Focus ZX3 vs VW Beetle

mylittlepudgemylittlepudge Member Posts: 5
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.


  • cefurodcefurod Member Posts: 72
    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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member 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 Member Posts: 727
    Congratulations chrismar! I love happy car owners!!

  • chrismarchrismar Member Posts: 18
  • 16valver16valver Member Posts: 8
    zx3 please
  • stolzerpastolzerpa Member Posts: 3
    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!
  • thinkdieselthinkdiesel Member Posts: 2
    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.
  • landlmomlandlmom Member Posts: 1
    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 Member Posts: 5,729
    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 Member 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.
  • waynerpwaynerp Member Posts: 35
    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.
  • sellingzx3konasellingzx3kona Member Posts: 12
    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 @ [email protected] The car is in the Dallas metro area. Thank you for your time and have a great day!
  • captrickcaptrick Member Posts: 1
    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!
  • mlinkmlink Member Posts: 7
    After all of my searching it seems that WV has set the replacement for a manual at 60k and an auto at 40k (although I do not believe there is a difference in my manual, I still need to look this up). I have found that prices very greatly, my dealer has quoted me $250 I have heard some people pay as low as $225, but many are being charged $400 and up.
  • sellingzx3konasellingzx3kona Member Posts: 12
    10,300 miles Automatic * Power Everything * Factory CD Player * 16 inch Factory Alloys * Kona Blast Mountain Bike * Factory Roof Rack * Factory Water Proof Seat Covers * Every available factory option * Only 4,000 2000 model year Konas made- Only 1,000 were Silver!
    I have ordered my new car so I must sell.
    I am in the Dallas area. If you are interested please call me @ 214-629-3061 or e-mail me at [email protected] E-MAIL FOR PICTURE!
  • tdibugmantdibugman Member Posts: 5
    My 98 NB TDI is about to turn 65K, my timing belt change was 149.99 for the belt, labor, and tensioner. I have driven a Focus ZX3 - why the lackluster acceleration, even with a five speed? You would think with that much more hp than my TDI, it would be noticable. I guess my size (6'8", 350 lbs) demonstrates the old adage - americans love torque but buy horsepower. the funfactor of this wonder motor never cease to amaze me. (The best was the look on the the lot attendant at The Home Depot as I loaded 16 bags on concrete in my NB TDI and drove away!)
  • elebutelebut Member Posts: 5
    At least the ZX3 is an innovative design. The new beetle is simply a means of cashing in on a retro look. As for the comment about Avis, yeah, the Escort may be in that category, but there is no reason to lump the ZX3 with the Escort. The New Beetle probably wouldn't be commonly found at a rental service, but maybe that tells you something about reliabilty and quality. I haven't driven a Beetle, and I own a ZX3, but I'd like to point out that inexpensive does not necessarily imply cheap. Is it possible that the New Beetle is simply an overpriced cute little people mover?
  • govugovu Member Posts: 62
    I guess it depends on what you mean by "people mover." I have my friend's Chevy Blazer right now. I can't wait to get my New Beetle back tomorrow. Same thing when I trade my dad for his Honda CRV. And my friend's Nissan Sentra. I love to drive my car, and that has to be worth something. Maybe the same goes for the ZX3...I dunno, I've never driven one.

    The fact that you can't find a New Beetle at a rental service tells you that it does cost a little more than a typical 4-banger. But then again, with everything on the car, maybe it should cost a little more.
  • kjclowkjclow Member Posts: 29
    I bought a cyber green new beetle last June with the luxury package and the TDI. We looked at several other cars in the same size catagory. Yes, we paid a little more but feel that we got the overall best car for it. I love having the TDI. We do a lot of city driving. I fill the beetle up twice a month and just go. We fill our Windstar up every five or six days, with almost twice the tank size. I average around 45 mpg in town and the thing can really scoot when needed. I know that it will do 90 and that's at about 3k on the tack. Not brave and/or stupid enough to top it out. I hate the flashing blue light effect on the interior.
  • jt3450jt3450 Member Posts: 1
    Ken, I bought me a 2000 Ford Focus Kona and mine came with the bike, I want to ask you, How much did the Bike cost, or how much does the Bike cost out here. No one seems to know.

    I need your input.
    [email protected]
  • bfallisbfallis Member Posts: 8
    I bought a ZX3 recently. I like the feel of the car inside and the 5-speed, and such, but mainly I liked the fact that as a tall guy I can easily fit into the driver's seat and my whole bass rig fits in the back. I felt the Focus had an excellent use of interior space. I was going to get the focus wagon, because it has a lot of cargo space, but decided that for $2500 less the ZX3 had plenty.

    I'd enjoy the beetle, I'm sure, but the ZX3 was just a lot more practical for me in terms of price and space. Although the beetle may have plenty of space too? never looked at one from the inside.
  • erictooleyerictooley Member Posts: 13
    Both are good cars and are fun to drive. The Focus has much more practical cargo room, and has the best back seat. The Bug's front seats are much more comfortable, and it's much quieter (except at idle). I can drive about 300 miles between fill-ups in my Focus, and about 500 miles in the Bug.

    A more direct comparison with the ZX3 might be a Golf. The Bug is more "personal" and less practical. It's the toy car that may make less sense than a ZX3, but more sense than a Miata.
  • alpine325ialpine325i Member Posts: 209
    I drove the new Focus and thought it had nice accelleration and was fun to drive, and had a cool stereo with some nice thick low mids and bass response, but I didn't like the build quality and fit and finish. The Focus also had a very annoying "Tionk" sound coming from the turn signal indicators. I did like the cargo space in the Focus. Then I drove the New Beetle, I liked the build quality and the interior alot more than the Focus, especially the seats which were heated, and the big open space in the cockpit. The 1.8T Turbo Beetle is alot of fun, real quick and agile, but real solid and great road feel. If you decide to buy the New Beetle, get the 1.8T Turbo, it's alot more fun than the non turbo. I bought a 2002 New Beetle GLX 1.8T, Black on Black leather, automatic, 17" wheels, 6 disc changer, but It cost me $22,000 for the fully loaded GLX with every option. I think the Focus is a great value for it's price and it's hard to compare the two when they seem so different, especially the prices. The Beetle on the other hand feels like it's built better but It will cost you alot more. Test drive both, each one will "speak" to you. For me, the Beetle spoke a little louder and clearer. :O)
  • periwonperiwon Member Posts: 15
    According to the April 2000 Consumer Reports, first year Focuses were about 30% less reliable than average, about the same as a Jetta, or for that matter, an Audi A6 or Volvo S80. The 2000 New Beetle was about 50% worse than average. Considering that average is 20 problems per 100 vehicles, I wouldn't let the reliability make the decision. One word of warning though: a couple of car magazines have done long term tests on the New Beetle Turbos, and have had to replace the clutch. Car and Driver found their Beetle Turbo to be one of the more expensive cars to maintain.

    To me, the Focus is a contemporary car, while the Beetle is a show car brought to life. I was thinking of looking at both cars, but at age 44, I would have felt goofy about driving a New Beetle. If I were younger, or female I'm sure I'd feel differently, but I'm not sure I'd find the extra money a Beetle costs to be worth it. Plus, the ZX3 has more rear seat room and an easier to load hatch.
  • cybergrnbugcybergrnbug Member Posts: 7
    Ok now didn't the Ford Focus have like 9 recalls already??????? Something is not right about that.
    I honestly don't see how you can compare the two.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,555
    they are two of the worst cars on the market in terms of reliability and repairs! LOL

    Although they may have finally got all the kinks out of the recall-plagued Focus - it IS in its fourth model year after all. There is no comparison between Focus and Escort - Escort was actually pretty reliable for what it was, but cheap as all heck. Focus does not feel cheap, and the Beetle feels luxurious, but there is no way you should be buying either unless you only intend to keep it for three or four years MAX.

    BEETLE is the most dismal model yet (and that is saying a lot after the early 90's jettas) for VW in terms of problems, repairs, breakdowns, and general malaise.

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

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