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Ford Focus Hatchback ZX3 - Part XIV



  • Some more from my lurking:
    Heres an update on my great and essentially PROBLEM FREE red ZX3 5spd:
    Have had the car since May 25. I now have over 12000 miles, which comes to over 85 miles per day (ssso much for 36000 warranty...). As a note, Im an observant Jew, which means I dont drive on Saturdays or holidays (a total of 8 non-driving days in Oct.)

    I probably have 50% highway (I drive during non rush times) and 50% in the local streeets in Essex and Sussex coun ties of NJ (lots of lights, lots of steep hills). Im getting about 26-28 mpg, depending on the week and whether Im in a speed-limit mood or not.

    My only long-distance highway so far has been New Brunswick to Providence RI (I95 NJ to RI). I got 32mpg on that one.

    My gearshift sqeaked for a day from 1st to 2nd, and stopped.

    Every now and then, I have to restart the car after filling up in order to get the fuel guage to read.

    Heres an interesting one. If you have not done so yet, check your tire pressure (when cold). When I did, I was surprised to find that they were all filled to 25PSI. the sticker in the car says 32PSI. This was how I received it from the dealer. A little strange...

    For my third oil change (I do it myself every 3 to 4 thou), I finally managed to reach the filter from the top.

    Luggage space is great. I was able to fit four peoples' tho days worth of holiday clothes in the trunk without blocking my vision.

    I am going to call about the recall tomorrow, though I have not had any noises (I crank down the windows and turn off the radio every now and then just to check)

    - Gooch
  • Subway series, here we come!!!
  • zx3ow2zx3ow2 Posts: 4
    I have had my ZX3 since May, 2000. Have 9700 miles on it. I love the car despite all of it's faults: 1. Poor cup holders (what a joke)
    2. Bad gasoline mileage 23-26mpg. 3. Transmission noise (I have the 5 speed).

    The car drive great, is comfortable and looks cool. I did not test drive the automatic, but if I were to buy again, I would probably go with the auto.

    Took my car in this evening for the recall. Dealer indicated that it will be ready by Tuesday.

    Please keep the comments about the FOCUS coming--good or bad because we buyers, and potential buyers are better off being well informed. If the tire issues with the Explorer
    had been discussed in their forum, the tire problem would probably been surfaced earlier.

    This type of forum is great for giving consumers and customers great feedback on consumer goods. It is imperative that we welcome both the good and negative comments about our auto. Just tell it like it is. If the product is defective, the manufacturer will get the message i.e. slower sales. If the product delivers what the customer is looking for, the manufacturer will see it in its sales.

    Keep up the good work on this site.

  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    OK, good. It makes more sense that the 3 and 5 door would be the same size. I just read that on the UK site, that's all....not trying to argue, was just telling you what it said. Interesting that they would mess up that way!
  • You have to take published specifications with a grain of salt, or several. Errors and last minute changes to specs can be very confusing - a good example: wheel dimensions on the ZX3. Most magazines are still listing the alloy wheel width for the 15" wheel as 5.5", when the actual casting marks on the wheel clearly say "15x6J". Reminds me of that old saying, "who ya gonna believe, me or your own eyes?".
  • rex12rex12 Posts: 133
    Do I need to say more?

    Follow the leader he's IN a Honda!
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    I'm quite interested in the real world city/hwy/combined mileage your ZX3 owners are getting. Ford's figures seem low for a 2,500 lb, 135hp car. I would expect mileage in the 30's at least on the hwy.
    So owners, what mileage are you getting?
  • Like most of the ZX3 people here...I still LOVE LOVE LOVE my little Maliblue ZX3!!! Thanks to this site, I took it in last week, for the recall, and they fixed the rear wheel, and also the power steering pump, and front suspension. Guess what I got in the mail just yesterday?...yep, the official Recall Notice from Ford.

    MiniZX3: Gee...I know Ford's marketing to the "younger"'re 30-something, and I'm actually, well...40-something!! Hope that's ok...'cause I ain't gonna' give it up for a Buick!!!
  • Ok I am so sick of hearing some really dumb stuff on here. Like "the wheel bases are different on the 3 and 5 door" or "the 5 door will be coming to the US." What a bunch of bonehead remarks. The Focus prides itself on a 103" wheelbase. 103" for every model. Even the wagon. The 5 door will not be coming to this side of the ocean anytime soon. So sorry to disappoint. I would love one too but will not be coming. You can argue till your fingers fall off but until YOU talk to the people who are in charge and find out otherwise, please don't spread rumors that have no backing. THANK YOU.
    Next, if you want to go buy a Civic go ahead. I think you will be disappointed...numbers talk. What is the best selling car on this planet? Hmmm. Ok go buy that Civic.
    hey Silver Bullet...I told Christian (ed. of Edmunds) because they had the wrong tire size in an article and he fixed it. He still has that the brakes are 4 wheel disc. Actually he has a pic of a rear wheel up close and you can see the DRUM. I was like umm HELLO there it is! Your article is wrong...PLEASE FIX. But no it still says disc. You can't believe everything you read people. Remember that. Don't take ANY magazine's word for granted.
  • Cobie the only problem you will find when you ask for mileage from the Europeans is that not everyone has the same Zetec. They have many more engine choices....even diesel. They can get smaller engines. The SPI engine sold here is a hunk of junk and Europe would never settle for it....They know Americans don't really care so they can continue to sell that POS old Escort engine here.
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    the 2.0 zetec is standard on the NA ZX3 so at least the mileages that you hear from the US folks on here should all be for the same engine. The worst mileage I get is around 27, for all about town driving. Mixed is more often like 33, and I have gotten as high as 39 for almost all highway. I believe some on here get worse mileage, but that is my experience.

    fordfocuslover, don't be so harsh. Vadp was correct about the size of the cars, a couple of the others were wrong. No need to call names.
  • Carlady- you are right on when you say that a large number of the people who lurk and monitor this site are really interested in finding out any serious problems with their chosen car. They, for the most part, have purchased a small car that will provide an economical response with quality operation at a price they feel comfortable paying. Most have no interest in expanding its horizon in either looks or response. If we wanted a race car, we would have bought the expensive auto either foreign or otherwise and we would have the sense to know we had to pay the price. No amount of cosmetics will ever make it look like anything other than what it is and life will go on with or without such changes.

    I have always been in the range of 33-39 miles per gallon depending on where I am driving. I will admit, that I do not speed nor do I try to get to the next red light before the guy behind me. I have had no problems that I am aware of except for this recall on the back wheel falling off. I have had less than adequate response on this issue. I informed the dealer long before he knew a problem existed and he ordered the parts but after more than a week they have not arrived. This is not good especially since I am off to Cape Cod from NC in the next day or so with or without the fix. Hopefully, there will be no problems, but in the event of an accident, Ford will be in deep trouble and my next of kin will be rich. I contacted Ford by email and they said they would respond in three days or less--no response and so much for boiler plate software. No word and life will go on. I intend to live until I die..ha!

    I have about 5500 miles on the car and am very happy with its performance thus far. Let's hope that this rear wheel problem is not much of a problem in real life. Hope that we can all say we had a great experience with our Focus come time to trade, but in any case, life is far more important than to worry about a car and we should enjoy each day and live it to the fullest. Life is a beautiful event and is too important to be subject to the small details. Live it!
  • I took my black '00 ZX-3 in for the recall and was told that, upon inspection, the wheel bearings "...looked fine" - no fix required. Am I getting snowed? Is the fix mandatory? On a separate note, to correct a difficult to shift/gear jump-out condition, the service manager has determined that the shifter cables need to be adjusted. Unfortunately, the dealer is unable to do this b/c they do not have the required "shifter centering clip" in stock. It is very annoying since, at stops, the clutch seems to not stay fully-disengaged (I must shift into neutral at every stop - not fun on inclines in traffic). Anybody experience this particular problem?
  • cobie:

    I have a 2001 with the 5-speed and about 2000 miles on it. I'm averaging 32 with a low of 27 (first tank) and a high of 35. I drive about 75% highway, 70-80 mph. I was curious if the 16 inch wheels would give more rolling resistance reducing mileage? I haven't had any problems with mine, except for a bad stone chip on the hood. It's bad enough I want to get it fixed (dent and chip through the paint). oh well...
  • have the automatic. When new I averaged 24 mpg in combined. After they replaced the transmission I am up to 27 mpg combined. The best I ever got was 31 mpg all highway steady 65 mph. Now, before you blame my driving habits on this poor mileage, consider that on my last car, a 96 Dodge Stratus I was averaging 29 mpg.

    So I ended up paying 15k for a much smaller car with lower mpg, lots of repairs (see previous posts) but somewhat better handling.

    Having to do it again, I put a bit of money into the old Stratus and drive it till the seat falls out. That doesn't sound bad considering I am waiting for my rear wheel to fall off (waiting for the parts for 5 days now)on my Focus.
  • Did lots of research before buying the ZX3. Knew it was a new model (Consumer Reports recommends not buying first year new models) and brought it anyway. Caught by surprise by first recall, but no problem (Wish I had that injector pressure sensor back, as I got better mileage with it). Second recall no problem as they caught it before anything happened.

    Am I still happy with my ZX3. Yes! It is everything everybody said it was. Got to be a few bad ones out there, glad mine has held up. Feel your pain if you got a bad one. There are bad Hondas, VW, Alfa's, BMW, Audi's and so on.

  • silyboysilyboy Posts: 90
    fordfocuslover, in reference to your doubt that the 5 door is coming- there have been multiple news reports, including autoweek, that have ran articles stating they are bringing the 5 door to the NA market....... here is a link for an image of the article
  • kernickkernick Posts: 4,072
    I am not an auto professional, but I love autos and read as much as I can. I also don't own a Focus, so I'm not going to comment specifically on that.
    But please take a look at the problems Ford has had. These are not minor issues. Most are major items. If someone would like to pick any other brand and put up a compareable list I would like to see it.
    1) Ford 4.6 and 5.4 liter engine head failures
    2) Explorer design contributing to Firestone tire failures
    3) Bad ignitions (recent California recall of millions of cars)
    4) Mustang Cobra - not safety, but badly missing performance so much that 2000 models cancelled; no 2001 yet
    5) Now 3 recalls on the Focus. What's 1 - the rear wheel can fall off? Great!!

    I'm not going to say go look at a Honda, Toyota, ... etc. But pick anything else. Ford can say "Quality is Job 1" all they want, but these are major issues, not squeaks, rattles, or loose plastic.
    Former owner of '82 Escort (timing belt broke at 13K requiring engine replacement), '88 Escort (weak engine and auto. trans.), and '91 Taurus (paint wore off in 2 years). All were problems.
  • I have a manual with 5500 miles. My commute is almost all highway. My average fuel economy is about 31, with a high of 32. Somehow, my heavier contour with the same powertrain averages over 35 on the same commute and has gotten as high as 38.

    What would people here trade to get better fuel economy? Any one else interest in a Focus model along the lines of the Civic HX, that is similar performance with improved fuel economy?
This discussion has been closed.