Ford Focus hatchback

regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
edited March 2014 in Ford
A little informal survey on whether you like or
dislike the upcoming Ford Focus hatchback. I
didn't like it at first, but now I'm starting to
like it. It's better than your typical Civic
hatchback, I think.


  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    I've been trying to generate some talk about the Focus in the station wagon section, to no avail! I am looking forward to the release of the whole line, because it is the first time a U.S. company has posed a serious challenge to VW and others in the real of sporting, affordable, well equipped compacts. I do think that the New Edge look is a love it or hate it concept, but I happen to like it. Those taillights on the C-pillars are funky, but no one complained when Volvo did it to their wagons. I want the wagon, simply because my aging 4Runner has made me dependent on lots of space to throw stuff, seats up or down. Also, I can't afford a Passat and there is not a single sporting wagon out there right now under $19K. I'd like to see a Focus wagon with a 5-speed, that 140hp engine, and traction control. Please Ford, don't make me buy a Golf! I'd much rather have a fun-to-drive wagon than compromise on a hatchback.
    Anyway, assuming Ford's marketing guys get their act together (lessee, how many good cars have they killed? Contour, Scorpio, SHO, yadda yadda), the Focus could be a runaway hit. AS you may know, it won European Car of the Year 1998, as voted on by the euro automotive press. The Puma (europe only) has been described as a superb handler in the sub-compact segment, and it is reasonable to assume a lot of that engineering will be in the Focus. I'm sure U.S. dealers will have no idea what to do with it (I got in an argument with my Mercury dealer-he didn't know why on earth I would think the Cougar was related to the Contour...uh, same platform, chassis, and driveline, maybe?), but that may help poor sots like me cut a good deal. Any European Town Hall visitors have any real world words of praise/tales of woe for us Yanks on the Focus?
  • diciedicie Member Posts: 9
    When is this hatchback likely to be available? And where can I see a better picture of it? Ford's website shows a shockwave movie with bits and pieces, but I can't see the whole picture of the car. And the pictures they show look like a sedan, not a hatchback.

    Any thoughts?
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    Well, Edmunds had some connected to their coverage of the Detroit Auto Show. There is a good spread in the Feb. issue of Motor Trend, and that may be posted on their site, Production starts this summer, and they will be for sale this fall as a 2000 model. Hey carlady, (town hall host) are those Auto Show pictures archived somewhere?
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    I sure hope that Ford gets rewarded for building a well-engineered small car, but with U.S. consumers, it usually boils down to looks and price.
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    Yes, lucien2, there are photos of the Ford Focus hatchback in our coverage of the Detroit Auto Show. Scroll through the photos and you'll see the Ford Focus. I think it has an interesting look.

    To find all the auto show coverage, go to Editorial, select News, and click on the Auto Show Coverage. If you need help, just let me know. :-)

  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    You are right about most U.S. consumers. I really think marketing this one is going to be tough for Ford. Compare VW, Audi, Honda, etc. ads to Ford and, worse, GM ads. The look and feel of those import ads appeals to younger, well educated buyers with an appreciation for asthetic, design, music and humor. Sound like a potential Focus buyer? The design and engineering on the Focus would appeal greatly to Golf/Jetta buyers and could herald a rebirth of affordable sport wagons, but as an Escort replacement (as that is surely how Ford execs will think of it), they're gonna try and sell it to middle America, where the pedestrian, terribly engineered, unsafe (folds like a taco when broadsided) Cavalier rules the domestic-compact roost.
    I am also worried about the death of the Contour. I don't have enough faith in Ford (or any domestic) marketing team to effectively market this car to a broader audience. Sadly for them, this one HAS to fly. I hope they are up for it. I am looking forward to this car, though. I am holding off on purchasing a Golf until the Focus arrives- the wagon looks great- cool New Edge front end and Passat Jr. body. The golf is roomy and fun, but this will be roomier and could be a real blast to drive ( so say auto writers who have driven Euro-spec models). *sigh* Dearborn, gimme that traction control, 'cause the Golf doesn't have it.....
    BTW, are you considering a purchase? If so, what? Sorry for being long-winded...
  • regfootballregfootball Member Posts: 2,166
    I think the 5-door is my favorite. The interior is stylish. Ford probably won't bring the 5-door here, even though it's probably faster and a bunch cheaper than the VW Golf. We never get the good stuff in the U.S.

    Click on the focus link for some pictures.
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    Yea, I agree, it sucks that manufacturers don't seem to think U.S. buyers will pay attention to interesting models. We'll send a petition to Ford telling them they have at least two buyers for that 5 door....

    Man, they could give VW a run...
  • diciedicie Member Posts: 9
    It's such a bummer that they will only offer the 3-door hatchback in the U.S.! VW has made their 4-door available only in the pricier GLS version... which makes getting an affordable 5-door hatchback impossible!

    Why do auto-makers think that we (Americans) like having to take off our seatbelts, get out of the car (or be mushed against the dashboard) when we discharge passengers? I just don't get it!

    I really don't see what is so sporty-looking about 2-doors vs. 4-doors. And I'm an industrial designer!!!
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    I couldn't agree more. Shall I add you to the petition me and reg are sending? It will guarantee Ford at least three 5-door sales!

    Seriously though, a friend of mine says that Ford is now taking under consideration the possibility of bringing the 5-door over. I have no idea how reliable that information is....We ought to be getting firmer information soon, since the Dearborn plant is already undergoing preliminary re-tooling and will be cranking the suckers out around July or August. Seems to me that someone ought to be asking the Ford guys some more questions. Of course, since it isn't a luxo-laden 350hp insurance nightmare, no car magazine is going to care enough to pursue it. Hey carlady, pass it on to the Editors--scare up some more information on lineup and options (there is a lot of cool stuff available in Europe that may or may not be offered to us, supposedly brain-dead, US customers)
  • hyunhyun Member Posts: 2
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    Um....would you care to offer some facts to back that statement up? From what I have read, the Focus has more power (140 hp for Zetec equipped U.S. versions), a better 5-speed (Getrag-built, I believe?), is bigger, has ABS standard, and has better slalom and skidpad numbers than an Accent. It is also available as a hatchback, a sedan, or a wagon. the interior has gotten high marks from the european press for ergonomics, NVH, and comfort. Why, for instance, is the Accent not Euro Car of the Year? As for looks, well, I think the Focus has a love it-or-hate it style. In my book, a style that evokes a response in both directions is better than one that evokes none at all.....
  • elemanteelemante Member Posts: 7
    I don't think ford will ever send the five door over here to america. being that most of the car market has basically abandoned the five door in favor of the good ole station wagon, ford will never do that. Ford has already made that mistake with it's merkur line some years ago. And plus the five door and the wagon would be fighting for each others sales. Ford wants to keep it as simple as american pie no matter how many of you like FLAN. How many five doors does volkswagen sell in the U.S. anyway ??
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    hee, hee...god one with the flan.

    you are right, of course, and I think that we all know it, but that didn't stop us from wishing....My family actually owns TWO Merkur Scorpios, and they kick butt. They also sell well in Europe, but bricked in the U.S. Way to go, Ford marketing! Parts are now impossible to find, and Mom just ditched hers (120,000 miles) for an Accord. She says she wants her Scorpio back. But I digress..
  • elemanteelemante Member Posts: 7
    It is a shame what happened to those merkurs. I think the five door Focus would make a great car if it came with the Duratec v6. Unfortunately it's all about making the most money and not what the enthusiasts think. In fact the only company that did care about the enthusiasts is about to be sold off in the near future, i hear.
    Of course i'm talking about BMW. Too bad us americans won't understand until it's too late.
    In ten years they'll be companies selling over priced neons with v6's and automanuals as sporty.
    when will the companies get it.
  • junglistjunglist Member Posts: 2
    Do they make an all wheel drive version of the Focus? I know that the WRC car is AWD, but is there a production model, and if so, will the US see it?
  • elemanteelemante Member Posts: 7
    I doubt the u.s. will ever see a production focus with all wheel drive. The only way i can see it in the near future, is if SVT has something to do with it. You could probably make your own AWD version with some specialty parts from over seas at best.
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    yea, the only awd focus I've seen is the WRC car, and it was not even a real photo, but a doctored image of a stock 3 door. They stole Colin McRae from Subaru to drive it, though. That must of cost some dough.
    I think I've decided to keep my old Toyo 4Runner, and fix it up a bit. As much as I pine for a sporty, practical car (aka focus? maybe?) even a relatively affordable one like the Focus, I just can't justify spending the money. I guess I don't earn enough to feel comfortable laying out 3 or 4 hundred a month. The ol' truck has already been overhauled, and has a legendary reputation for going 200 or 300,000 miles when well-maintained. That does not mean that I'm done talking about these cars, however....
  • diciedicie Member Posts: 9
    Do you happen to know how much the Focus is going to cost in the US? I'm assuming that they will only have the hatchback w/ 3 doors...correct?
  • zacharylauriezacharylaurie Member Posts: 51
    From what I've heard they are going to releas a hatchback, a 5 door (hatchback or wagon), and a sedan.
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    hi zach, we are starting to bump into each other, aren't we?

    dicie- pricing is not firm yet, but expect it to be within a grand or so of the escort. That would put hatch and sedan prices in the $13,000 to 16,000 range, and the wagon somewhere in the 16,000 to 17,500 range. That is really rough though; we'll have to wait for more info from Ford this summer.
  • jdeemerjdeemer Member Posts: 1
    Why were the Ford Probes discontinued? So what if the Mustang is a better car. Everyone has a mustang. Its the most common thing to have a mustang. I have a Ford Probe and I like my car and everyone I talk to likes the Probe too. So whats the deal?
    [email protected]
  • elemanteelemante Member Posts: 7
    the car wasn't bringing in enough sales to justify it's production after 97.
    Also very costly to build being that it used japanese parts. needed a big number of sales to keep it alive. that didn't happen and it died.
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    yup, as did its assembly line twin, the Mazda 626 coupe. The whole 2+2 market sort of caved there in the mid 90's. lost the Nissan NX, Probe, 626 coupe, RX7, 300Z, Paseo, that cool Mazda MX-3; not all these cars were in the same class, but they all faded away within 3 or 4 model years of each other. Remember the Toyota MR2...? (not a hatchback, but RIP)
  • sentient_lifesentient_life Member Posts: 10
    I hate to say this, but Mazda's car was called the MX-6, not 626. The 626, AFAIK has always been a 4 door. I wanted so much to get a MX-3, until it was cancelled in '95.
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    right,right..sorry. My bad. Thanks for the correction
  • lex28lex28 Member Posts: 5
    I think the Focus is a very cool looking car. I would consider one but i don't have enough information on the Focus. Another barrier would be, that I don't buy domestic cars, only trucks. The Focus will have to be really spectacular to win by $.
  • elemanteelemante Member Posts: 7
    yeah the focus is a nice car. I would like to see if ford really does bring out the cosworth version or it's parts in the months to come after the focus is introduced. I would love to buy the ZX3 hatchback and slap that turbo on it that makes 200+hp. That would spank the hondas no problem.
    I don't know if too many of you have seen pictures of the FOCUS, but for the record, i think the four door is the best looking. If you want info on the FOCUS, get it from fords main website.
    If you want pictures, visit some of the websites of the more popuar magazines. and . also try roadandtracks website.
  • stubstub Member Posts: 1
    Hey elemante, just so you know, it's the Ford ZX2, not ZX3, and also, it's not a hatchback.
  • manchildmanchild Member Posts: 18

    From where are you getting the 140-hp figure for the Focus' Zetec engine? So far, everywhere I've read (including Edmund's) has said that the engine choices would be a 107-hp 4-banger and a 130-hp Zetec.

    Considering this car is now going to replace the Contour and not the Escort, these are horrible choices, IMNSHO. Slick European handling is one thing, but it helps to have just a little more oomph under the hood as well. There's a reason the BMW 318 was never that well liked. I'd like to see Ford tune that Zetec up to at least 150 ponies, just to bring it a little closer to the Contour SE in terms of power:weight ratios. (A rumor had circulated that the Focus might come with the Contour's Duratec V6, but it appears that's been squashed.)

    As a Mercury Mystique V6 owner, I was really looking forward to what the Focus might have to offer. Given the engine choices, the answer to that would probably be, "Not enough for me."
  • elemanteelemante Member Posts: 7
    yo stub, i was referring to the Ford Focus' Hatchback which is called the ZX3. Excuse me if i wasn't clear and confused you.
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    um...i think I read it in Car and Driver's preview of upcoming models. I could be wrong, too. On the other hand, I wouldn't be suprised if Ford massaged that power plant up to 140. Also, as far as I have read, that base 103 mill will not be offered in the U.S. Again, I read that months ago, so it might have changed.
  • manchildmanchild Member Posts: 18
    I'd be even less surprised at the 140-hp figure now. An article on the Motor Trend web site detailed the tuning done on the Cosworth Focus hatchback. Apparently, Cosworth turbocharged that Zetec to produce "200-plus" horses.

    Here's the URL:

    The more I think about it, the more I figure 140 horses is pretty good for a sub-2300-lb. hatchback. Of course, I was looking more at the sedan, which will probably be a couple hundred pounds heavier. Maybe I can learn to live with a hatch...
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    COOOL. too bad I need a wagon, that Cosworth has SVT written all over it. Any new news regarding release dates? I'm behind on my magazine prowling, but I haven't seen anything in a while. Only that Escort production will now overlap Focus building. My '86 4Runner is going through a quart of oil every 600 miles now; I'd love to know how long I need it to hold out before I can go find out if a Focus Wagon will be big enough to take over hauling duties.

    BTW, you we're right..130 hp is what Car and Driver listed. I figure you'll hate the idea, but how about the Euro-only turbodiesel? gas prices are starting to climb again...
  • manchildmanchild Member Posts: 18
    I am so spoiled by the V6 in my Mystique that I could never live with a diesel engine. I was spoiled by the V6 in the Pontiac 6000 I drove 7 years before that. As big a piece of junk that turned out to be after 100,000 miles, even an uplevel Civic felt like a fat step down.

    On the other hand, I've got my eye on hybrid EV technology, and I could definitely get into the idea of 50+ mpg if it had some oomph to go with it. The Chrysler Citadel concept, for example: the 300M's 253-hp V6 engine works with a 70-hp electric motor to provide V8 power with 4-banger gas mileage. Granted, I don't need *that* much power, but if someone would use technology like that to give a 4-banger some V6-like power, I'd go shopping.
  • matty99matty99 Member Posts: 7
    hi, i was wondering about the focus, do you think it will have the same interior as the uk models? i like that interior, its unlike any other interior i have seen on the market today, also which month are they going to release the car, anybody know?, i have herad sometime in the fall, but wasn;t sure when though

  • pbarachpbarach Member Posts: 1
    On a recent trip to the UK, I had the new Ford Focus as a rental vehicle for about 4 days. I liked the styling. The initial feel of the car is "solid." It does not feel like any of those tinny subcompacts that Ford has imported in the past (e.g. Festiva or Aspire). I don't know what engine was in this rental car. It was equipped with a 5-speed that had a rubbery shifter. The handling was superb and the car was a blast to drive once I got used to the shifter. Seats were very comfortable in front. There was little legroom in back.
  • hobbsiferhobbsifer Member Posts: 1

    I have enjoyed all the previous posts-- the information has helped me out. I have contacted Ford North America's customer support and they have given me conflicting information. One person stated that the Focus would be available, for purchase, by late August. Another representative reported not until October. Anybody have better information?
  • manchildmanchild Member Posts: 18
    Right now, I would bet on October. It's the start of the fiscal year and a better time to advertise a new car launch -- plenty of sporting events going on (the World Series, pro and college football), not to mention Xmas and winter around the corner.

    Then again, I don't have any better info than you do, so what do I know? I'd suggest waiting until October, and if it launches before then it'll be a pleasant surprise. =^)
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    I am inclined to agree with manchild. We had an announcement back in april that Escort production would be extended due to demand (?!) Well, since the Focus will be built at the same factory, it stands to reason that the re-tooling and training has been delayed. The car was originally scheduled to go on sale in August. I would bet that these changes will make it late.

    BTW, I was unable to hold out- my truck died. Bought an Outback wagon for cheap as they close out the '99 MY for the all-new (or mostly new) '00. Oh well. I will have to replace my wife's car sometime soon.......
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    The Escort production is being moved to Mexico.
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    There are now specs for the ZX3 and other focus models at
  • waclawibwaclawib Member Posts: 3
    My father bought the new Focus this summer. What a terrific car! I am anxious to see the car in the US as it looks and drives great. The good news for the US consumers is that it will be better equipped than the European models. They only thing I am curious about is the price. If it is right, I want one!!!
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    Same for me. My wife and I have decided that we really like the versatility of a hatchback. I'm just waiting to see how much it costs.
  • lucien2lucien2 Member Posts: 2,984
    Ford dealers now have glossy inside-sales folders on the car, with pictures and vague specifications. STILL no final word on pricing; don't know about powertrain either.
  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    I put a link a few posts back for Carpoint that has stats and powertrain numbers for the focus.

    Hatchback 2.0 I4 130 HP 130 lbs of torque

    Sedan 110 HP 125 torque base engine. Optional same engine as the hatch on higher trim models.

    Station Wagon Same as hatch

    Hatch comes with a standard CD player.
  • wolfarthwolfarth Member Posts: 8
    According to (a wonderful web site), Ford starts a major week-long advertising campaign for the Focus July 26. That suggests to me that US versions will be rolled out in August, not in October as some of us had thought.

    BTW, the July issue of Britain's Car magazine included a letter from a disgruntled UK owner of a Focus hatchback. He had had trouble with an ill-fitting windshield and some other fittings, but his dealer was not being very cooperative. The writer recommended buying a Citroen Saxo or a VW Golf instead. (Yeah, right!)
  • tk4u001tk4u001 Member Posts: 1
    I believe that the second generation Ford Escorts are the best hatchbacks that Ford has ever made. It is very roomy and comfortable. Sure the engine is small, but a few modifacations, it can compete with the big boys.
    The hatchback makes the car look more sporty but without the sporty price sticker.
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    Friends, it was necessary to scribble dae3's "Super Long Post" which, correctly, was hidden above. Because of copyright laws, Edmunds cannot publish information from others sources without obtaining a release in advance. This applies to our users as well. Whenever possible, please provide a link to material you would like to include in your post. Thank you!

  • dae3dae3 Member Posts: 55
    Well, that kind of stinks. There was a lot of great info there about things that people have been speculating about here. The reason I didn't put a link was because the address was about ten miles long. Sorry.
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