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Ford Focus Hatchback ZX3 - Part XIV



  • Thanks for the feedback. Here's another question: What's probably the better choice - manual or auto transmission? I don't know how to drive a stick, but I'll be willing to learn if the ZX3 operates much better as a manual.
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    The stick is cheaper and not really tough to learn. Some enjoy the control it gives you. Many "enthusiasts" insist on it.

    Automatic is just easier. If you commute or drive in traffic aften, automatic is a godsend. (I drove my VW bug with the worlds stiffest clutch in Thanksgiving day weekend traffic, Va to NY in 1985. Should have taken 6 hrs, took 15. My knees still hurt. Ouch.)
  • It's easy to win that never ending war.
    1.If you live in isolated area with a lot of snowfall, or in the area with a lot of small non-congested roads ,and if you expect livelier acceleration, than the manual will be a lot better than automatic. Usually getting manual you can get a slightly better fuel economy than in automatic.
    2.If you live in a congested, rural area and in a relatively warm climate(not a lot of snowfall),while driving a lot in traffic (lot of stop lights, stop and go) while not driving very aggressive (with out a lot of passing, quick starts and stops etc.)than automatic will be better for you.
    Manual vs. Automatic, one will have as many advantages as disadvantages over the other.
    There is no better choice (like some hard-heads are claiming)
    It's all about a compromise.
    You can't get everything at once in life and that's the way it is.
    Good luck with your decision.

    If you decide to go with manual don't worry about learning how to drive manual, it just takes couple weeks of practice, you we'll be all right...
  • Hey guy, your social skills are excellent. Better than what I got in West Berlin where I ruined the German Language and those who spoke English still wouldn't talk to me because it embarassed them to use what they thought was poor English. Once we got past it, some of them became good friends. Plus their English was excellent.

    Wish we had a edit option here. Had to delete 501 due to my poor English.

  • Vadp, thanks for information and silver bullet, thanks for a official approval (great expert is a great expert).
    I've been looking for that kind of product, and could not find anything like it.
    Thanks once again.
    Our forum is the best.
  • Better be careful about racing any Focus Sedans in Rural NYS. The village(city?) of Wellsville, NY (southwest of Rochester) has a Focus sedan unmarked Police Car. Red light on dash, siren, radar unit, and two way radio, fully equiped unmarked Police car.

  • Don't tell me about erasing posts due to your poor English, I would have to erase a couple of hundreds of mine posts due to awful English.
    I hope I'll get it right some day.
  • My deutch is much worse! You would not believe how badly I ruined it.
  • zx3beastzx3beast Posts: 661
    you are not getting off that still have more time to do.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Yes, I do.
    Thanks. image
  • ltrezltrez Posts: 5
    UGLY,UGLY,UGLY get rid of the Hood scoop and ridiculous Whale Tail
  • z2benzoz2benzo Posts: 18
    The reason for the non-attentiveness and indifference to consumer complaints exhibited by Ford Motor Company (as often highlighted in this forum)can now be understood: The president and CEO has been distracted! No, not the tire thing. Today's Detroit Free Press reports that Jacques Nasser and his wife of 29 years, Jennifer Nasser, are headed to divorce court. The court documents report the standard "... a breakdown of the marriage relationship ..." with no other juicy details. Jac, make sure YOU get the ZX3!!!
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    I went to test drive a ZX3 last night and in my mind I had put the ZX3 on par with a VW Golf or an upscale hatchback. I travel to europe regularly and have lost that old American attitude which says "if it's a hatchback it must be economy." In fact, if it's a hatchback it must be practical. I don't know how many times I've not been able to get things into my rather large trunk but have been blocked by the small opening.

    Anyway, the dealer had NO models with the moonroof and none with advancetrac. They said "we don't stock fully loaded models because this is an economy car."

    Talk about a slap in the face by the hand of reality.

    Ford needs desperately to educate the public and it's dealers that small cars don't always mean economy and sacrifice. I make 57k a year and I'm obviously not rich, but I can afford more than a Focus. I want the Focus because it's practical and handles better than cars costing thousands more. Unfortuantely I fear that this hatchback mentality is going to seriously reduce the resale value of the car which is leading me to believe it's useless loading the vehicle up. The dealer kept trying to talk me down....even though I told him money was not a concern!

    On top of that I need a car within two weeks and if I want a loaded one I'll have to wait 6-8 weeks...and since they always lie, it means 3 to 4 months.

    So back to my point. We'd be all better off as a country when people start realizing that fuel saving, small, safe, and fun to drive cars are better than large obnoxious, gas guzzling, view blocking, tipping, land yachts.

    My last 2 cents is about the manual transmission. The overwhelming majority of people drive manual transmissions in europe for a number of reasons. Namely, fuel economy, driver control and cost. European cities are congested and trafficky....but no one every complains that they have manual transmissions. I live in boston and I never regretted manual tranny's ever. The clutch must be light and the stick must be smooth and you're all set (just don't break a leg).
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    Check out this Focus RS in England....coming soon
  • tickbittytickbitty Posts: 250
    I forgot to say that if you are buying your car off the lot, they will absolutely try to sell you an automatic. One reason is they make more money off them, two is they sell autos more often (you can make a stick driver drive auto but you cant "make" an auto driver learn stick.) Three is they will try to tell you that you won't be able to resell the vehicle as easily with a manual trans. Forget that. I buy a car for ME, not the next guy down the line.

    I have read a lot of posts lately where people say "---- is a great car, I have owned 3 in the last 10 yrs and I never had any problems!" Yeah, because the real test of a reliable car is whether it will last you more than a couple of years without degrading into a pile of JUNK. All my previous cars were used and it is amazing how fast they decay. I'm hoping that since I bought new this time I'll at least get an additional 50,000 over what I'm used to.
  • I saw in the old accessory archives that you found a bug deflector by Lund, I was just wondering if you went with that or chose to get the 3M clear bra? Also were you able to find some door sill protectors? I know auto ventshades company makes some. I just want to protect my car as much as possible and would like to get a bug deflector and some door sills, so if you could inform me as to what is out there it would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • They reason the dealer said "We dont have any fully-loaded models cause this is a economy car" is because they made a choice, to ONLY stock the lower-grade versions.
    Ive been to several fords in my area, each one carries Different focus stocks... The biggest one, carries EVERY type of focus, and I just saw a fully-loaded (before the moonroof was out though) ZX3 with advance track and auto, and that dealer usually ONLY carries the fully loaded ones.
    Meanwhile, another dealer in an off-beat location had very few foci, and they had almost nothing on it.
    They were just giving an excuse instead of saying "We only sell the economy models cause thats what you people are buying from this dealer"
  • Forgot to ask this question of the collective. Has anyone pulled off the college rebate. What was the procedure followed? I'm a part time graduate student and according to Ford's web site info, it looks like I should qualify. Any info here would be appreciated. Thanks
  • Hi all. Picked up my new white 2001 a few days ago (I'm not sure if the post made it.) So far, so good. That upshifting light is a drag though, seems to go on more often after the shift is made, rather than before. What's with this? Only other gripe is the overhand above the coffee holders. My favorite sized, large coffee, has to be tilted to get it in and out.
  • yeah, the upshift light is silly but you won't even notice it after a couple of days.

    Glad the old townhall boards are back.
  • My husband was driving the little ZX3 the other night and two girls, around 25ish he's 30ish, in a VW Beetle drove up and motioned to roll the window down. They asked what kind of car he was driving...and he told them...they replied Greta looking car. He felt great that two girls were looking at him and notice the car. It's boosted his ego for a little while. I thought it was cute...

    Hey what happened to the board from was different wasn't it?
  • fdannafdanna Posts: 263
    Actually the dealer looked up and down the east coast and could not find a fully loaded ZX3. I had to order it and he quoted 6-8 weeks (another dealer said the same thing but 3-4 weeks). Knowing how sleazy all dealers are, I won't see it until Late december or early january.
  • cobiecobie Posts: 108
    called around for these brake pads and the best price i could get was 89.00$ Is this reasonable?
  • Any suggestions as to a good place to put a garbage device (and device description)in the ZX3. My favorite spot between the rear seats on the floor is cup holder territory.
  • rwgreenberg - We got the $400 college rebate. After we made the deal on the car we told them we qualified for the college rebate. When we went in to sign the paperwork we had to bring a copy of my wife's diploma and that was it. They had a rebate certificate there that we had to sign.

    fdanna - We ordered our ZX3 on Aug. 14 and got it on Oct. 6. Not too bad.
  • I noticed that if you want AC on your 2001 ZX3, you have to add the Premium Group. This Group makes the wheels 16" and the tires P205/50R16. This tire is expensive if needed to be replaced. Does any body know how this tire performs on the highway or bumpy roads? Does it perform well in snow?
  • Hi. I recently picked up my 2001 with the 16 tires as part of the premium group. I really can't say how well they perform, but they sure look very cool.
  • hotx3hotx3 Posts: 71
    Check the site for The Tire Rack. They invite
    reviews for paricular tires. Fairly easy to use.
  • I really like driving the focus but the headlamps stink (like many american spec cars). Does anyone know of an aftermarket bulb to replace the OEM bulb which will provide superior lighting yet not damage the electrical system or the light unit itself? TIA
This discussion has been closed.