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Ford Focus ZX3



  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    anyone else I may have missed- Congrats on your recent purchases! We appreciate hearing all the details....

    zx3for_me - Hopefully someone will be along soon to address your question regarding what's suppose to be under the vehicle. I suppose you could also find out with a quick call to your dealer service... or by checking out another one on your dealer's lot. Good luck. ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • buggywhipbuggywhip Posts: 188
    I think Ford may have dumped the $1300 premium for the 2.3L engine in the Focus. I went on the carbuying website and clicked on the 2.3L option and it only added $200 or so to the price, exactly as it did some months ago. The engine is still listed in the options list as $1300, so I'm not really sure what is up..............I'm thinking of either a Focus 2.3L or a Saturn L-series. The Saturn is hugely discounted and comes with side bags. The Focus is not in the same size class but its engine is clearly superior.
  • loolalaloolala Posts: 19
    I had this problem (my airbag light stayed on) fixed today at a local Ford dealer. Luckily it was covered under the "safety restraint system" warrently which the limit is 50K. They wrote that they replaced and update new crash sensor module. Does anyone have any idea if that would be expensive if I had to pay for it? This was the first problem after I passed the original 36K warrenty. My 2000 ZX3 manuel currently has 49xxx miles, and it's going to get all new tires and brake pads next week when it goes in for the 50K service. Other than the recalls and a couple of fixes under warrenty. It has been trouble free and running >30mpg each tank.
  • estoesto Posts: 136
    Can someone in the know tell me if what I'm seeing is for real? A dealer here in Portland OR has been running an ad stating "all 20 new 2003 Ford Focus' at $5500 off msrp". After poking around, I saw that carsdirect shows a $3000 customer rebate, and $1000 "bonus cash". That makes up $4000 of the $5500. There's another $1000 in the difference between msrp and invoice. So that adds up to $5000. Can someone tell me where the other $500 is coming from? I can't believe this dealer is willing to lose $500 on 20 cars. Is there some more dealer cash that carsdirect isn't showing? Maybe for Blue Oval dealers? Thanks for any illumination on this.
    (I'm helping my daughter look for a new car, and a zx3 at $5500 off msrp looks pretty good).
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    "Can someone tell me where the other $500 is coming from? I can't believe this dealer is willing to lose $500 on 20 cars."

    This is from the Ford Partner site:

    "As a top Partner, we're celebrating the Ford Motor Company 100th Year Anniversary
    Celebration by extending a $500 Centennial Days Cash Bonus when you purchase or lease select
    2002 or 2003 Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles.*

    Eligibility for the $500 Centennial Days Cash Bonus requires you to buy between
    May 17, 2003 and June 30, 2003. You must take vehicle delivery by June 30, 2003.
    The Cash Bonus may be applied toward the vehicle, or sent as a check
    directly from Ford Motor Company.

    This $500 Centennial Days Cash Bonus is in addition to any other retail incentives
    available, on the selected vehicle, at the time of purchase or lease.


    Maybe the dealers are finding a way to work that in for regular customers as well?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    In a few years when the economy rebounds, we'll regret missing on some of the great deals available. Since I got my $8998 ZX3 (no air, though), Ford added another $1,000 rebate (to "match" your downpayment), and I saw an ad for two ZX3's, PZEV (the ad even mentioned they were PZEV!) with air con for $8998...the same price as mine, but with air! Stick, of course.

    But I'd say $5,500 off "any" car in stock is incredible. A few months ago deals like that were popping up on Chevy Impalas, but they were mostly $26,000+ cars, whereas most Focii are around $17,000.

    I remain happy with my ZX3. It is smooth, refined, supple and, with the PZEV, exceedingly quick.
  • rapidrickrapidrick Posts: 70
    I recently ordered a loaded ZTW. I'll be returning from overseas and will pick it up in September. My strategy was to order it as late as possible so MAYBE I'd get lucky and they'd put a PZEV in there, but realize chances are slim (to none). That engine sounds like fun, enjoy.
  • tunefultuneful Posts: 35
    Or is this a "Fatal Attraction"? :-) I like it (I have a rental SE sedan), it's fun to drive (I do 70%/30% city/highway), and it's comfortable in terms of its seat and suspension, at least for me (F, 5'7", medium-sized). TELESCOPIC steering -- a big plus for me (short arms). But I'm scared that I will have something that's a heartbreak, dog, etc. I've viewed the owner message boards and they seem very split between those who really like it and those who plead "stay away" or "I'm never buying Ford again." I hear the mileage has been disappointing.
    Please help. I'm thinking the sedan with Zetec or the ZX5, possibly the ZX3 (the latter becuase it seems priced lower; generally I prefer to have 4 doors). I've test driven everything from an Echo up to a Toyota Highlander (too big but loved the power seat and power lumbar). The Focus alternative for me seems to be a Civic (it's not intolerable), but I can't get excited about it... It's hard for me to find a comfortable car that rides relatively smoothly. P.S. I drive just myself usually and I don't carry a lot of cargo. ANY advice appreciated, shoppping this weekend. Thanks!
    Oh, also, how is the ride on the highway? smooth or an amusement-park-ride?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I owned a 2000 before (defect ridden), 2001 (less buggy, but still unbearable),and finally the 2003. Ford has gotten the bugs out. It has always been the top model in its class for design, and in Europe a consistent winner because they rolled it out with better quality control. Now that that the Focus is fixed, its excellent!

    In comparison, I also have a 2003 Honda Civic, and it had two defects on delivery (c pillar rattle and binding/squeaking clutch pedal), plus the car is and always will be low to the ground and cramped. I don't care what the recent Edmunds small car test says, the Civic isn't the best, the Focus is! And, much much cheaper....
  • retiredguyretiredguy Posts: 67
    My experience with Focus has been unsatisfactory.
    The lumbar seat gives me a backache in 2 miles, there is a drive line whine in low speed driving, none at highway driving.

    I am 5' 8"..need a pillow to drive.

    Otherwise the car has been ok in 650 miles.

    You may want to check my earlier posts.

    Just drive at least 50-100 miles before deciding on a Focus..
  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    I have a 2001 ZX3 with about 20,000 miles. Love the car, but have had a couply of problems. Not really big ones, but not really what I'd hope for in a new car. I also bought an Echo recently and it's pretty cool (lots of storage spots!). The Focus is a great handling car for the money. The Echo is fine, but much lighter feeling and not that steady on the highway. So, which one would I buy if I had to choose one? Probably the Echo because reliability is number one in my book.
  • breisterbreister Posts: 5
    Did buy a ford focus zx3 after a very satisfactory test drive. Car was delivered to my home and today I wanted to take it out (insurance coverage as of today). The car doesn't go in reverse so I can't go anywhere. The little red light next to the hazard triangle keeps blinking. These two problems are not related; road assistance can't help me out so I have to wait until tomorrow to call the dealer. Anyboday else have experienced same problem?
    I'm stuck in the boonies for today.
  • retiredguyretiredguy Posts: 67
    That is the anti theft system letting people know the car is protected by an alarm system and engine immobilizer. There is nothing wrong there. My salesman said that it could blink for some very long time (forgot how long) without draining the battery.

    Have you tried pressing on the brake while (before) shifting into reverse?
  • rwgreenbergrwgreenberg Posts: 154
    Are you aware that to go into reverse (if you have a stick) you have to pull up on the ring below the knob at the end of the stick? It's funny, but I couldn't get the car into reverse until I figured this out. The dealer neglected to pass this info on when I picked up the car.
  • tunefultuneful Posts: 35
    ...your comments are helpful, folks--any others welcomed. Would you buy a Focus again? etc.
    Have had the rental SE (don't know what year) for a week now. Test-drove a Civic and CR-V yesterday. Forget 'em! You want a primitive, uncomfortable seat, and a lot of noise, try the CR-V! :-) Both have bumpy rides, the CR-V less so. The Focus has smoother and more comfortable ride than either, IMHO.
    However, my back finally found the infamous Focus seat "steel bar" yesterday as well :-o That thing is sadistic! I would have to use a cushion. Otherwise the seat is OK for me.
    I really want a telescopic wheel in the car I buy.
    Focus mileage hasn't been great.
    The Foci appear to be selling well around here (DC area), it is hard to find the ZX5 in stock.
  • breisterbreister Posts: 5
    The salesman didn't tell me, the CD didn't tell me and the owner's manual didn't mention it but thanks to the person (message 2508) I figured out what to do and took off to enjoy a ride in the rain and cold. Pulling up that little ring did the trick. Thanks very much.
  • loolalaloolala Posts: 19
    June 11 will be exactly three years since I got my ZX3. Today, I took it in for its 50K oil change and all new tires and brakes. It's the first time for me to pay for any replacement of original parts. It costed me $530 total this time, and I hope they will last another 50K.

    If I have money to get another car today, I will definitely buy another Focus. This time a ZX5 with the new engine. I liked the Protege5 too, but the ride was harsh on the test drive. However, since I don't have money to spend on car now, I just hope this one of mine will run another trouble free 50K!

    I remember my best friend had the same problem (he didn't know about lifting the little knob) with my car trying to shift into Reverse. Actuall this is mentioned on the "getting started" manual! New car owners, please at least read that one before complaining! He had my car for a few weeks when I was away, and he is now considering getting a ZX5 himself. His other choice is probably the Civic. No hatchback and boring zzzzZZZZZZ IMHO!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I drove the ZX3 with PZEV yesterday to work, and the 2003 Civic Coupe, stick, this morning. What a world of difference! I will admit the Civic feels like a little luxury car (it is quiet and smooth if you drive it easy), but if you try to wind it up in gears, the noise is terrible! It sounds noisy, underpowered, and cheap. And despite all the dramatics, it hardly moves when you give it throttle! You might as well just drive it easy and accept "Soccer Mom" acceleration (well, 1980's "Soccer Mom" acceleration, not "Killer Soccer Mom in BMW X5" acceleration) The PZEV ZX3, on the other hand, effortlessly accelerated me into rapidly moving traffic with no noise, muss, or fuss - and a lot of power.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    "Normal" mileage for me seems to be about 30 mpg, dipping down one or two miles per gallon for agressive mountain driving. My last tank was all commuting, fairly steady freeway speeds around 70mph with only a little slow and go and I got a surprising 33 mpg this time around. I initially thought the pump had turned off prematurely, but when I carefully topped it off, I was still at 33mpg.

    Not bad for this level of performance!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I picked up the elusive PZEV FL910 oil filter today from a local dealer. Son of a gun - it's a spin on. Good thing I didn't buy a Mazda6 element and take it to the local Jiffy Lube. (Actually I found out about an in and out oil change at some Ford dealers called "Fast Lane" and will try it this weekend; $29.95 for an oil change with Motorcraft oil and filter.) I was so flabbergasted I looked under the car and sure enough, conventional cannister spin-on. Why the filter isn't the same as the much easier to find 2.0 Focus filter, or the same as the 2.3 liter Ranger engine, I don't know. If anyone knows (different pressure relief?), please tell me. Also how did this "drop in element" misinformation get started (I know I did my bit to promulgate it).
  • norwaydougnorwaydoug Posts: 249
    Please note that the ZX5 and ZX3 come with Sport Seats which in my experience are far more comfortable than the SE sedan.

    My experience with Focus is split. I had a 2000 with a 5 spd and didn't like it much (problem with the 5 spd). I replaced it with a 2001 ZX3 equipped with an automatic and love the car. I have 34K miles and other than minor problems....I have been pleased.

    Try the zx5 and see if you could live with the seats. Try asking to borrow one overnite!
  • retiredguyretiredguy Posts: 67
    When I first realized how miserable the lumbar seat is in my ZTW.. I tried other models Foci to see if the seats were any better. The distance from the stitches in the ZTW is 12" while the distance in the sportier models is 11". The 11 inch seats felt much better to me, however, to my wife, they were way too tight at the butt.
  • hauschildhauschild Posts: 62
    Just got back from an oil change at a nearby Ford dealership and noticed a black SVT, but much different than I had ever seen. I asked a salesman and he said it was a new option for the SVT. I mean it really rocks!

    The package is called something like European Appearance, but it is somewhat pricey at 3500 bucks. The total for the SVT was 22,500. Great Scott..that is 10 grand more than I paid for my current ZX3!

    But wait....the following link will bring up the sticker from the dealership. If anyone saw pictures of the Focus R years ago, this is what it looks like. rchinventory/windowsticker.asp?orgid=1599&vin=3FAHP39533R1563- 81&year=2003&model=FOCUS
  • baggs32baggs32 Posts: 3,229
    They have an orange one at a dealer near me. I'm not a big fan of the bright boy-racer colors myself, but something about that particular car makes me smile every time I see it. :)

    On the other hand, the wheels have many spokes and look like a real pain to keep clean.
  • lvmlvm Posts: 6
    post #2498 said a dealer is offering up to $5500 off with incentives, including $1000 bonus cash and $3000 rebate. but reading the ford website, you either get the rebate OR $1000 & lower apr, not both. the rebate for my area is $2K, not $3k (not sure why), so overall it would be $3500 in rebates. not bad, but not $5500 either.

    also, does anyone know when the 2004 fords will be available?

    esto May 27, 2003 1:04am
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    saw a yellow and orange EAP Foci at the local dealer here....keep in mind the wheels are even nicer and i think HID is part of the deal.....also, note the much nicer leather bolstered seats.

    Hey Ford, how bout making a turbocharged PZEV motor for the SVT focus and not some low torque Zetec rehash like u have now....
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    My PZEV ZX3 is a stick (fast, fast, fast); I wonder what the performance is like with an automatic, and how readily the automatic will downshift on the freeway to help you pass?
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    has anyone seen any testing numbers for the PZEV Focus yet?
  • trevatreva Posts: 39
    Just wanted to chip in with the other guys, that my 2000 zx3 is still going strong, that I got in June 2000. I've 'only' done 31500 miles (that's what just a 2 mile commute does for you). I did just have my 30k service done, which was a shocker. The auto tranny made the service $640, but then they noticed the front rotors were shot (which explained the recent grinding noises, despite there being >5mm on the pads). So that took the cost to $1100 total.
    They also mentioned two recalls that were needed doing: one involved replacing the rear-wheel bearings with updated ones, the other one I can't remember at the moment.
    Also, all four tires need replacing. I know I liked driving fast, but I expected the RSA's to last a little longer than this. Two of the tires were bald on the inner threads, suggesting an alignment issue - I'll be getting an all-4-wheel alignment performed when the tires come in tomorrow. By the way, I've decided on Yokohama Avid Touring's from Tire rack, being drop-shipped directly from Nevada to the local Just-Tires store. I did contemplate the Dunlop Sport A2's but the survey results / reviews on the tire-rack & discounttires websites swayed me over to the yoko's.
    Other than that, I'm so keeping this car. Even though I've been attracted to the 2.3L engine, the recent house-purchase is putting all's things automotive on hold. Even so, I'm still loving the car's handling, sound system, and performance that I'll hold on to my z for a couple more years. Yeah I know the blue-book value ain't much, which is probably more reason to keep these keys as long as poss.
    FYI, my local dealer in Sunnyvale had 2 SVT's with the Euro package. I noticed their very nice new front lights and grill.

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