Ford Focus Hatchback - ZX3 - Part V



  • viking7viking7 Member Posts: 6
    The Focus is obviously a well built car and a good initial value. Many reviews and awards are testament to that. The problem is that Ford will soon open the floodgates to fleet sales and thereby destroy resale values of the Focus. The focus will soon become a mainstay of the intermediate size rental car companies. Since rental cars can “turn over” two or more times a year anyone trying to sell a Focus will be competing with used late model rental Focuses (although they might not labeled as previous rentals). If you want an example look at the Taurus, what happened to the Contour, Malibu, Stratus, etc. Some car companies such as Honda (less 5% sales to rentals) protect their customers by limiting sales to fleet buyers. The big three also build down to the lowest common customer…this the rental car companies…that is why many of the big three have plasticky interiors and poor body integrity …for the rental car companies that hold on to a car for 1 year or less high quality is not necessary. For those who intend to keep their Focuses for 10+ years this isn’t an issue. But for others…Buyer Beware.
  • danny1234danny1234 Member Posts: 21
    when you trade in a car, is it's value subtracted from the pre-tax price of the new car? Or is it post - tax. I'm wondering if I trade in my zx3 to get a new one with tilt and power windows, will I be paying full sales tax on the new one?

    Not that i have any problems.. I just love my zx3, but just imagine the luxury of power windows in summer.. no need to reach across and crank up or down befre and after highway travel!! Plus, the steering can be set lower.. will make it much more comfy!

    Time to take my car in for the recall. will get my 2nd oil change done at the same time.

  • zx3cdnzx3cdn Member Posts: 27
    Rental shops won't have the zx3 so I wouldn't worry about the market being flooded with used zx3's anytime soon.
  • espowariespowari Member Posts: 36
    I know we're able to disable the seatbelt minder, but what about the shift light...

    I know when to shift. Don't blink at me telling me to!

  • viking7viking7 Member Posts: 6
    While its true that ZX3 probably won't see widespread use in rental industry the stigma of the Focus Sedan in the rental industry will surely effect the ZX3 as though it was a dime a dozen rental
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    check out the proof at

    as for the tilt, you probably better off ordering a tilt wheel from the dealership. much cheaper than trading your car.
  • coupe2001coupe2001 Member Posts: 100
    Yes, you will have to pay full sales tax on the new car if you trade.
  • espowariespowari Member Posts: 36
    For those of you getting ready to buy a car, the Edmunds web site was very helpful. The one thing when I was dealing with the finance guy yesterday was where they were making their money. I truly had a great deal until they added in the 'loan package'. I asked for a break down and the guy tried to redirect the question. I again asked for my percentage rate and got the run around. At that point I showed him my notes. We had agreed on price, so I multipled the percentage rate times the price of the car, added that to the price, divided by 60 and got my payment, which was about $80 less than what he was showing.
    He then explained that the Accidental Death and some other liability was added in, along with the Extended Warranty (which was maxxed out for time and coverage).
    If I had not asked, I would have been making a huge mistake!
    Anyhoo, we negotiated on the price, length and coverage of the warranty plus we removed the 2 extras and I was happy.
  • vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
    coupe 2001,
    please don't quote that review.
    It is totally misleading. There are so many mistakes in that review I wonder If they really drove the car.
  • mknightmknight Member Posts: 57
    I sat in a Honda Prelude and didn't think much of the head room. I adjusted the seat, then leaned forward and contacted my head with the windshield header / sunvisor area. Think: head injuries if you crash.

    I'm not that tall, just 5'8".

  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    I bought my car through CarOrder, and the price won't change from your order. BUT, I financed thru the dealer to take advantage of the 4.9 rate. I found that the finance guy was great, I said, "this is what I give you down, this is what's left, I want to finance it at 4.9 for 3 years, and that should come to this much a month." He got the same numbers and said "fine." Simple as that. And because I was working with a dealer a few hours away, they didn't even try to sell me add-ons! WOrked out well.
  • vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
    In what state did you order the car?
    I am in CA and as I know carOrder doesn't allow to finance through the dealer here. Am I right?
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    I'm in virginia. I think CA. is the "pilot state" for a newer carorder system, whereby they set up an "escrow account" thru a particular bank. However, when the CarOrder prices went up in every other state, they stayed low in CA due to the escrow system they (I suppose) want to promote.
  • ragtop99ragtop99 Member Posts: 33
    I bought a new car in Illinois with a trade in. I was only charged tax on the difference between the new car price and the trade in. I was not taxed for the full value of the new car. Maybe this varies from state to state.
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Dear ZX-3 Owners,

    Thanks for the advice. I am definitely still undecided, but I am realizing that I do not want to take a financial loss of buying a new car, purely on the basis of principle. I am truly disappointed with FORD and I would love to drive up to the dealer in a different car, but it is not worth 7,000 dollars to me.

    I have written Jack Nasser, but he did not read it. My mail was intercepted by 'Customer Service.'

    I have been told that my car will be back on Tuesday. I hope all will be fixed by then.

    Drive safely. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

  • cefurodcefurod Member Posts: 72
    Last Friday on my way home from work, I was a blink of an eye from crashing my ZX3. Traffic was pretty much back to back going about 40-50 mph as i was in 5th gear. All of a sudden, i heard a loud screeh and saw smoke so I started braking. Then the car in front of me (a Land Rover) crashes into the car in front of that. The first thing that came into my mind was how bad the front end of my car was gonna be when i hit the Land Rover. I just hit my clutch and brakes hard and luckily stopped with enough room to spare. I really thought I was gonna end up like drebe and norwaydoug with the parts problems after i would have crashed. That Land rover messed up it's front end really bad and there were all kinds of plastic and glass on the ground. Lucky for me, the cars behind me slowed down in time. I ran over some plastic (bumper?) but my car was ok.It turned out to be a 3 car accident. I was soooo lucky, and my legs felt weak afterwards.

    The changer I'm getting is a Sony MDX C65 with the RF69RF FM Modulator. It goes for almost $500 but I know someone at sony so i got it for $330. I haven't seen it physically but my friend has and he said it would fit in the glove compartment. I'll put the fm modulator in the space under the radio compartment and the middle console. It's cool with MDs cuz i don't have to buy cds anymore. I just copy them from my friends. Blank mds only cost $2 ea. and they're much smaller. I can't wait to get it installed.
  • judasjudas Member Posts: 217
    You only pay tax on the difference. Unless his state is different than every other state that I've lived in or heard about.
  • kdominczakkdominczak Member Posts: 174
    Hang in there!!!
    Ford must reward you with some bonus for all the pain and suffering of yours. Extend your warranty to 7 years or something like that.
    There is so many potential focus buyers reading this conference ,and your story is putting nobody but Ford in a awful light of their ignorance.
    Well if you are on top(Ford),you think that you can do whatever you want.That's not true we all read a lot of stories similar to yours lately and
    it tells how ford really is.
    Waiting for a word from you Doug.
    Good luck.
  • hugozhugoz Member Posts: 82
    tickbitty: I live in maryland, and I got the 4.9 percent financing with zero down, no problem. I got my car thru a dealer that contacted me from the site. Worked out better than -- the dealer contacted me the very day after I posted my request on, and their price beat Also, they had my car in stock -- an orange 5-spd with only AC (but smoker's package and mats were included).
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    my twin! But I have ABS, too. Dark interior?
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Member Posts: 854
    I see more Camrys and 626 rental cars these days. I am sure there will be Focus LX rentals, but I hope not too many. If so, than I will definately buy a used one.
  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    Hello eyefi good to see a fellow zx3 owner from florida. I am here in west palm beach and there aren't many ZX3's on the road. Alot of Sedans though. I was wonder where in florida you are? I saw a few ZX3's in Miami and a beautiful malibu blue with wings west kit in orlando. But still haven't seen many more ZX3's than that. Which I'm happy about since I can't flaunt mine till it's fixed. The less ZX3's around here the happier I am. :) Anyway welcome to the ZX3 "club", be safe and enjoy.
  • jebogijajebogija Member Posts: 8
    I have had my focus since January, 4 door hatchback, and I have now done 300 miles in it. Its been brilliant!!! The digital trip meter thing works on mine as well. I have the 1.4 Zetec engine by Yamaha, it pull cleanly and is so smooth even at 6000 rpm. I am getting almost 43mpg on evenly mixed highway/city driving at high speeds about 85-95 mph. The only thing I really miss is flat, square storage space, my cell phone has no where to live, a bit annoying!!!! I can see some of you are having a hard time with ford and its dealers in the US, we have the same problems here in the UK. The dealers just don't want to know. I have found going back to the sales person who sold me the car and say thing like I will never buy a car from you again ehlps and gets the problem fixed, have you tried this? They do anything for there commision now and in the future, remember they want to keep your business, tell them you will walk away, scare them a bit.

    I enjoy this forum and iI am looking forward to the summer when i come over there to see what my sisters focus is like.
  • kdominczakkdominczak Member Posts: 174
    What are the results of ford focus crash tests?
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Welcome. It is so nice to know that Europeans read these posts too. Focus is a world car isn't it.

    I am sure jebogija is also using imperial gallons when calculating his mileage. An imperial gallon is 4.54 Liters, while a US gallon is about 3.9 gallons. You certainly do get good mileage with your 1.4 L engine!!

    Why can't we all use liters? It would make a lot more sense.

  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Sorry, I made a mistake.

    1 US Gallon = about 3.78 Liters
    1 Imperial Gallon = 4.54 Liters
  • gabegarwickgabegarwick Member Posts: 127
    Luckily for us, coupe2001 is incorrect. You can get a ZX3 with power windows. (I ordered mine with power windows way back in Dec. 99) Option code is near the bottom of this page:

  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    About a week ago I posted two part numbers for what I hoped would be door sill scuff plates for our ZX3s. Well, the parts came in, and they weren't what I was expecting. They were the plastic door sill trim pieces on the INSIDE of the car! My dealer is pretty cool, and didn't make me buy them - he said he would just put them into stock. It looks like factory scuff plates are only available from Ford of Europe, at a rather high cost at present. Maybe this will change in the near future.
  • jjk82jjk82 Member Posts: 5
    Has anyone installed a P-chip? What are the power
    results and side-effects of them?

  • hugozhugoz Member Posts: 82
    hey brother! no, i have the light interior. have you seen any other ZX3's around VA? i have yet (in 3 weeks) to see any where I live in MD.
  • drebe73drebe73 Member Posts: 243
    I recieved my recall letter today in the mail for the 00E09 recall for the IPS replacement.
    I had to laugh when I read the part about the "loaner" car. Wonder if this is going to make my wait even longer.
  • hatchqueenhatchqueen Member Posts: 27
    JJ-Iam also waiting to hear about the chip(s).
    I've seen the upgrade through Kurtz, but am not sure if there are others at this point. I think spdzx6-is that the right name-was talking about an install, but I don't recall the result.
  • fgaydosfgaydos Member Posts: 319
    If you read the review ALL the way though it states "Ford evidently has recognized the error of their ways, and began offering a power package including windows and mirrors shortly after our test drive."
  • rubiconrubicon Member Posts: 12
    Hey, I need some opinions about Ford's Extended Service Plan.

    I'm being offered a 6 year (total, not on top of the three year included with the car), 60,000, $100 deductable program for $875. This is the "special" carorder deal.

    Any thoughts about this? I don't plan to drive more than 10,000 miles a year and at this point I don't know how long I'm keeping the car. But being a new car and all, I want to be covered.
  • jheitmanjheitman Member Posts: 15
    I have only had a couple week wait for my car. I finally got it today. Sangria Red ZX3. I love it. My wife took it to show her friends tonight. Maybe I'll get to drive it again tomorrow :-)))

    I would like to add the BMW tail pipe extension. Does anyone know if it will void the exhaust system warranty?
    Did anyone every ask the dealership if it was ok to add it?

    Man is this car nice, especially for the price. I am seeing more and more Focuses every day. Two weeks ago there were none around.

    I hope this car really takes off.
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Member Posts: 249
    Those of you familiar with my problem of my Focus just sitting in the shop for weeks on end due to the lack of parts... I have a question for you. Below is an excerpt of the lemon law for my state that caught my eye. Of course, my car was in an accident....but it has been 8 weeks of sitting in the shop. Please read this excerpt and give me an opinion.

    'If the defect cannot be repaired after 3 attempts, or if the vehicle is out of service for a total of 30 calendar days for repair, you may be eligible for a replacement vehicle or the refund of the purchase price, less a limited allowance for use.'

    I very much value your informed opinions.


    PS: I hope I haven't made another copyright violation or the carlady is going to cut me out of these townhalls!
  • jiimmmjiimmm Member Posts: 15
    Is the Focus accelerator cable looped across the top of the engine? Isn't this a little unusual and couldn't it be damaged by the heat from the engine?
  • rubberbanrubberban Member Posts: 37
    The exhaust tip is cosmetic. It doesn't actually do anything to the exhaust system, so I wouldn't think it would void the warranty. But like what the superchip post said, just remove it if you need to have your exhaust system serviced. I think the tip can be removed. Also i'm not sure the exhaust system is covered under the warranty anyway. Then again, why not just replace the exhaust system with something better?
  • anonymousanonymous Member Posts: 314
  • ford4everford4ever Member Posts: 4
    My twilight blue ZX3 arrived Wednesday (ordered Feb 10!) after evidently cooling its heels on a train in Texas somewhere for several dealer called me about 10 days ago to say it had been "cleared to rail" i.e., built and sent to the train in Hermosillo, on March 22.

    I ordered it RIGHT after the new options became available: 5-speed, Tilt/telescope wheel (an option package that includes the ZTS map lights, BTW), power windows and locks, keyless remote entry, a/c, and cruise control. Add the floor mats and the sticker was $14,025. Hawkinson Ford in Oak Lawn IL sold it to me for 1% over invoice.

    With all of 46 miles on it, my ZX3 feels like a $20,000 car. Already got my first double-take from a woman who stopped dead in her tracks when she saw it parked near my apartment, and went over to scope it out!

    Happy miles to all, and I guess I'm living proof that patience IS rewarded.

  • utalumni97utalumni97 Member Posts: 2
    I am really interested in buying a focus, but I'm getting mixed sentiments from this bulletin board. Also, what is the Recall for the ZX3?
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    Yes, that is the throttle cable looping over the top of the engine. Keep in mind that all the parts that live in the engine compartment are designed to be there - have a little faith in the engineers, folks :-) From my experience, the two things that cause sheathed cable to die are 1) water that gets inside the sheath and rusts the cable, and 2) kinks and/or overly tight bends. Heat from the engine & placement of our cable should minimize both of these causes.

    Regarding the tailpipe tip voiding the warranty, it won't. Check out the information available at the SEMA website - this is the organization for aftermarket parts and accessory manufacturers. By law, your dealer can't automatically deny warranty coverage just because you've installed an accessory - check it out.
  • imsoyboyimsoyboy Member Posts: 34
    Dear Rubicon...I go the ESP 6 years - 75,000 mile plan with my ZX3 for $975. I think it's a pretty good deal. There are a lot of perks. When I purchased mine, 3/20/00, it also includes roadside assistance for the full term of the ESP. Be sure to ask about it if you do purchase it. Also, you can cancel it at anytime and get a partial refund or if you sell your car it can be transferred to the new owner for a nominal fee. Your finance guy at the dealership can tell it what it doesn't cover, the list is NOT long. Good Luck!
  • tickbittytickbitty Member Posts: 250
    I saw a sangria red in a dark parking lot in January, a silver on the road just once in February. Haven't seen any other ZX3 in Va, even on longer road trips! Know there are a couple in Richmond area because people have posted on this board, but I sure haven't seen them!
  • hugozhugoz Member Posts: 82
    Yes, by all means buy the ZX3!!! I think you'll find that most of the posts on this board and the previous one are, by far, quite happy about the ZX3s. I know I am. For the $12-13K price range, it's a great little car. But I guess it depends what it is you're looking for and how much you want to spend. For me, the combination of the cool-looking "new edge" design, performance and what you get for the money made this car a no- brainer.

    As for the recalls, I haven't followed all the posts, but I know from checking online sources that my hatchling was not subject to the one concerning cruise control (I don't have it!); that is the only recent recall notice I saw.

    Anyhow, if you haven't already done so, you ought to test drive a Focus (may not be a hatchling tho') at a dealer; if that doesn't do it for you, then this isn't the car for you. I knew after I test drove a sedan that I really liked the feel of the steering and the interior room & design.
  • hugozhugoz Member Posts: 82
    I had a feeling hatchlings were scarce in our area ... makes me feel like a trendsetter!
  • parsadanovparsadanov Member Posts: 16
    I got the extended warranty , 6 years, first thing i told the guy is that i wasn't going to buy it. That is when the offer went from 985 to 685. Thats when i took it.

    Igor Parsadanov
  • hugozhugoz Member Posts: 82
    Congratulations on your new ZX3! I share you excitement about it feeling like a $20K car; I really love the "feel" of the steering and suspension myself. I must admit to feeling a little guilty, though, because my hatchling took less than 24 hours to buy, from the time I posted my inquiry on to getting an email from a local dealer advising me that they had the exact car in stock (orange with A/C). Happy cruising!
  • imsoyboyimsoyboy Member Posts: 34
    I didn't know you could negotiate the I know for next time. I feel I got ripped off a little...o well. Still love my car
  • danny1234danny1234 Member Posts: 21
    hi folks, the trunk open switch helped me from getting stranded yesterday. I was going to a pick-up game of ultimate yesterday evening. Normally I leave my keys in the car and go to play, leaving the car open. But yesterday, I locked up the car with the keys inside. Imagine my consternation when I come back from playing and I cannot open the door! I thought I had to take the bus home and return with the spare key.. but then realized that all my keys and my wallet were stuck inside the car. I'd promised a ride to some friends, and I was sheepishly grinning to my friends gathered around, silently cursing myself for my stupidity.

    Fortunately I'd left the windows slightly open so that the car would not get stuffy. I was able to use a stick to poke the hatch release, popped the hatchback, and got into the car - just like the folks in the Focus ad. Hurrah for having a high mounted hatch release!!

    On the flip side I realized how easy it is to get into the car if the driver side window is open. So folks, if you want to ventilate the car when parked, roll up the driver's side window tight and leave the passenger side one a crack open. Or better still get a tilt sunroof and tilt it open a bit.

    having fun with my focus,

This discussion has been closed.