interior looked "cheap" compared to the TDI, but to be fair, it was a base model. I guess my dilemma is that I feel I'm so into the Beetle that I'm blind to anything else. Also, I'm not convinced that the TDI vs. gas is the right choice for me. I do drive about 100 miles per day, majority highway. I wanted an automatic because I've been driving a 5-speed for the past 9 years, but will go for a 5-speed if that is all I can get (I understand they are hard to come by, and we only have 1 VW dealer in Memphis). I have driven a Beetle twice already and and chomping at the bit. I'm a former Rabbit GTI owner ('82) model who loved it. Maybe this is a mid-life thing LOL? Anyway, convince me I'm doing the right thing. I would appreciate input on TDI vs. Gas. Thanks!
  • dieselonedieselone Posts: 5,641
    If you are driving a 100 miles a day, I think the tdi is the only way to go. I have a y2k Jetta GLS TDI. I've put 21K miles on it in 8 mos. I drive about 75/25 highway/city. I've avg over 46mpg over 21k miles. The best I've gotten was 52, worst 43. My brother-in-law has a y2k Jetta which is identical to mine except his has 2.0 gas. The 2.0 is smoother and quieter at idle, but the tdi is much quieter on the highway. 80mph is just under 3k rpm. The 2.0 is running almost 3k rpm at 60mph. At 80 the 2.0 is much louder than tdi. At highway speeds accelerating only requires pressing down on the go pedal, no down shifts required. BTW, I haven't had one problem with my Jetta to date. If it were me and I was considering the 2.0, I would buy the 1.8T. Similar gas mileage, and way better performance, and much quieter to boot. Good luck
  • ludacrisludacris Posts: 185
    personally the new beetle's design sorta got "played out" (if that's possible). the novelty just wore off and now i see it as a funky valleygirl car (no offense)...not that the focus looks much better but its won many awards and should be a great car to drive.
  • At 100 miles/day the TDI does look like a good choice. However, I understand the TDI requires timing belt maintenance (replacement?) fairly often (40 or 50 K miles?), which could be expensive. Why doesn't VW use a chain for that? I believe the replacement interval for the belt in my wife's 1.8T is about 100,000 miles.
  • I have placed an order for a new car so I have to unload my 2000 Focus. It has Auto, Power everything, Factory CD player, factory 16 in wheels, a/c, and cruise control. I will sell the car with the waterproof seat covers and roof rack. I may also include the bike for a few more $$$. The car was bought in June 2000 and has 9900 miles on it. It has been faithfully serviced by the Ford dealership that it was purchased at. I have all of the records. The sticker was ~$16,500 and I paid about ~$15,200. I am selling it for $13,500. It is in perfect shape with NO dents, dings or scratches. I am the fanatical guy that parks way far out at the end of a parking lot to avoid these things. . It has also been garaged for all of its short life. VIN and complete pictures of the car available by request @ The car is in the Dallas metro area. Thank you for your time and have a great day!
  • While I can't comment on the virtues of a Focus as a Beetle, I can comment on the TDI engine. I have a '96 Passat TDI. It has almost 145,000 miles on it now. The lowest mpg recorded has been 42 and the highest 49. It usually gets 44. Until recently, I drove 60 miles one way to work and did so for eleven years. In that period of time I owned six cars, including the Passat. Guess which one I kept the longest? I have found it comfortable to drive with plenty of performance. I loved being able to fill up on Sunday and drive all week. The TDI is great! I wish some one had come up with this a long time ago. I had some problems with the enrichment valve early on and there was a WV paid for fix that replaced all of the injectors. The timing belt is relatively expensive to replace, but just about every other car that has an overhead cam has to have the timing belt replaced. Other than the timing belt, maintenance consists chiefly of oil changes and fuel filter changes. I was disappointed that the new Passat does not have the TDI. I will probably replace my Passat with another TDI Golf, Beetle, or Jetta, unless I am seduced by the 4-Motion (Quattro) Passat. But what's the hurry? It only has 145,00 on it!
This discussion has been closed.