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Ford Focus ZX3 Hatchback - Part IV

mznmzn Member Posts: 727
edited March 2014 in Ford
This is the place to talk about the hottest
hatchback of the moment, the Ford Focus ZX3. To
read past posts, just click here.



  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    Ok let's make the Focus ZX3 the most talked about topic in Edmunds history. Can it be done?
    We need to make a chat room out of this Forum.
    Maybe some day we'll have Edmunds ZX3 Forum national conventions, heck International conventions. It's gunna be HUGE, MAN, HUGE !!!!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Alf3 suggested a ZX3 Homecoming, a la the Saturn gig held at the Spring Hill factory. Roadtrip to Mexico, anyone? Maybe we can raid the factory and bring back some spare parts for all the folks stuck with damaged hatchbacks :-) I'm sure Ford's PR department would love to take this on...
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    Crazy idea, but Mexico is out. They might not let some of us back in US. Just kidding. But really, how about Dearfield Village, the Ford Museum, in Michigan. I think the ZX3 in in the class of the Model T and Model A as far as Ford Products go. The Best Ford ever built!!!
  • zx3brizx3bri Member Posts: 11
    I have lost track of this forum so many times - these two responses are going to seem totally outdated, so please forgive me. Yes, I too, pine for a Contour SVT and the income to afford one before Ford kills it. And Pat, I think you said you bought a ZX3 at Wiscasset Ford. I bought mine from Portsmouth Ford, in NH, so we essentially bought from the same dealer. I was really satisfied that the discount was listed on the sticker, and that I bought for $45 over invoice. Of course now, they're under invoice. I have 3,020 miles on my Autumn Orange ZX3, and I love every second of driving it!
  • focusfanaticfocusfanatic Member Posts: 42
    thats GREENfield village isnt it? not dearfield?
  • tjts2tjts2 Member Posts: 18
    Judging from this forum, it appears to me that there is far more interest in the ZX3 than there is in all the other Focus models. But I recall reading somewhere that the sedan was supposed to make up 70% of production while the hatch would only be 15% (wagons make up the difference). What happened? Did Ford misjudge the market that bad?
    Hopefully this will convince Ford that we are worthy of the 4 door hatch. I would call it ZX5. Just a thought.
  • xquxqu Member Posts: 55
    It was a 2 lane highway (55MPH limit) and I was stopped at a redlight, there was a van on the right lane and this early 90's Accord followed me. When the light turns green, I took off pretty fast and passed the van in a second, the Accord suddenly changed to right lane and speed up hard trying to pass me. I decided to play with him so I speed up too. I didn't redline every gear and when I hit 65, the Accord already behind me 6-7 car length. Cuz I don't want to go any faster so I shift to 5th gear and keep my speed then after couple of seconds, the Accord kept up with me and passed me with at least 75!!! I know those Accord ain't fast but just let them know don't even try it with our Focii next time :o) maybe the V6 model has a chance.
  • hondattitudehondattitude Member Posts: 17
    Bro...the reason there is no armrest is because you dont need it when you have a manual trans. thats the point in not having an armrest you should have a manual trans....do you?
  • xquxqu Member Posts: 55
    It would be nice if there is a aftermarket armrest cause I don't have to shift on long distance highway driving. Sure I don't need it when I drive in city, but the extra storage place is useful. Any suggestion?
  • monikaannmonikaann Member Posts: 16
    They have the tilt/telescopic steering wheel, cruise control, power windows; why not an ARMREST!
    If you don't want to use the armrest, raise it up!
    It sure would be nice on long trips. I'm pretty sure that the consoles are one piece and it either has the armrest or doesn't. It isn't one console with a bolt on armrest.
  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    hey man , dont hide your repeat response, scribble it.
  • xquxqu Member Posts: 55
    Thanks, I got it.
    But it didn't work yesterday so I hid it.
  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    no prob man, just wanted to help. :)
  • bootedbooted Member Posts: 1

    I don't think that those numbers are really that far off. I think the people in here are just a vocal minority. People seem to like the hatchback, but I've seen a LOT more sedans on the road. North Americans generally aren't as fond of the hatchbacks.
  • jpthreejpthree Member Posts: 16
    Hey, anyone know where I can get door sill protectors aside from the carbon fiber ones from KKM? Has anyone fitted the Euro ones to their car yet? Also, where can I get the Euro accessories catalog?


  • cefurodcefurod Member Posts: 72
    I test drove a manual sedan before i bought the zx3 because the dealer i went to didn't have a manual zx3. It had an armrest and it just got in the way of shifting. I would also like an armrest for long distance and for storage but i hope they'll make one that doesn't get in the way of shifting.
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    Okay Focusfanatic, Your right, it's Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan.

    About the ARM REST. Thought that somebody posted that the sedan arm rest would fit ZX3. Would have to go back and search it out to know for sure.

    DOOR SILL protectors. Thought I saw them on one of the Auto Part Store sites while I was looking for a Focus Bug Deflector. Anybody find a Focus Bug Deflector.

    ZX3BRI: No, I got mine in Olean, New York. (No where near NYC, that place is about 7 hours away at 65+mph.) You must have been thinking of somebody else, or there's another Pat which is possible.


    (Okay carlady (mzn), I used the spell check.)
  • danny1234danny1234 Member Posts: 21
    Hi folks, I'm beginning to see a lot more zx3 foci in the detroit area.. I have not yet seen the green, or malibu blue ones yet, but have seen one in almost all the other colors. But the
    sedan to the hatchback ratio is like 20:1, so it seems like ford's estimates are on target. However, this group is the most vocal judging by the number of postings.

    I'm beginning to wish that the car had slightly stiffer springs - It bounces too much over road undulations. Also feel like the speakers could sound better - they are not very clear at very low or very high volume levels.

    Another wish is to reduce interior sound - my commute has become an hour long lately, and it would help if the drone was more muted. Has anyone here tried to use Dynamat? Any comments about it?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Danny1234, for Dynamat to work properly, you'd have to strip out your entire interior and apply it to the metal panels of the car. Dynamat works by damping the drumming and noise amplification properties inherent in steel metal. Just throwing it under the carpet won't make much difference. For a lot of $$ and effort, I don't think you'll notice that much difference. I just helped a friend install new carpet in his older car, and he splurged for Dynamat -- we couldn't tell the car was any quieter. My idea - lose the Goodyear tires. Most of the noise you hear in a ZX3 is tire related, and I've found Goodyears to be pretty noisy tires. Spring for something like Pirelli P6000's or Yokohama AVS Intermediates. You'll get better handling, braking, and lower noise too.
  • chrbetrchrbetr Member Posts: 1
    Ooops, I scribbled my question by mistake.

    I was asking for an aftermarket armrest for a ZX3.
    Mine is automatic.
    By the way, the armrest is an option in the wagon but not in the hatchback.

    5 door:
    I just came back from a trip to Germany where I saw quite a lot of 5 door hatchback Focus. European like hatchback, American don't.
    I also notice that all Focus had headrests on the back seats. US-made Focus don't. They must have saved a little money there.
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    The DIstrict Manager of Ford called me today and apologized for the delay. She claims the production line will stop or has been stopped in order for key components to be sent to dealers. (I can't say I believe this scenerio).

    I also spoke to the parts manager at the ford dealership and he was extremely apologitic.

    Most important, the district manager offered me free extended warranty on my car so that it now has 5 year, 70,000 miles bumper to bumper warranty. They will also pay any additional rental car charges beginning on Monday. This peace offering was nice, but I remind all, that I would have rather have had my car back 2-3 weeks ago.

    The moral of this story is to be vocal about your opinions. I always remained calm (as best as I could) and was not shy in telling Ford what I thought Lexus (or Saturn) would do under the same circumstances. I said Ford should try their hardest to keep me as their customer because I fit the demographic that any automaker would kill to get!

    So drive your zx-3s carefully. I hope no one has to be annoyed and disappointed these last few weeks with Ford as I have been.

  • silyboysilyboy Member Posts: 90
    when i went to the milwaukee auto show this weekend and spoke to a Roush rep. he said Roush will have a focus for the 20001 model year. He mentioned they have had the car for a year, and are mostly working on wheels/tires, suspension, exhaust, and a few interior/exterior upgrades. However, this vehicle will be based on the se sedan he said... but beggars can not be choosers i guess!!
  • silyboysilyboy Member Posts: 90
    ok the year for the roush focus is 2001, not 200001. my bad. keep the chat alive everyone!

    norwaydoug- sorry to hear about the parts problem. but at least u now have another 2 yr. of warranty without having to pay for it!
  • zxthreezxthree Member Posts: 6
    I'm glad you finally got some measure of satisfaction, or assistance, from Ford, and I commend them for their action. I wonder, however, if you would have heard anything had you not been a regular contributor to this public discussion. Your point - the wheel that sqeaks gets oiled - is well taken. In the future I hope Ford will work hard to satisfy all Focus customers, and to ensure that their products are well-supported at every level. Good luck to you. I hope your travails are just about over!
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516
    An just real happy to hear that they contacted you and made peace offerings. At least they are listening and maybe learning. Hoping you get back on the road with your Focus real soon. It pays to be patient and calm in these situations.

    Arm Rest: If you go back thru postings in forum I believe you will find a post that says you can order the arm rest thru Ford and that it will fit the ZX3. Haven't seen a after market non-Ford arm rest anywhere yet. I've been thinking about ordering one also, but first thing is a good coat of quality polish to make my Malibu Blue ZX3 paint job look really deep. The snow, salt and sand is not making me a happy camper, but it will go away soon enough.

  • monikaannmonikaann Member Posts: 16
    Check it out. Looks like it could hold CDs
    http://www.howard.co.kr/auto/carbest/bestpage.htm#colsole box.
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    hmmm, looks like a compotable colsole box! I guess that manufacturer don't speak the english!!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Love that ad - I bet it is a real quality piece of equipment :-) Let the buyer beware...
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Yes...that looks like a fabulous piece, however, I am going to wait for the subsequent model equipped with a cooling compressor so I can store my drinks at the temperature at which they were meant to be enjoyed.

    BTW: I am happy I do not have an armrest. I thought the one in the ZTS Sedan looked flimsy and definitely gets in the way of shifting gears.

    Our zetec ZX-3s are all about simplicity. I'll wait and get a 'loaded' model when the high performance version comes out in 2001.

    Thanks again for all the kind words. I have said all I can regarding the slow repair of my Focus. I'll let everyone know when my car comes back and my review of their repair. (Better be good!).

    Have a good week end. That console really made me laugh.

  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    I have had my Focus for 2 months and it now has 4000 miles on it. Has anyone had any suspension problems?

    The rear driver side suspension feels weaker and less controlled. I noticed this about 3 weeks ago. There is more body motion. It does not feel as planted and taut cornering right has It does when I corner left. I have heard of springs compressing which can make the car a little lower on one side. Does anyone have any suggestions?? I scheduled an appointment with the dealership to check the springs and shocks.

    I did not buy the car from the dealer I am taking it to. I hope this want complicate things WHEN they fix this. I have a feeling they're not going to find any problem. You know how it goes...

  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    This is to those who want the bumper from the European models. I don't think it is possible since the Euro spec bumpers are about 3 inches shorter than American bumbers. Take a look at a Euro Focus and you will immediately notice the difference. US regulations require a certain size bumper.
  • zx3brizx3bri Member Posts: 11
    Just because the US government requires the specs at point of sale doesn't mean you can't install it and have a careless inspection station pass it year on year. Millions of Europeans drive with that bumper, and it's not necessarily unsafe.
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    i've been busy with work. norway i think the extended warranty is a nice offering but the long wait is just inexcuseable. i know all too well. so far our zx3 is running great! tomorrow i am going to schedule with a customizing shop to have a razzi ground effects kit installed. finally step #1 in the project! i will keep everyone posted.
  • orlockorlock Member Posts: 25
    Will Ford stop the assembly line to get a part? Only on orders from the brass. It's usually the reverse (plants grabbing parts out of dealers or calling dealers up to buy back parts). That is what Ford says to the parts managers, but I talked to one of the brass and it's just a line. He even says that they even called up trucks on route to the depots and had choppers meet the trucks to pull parts. There are instances where the dealer can get some parts from the line (we have a Ranger truck bed and have gotten complete engines), but I think it's because they are waiting for other parts or car orders and rather having them sit around, they sell them).

    Ford doesn't make parts. It's all contracted out. Getting parts from the vender is a slow process (a week minimum) and the dealers nor Ford has much control over them (there really isn't a lot of companies that make auto parts).

    I ordered my ZX3 in mid December and it looks like I might get it at the end of this month.
  • monikaannmonikaann Member Posts: 16
    Yesterday I saw the first Focus commercial with a ZX3. Some young kids pull into a tight parking place and they can't open the doors, so they all climb out the hatch.

    They also announced a spring sale. Buy a new Focus and get 6 months of gas free. With the price of gas at almost $1.50, that should get some attention. I don't know if that sale is just in the St Louis area or if that is a national sale.
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    Well, I'll be among the missing Foci owners soon as I went out to drive this morning and noticed a rather large J shaped stress crack on my front windshield just right of the mirror anchor and extending under the rubber edge. My heart sank thinking a kid had bounced a rock off it or something but the dealer said it indeed looked like a stress crack and when can I drop it off. Fully covered. :>) I drop it off Monday.
    Funny thing, on the way home I stopped at a burger drive through and the young girl said, "what a nice car!" and when I went through the car wash the guy taking the money also complimented the car and said they were talking about it last week when I went through. Wow!
  • projectzx3projectzx3 Member Posts: 256
    hey buddy! THANK YOU!!! my zx3 might still be sitting there if it wasn't for you. can i interest you in some Chesapeake Bay steamed crabs when they're in season?
  • zx3brizx3bri Member Posts: 11
    When I was at a strip mall today, an older lady saw me stepping out of my ZX3 and stopped dead in her tracks. She asked "what kind of car is that?" I told her and she said, "there sure are a lot of nice small cars coming out. I saw a commercial for a Honda [I assume the Insight]. That looks like it really gets around. I gloated, said thanks, and walked into the drug store!
  • nfocusnfocus Member Posts: 1
    Hello everyone! Just wanted to say how much my fiance and I love our new ZX3. We've had it now for a little over 3 weeks and we love it and all the looks it gets. It's just a great little car and thank goodness the gas mileage is good, because we couldn't afford it at $1.62 a gallon. Anyway, we too were wondering why the armrest wasn't an option on our car?
    I personally love the fact that I can slide easily into and out of our car. You don't have to use a lot of energy to get into or out of it. I love that, being that I am 6'3".
    It appears that a lot of people in California are choosing the 4 door over the ZX3, I haven't seen anyone else on the road yet. First roadtrip on the 17th, off to Lake Tahoe for the weekend! Anyone know what kind of snow chain/cables to use??
    Thanks and enjoy, see you on the road!
  • pcleveland2pcleveland2 Member Posts: 516

    The Goodyear Eagle RS-A should do just fine. They have a Mud/Snow designation and really amazed me in some of the snow storms we've had here in upstate New York. Just remember that they are not a ICE tire. I've found the ZX3 handling to be so good that it would be easy to overdrive it under those conditions. I did see cables on one of the after market sites, but can't remember which one it was. Don't know about the regulations you run into on passes and mountains out there, but have heard that you are required to have them under certain conditions. If you have to have them, check with a dealer in that area that is familiar with regulations and he should be able to set you up with the right ones. If you need them make sure their tight and you have proper clearance so they don't damage anything.
    Next winter I WILL have good ice/snow tires on my ZX3. Their just that much better and safer.
  • silyboysilyboy Member Posts: 90
    as the one members above was saying focus owners seem to be getting all the stares and looks right now- just like when the new beetle came out. i have had numerous people ask me about it and want to know what it is. the car wash people loved it. 2 guys were looking over my car for at least 5 min. while i was at lunch. i was even getting stares from another focus owner- prob. due to the fact that i have a sunroof on mine and personalized plates. I have had my focus now for 3 weeks this tue. and i love it to death and have enjoyed the over 1000 miles i have put on it already. i have not had any problems at all.i just hope everyone else loves their focus as much as i do.
  • moses5moses5 Member Posts: 61
    I have gotten tons of responses since I bought this car. At the grocery, at the car wash, in the parking lot(at a very upscale mall here in Dallas)I feel Like I driving a New Beetle. I even had a guy driving a porsche boxster complimenting my car. Who knew this little car would get so much attention. Also, I am surprised that must people don't know what it is given the commercials and the same front end as the sedan.

    Furthermore, has anyone had any suspension problems at all. Springs or Shocks?
  • chandra7chandra7 Member Posts: 4
    I live in southwestern ontario and test drove a zx3 for the first time yesterday. Loved it! Dealer had lots of stock to chose from. Just wondering if there are any Canadians out there who are willing to tell me the price they paid etc. Looking at zx3 automatic with a/c and possibly abs. All tips greatly appreciated!
  • zx3guyzx3guy Member Posts: 9
    Chandra7....here's the price breakdown, in Canadian dollars, on my ZX3:

    Focus ZX3 - $15,715
    automatic - 924
    comfort group - 504
    power group - 504
    keyless entry
    w/pwr doorlocks - 225
    ABS - 655
    air conditioning - 924
    excise tax - 100
    delivery - 700
    dealer commission - 200
    total cost b4 taxes: $20,451

    The price is basically $200 over dealer invoice. I ordered the car on February 7, and I expect to get my greedy little hands on my twilight-blue hatchling near the end of May....

    And for you armrest fanatics out there: the dealer assures me that he can install the center console/armrest in my ZX3 when it arrives, though I never inquired about the cost.
  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    I went to ford on Saturday to see how my car is doing. Well it is looking a lot better. The new hood and fenders are installed but it still has no head lights, windshield, or front bumper and the air bags are still out. I was told that they are still waiting on the dash. My car was outside so it is now coated in dirt. I was going to write "please finish fixing me" or "I miss my owner" in the dirt on the hood. As of March 8th it will be exactly 2 months since the accident and I still don't have my car back yet. I vented to my sales rep when he asked my how I was doing. Of course he said that he wished there was something he could do. Oh and about the watch, he said it was a promotion from back in September and that he could not find one for me. What else is new.

    Hey Doug,

    Who did you complain to, to get them to give you the extended warranty? I think I deserve something for my grief and was wondering what you did exactly. I would like to get maybe a lowjack or alarm system for free from them. I already bought the extended warranty. So if I could get something I'd feel a little better about this whole situation. Feel free to e-mail me.
  • kdominczakkdominczak Member Posts: 174
    I heard that better tires could make a significant improvement in overall handling and focus would get a better grip to the road.
    Also even quieter ride!!!
    Some folks are recommending Pirelli p6000 or
    Yokohama AVS Intermediate series.
    If we get a P195/60R as a factory tires what size of tires could we use as a replacement without buying new rims?
    Focus owners if you did it tell us more ,what improvements did you get ,what type and brand of tires have you bought (how much)?
  • rcushrcush Member Posts: 1
    This has probably been addressed somewhere but I will ask anyway....
    From reading all the reviews on the ZX3 I am thoroughly interested in buying one. I've had automatics all my life and now want some more fun and want a Manual ZX3. Since this is my first manual, I just want to know what owners think of the manual shifter...ie is it crisp and what's the throw length like? Thanks!
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    IMHO the shift action in the ZX3 is quite good for a front wheel drive car. The throws are a bit long, especially the 2-3 shift, but not absurd. The effort is very light, too light for my taste, but I'm adjusting to the "fingertip" shift action. I've grown to like the "titanium-look" shift knob, and have decided not to change it. Overall, I'd give Ford an "8" out of a possible "10".
  • danny1234danny1234 Member Posts: 21
    The car shifts much better when the temp is above freezing. - it is vague and gritty when the temp is below 30F. However shifting improves dramatically once the car warms up, even a little bit.

    So far I have about 7500 mostly highway miles at 75+mph on my car. The things I have noticed are
    1) There is a small squeak coming from somewhere.. 2) The suspension is quite supple now, it was firm when new.
    3) It may be my imagination, but the body seems to quiver more while hitting some kinds of bumps at higher speeds.

    Overall, it is still quite good, almost like now.

    Other stuff:

    Norway, congrats on getting closer to getting your car back.

    Projectzx3, please post some pictures of the car - before and after having your aero kit installed - it would be great if you could take some pictures of how you/the install shop went about doing it.. it would be great tips for the other wannabe kit installers.
This discussion has been closed.