VW Golf IV or Ford Focus ZX3?

mznmzn Member Posts: 727
edited March 2014 in Volkswagen
Sometimes it helps to compare cars head to head.
This is the place for Golf v. Focus discussion!



  • fastfocusfastfocus Member Posts: 42
    This new forum is appreciated, though it's sad to think about the demise of the Civic hatch. Maybe this figured into Ford's decision to bring the ZX3 to the U.S.

    As for Golf vs. Focus, it looks like classiness versus performance. I sat in a Focus recently (no test drive, yet) and the materials looked very cheap to me, very typically Ford. Though the roominess has drawn praise, the materials can't hold a candle to those in the Golf - no question which interior I'd rather sit in every day. But, the Focus costs less, is apparently just as versatile, and from what I've read is a better performer. Any comments from Focus or Golf owners?
  • dbakalardbakalar Member Posts: 39
    I've got a Golf GLS that I've had since July, and have no regrets whatsoever. I've been very satisfied with how it handles, the ride, and the gas mileage. I feel safe in my car, since it's got air bags ALL over the place, and it's a firm, solid little car. Everything in my car just seems to be put together with a tight, smooth, flawless finish both inside and out.
  • silyboysilyboy Member Posts: 90
    i am a big fan of the VW, but when Ford came out with the Focus at almost 2-3000 less, it helps to make that decision a bit easier. Especially if you just graduated college and have a low budget to begin with. There are advantages/disadvantages to both. The VW has 4 wheel disc with ABS standard, standard side air bags, those awesome large blue gagues, a better grade of interior materials, & an optional sunroof (on all but the GL model). The Focus has a longer bumper to bumper warranty (but doe snot incl. the maintenance like VW), more torque and horepower,& a standard CD player. Both of these models have great potential, and makes a greart debate item. Good luck with your decisions!
  • jefsterjefster Member Posts: 8
    anyone know volume capacity of both cars with rear seats down?
    price is a big factor in the Focus' favor, though I think the Golf GL has more standard equipment (even A/C i think)
    also, where is the Golf made, Germany or Mexico? There's been some concern raised by some about the quality of Mexican-built Focus h/bs.
  • silyboysilyboy Member Posts: 90
    the golf is made in germany. the jetta and new beetle are made in mexico.
    the focus HB in mexico. the sedan in MI. there has been areguement I have read however that the mexican made "Foci" are better than those made in Wayne, MI.
  • fastfocusfastfocus Member Posts: 42
    I know this probably won't count for much, but I've seen a number of Focuses (Foci?), and the one hatch I came across, Mexican-built of course, did seem to have a better paint job than the sedans. It just looked deeper and smoother.
  • compucarcompucar Member Posts: 21
    Recently, I have test driven both the Golf and the new Ford Focus. Both cars handled well. Certainly, the VW felt much tighter and gave me a more solid ride. The Focus was a tad cheaper in feel, though the car drove very well. The VW had many more built-in options and the price reflected that. Both the Focus & the VW Golf are nice looking vehicles. If you have extra money the VW is a good choice. If you need cheaper transportation or just do not want to spend an extra $3000 or so the Ford Focus is a good buy. One thing going for the Ford (at least in my part of the country) is that there are plenty of Ford dealers around for servicing while VW dealers are much harder to find.
  • dbakalardbakalar Member Posts: 39
    Yesterday, I went to the D.C. Auto Show, to check out all the new cars, and some of the VERY cool concept cars in the works. Thought I'd stop by the Ford section and finally sit in a Focus to see what everyone was talking about. I already knew they were butt UGLY cars before I went, but when I actually sat in one, I was even that much more unimpressed. Interior is as ugly as the exterior, and has a very cheap feel to it. And what's up with the height adjustment "crank" on the front of the driver's seat? Sure, they're more affordable than my Golf, but I'm glad I paid a few extra bucks to get all my standard features, standard SAFETY features, and a tight, solid, well put together car.
  • dragwaydragway Member Posts: 34
    I'm sure the service department is glad you bought the Golf too.
  • wolfarthwolfarth Member Posts: 8
    Funny, I didn't see you at the D.C. Auto Show.

    Seriously, I agree with your assessment of the Focus interior as cheaper than the Golf. The door liners of the ZX3 are very ugly. On the other hand, I like the tactiles of the Focus steering wheel and switch gear.

    I also love the Focus seat height adjustment crank! A lot of Focus reviewers have criticized the feature, and I don't get their problem. The crank is intuitive and simple to use. Moreover, it provides precise adjustment. (Would you explain to me what is "wrong" with the crank? Maybe I'm missing something....)

    As for the price differential, I can afford either car, and I recognize that the residual value of the Golf will be substantially higher. Still, its hard to justify a $2000-2500 difference (negotiated prices of a ZX3 versus that of a Golf GL with the 2.0L gas engine), especially when the ZX3 handles and rides so well. If the Focus works for you, why pay more? You'll save even more money in repair and parts costs!

    If Ford can establish the Focus as a high quality vehicle, we may be seeing the prices of future Foci rising, especially as traction control, sunroofs and new engines make their way into U.S. showrooms next year.

    Note that we're pretty lucky to be arguing about the relative merits of two such high-quality entry-level products. I knew the VW management team was good (I own a '91 Corrado and a Passat), but the Focus has convinced me that the team now running Ford knows what it is doing. I'd like to see them push each other to even better products.

    (Actually, I'd like VW to quit short-changing the U.S. market and send us 1) a 4-Motion AWD vehicle, 2) the remarkable V5 Golf GTI [not just the 1.8T], and 3)the Seat Leon. [The latter has the 180 horses of the Audi TT Coupe, super styling, with the price tag of a U.S. Golf GTI.]}

    (And memo to Ford: where is our 5-door Focus?????]
  • jtaimjtaim Member Posts: 34
    I've driven various versions of the Golf/Jetta and Focus, and it's true that the Golf/Jetta has much richer looking materials, EXCEPT for the seats in the base GL models. Yuck! Nothing wrong with cloth seats but the "fun" pattern is gross. A Focus zts with leather would probably make up for a lot of the downscale look in comparison to the VWs.

    I'd have to disagree with those who say the VWs feel a lot more "solid" and "tighter". The VWs are quieter (except for the 2.0L engine at hw speeds), but the Focus chassis is as tight and solid. The doors probably do not have as much sound deadening material, but on the road I didn't notice any creaks, groans, or rattles.

    There both good cars, with the VWs feeling more upscale, mainly because of the dash materials and better sound-proofing. Fun-wise, the Focus will give the VWs w/2.0L engines a run for the money.

    BTW, I own a Passat and never owned a Ford, FWIW.
  • dbakalardbakalar Member Posts: 39
    Maybe I'm lucky, but I owned a '92 Jetta, and had not a single problem w/ it, and enjoy my Golf even more. I've just never been fond of Ford products. I had a '95 Contour, and regretted buying it almost as soon as I got it home. The transmission (automatic, reluctantly) had the typical linkage problems that is not a stranger to Ford products, and to be honest, it wasn't all that attractive of a vehicle, and didn't handle all that well either. I'm sold on VW.
  • unclealuncleal Member Posts: 9
    My '95 SE has almost 160,000 miles with NO problems...

    170 hp worth of performance and great handling...

    My Probe GT (turbo) had over 240,000 miles on it when I bought the Contour and IT had all original parts (except for tires, brakes, battery, muffler). The only problem I had with IT was a stuck headlight retractor.

    Thanks, but I'll keep my Fords.

  • scosolscosol Member Posts: 1
    And I'll tell you why-

    Because VW has NO OPTIONS.
    Meaning, I don't want power windows/locks, A/C- special wheels, keyless entry-
    None of that crap.
    I want the bare-bones as-light-as-possible machine.
    On all VWs, this stuff is standard.
    Ford gives me that option, the stock Hatchback is just about perfect.
    The only thing I'd possibly add is ABS.
    The car's weight is about 2500lbs.
    I can use the 3-4k I'm saving by not getting a Golf and buy a turbo kit for the Focus.
    And I'll be just as fast as I was in the old VR6.
    And I'll handle better (but look weirder ;>)
  • dbakalardbakalar Member Posts: 39
    The GL is bare to the bones. The GLS has all the optional crap, standard. To each his own, but I like all the power windows, locks, sunroof, keyless entry, alarm system... etc.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    There already is a Golf vs. ZX3 topic. Why is this one listed?
  • mznmzn Member Posts: 727
    Good point, tomcat630! Let's continue our conversation in topic #246. Thanks!

This discussion has been closed.