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Ford Focus Sedan



  • comp386comp386 Member Posts: 56
    I got a sneak peak at one of the new Focuses and I've gotta say "WOW!". It's so much better looking than the older model going out. The interior is all new and looks vastly different. It's center stack reminds me of a Volvo S40.

    I never really found the need for the Focus to change to the C1 either. The current platform rides very well and has pretty responsive steering. The thing that's bothered me the most is the build quality. Hopefully they'll make it better this time around.
  • basiliskstbasiliskst Member Posts: 55
    Mschmal also makes the point that excellence does not necessarily mean the Ford of Europe chassis and that styling both interior and exterior are strikes against the current model. On all of that I agree. The refresh in 2005 still looks like the original Focus. People pay for fresh styling. And the 2005-2007 dash styling is actually worse than the original in my opinion, speaking as an owner of 2005 ST. At best the current dash is uninspired and at worst clunky. I'd also point out that the safety bar is now higher. Side curtain airbags are a competitive must and I think more gears in the automatic. A big emphasis on a better interior is essential. But, on driving dynamics the Focus is only behind the Mini and the Mazda 3 (and I hope the upcoming Volvo 3-door P1800 grandchild). If you can keep the driving dynamics and reduce road noise and NVH overall, I suspect Ford could stay well ahead of the class curve.

    I'll have to think about the F-150 angle. I half expect Dodge to do a better Ridgeline in the mid-size space. If fuel prices continue to go up (as they will), a new and vastly better Ranger may be as important to keep the current casual truck driver in trucks. If Ford becomes only a full-size truck manufacturer, that's a dead-end. Ford can't ignore cars and can't be mediocre (or be perceived as mediocre) on cars. Build quality is one of those moving targets. Tighter body gaps, a quieter interior with material surfaces that match in shape and texture, and solid mechanicals are all important. It's essential to have no recalls to tarnish a good launch.

    I wish the Fusion had a more inspired interior because the I-4 with the 5-speed automatic is really amazingly good. And the Fusion avoided the Contour's mistake by providing a real backseat. The 2007 addition of side curtain airbags solves the only safety concern from 2006. Fusion/Milan are getting good press mentions. If the Fusion had the interior design and quality of the Hyundai Sonata it would be invincible. It's not that the Sonata is perfect but it looks more upscale than it is.

    Finally, power trains have to be a major emphasis for Ford. Ford does chassis design well, but fuel efficiency demands are going to continue to increase and NVH is a major measure of perceived quality. Ford is not on the forefront of silky smooth and high efficiency powertrains.

    I love my ST even with the things I wish were still better. It's more fun than should be legal. I want Ford to be successful rather than marginalized. I'm looking forward to the next Focus and hope it hits the ball out of the park.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "The refresh in 2005 still looks like the original Focus. People pay for fresh styling."

    But the new C-1 wide-body (That's right, over 6-ft wide, it's even wider than the Lexus LS430!) Focus MkII is actually less handsome looking than our unique '05-07 face-lift Focus MkI.

    The MkII may be quieter & have slightly better ride & handling, but not the steering feel or the light-weight nimbleness of the MkI. The MkI has a lively & predictable rear-wheel drift. The MkII rear can't even break loose.

    "And the 2005-2007 dash styling is actually worse than the original in my opinion, speaking as an owner of 2005 ST. At best the current dash is uninspired and at worst clunky."

    It may be ugly, but the new dash has more airflow w/ less noise than the old dash. Unfortunately, my early-production '05 ST has some nauseating rubber smell at warmer conditions such as after parking under the sun or if the heater has been turned on. So far, my Ford dealer said it's just "normal new-car smell" & refused to fix it. Do you have this problem if you breath the ventilation air for more than 30 minutes?

    Anyway, I hate to get rid of this car. It's a great toss mobile at the limit. Dynamically, no fwd car beats the Focus SVT. Consumer Reports' comparison test found the Focus SVT beating the Mini Cooper in BOTH ride & handling. So I test drove an used SVT after I bought my new ST, & found out that only the SVT has a nice meaty heavy power steering. Plus, the std SVT front seats (not the Euro-package Recaro) are more supportive & comfy than the smallish sport seats found in the ZX3 hatch & my ST sedan. Ford only need to add these 2 SVT features to the ST, along w/ better sound insulation & just a smidge softer dampers.
  • gypsy_techgypsy_tech Member Posts: 15
    I wanted to say that I am a happy 49+ year old driving an 06 SES 5sp 4 door. The three biggest complaints are the factory stereo, seats and no rear headrest. My older son is growing fast and he still has enough leg room but no head rest is a dump cost cutting measure. Another is the seats in general could be more comfortable. I don't want to get a bigger car, I want to get good fuel economy without giving up comfort. Why is it that most if not all the fuel efficient car makers feel that only gas hogs can have nice seats?
    P.S. My previous car was a 96 Audi A4. I ditched that because it was a gas hog.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Check out the Nissan Versa.

    These seats are amazing for a $15,000 car.

  • bobt46bobt46 Member Posts: 2
  • bobt46bobt46 Member Posts: 2
    Does anyone know if the Focus rebate will be increasing from $2500.00 at Christmas or soon thereafter. Am seriously considering purchasing one now but wonder if I should wait to see if the rebate amount goes up. Would appreciate a reply soon if someone knows the answer. Thanks a lot.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "The three biggest complaints are the factory stereo, seats and no rear headrest."

    The '05-&-later stereo in my ST doesn't just look ugly. It sounds ugly, even w/ the optional Sony speakers & the trunk-space-robbing subwoofer. I found the prettier unit in the older SVT nicer sounding.

    The less-flat front seats w/ more lateral support from the ZX3 & my ST sedan are finally available in all the '07 (including the SES) Focus' except the wagon, but only w/ the optional leather/sway leather.

    Again, the old SVT's large supportive std cloth/leather seats are the best. They even got power seat-height adjustment, just like the new Jetta & some Mercedes std seats.

    But are you complaining about the comfort of the rear seat? The U.S.-spec Corolla also purposely kept the roomy rear seat uncomfortably shaped. I found that out when I traveled over seas riding their Corolla taxis.

    I can't stand most cars' rear headrests blocking my rear view, especially the lower-right corner. But some earlier ZTS Focus' did have them. Maybe you can retrofit.

    Focus engines, even the recent ones developed by Mazda, still can't match the fuel economy of Honda & Toyota engines w/ similar output.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,710
    which honda/toyota engines have similar ouput? i have an '04 zts with 2.3. very torquey engine. have never tested the true highway mileage.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    It's a good thing that you mentioned "very torquey". B/c those amateurs only look at the peak hp.

    Despite w/ the noisy factory exhaust for extra output, my '05 Focus ST 2.3 stick still can't match my '98 Corolla 1.8 stick around 2000rpm, not to mention the real-world 40mpg on the hwy. But I had to get rid of the Corolla due to poor steering & suspension.

    Honda 2.4 is quieter, no less powerful & saves more fuel than my Focus ST 2.3.

    Nevertheless, people around the world still envy when I mentioned the naturally aspirated 2.3 in my Focus ST. B/c no other countries got anything non-turbo larger than a 2.0. in Focus! & this Mazda-developed naturally aspirated 2.3 in the U.S. Focus ST is still torquier than the ones used in the Mazda3/6.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    This is the biggest rebate Focus ever has during the model year. Please keep in mind that because the 08 will be a spring launch, January is more like July in terms of how close we are to considering the 07 Focus a left over and interest rates are likely to go up in January.

    If you can find an X-plan pin somewhere, thats worth and extra $500 rebate!

    There are websites that hook people up with pins but I don't think I can post them here.

  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Just about all Fords are getting a 50 to 100 price increase and some option prices are going up.

    This is effective on cars invoiced after 12/26/06

  • gypsy_techgypsy_tech Member Posts: 15
    Things we like/dislike -- I mentioned rear headrest because I have two kids that ride in the back. One is still in a booster but the other is 5'9" and prefers a short headrest like the ones in the Fusion or Audis. The spoiler disrupts the rear vision more than headrest would. None of the cars mentioned have that comfortable of seats although I have not made it to a Nissan dealer to try out the Vista. The best fuel economy I can pull from my 2.0 5sp. was 34.5 MPG and that was with a wimp factor of 8 on a scale of 1-10 1 being racing and 10 coasting. My average is 29 which is not that good considering the size of car. Has anyone reported what they are getting from the 07's?
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    Yep, I've had my rear spoiler removed.

    Don't expect the 2.3 to match the 2.0's mpg, 'cause the 2.3 has the energy-wasting balance shafts.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,710
    if you instrumented it, i'm sure you would realize the focus would kick the corolla to the curb.
    honda is known for some fine engines.
    i'm a conservative driver and have averaged about 29.5 mpg in the time i have owned the car. it has never really been on any long highway trips.
    when you want to go, it will run. i have owned some pretty fast cars over the years.
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • markus5markus5 Member Posts: 102
    Some time ago on this Focus thread I mentioned that Reported MPG"S are probabably wrong because of odometer under reading, at least on my particular vehicle.( 04 ZTS 2.3 auto 16" wheel). My most definitive check of mileage and instrument accuracy confirmed this assertion. Running through nearly complete tank driving down from northern vermont, and then down the entire length of the Adirondack Northway, setting the cruise control at a very comfortable 73, yet still getting over 31 mpg. 170 miles of this road had recently been re-calibrated with mile markers. My odometer was off on the short side 2 1/2 % .

    My previous car, a Probe (2.2, 5 spd ) was capable of better mileage then this car. But this one is a more capable drivers car all around by a long shot.
    So far it has been absolutely reliable, but shows some short- comings in certain areas where FORD has chosen to save money on their trim levels, or lack there of.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    I remember back in '02 or '03, a brand-new Focus ZTS in the dealer's lot had 205/55-16 instead of 205/50-16. So the speedometer accuracy does vary.
  • gypsy_techgypsy_tech Member Posts: 15
    Checking the spedo accuracy isn't hard if you have a section of highway with mile markers. Just check a few against your trip meter and see if 1 mile of road equals 1 mile on your car.
    I have kept track of my mileage since the car was new and it can vary a lot just on driving habits. In Minnesota we get enough cold to drop it some as well. I lose a couple of MPG if the weather stays below 10 F. My overall average has been 29.5 and my spedo checks out but that is using 10% ethanol.
    Just watched "An Inconvenient Truth" and that started me thinking about getting a Toyota Prius. Global warming is real and I don’t want to contribute any more to global warming than I have to.
  • basiliskstbasiliskst Member Posts: 55
    The Focus vs Corolla is exactly the match the convinced me of the superiority of the Focus. I drove the sporty Corolla for a couple of weeks out of town on business. The interior was very nice but the driving dynamics terrible. The Corolla lacked a strong on-center feel and was constantly hunting for the line to follow. It was quiet and the engine was smooth but peaky (not much torque). This was a low miles car and later drives in other Corollas confirmed my first impression. The Corolla's suspension and steering lets the rest of the car down. The Corolla can be driven fast, but at much higher revs. The torque band is much higher and narrower and therefore not much use in everyday driving. The Corolla delivers a quiet, relatively luxurious interior and excellent fuel economy but even in the sporty model, not much fun or driver engagement. I spent too much time correcting the Corolla's hunt and peck steering to enjoy the ride.

    When I drove the Focus ST with the 2.3 liter engine it was like a revelation (especially for the price). The current Corolla is almost a carbon copy of the Focus in basic layout (more vertical arrangement)and size. Styling is subjective, but the Ford's sharp lines look sportier to me and the Corolla's softer curves a little richer but more sedate. The smaller engine in the Corolla does deliver better fuel economy but isn't very comparable in driving experience. That torque in the Ford/Mazda 2.3l makes a huge difference in driving flexibility. All depends on what you want. For me, I want to know where the front-end is going and to feel that kick that only torque can provide in any gear.

    I know Toyota's reputation for quality and reliability. Ford's reputation is not as good with the public. I've owned both and I've had better reliability and service from Ford than Toyota. (Your individual dealer always matters, no car is good enough to overcome a bad dealer.) The only service worse than my Toyota experiences are my Volkswagen experiences. I like small, sporty cars and have always had at least one in the stable. I'm cost conscious and not especially worried about what other people think. Bang for the buck matters and the Ford Focus delivers on value.

    My Focus ST is powerfully charming and delivers 38+ mpg on the highway at 55-60 mph. It delivers 30+ mpg at 70-75 mph and high 27-28 mpg in town in mixed driving on 10% ethanol in Midwestern driving. All pretty good in the class. Can a Prius deliver better fuel economy? Yes. Is a Prius anywhere near the same price or fun? No. The Focus ST strikes a pretty good balance in engineering trade-offs for me.

    It's still time for a new Focus. I want side curtain airbags, better interior styling and a quieter interior, but not at the expense of the superior driving experience.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    Good points, basiliskst. That's why the C-170 Focus is so good. As the slightly Corolla-ish C-1 Focus got a little more quietness, relaxing ride & less steering feel:

    I remember sitting in the driver seat of the sport-model C-1 w/ impressively supportive long-thigh-length sport seats, but the outward vision is a very wide exterior w/ rather narrow rear-glass visibility out the back even for the sedan, which got those very low head rests that need to be raised in order to clear the intrusion for the rear passengers' upper back & that blocks the rear visibility even worse.

    "The current Corolla is almost a carbon copy of the Focus in basic layout (more vertical arrangement)and size."

    I'm 5'11" & only happy with driving position designed by tall people. Even the Swedes have to keep the seat cushion short enough for their female drivers. Just imagine how bad many Japanese designs can torture me.

    So forget about the Corolla. Even the Mazda3 needs to have the seat raised all the way just to barely provide enough thigh support for me, & then I need the moonroof-less models to clear my headroom.

    The driving position of a base S40 makes me truely happy. But even our C-170 Focus does just fine!

    By the way, our C-170 continued to improve after rest of the world discontinued it. The suspension is re-tuned again for comfort after '05. The parts dept confirmed w/ me w/ new part #s for the ST springs, shocks & swaybars.

    Is your ST an '06? Mine is an '05, therefore, doesn't got a very relaxing ride comfort.
  • basiliskstbasiliskst Member Posts: 55
    Creakid1 asked, I have a 2005 black Focus ST.

    The leather/suede seats are good, but not great. I'd prefer the ability to independently tilt the seat bottom front and back and some adjustable lumbar support. That said, the seats remind me of some of my older European cars, an R5 and a Volkswagen 411. Both had very comfortable if basic seats. Like the Focus they were more chair height, with wide, firm seat bottoms and backs that hug the lower back. The Focus' seats could roll away on the front edge more gradually. Sometimes it's a bit sharp after a long drive. I'm 6' but drive the Focus from a fairly upright position, much taller and I'd be forced to recline the seat back.

    My ST is a comfortable car with a firm, well-controlled ride. The tires are always well-planted. None of the floaty, lumpiness of many competitors. My primary complaint is the road noise transmitted into the interior. The noise is more wearing on a long, high-speed trip than the seats. Toss in a few curves and the noise is worth it.

    The American version of the Focus still honors its European heritage with a ride-handling balance skewed heavily towards sporty control and feedback with less concern for cushy ride comfort. Occasionally I'll hit a stretch of expansion strips at just the right frequency to remind me that the Focus is a small, relatively short wheelbase car, but mostly the ride is firm, controlled and relatively smooth.

    I'm still impressed after several thousand miles. The Focus ST is fun in every day driving in a way that bigger more expensive sports cars can't be. You can't legally drive most of the expensive, over-achievers anywhere close to their limits. The ST is not perfect, but it's awfully good, especially for the price. I'd pay for more sound proofing, better seats, a more stylish interior, and current safety additions, but my 2005 is still surprisingly competent, especially for the price. I'm a lawyer in my mid-40s and grin every time I drive the ST.
  • sir_timbitsir_timbit Member Posts: 39
    Okay, I've been to Mexico a couple of times the past few years, and have noticed the European Foci before, as well as the regular North American version. You can tell them from the US/Canadian model because they have the side turning indicators below the door mirrors and yellow turn signal indicators on the tailights.

    But isn't the Focus for the US & Canada made in Mexico? Why would they import it?

    I wish they'd bring the Euro version over. I'd consider that model, but I don't care for the 2008 refresh. Just looks kind of ugly to me. The interior looks interesting, I'll give it that much...

    Man, if I could bring them into the country, I'd drive one up from Mexico back up here...And they get the new Mondeo too!

    I'll never understand their vehicle lineup. I know the Euro model is more expensive than the NA model, but why not at least import it as a Mercury? As another poster mentioned, GM finally got a clue and is using Saturn to bring in some of their Euro products here. Ford could do the same with Mercury instead of just rebadging existing NA Ford product.

    At least in Mexico they get the choice.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "But isn't the Focus for the US & Canada made in Mexico?"

    Not since the '05 facelift (U.S.-built only).

    I spoke to a driver in Mexico about his Euro-spec (yellow rear turn signals, better-equipped dashboard, lock-able gas cap, different bumpers, etc.) C-170 Focus. He thinks his car is made in Mexico. I thought that once the Mexican factory stopped supplying the cheap-spec U.S. Focus, it simply applied the Euro-spec as their '05 facelift, b/c I saw this car in their Ford-dealer show room last year. I wasn't sure if it was built domestically or imported from Europe b/c Europe's C-170 production might have already been converted to the new C-1.

    & then lately I saw the new expensive C-1 (imported from Europe) in their new-car show room:

    Too bad -- 2.0 only. I wish they import the 1.6, which has better steering feel due to the conventional hydraulic pwr steering, so I can bring one (w/ stick) over here just make people in the U.S. territory look stupid w/ their ugly '08 creation. :P

    I sat in an '05 C-1 Focus overseas w/ sport package. & these front blue-cloth/leather sport seats are so cool w/ the super-long & supportive thigh cushion -- something you wouldn't find in a Japanese-engineered IS300.

    Mexicans can still buy the cheap Fiesta as their entry-level Ford sedan.

    "I know the Euro model is more expensive than the NA model, but why not at least import it as a Mercury?"

    They did. At first it was the pre-'79 Mercury Capri.

    Then later they changed the brand name to German & called it "Merkur". The Sierra 3-dr w/ the engine replaced by a turbocharged 2.3 Pinto engine was called the XR4Ti. The Scorpio 5-dr had the original 2.9 V6. Neither one was reliable.

    Another European lemon was Rover's Acura-Legend based sedan imported from Britain & sold under the "Sterling" (just to sound British) name plate.

    Again, the reputation of these North-America-only "made-up Euro name plates" all went down the drain.
  • jus2mchjus2mch Member Posts: 1
    hey did you ever figure out what it was? I am having that problem now also.
  • bronco5bronco5 Member Posts: 1
    can you program a key on a 2002 ford focus with just one key?
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Only if you are a dealer with a console to hook the car up to.

    Most dealers charge $75 for this.

  • mcurley99mcurley99 Member Posts: 2
    Just purchased a used 05 focus sedan SE, with 33500 miles. The engine has a sort of vibration in low gears and when idling. I can feel it in the steering wheel. Find that the engine is a little noisy at idle, aside from the vibration. Is this normal for a Focus? Is there anything that I should get checked while it still is in warranty?
  • scape2scape2 Member Posts: 4,123
    think of the 08 Focus?
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Member Posts: 18,710
    i have been on a bad streak with running over stuff.
    i go to work early in the morning and until i get to the highway the roads have little/no lighting. in the last month or a little longer, i have run over a piece of firewood, some critter that was about the size of a med size dog(not a dog), ran through an ice wall left by a plow the crossed my path as i was headed downhill on an icy street. i think i hit another chunk of ice after that too.
    the other day my radiator fan assembly fell out. i reconnected it into the mounts as best i could.
    bought to the dealer. getting stuff that needs to be fixed done, but i feel bad for my car. :cry:
    2020 Ford Explorer XLT, 91 Mustang GT vert
  • jeromebjeromeb Member Posts: 31
    My 2003 Ford Focus SE suddenly started making a sound which I described as "A vacuum leak related to the ignition timing"
    It sounded as a like my bicycle did when I affixed a playing card to the tire fork so that the wheel spokes would thwap the card as the wheel turned. The local dealer diagnosed it as a broken EGR tube and gladly replaced it as well as performed some other maintenance chores they could find.

    If you are handy with a wrench and your Ford Focus develops a sound which resembles a playing card thwaping the spokes of a bicycle ... you might be able to save yourself a couple hundred bucks by replacing a little rubber hose which runs from the exhaust to the intake.

    I actually like my little Focus. It could do with better fuel economy, but the performance and handling are ok for me.
  • wellswgwellswg Member Posts: 1
    Hi there, I have owned my 2000 Focus for about three years now, and at this point every time I go to drive it I end up aggravated! Every time I accelerate, decelerate, put it in park, reverse......... or do anything for that matter, the engine begins to shutter and in turn the whole car shakes, causing rattling in the doors, steering wheel and instrument panel. Now this is not a small vibration, I mean every time someone gets in my car and I start it, they ask whats wrong with it. Now I just had the engine replaced due to it throwing a rod on a trip with no sign of oil leakage (explain that to me). So I would really appreciate any ideas or thoughts as to why it is doing this (maybe transmition?), and what might be done to help fix this. Thanks
  • rgarfieldrgarfield Member Posts: 1
    I am having the same problem, Ive had all the O2 sensor, Egr value, and PDF sensor changes but the light has come back on and it wont pass inspection,

    What can I do? Anybody have a good idea? Change all these parts again as per the computer read out?


  • alfmz3alfmz3 Member Posts: 14
    I was waiting for the Mazda3 here in Mexico, but I was really disappointed with its hard plastic instrument panel.
    I have seen the new spanish Focus today, and it looks fine, but after reading most of yours comments here, I'm afraid to buy one.
  • mschmalmschmal Member Posts: 1,757
    Mazda3 is the Focus mostly in Mexico.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    All the (repair problem) comments here have nothing to do w/ the Spanish Focus. ;)
  • bigmike4bigmike4 Member Posts: 3
    as an owner of a 97 escort auto,i believed ford worked out the bugs on their latest freshening of the escort at that that their freshening the focus,i think the focus might be an excellent choice.our 97 freshened escort has toyota relibity,the paint glows still even though the cr has never seen a garage.{the top of the car is oxidised,[the car has always been in elemnts]}. it has had one missed shift in 200000 miles[auto trans]starts every time.weak spots radiator and battery.their both inexpensive to replace.our 97 escort is still a winner at 200000 miles,drove it this morning, immediate start, no warm up nessassary,quiet, execellant composure. i get a feeling the refreshen focus will provide the same excellent service.
  • dj2bigdj2big Member Posts: 9
    I just bought a 2007 focus SES sedan.
    Very nice car. Im happy.

    Until I saw this.

    Geez at theres have the mirrors and door handels painted.

    Not only that they have the 2008 Focus ST as a 2007!!!

    Plus a bunch of cool colors!!!

    I feel jipped off.......wait gas is $3.20 a gallon right now and im getting about 30 mpg, I take that back I feel like I have extra money for a milk shake now....lmao!!!
  • sir_timbitsir_timbit Member Posts: 39
    Really don't care for the 2008 version coming to the US and Canada. IMHO it just looks awkward and should be renamed the Escort or Fiesta. And they're ditching the hatchbacks and station wagons(?) How would that help their sales?

    Meanwhile the rest of the world is getting a refreshed version of the *second* generation Focus, to give it some of the new Mondeo's styling.

    Now that's much better! Ours looks like crap in comparison.

    Again, I wish Ford would get a clue, copy Saturn, and make Mercury their global Ford platform. Bring over the Mondeo, Euro Focus, the Falcon from Oz, etc. They would have one heck of a lineup instead of the blandmobiles that are currently in their showrooms here.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "Geez at theres have the mirrors and door handels painted."

    So does our '05-07 Focus ST w/ the "'05-07 Mondeo ST220" grill. Actually, people from around the world envy it, especially when that macho (by their std) normally-aspirated 2.3 can be blasted off w/ the old MkI's light-body.

    The reason I like sedan/coupe over hatch/wagon/SUV is the wide rear visibility from the inside rear-view mirror when you're passing or making lane changes everyday.

    I've sat in the driver seat of a MkII Focus 4-dr sedan. The rear-glass visibility isn't just narrower than the old MkI Focus sedan, but the right rear headrest blocks the right-rear view badly whenever the rear seat is occupied b/c it has to be raised up in order to make clearance for a person's upper back. Then I placed vertical sticks from the show-room floor where the front corners are. &, boy, the car is so bulky wide it totally defeats the purpose of maneuvering a nimble compact car!

    So, around the world, the compact Focus is dead. We're the only one still lucky enough to get the left-over narrow MkI's! Grab one while you can. A 66.7"-narrow car that remains stable at high speed, both straight line & curves, is not what Japanese platforms can offer -- especially the Toyota Echo.
  • waynebengstonwaynebengston Member Posts: 29
    Still loving my 2007 Focus ST. Just turned over 14,000 miles on it. As above, the 2.3L engine in the lightweight body is a joy, and it handles beautifully. I got rid of the mediocre Pirellis and put a set of Goodyear F1 GS-D3s on at 1500 miles, as well as putting a 1mm thicker sway bar on the back. Exactly what Ford should have done from the factory.

    Only regret is that I did not wait for the BMW 1-series to come. Should have held onto my 242,000 mile Festiva a couple more years.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    If you don't care about ride comfort, then go ahead w/ the other multi-link compacts like the 1-series or Mini Cooper.

    One reason I traded in my '05 Focus ST for an '07 Focus ST is b/c the Focus ST has the suspension retuned for more comfort after the '05 first-year model, as the '05 setting was taken directly from the SVT/ST170 (except the lowered springs). Consumer Reports is about the only source that ever tested the '06 ST. They praised its ride comfort, which is rare for a car w/ sporty handling.

    Also, when the weather is hot, my '05's dashboard/interior has a nauseating rubber smell Ford don't bother to take care of. :lemon: Otherwise, this Mazda-engine Focus has been a reliable car. You may wonder whey didn't I trade my '05 :lemon: for a different kind of car. I almost did, but after test driving the numb-steering '07 Rabbit, I say...

    Even if $ is no object, I can't think of a better car than the North America 2.3 '06-07 Focus ST, especially after I altered its pwr steering to a heavier setting. My sport-package (w/ the factory "M" decals all over the the car inside & out) E36 '99 BMW 328is ("the best/most-balanced 3-series through out the history" per Euro magazines) still can't compare dynamically. The steering of the Focus is sharper, quicker (therefore more nimble), more precise, yet still more steady than 328is' heavy & slow-ratio steering when cruising straight at high speeds. While the 328is' heavier RWD platform needs 6 cylinders in order to propell w/ sufficient power, that heavy engine can actually make the car plow forward & understeer badly on some abrupt low-speed corners.

    & here's the beauty of our light-weight 2.3 Focus ST. It's a 4-cyl car, unlike it's "big Euro bro" Mondeo ST220's heavy 6-cyl nose over the FWD platform. The styling of our '05-07 Focus ST was purposely trying to duplicate it's big bro from Europe:,,675-13649,00.html,8100,675-13657,00.html,,675,00.html

    So now we have a car that looks Euro cool w/o Mondeo ST220's heavy nose & bulky length. Neither does it have the foreign-market MkII Focus's full-size width. & the MkII doesn't steer as well as the older-design the MkI, either:

    creakid1, "Ford Focus 2005 release date" #67, 25 Dec 2004 12:39 pm

    By the way, the maximum-size 4-cyl or normally aspirated engine for the heavier MkII is only 2.0! :P
  • waynebengstonwaynebengston Member Posts: 29
    My first car was a '73 Corolla, which was RWD, which I modified into the best handling practical car I've ever owned. I had a string of front drivers that got me from point A to Point B, but were not much fun.

    I bought a '96 Impala SS, which has been fun, but I started missing having a small car. I then got the Festiva, which I modified into the best handling FWD car I've owned. Yes, it handled better than the Focus ST. That's what light weight gets you. I then got a '00 Miata, which is certainly the best handling car I've owned, hands down, but it did not have enough room for 400 mile trips.

    If the Focus ST were RWD, it would be the car I'd keep for the next 200k. I really wish someone would build a truly lightweight, practical RWD Sport Coupe/Sedan, inspired by the Datsun 510. The closest thing to that will be the upcoming 1-series. If the handling balance is too nose-heavy, I can fix that, just like I did with the Focus, and every other car I've owned...
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "If the Focus ST were RWD, it would be the car I'd keep for the next 200k."

    I'd keep the car for more than 200k even if it stays FWD.

    But if you insist RWD, here's an example:
    Sorry, solid axle only. Do you only want to power drift w/ LSD? :)

    I guess you can even forgo the V8 to keep the nose from being too heavy.

    Since the 510 w/ 4-wheel independent suspension is a Nissan/Datsun, I really think Ford should quickly create the rebirth of the Cortina compact RWD sedan by using the RX-8 platform w/ 2.3 4-cyl. ;)
  • waynebengstonwaynebengston Member Posts: 29
    "I really think Ford should quickly create the rebirth of the Cortina compact RWD sedan by using the RX-8 platform w/ 2.3 4-cyl."

    That's actually a great idea, and a car I'd buy in a heartbeat.

    Here is what I like most about RWD;
    1. Zero torque steer
    2. Ability to add power in corner without reducing traction in front.
    3. Ability to enter 4-wheel drift(not the lurid power slide people call drifting) with power on, rather than braking.
    4. Better weight transfer on acceleration.

    I know that FWD and RWD can both be driven quickly, and I know how to drive both quickly, but I get more satisfaction out of driving a RWD car quickly.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    Since only non-FWD (RWD & AWD) platforms can allocate the weight distribution aft of the front axle w/o losing the accelerating traction especially on uphills, the light-nose base RX-8 auto I test drove, w/ just 16"s & soft-riding suspension, was still exceptionally nimble. Auto Motor und Sport TV described the RX-8 as "unbelievably comfortable ride" when comparing it to the E46 330ci.

    The base RX-8 auto felt like a light-weight car eventhough it isn't, as I could not reach the tire-adhesion limit during the test drive. Actually, one reason I picked the Focus ST over the RX-8 was b/c the RX-8 was too good! A car is no fun if I won't be able to reach the limit on the street, despite that the RX-8 rides smoother than the Focus ST & the steering, while only electric powered, was confident-inspiring enough.

    So such competent platform can afford to waste a little bit like increasing the engine weight/volume from a rotary to a 4-cyl for a much meatier low-end torque, plus raising the center of gravity w/ a taller roof & seat height for more room & comfort. That way, I can even reach the limit on street driving.

    In the old days, people think that only the cramped Scirocco can handle, but the taller-roof Rabbit GTI does pretty much the same.
  • waynebengstonwaynebengston Member Posts: 29
    I gave serious consideration to the RX-8, but simply could not get past the fuel economy.

    I had no problems pushing it to its limits, and it really reminded me of the NC Miata, which makes sense. I know that the chassis would do fine under a traditional sedan. It would certainly give up some sharpness, but it would still be a cut above anything in its class.
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "I gave serious consideration to the RX-8, but simply could not get past the fuel economy."

    Investing another $20k or more can make an RX-8 a frugal car that can also do jack-rabbit start while not making its light nose any heavier. RX-8's high CO2 level can be eliminated, too, while each dollar of energy can run almost 100 miles.

    It's called electrification w/ lithium batteries & a silent reliable electric motor w/ max torque available from 0 rpm. You can leave your manual transmission in gear even at dead stop. So stop-&-go traffic becomes even more effortless than driving an auto!

    There are at least a couple places in S California that do electric conversions. But making the car even heavier is inevitable. I'm looking forward to do my light-weight MkI '84 Wolfsburg Jetta coupe sometime in the future.
  • chetjchetj Member Posts: 324
    i like mine a lot...a very good car and inexpensive...shoved a dryer in back amazingly enough...very roomy...that euro focus looks better though
  • creakid1creakid1 Member Posts: 2,032
    "...that euro focus looks better though"

    At least for the sedan version, I think the MkII is more bland. I prefer our '05-07 MkI ST sedan w/ Mondeo's nose:

    creakid1, "2008 Ford Focus future vehicle" #70, 4 Jul 2007 9:10 pm
  • dj2bigdj2big Member Posts: 9
    Drove from 60110 to Orlando I got a wopping 35 mpg round trip using cruise control 65 all the way there and back.

    Now orlando in town driving I only got 25 mpg

    Still a huge saveings over my traded in SUV!!!

    Has anyone have inside info on the 2009 Chevy Volt 100 mpg?
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