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Ford Focus ZX5

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  • From what I've been reading Ford has not made a final decision about wether or not to use the SVT moniker on the upcoming Focus model but I read something similar to what you are saying about moving the SVT name upmarket, God only knows why. We are however reading conflicting reports on this new platform. We agree that the Mazda 3 shares the new Focus platform and the Volvo that utilizes it will be the next S40 (Automobile Magazine, Dec. '03) The V40 is the wagon version of the S40 sedan. I assume they will offer a wagon version of the new S40 but have not read anything on that yet.
    From what I understand the 3 is already on the way to dealers, the S40 will be introduced early in '04 and the Focus on the new platform will be an '05 model. I agree with you its all what you read but I would hope that Ford would not sit on its butt and try to milk the older platform while the competition cruises by. They've been milking the Taurus platform for so long its become a joke and the thing just does not come close to competing with other vehicles. Although the current Focus is a gas to drive it has been re-call ridden and lacks the reputation of reliability that is necessary to maintain market share. This new platform promises to be more reliable. I'm not saying your wrong about the introduction of the new car I just hope you are for Fords sake. With the new Five Hundred on the horizon and the Futura after that Ford has a chance to make a comeback in passenger car sales. Of course I just read that they will continue the Taurus until '09 with some modest re-design and sell it alongside the new product. I guess that is to keep Hertz in rental cars. They might as well just change the name to "Ford Rental Car" or "Classic" like Chevy has done with the old Malibu. I guess what I am saying is that they should not let the Ford brand flounder while their other makes get all the good stuff. The Mazda 6 is such a great car and the Futura is supposed to be based on that platform so what are they waiting for? I'm sure they have plenty of reasons. Of course for me when the new Focus comes out is irrelevant because my next car is going to be the new Mustang. I'm already saving extra money for gas. :)
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Well, you've just described 3/4 of the vehicles in our family! The 2001 Focus is my son's, my wife has a 2001 Taurus SEL, and I drive a 2000 Mustang convertible!

    I have to agree with you about Ford when you said "I guess what I am saying is that they should not let the Ford brand flounder while their other makes get all the good stuff." I think that they have concentrated on SUVs and trucks for so long that they have a fleet of cars that is a generation old. Look at my Mustang...same basic car as was the 1979 Capri I had the first year I was married - now my 17 year old daughter is sharing the Mustang with me. My wife's Taurus - cutting edge vehicle when the Taurus was introduced in '86 now laughed at by most car nuts but it is in reality still a very good car! The Focus...well we've had great experience with it as my son has put close to 45,000 miles on it in less than 3 years but look at the public's impression of the vehicle line.

    I hope not, but it sounds like Ford is running scared now, and when you do that, nothing good comes from it. I hope that we do see a new Focus based on the same platform under the Volvo and Mazda and I guess we'll just have to keep reading...hey, perhaps they just want us to subscribe to all the magazines!
  • My parents have a 99 Taurus and it has been a trouble free car. That 24V engine is no slouch either and my dad loves it. He was shocked however when he saw how badly the car gets hit in resale. We are a Ford family too. My grandfather, uncle and a few of my cousins have worked for Ford over the years in the Saint Louis area and we are pretty brand loyal. My Focus has had a few problems but I take them in stride because for the money there is not a better small car from a drivers perspective and the critics have proved that. Its just flat out fun to drive and I enjoy the fact that I have leather and traction control which you just cant get on a Civic or Corolla. Unfortunately so many people are more concerned about reliability than anything else. Those "A to B" guys dont understand us car guys. I am 33 years old and have had many cars but the only one I was as fond of as my Focus was an 84 T-Bird Turbo Coupe my dad bought me when I was a teenager. He then took it away about a year later because of my little speeding ticket problem. I have had a Civic, Mazda 626, Chrysler Sebring Conv, (most unreliable car I've ever owned. I had it before the Focus) I've even had a Taurus myself. A 97 with the base engine. With the exception of that T-Bird all have been front drivers which is why I want to go for the new Mustang. My father just bought a 03 Explorer Limited and its unbelievably impressive for a SUV. Not really my thing though. So Ive strayed from Ford especially in the '90s because all they were doing was building trucks. Thought about a SVT Contour but couldnt afford it at the time. Any way Im not putting down the Taurus but when others cross-shop and drive an Accord or Camry the Taurus usually comes up looking dated. The Focus got me back into the family and I'd like to see ford succeed but keeping old platforms around really wont cut it. The life they've gotten out of the Mustang platform is incredible but rear drivers are different and the customers who shop them are too. Anyway I dont usually do this but Im snowed in here in the Northeast and this thread has kept me from complete boredom yesterday and today. Ive been looking around the web for more info on the replacement time for the Focus but have found no luck. Your right about those magazines...Ive been getting Car and Driver since I was a kid and over the years they have printed what turned out to be inaccurate info quite a few times. One thing Ive enjoyed was Fords UK website. I really like the little Ka but I suppose its too small to certify for the US plus it would get trampled by all the trucks on the road over here. Probably not a safe car for the US. Besides I guess no one would buy it here. Anyway fdthird happy holidays and heres hoping 2004 is a better year for Ford!!!
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Snowy and cold here on Long Island too and I know what you mean!

    My son has had a couple of minor problems with the Focus but we have a very good Ford dealer and I have a great relationship with the service manager. They are always willing to fix problems and so little things stay little. I think that so many of he bitches folks have about the Focus include a bad dealer in the equation. A problem car plus a dealer who doesn't give a damn equals disaster! The dealer is an important element in owning a car and the few dollars people save when shopping is often not worth it in the long run!

    Those who are quick to shun Ford today forget back 10 years ago when it was the darling of the auto industry. We're a Ford family too and have been since my Dad's 57 Fairlane 500. I learned to drive on his 66 Galaxie 500 with a 390 and through the years we've had more Fords then other makes. We've had Japanese cars too (loved our 80 Honda Civic - hated our 84 Toyota van)when the American auto industry hit rock bottom (the 79 Capri was the turning point for me)but the Toyota van was garbage and 5 dealers didn't help. We traded it in for an 87 Ford van and have been back in the fold since.

    Stay warm and enjoy the snow...from inside!
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,209
    I'm a little fuzzy on this right now. Besides the Focus, Mustang, and GT, what else is Ford bringing out in '04 and when? Futura? Merc Montego?

    Is there a link somewhere with this information?
  • the focus made car and driver's 10 best yet again. this is the 5th year.
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    If this is a picture of the revised 2005 Focus (its the last picture to come up in the presentation) then I'd say that isn't much of a "freshening"....

    http://autoshow.edmunds.com/news/autoshow/articles/100915/article- - .html?tid=edmunds.e.laas..topsubnav.1.*

    Also

    http://www.autosite.com/Previews/2005-ford-focus.asp

    jkidd
  • its ok. too bad they are waiting so long to do a whole new version. it looks ok, not as distinctive as the current one, and the current interior is more exciting, whereas the new one seems too conservative.
  • with the lack of any real exciting refreshening and no huge differenc from the current model i for sure wont be getting a 3rd focus. it'll be time to change it up
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    I'm amazed how much the black 05 Focus sedan shown on autosite.com looks like the last generation ESCORT! Talk about a huge step backword....

    With the SVT going away, I would say that '04 will be last year the Focus will be on Car & Driver's 10 Best list....

    jkidd
  • The exterior may have lost a step. My favorite body style is the ZX5, though, so I'll reserve final judgement until seeing the new one. The new nose looks better, imo, because I didn't like the sharp, pointed nose in the current model.

    New interior looks much, much better imo. On top of dynamic improvements, looks like it's a better car.

    Having driven a European-spec Focus (Hertz rental) at high speeds through northern France, I have to say Ford has a fine little car in the Focus.
  • pappy55pappy55 Posts: 41
    where can I find specs for the 2004 models? If it is true that all U.S. models will have the 2.3 engine, I will definitely be waiting.
  • just got back from the auto show and i have to say that the new focus is totally bland, the interior no longer stands out in its class, and the exterior styling is just ok, nothing special. imo, ford is going to lose many focus fans cuz of this. the current interior is exciting, wild and truly looks like a modern car interior. the next one for 05 is way too plain...the vents are all rectangular, and the radio and knob cluster is boring. thumbs down to ford on this "refreshening"...good luck keeping up with everybody else.
  • Hey guys, is the 05 (re)designed in USA or Europe?

    I admit when I first looked at the Focus it was for features/bang for the buck. Agree that the ZX5 is the better looking of all the models, but I liked it because of the four doors. Alas, the ZTW had more cargo room--critical to me--so that's what I got.

    Initially I thought the ZX5 exterior (front & rear) was bizarre--especially the rear--but it grows on you and looks not at all plain Jane. With the right wheels, it looks cool. The dash layout is just plain modern and still draws compliments.

    Too bad plain Jane was on the design team (apologies to the real "Janes" out there...)
  • jkidd2jkidd2 Posts: 218
    Were you able to see an 05 ZX5? All the photos I have seen are of the sedan. I am truly amazed that Ford is turning its back on all the tunerboys out there by eliminating the SVT Focus...I realize its a slow seller, but its better to be in the game then to not be in it at all. Besides, the SVT Focus has a cult following already....ala 90's Civic's did as well.

    The decision to go with a sporty sedan in favor of the ZX3 and Zx5 is baffling to me. ???

    jkidd
  • the big prob is that the svt focus' werent selling well is what i heard. but i dunno for sure. but it seems as though having just a "street edition" type sedan isnt that great an idea. just doesnt have the mystery and cool factor like svt. the only focus at the auto show was the sedan. i havent seen the new zx3 or 5's yet. so i'm not sure what they'll look like. i love my current zx5...styling, everything. but what i've seen done to the sedan...i'm scared. like i said i dunno what they were thinking. it also baffles me as to why they are halting svt for now. probably saving tons of cash too. plus all focus' are now going to soon be built at the wayne plant here in michigan. instead of the 3's and 5's in mexico. also its about time they continued the zx + a number, throught the whole line for 05. i.e.:zx3, zx4, zx5, zxw, etc.
  • Looking at the redesigned Focus I finally could get excited about the car without having to swallow quirky, amusement park styling. I can't wait to see the ZX5! I'm hoping they smoothed out that ugly duckling. With the new engines and simple VW-like interior this model could really attract more traditional small car buyers. It looks so much more substantial now, and brings class beyond Japanese offerings. Ford now has a real bread and butter car that could attract more than incentive bottom-based consumers.
  • looks like puke. the interior is bland and completely uninspiring. if i want that i'll buy a cavalier
  • it also doesnt even come close to touching a vw's interior. we have a passat and there is no way that the new focus on the inside even comes close
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