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Ford Focus Wagon



  • mfletouvamfletouva Member Posts: 166
    Yeah, but I really only wanted to get the car if it was CHEAP, and that means taking it off of dealer inventory. I realize that it is the dealers that are ordering, but I just have to believe that at least a few of them would have the safety features over the moonroof type stuff that a lot of them have. Surely I can't be the only person that wouldn't buy a car without ABS. I asked a Ford dealer about this and he seemed to indicate that many buyers don't even think about it...I'm sure that's true, but if they ever need to do a panic stop or brake in the snow, they'll be thinking about it!
  • jjc5jjc5 Member Posts: 16
    Sorry; I realized when I looked at the brochure that I misspoke. There aren't any with 60/40 cushions; only backs. Unfortunately, that was supposed to be a standard item in the 2002/2003 models years. Then again, they were supposed to have standard rear head rests, which only came on MY 2001 cars with side air bags.

    I don't understand the whims of Ford...
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    I don't understand the politics from Ford either. Here in Dallas you find the Focus with leather, moon roof, automatic, A/C. All kind of funny stuff but no side airbags, no ABS and no rear head rests. Not in the ZX3/5, not in the sedan and not in the wagon.
    Most of the people seem to prefer fancy stuff than safety.
    ABS is not just useful in winter. Escpecially on dry pavement you have a much shorter retardation distance than with blocking wheels. Basic physics. Not to mention that the car can still be steered and the tires don't get any flat spotting.
    And I also don't want to talk about the neck injuries you can get without the rear head rests.

    But here in Dallas you can be lucky if you find a Wagon at all. 1 of 5 dealers here may have one in stock. But only with the basic features.
    And to make it worse it now seems to be that the rear head rests are not even available anymore on the wagon. At least I could not find them in the option lists for the 2003 Wagon on the Ford website. I am not sure about the side airbags.
    I have the impression that the engineering of safety equipment here in the US basically stopped with the introduction of front airbags in the 80s. If you look to Europe even most sub compact cars nowadays come standard with ABS and at least 4 airbags. Not to mention things like traction and stability controls.
    Cars like BMW and Mercedes even have up to 8 (eight!!) airbags including side airbags for the rear seats.

    I think I have a really rare Wagon by now, including ABS, side airbags, Advance Trac, rear head rests and 5 speed. Mine hase even rear disk brakes instead of drums. It is 2001 SE with the Street Edition Package and all extras available at this time. I have not seen another one like mine in the past two years on the road.
    If I would have to buy a new wagon now I would probabely go with a Jetta Wagon or maybe even with a Passat Wagon. I like the Focus but today VW offers more safety features and a Diesel. And these safety feature even come standard so you can be sure you find a car that has them.

    Malibu blue Focus Wagon
  • bigdave269bigdave269 Member Posts: 1
    I hope you and your boyfriend are still enjoying your ZTWs, Nancy. I actually live not far from you, being in Santa Clarita.

    I bought my 2002 SE Comfort Wagon in April of last year, and I now have 17,000 miles on it. I bought the "Liquid Grey" and I have tinted the windows. It really looks awesome that way. I had the same problem of the "cricket" in the rear end that I read so many complaints about here. It took the dealer 2 days to isolate and fix it, and it came down to the foam padding they put under the bumper skin to absorb impacts. It was rubbing against the plastic cladding. A little lubrication fixed the problem, no more squeaks.

    I bought my car because I was given a Focus Sedan as a company car in 2001. I really loved the way it handled for an economy car, and it was plenty roomy for my big frame. That and the luck I had with my own 1995 Escort Wagon (which I still have).

    The mileage on my wagon turned out to be a disappointment at first, I was getting only 21 MPG. Now that it is broken in I get about 24, but I think that might be because I am not using the air as much, either. I was reading here that someone was getting 30 MPG, but I would bet that it is not California emissions equipped. That really tends to drag down the mileage. Other than that, this has been a great little car. It has lots of room to haul things, that's for sure. I put a 32" TV in the back while it was still in the box. I was amazed.

    Well, it seems we are all saying good things about this car overall. I definitely think it has been a good investment for me.

    Happy driving!
    Big Dave
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    I get about 30 mpg or more with pure highway driving.
    On a recent trip from Dallas to Austin and back with a packed car I got about 28 mpg. This was including city driving, some stop and go and 75 to 80 mph on the highway when the traffic cleared.

    My wagon is 5 speed with the standard 205/60 from the Street Edition package.

    Ford Germany officially states the following values on milage on the 2.0 Focus and 195/60 tires:
    City: 20.3 mpg
    Highway: 34.6 mpg
    City: 17.9 mpg
    Highway: 32.2 mpg

    Consider these are values for the 195 tires. Wider tires like 205 also decrease the milage.
    As a summery I think the values from Ford Germany are much more realistic than the ones given from Ford USA.
    That is also the reason why almost nobody buys the 2.0 in Germany. Most of the buyers go for the one of the Diesel engines.
    E.g. the Focus TDCI with 115hp gets about 32.6 mpg in the city and 52.2 mpg on the highway. Over 50mph !!!!!
    This is for the 5speed. There are Diesels with automatic. But in my opinion automatic is something for grannys anyhow. :)

  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    Well, this was news to me. They are now taking orders for Focus' with the 2.3 L engine in NY, CA and MA. This is regarded as a better engine, high efficiency, low emission, it puts out 148hp. I wouldn't be surprised if the mpg is a little improved. I think it is the same basic engine that the European Ford Modelo has. It is only a $100 option and will eventually be the only Focus engine. If you are about to buy, I would consider this option.
  • hwyhobohwyhobo Member Posts: 265
    That is good news. Since I am looking to switch from driving a manual to automatic, 2.3l should be an improvement. I tried the current version with automatic, and it was letargic (but I loved the manual).

    I am still hoping the larger Freestyle will debut shortly and will be reasonably priced, Mazda 6, or, better yet, Grand Marquis comes out as a wagon... eh, just dreaming...

    Focus is a great car, though. Needs a bigger engine for automatic, however.
  • johnclineiijohnclineii Member Posts: 2,287
    You are in luck.

    Mazda6 IS coming out as a wagon (and a hatch).

    Probable release date is December 2003, as a 2004 model.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    free to share any news with us in our Mazda6 Hatch and Mazda6 Wagon discussions. Thanks!

    And now, back to the subject of the Ford Focus Wagon.

    Host/Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • dominickc1dominickc1 Member Posts: 22
    I have 4,000 miles on mine and it is still running strong and I still love it.
  • modeladoctormodeladoctor Member Posts: 2
    See message #78. Took 2001 wagon back for front ball joint pinch bolt recall and mentioned that rattle in rear still present from last May. They again changed shocks and wanted to charge me but I refused to pay as I knew that would not solve the problem. And it didn't! In fact it's worse. I think there is a structure movement around the shock support on the body but they can't find it. Very audible at 10 to 15 MPH on rough surface. Dealer had the car several days and provided loaner car even though mine is now out of warranty at 50,000 miles. Noise was documented the day I got it used at 9,700 miles. I guess I'll just bug them every 6 months or so, or maybe I can get some one to rear end it and solve the rattle permanently!
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Have you plugged your vehicle into Edmunds' Maintenance Guide to look for TSB's (technical service bulletins) that might be related to your vehicle rattle?

    If I were in your shoes, I'd try a different dealer service. Some are better than others. Also, not a bad idea to call ahead and ask to speak directly to the service manager. Let him know this has been an ongoing problem, and ask if he has any suggestions. This may help to insure that your problem get special attention when you bring it in. You should also report/document your problem with Ford 800 customer service, if you haven't yet. Anyway, my 2 cents. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your situation.

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • mpgmanmpgman Member Posts: 723
    Interesting discussion. A few months ago, I passed on a Ft. Knox gold wagon with ABS, traction, side air bags, and leather. There was a discount associated with the ABS/traction option, and the final sticker was $19,200. I think this was an 02. How are these holding up? The reputation for Focus' reliability with recalls and all leaves a lot to be desired. Is it something to worry about or is it overblown?
  • gwellmangwellman Member Posts: 17
    I test drove a low milage 2000 Focus SE wagon today, and was favorably impressed (considering the price). One thing bothered me a bunch though, and I wondered what other Focus owners thought. The center armrest/console/whatever gets in the way of reaching for the handbrake. That would be a very bad thing in an emergency, yes? I wonder if I could just remove the armrest.
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    You can flip up the arm rest. So it gets between the backrests.
    But be honest when do you need the handbrake. Unless your brakes fail which I never heard of in the past 20 years you should not use the handbrake for anything else that parking.
    Especially when the car has ABS.

  • gwellmangwellman Member Posts: 17
    I suppose it's true that brake systems don't really fail any more, but I wouldn't want to be the 1 in a million case...

    More realistically, if I found the same car with a manual transmission, I'd use the handbrake all the time for hill starts.
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    I have a 2001 fully loaded Wagon SE street edtion 5 speeed with ABS, side airbags and traction control. But no leather. But I don't like leather seats anyhow. Mine came with special cloth sport seats. So far I did not have any problems with the car except 2 recalls. I also paid around 19K.
    For me ABS, side air bags, traction control and rear head restraints are somehow a must.
    I also prefer to have rear disk brakes that drum brakes since they are much more efficient. Everything else like aloy wheels or design is not that important. Security first.

  • mpgmanmpgman Member Posts: 723
    Thanks. I agree with you. I'd like to see head curtain air bags too.
  • 4iron14iron1 Member Posts: 1
    I recently purchased a new 2003 Ford Focus SE Wagon and am experiencing an annoyance which I hope that someone might be able to shed some light on. When I drive over any kind of a bump in the road (eg., a manhole cover,pavement patch, etc.) the rear end of the vehicle lurches slightly
    to one side or the other. My questions are:

    Is this normal for this model of vehicle? (It sure doesn't feel normal.)

    If not, can anyone tell me what the problem might be?

    On my first regular maintenance check, I had the dealer check the alignment. They reported that
    everything was ok.
  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571

    My Focus ZX5 does this on occasion as well. Usually when going over a manhole cover or extremely bumpy pavement. It most commonly happens if I am turning and drive over the bumps while in the turn. If I am traveling straight over a bump it isn't as noticeable. I have owned other cars where the sensation is much worse than what is experienced in the Focus. I consider it normal and haven't really thought much about it.
  • ymillerymiller Member Posts: 10
    Been doing some research about new small wagons, and there's not that much out there--I want a true wagon, not a hatch, and in my price range (approx. $15K) I've been eyeing the Focus wagon. Rebates and low demand make for good deals to be had, but will I regret it if I do this? Have most of the bugs been worked out on this model?

    I drive only about 8K miles per year, so I'd like to keep this wagon for a while. Should I maybe wait and save up more money and try for a Subaru or VW wagon? Or consider a used Volvo? Any current (later model) Focus wagon owners' opinions are welcomed.

    Thanks a lot.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Focus reliability has improved quite a bit from the introduction, it may be getting close to average now.
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    I have not discovered this problem so far. But maybe because I have my wagon has the street edition package, which has a stiffer tuned suspension than the regular Focus SE Wagon.
    I just can say that mine handles corners like a sports car. No matter how bumpy the roads are. It just sticks to the road.
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    Mine is a 2001 Focus SE Wagon with the Street Edition Package.
    So far I had not a single problem with the reliability. Only two minor recalls. I just had some trouble due to the bad work my dealer did.
    The car is now 2 years old and has less than 20k miles on it. Not that much I agree.
    But if I would have to choose now I would perhaps go with a Jetta Wagon. Why? not because of reliability but:
    VW offers all the security features as standard features (ABS, side airbags, ..)
    VW offers a Diesel.
    Since I am originally from Europe and only owned Diesel cars over there I am a Diesel fanatic.

    But there are also other interesting alternatives:
    Volvo V40 (just a lot more $$ than the Focus). The only thing I do not like on the V40 is the missing option for a manual transmission.
    Audi A4 (also very $$) and not everybody needs the 4WD (quattro). And it is a very small wagon. Less room than the Focus.
    VW Passat Wagon (not that pricey than the A4 but much more room). The 1.8T with the 5SP is a nice combination. Sporty and much better mph than than a V6 or V8. Unfortunately they do not sell the Passat TDI anymore.
    Subaru (if you need/want a 4WD).


    So long
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 67
    I have owned my new Focus wagon for a week and have put on all of 175 miles..I have gotten a bach ache every time I have been out. That lumbar gizmo makes the seat worse than none. I hear some noise that sounds like drive line but could be air intake, not sure yet.

    My advice to you, drive the one you would buy more that just a few miles to determine if it meets your requirements.

    Otherwise, the car seems ok for me..
  • spidermonkeyspidermonkey Member Posts: 30
    I bought a 2003 ZTW wagon with ABS and side airbags in December. The car has about 3800 miles on it, and it has been great. I read up a lot on the Focus before I bought, and I feel confident that the 2003 models will have at least average reliability. Plus I work for a Ford supplier so I got a decent no hassle deal. The car is fun to drive and the utility of the wagon is great. The only thing that's been dissappointing is the gas mileage. I get about 22.5 mpg in mixed driving. The best I have gotten is a little more than 24 mpg, but I haven't taken the car on a long trip yet.

    My sister and her husband bought a Subaru Forester that is very nice. Since you're looking at a $15k budget, you might check out a used Subaru.
  • concrete1717concrete1717 Member Posts: 29
    What is the brand and model of tires which Ford provides as standard equipment with the Sport Group - 16" alloy wheels?
  • rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    Concrete, I've heard that tires go on in batches and are sometimes region dependent--will be interesting to hear replies.

    Does anybody know if the 03 Focus ZTW Wagon (loaded, which I've ordered) comes with a cabin air filter? Can't find a reference on the spec sheet, so I'd guess not.

  • rysterryster Member Posts: 571
    There aren't many all-season choices for Ford to use in the 205/50/16 standard size. Most Focus models with the 16" tire option are coming equipped with Firestone Firehawk GTA02 tires. However, Ford is also shipping Foci with the Pirelli P6 Four-Season model of tires. Depends on when and where you are located. My local dealer here in Southeast Pennsylvania has Focus models in stock with a mix of the Firestones and the Pirellis.
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    I do't think so. I think the early 2000 models came with a cabin air filter. But to save money they took it out in the later models. But you can order them from Ford. That is what I did and placed it in the empty cage for the filter. I have to check if I still have the part number somewhere.

  • rapidrickrapidrick Member Posts: 70
    Thanks for the info. I've actually never had a car with the cabin air filter--guess it works OK for dust & pollen, but stinky stuff would have to be thwarted with the recycle switch.
  • smwgn2smwgn2 Member Posts: 3
    My comments on our February 2002 focus SE wagon (ABS, Side Air Bags, manual transmission) at 11,500 miles.
    Excellent handling, ride, clutch, cargo capacity and stereo, Seats better with lumbar installed (Ford parts installed $70 and $30 Labor)
    32.1 mpg average on trip to Florida and back (70-75 mph). Highest mpg was 37 on highway trip when going 60mph on backroads, but often get 33-34 at 65 mph. Seems to get about 25 mpg or slightly lower in all-city driving. Worst was 23 mpg in all city driving below 20 deg. F. Seems like other posts show automatic transmission gets 2-3 mpg less.
    Acceleration is good with manual transmission.
    Brakes stop very well, but brake dust must be cleaned off about every two weeks. Will install Redline MTL (70W80 GL-4 gear oil) in Sept for smoother shifts (2002 Ford owner’s manual no longer recommends ATF for the MTX 75 manual transmission).
    Wish List: split folding rear seat bottom more comfortable front seats. No mechanical problems so far, except replaced knocked off/broken side mirror with folding mirror made for the SVT.
    Hoping for average reliability or better over 10 years. Very happy with car so far.
  • hotx3hotx3 Member Posts: 71
    owner's manual say about power steering fluid? My 2000 calls for ATF. Seemed strange to me, but it has been working ok since I topped it off. Thanks.
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    I drove a 2.3 with manual transmission. It was defintely more powerful then the 2.0.
    The power difference was significant, not overwhelming. Another difference is that the 2.3 is very smooth, the word that comes to mind is "fluid" and there are no noticeable flat spots in the torque band. It feels quite like the Duratec 2.5 V6. I really liked the fully folding 2nd seat (bottom flips forward and the back goes down flat) which I think is new this year.
    Ford has almost everything right on it now including the price, EXCEPT - you can't get traction control with the 2.3! I won't even think about the 2.0 after driving the 2.3. I guess traction control will have to be an option with the 04 model year since 2.3 will then be available or possibly standard nationwide.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    What is the EPA mileage rating on the 2.4 w/ manual tranny, and what are the hp and torque numbers?

  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    The wagon 2.3 EPA is 25/33 compared to 26/34 for the the 2.0 130 hp. On the ZX5 and ZX3 forums people are saying they are getting 30+ combined in real world driving with the 2.3 (and that is on a new engine of course). I believe the head design has been improved along with using dual balance shafts and multiple catalytic converters. The 2.3 is 145hp and 149 lbs torque.

    http://www.fueleconomy.gov/feg/byclass/Midsize_Station_Wagons2003- .shtml

    PS. I can't figure the cargo volume of ~56 cu ft. When I measure the cargo area it comes up
    about 65 cu ft. and it seems bigger then wagons with higher official volume numbers.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Thanks for the info.

    The flip up seat bottom may be hurting the cargo area. I think EPA measurements are to the back of the flipped up seat on that type, but to the back of the front seats on the type of wagon that just has the seat backs fold down. If I remember correctly - the Jetta has more space than the Passat for some reason like this, even though the Passat is bigger.
  • spidermonkeyspidermonkey Member Posts: 30
    I bought a ZTW this past December. FWIW, I have the older Zetec engine, but the back seat does flip forward for a flat loading surface. I'm very pleased with the car so far. My only gripes are that I get about 22.5 mpg with the automatic in mostly suburban driving. I was hoping for a little better than that. Also, my wife and I have a new baby and I have to push the driver seat up to put her car seat in correctly. I assume that as soon as my daughter can use a forward facing seat, that problem will go away.

    I wish I could have held out for the new engine. More power and less pollution is a good combo.
  • smwgn2smwgn2 Member Posts: 3
    I checked my 2002 owner's manual. It also lists Mercon ATF for the power steering fluid. Go figure.
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    I'm not even sure if wood trim is available. For 2002, leather was standard on ZTW and it's not for 2003. How dissapointing! :(
  • kenflorencekenflorence Member Posts: 2
    About a month ago, my wife and I -- approaching 65 years of age -- bought a new Focus ZTW wagon. It is the soft Tundra green, very handsome. We bought it because we sometimes need to carry a lot of stuff when we go to visit children and grandchild at some distance. The car has a lot of nice equipment like the 6-disc player. We like the fact that it sits up quite a bit higher than most small cars. We also particularly like the telescoping feature of the steering wheel. The upholstery (beige) is very handsome. This particular car has an automatic transmission plus what I think is called the sport package. It doesn't have the extra safety equipment. It rides well, has adequate performance, and on our first short trip (around 400 miles) we averaged over 28 mpg, so we hope for good mileage. The car is enjoyable to drive and rides quite well. I thought it was a great deal at just under $14,500 (with the generous $3000 rebate from Ford). It is much better than the 1998 subcompact I have from another American manufacturer. I hope that Ford has the bugs worked out by now and that the Focus will prove to be a quality, solid, durable car. I appreciate the 5 year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty. I also bought an additional warranty on it. I probably won't keep it more than five or six years, so I should be well covered in the meantime.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your recent purchase! We appreciate hearing all the details.... Please keep us posted on your Focus ZTW wagon ownership experience. Happy motoring! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • libertycatlibertycat Member Posts: 593
    Is your upholstery leather? Your wagon sounds beautiful!
  • jimjpsjimjps Member Posts: 146
    Hello Kenflorence.
    Please keep us posted on the ZTW. We are seriously contemplating a ZTW, we even like the same color you chose. We also like the extra height, big cargo room, good warranty and modern European design.

    I wonder if you have the 2.3 engine (if you live in NY California or Massachusetts, you probably do) or in other states you will have the 2.0). After taking dimensions of the cargo area we realize we really don't need a minivan, and we prefer the driveability, parkability, garageability and MPG of the ZTW. We were astonished to see there is actually room to sleep in the ZTW
    if need be (with a few tweaks). Another nice feature is the standard 220lb rack which we would make good use of, and it has a higher weight rating then most factory racks. That would effectively increase our cargo space even further. Please also let us know how you find the comfort of the seats. I have heard a few people unhappy with them on long trips. However, we rented a Focus and did many miles on it and we personally found no problem at all with the seats.

    It is certainly a compelling deal with the rebates. I think you made a very good choice.
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 67
    I have a ZTW wagon and have been vocal about my dissatisfaction with the lumbar seats. The SE model doesn't have the adjustable lumbar and might be more comfortable. You mentioned not having a problem in many miles, for me I get a back ache in 2 miles. I have been using a cushion and that has "fixed" the problem for the very short distances I have driven to date (1250 total miles) The seats in some models have 11 inches between the stitches while the ZTW is 12 inches. Something you might not notice unless pointed out to you. The seats we have offer NO lateral support.

    The other major disappointment is drive line whine mainly 30-45 mph. This noise cannot be heard at hwy speeds because of tire noise etc.

    My advice is to drive the car you would buy at least 50 miles in your normal driving. slow and fast.

    Good luck.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Member Posts: 3,469
    Can't you just dial out the lumbar support to basically get the same seat as a non lumbar version, or is the entire seat different?
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 67
    I have tried all combinations of lumbar adjustment and the seat height adjustment. Even with the lumbar fully adjusted out it is a pain. I don't know what the inside difference might be between a lumbar seat and non-lumbar seat. It seems that it is located too high up and hits the vertebrae. I am 5' 8'.
  • harhirharhir Member Posts: 29
    Even the older wagons had the full folding seat bottom. At least mine (2001) has it. It just does not have a split bottom seat. Only a split back rest. Does the new wagon has a split seat bottom?

    I would like that because then I could get a flat surface on one side without removing the child seat on the other.
    But so far I am pretty happy with mine. Two years old and almost no problems so far.


    2001 SE Wagon Street Edition 5 Speed fully loaded with ABS, Rear Head Rests, Traction Control, ...
  • retiredguyretiredguy Member Posts: 67
    My 2003 ZTW has a single bench seat bottom. The split bottom seat would be a nice feature.
  • labluvrlabluvr Member Posts: 1
    I wanted to post and let anyone thinking of buying this car that I love mine. I bought a 2000 Focus SE Wagon with AT in 10/03 and now have 54K miles. It was bigger, cheaper, and just as nice as everything else I looked at, and I think that's still true. And one of the few (at the time) where the rear seats fold flat which is a must to me.

    The number one nice feature is the huge cargo space. Most other wagons and even mini SUV's have less usable space. I have fit in my car (at different times): 2 XL dog crates, 4 fully grown labrador retrievers, 3 55 gallon drums, 2 32" built-in barbecues, dog crate and enough camping gear for 2 people and a dog for a week, 10' sections of PVC pipe, and one sofa (OK, it was a small loveseat, but still!) This is all in the interior of the car with the rear fully closed, I haven't used the roof rack. So many of these items fit with a clearance of 2 inches or less. I would never consider buying anything smaller. I recently bought a barbecue business and expected to have to buy a truck to make deliveries, but so far my wagon has been a workhorse.

    Reliability has been good but not excellent, I have replaced the front brakes twice, had the battery cable corrode, the rear dome light stopped working, and had about 5 recalls. I get about 26/32 MPG, and I find even fully loaded with stuff it has enough power to satisfy me but my power-hungry husband would probably like more. The handling is solid and I love sitting up higher especially with all the huge SUVs on the road these days.

    The only thing I would change if I had the chance would be to trade the carpet in the cargo area for rubberized material such as that found on some Toyota Matrix models, and the split bottom seat others have mentioned. I originally wanted a 5spd (which wasn't available at that time) but the AT has done well. If you are looking for a car with a lot of function and frequently find the need to haul all kinds of stuff, this is a great choice!

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