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Ford Focus Sedan



  • Will two car seats fit well in the backseat of the ZX4?

    Currently I am driving a Chevy Malibu, so Im a bit concerned about transitioning from mid-sized to compact.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I just got a new Focus and a forward facing infant seat fits fine. Two will fit fine, since forward facing car seats don't extend much beyond the seat cushion, if at all. It's a different story with REAR facing newborn seats, which are REAL space hogs.

    I'm pretty sure a rear facing infant seat won't work well in the ZX4, I know it didn't work for us with a Neon unless we pushed my wife's seat too far forward for comfort and made it max upright (I couldn't drive with the seat behind me or in the middle). We traded in the Neon on the much roomier, in the back seat, PT Cruiser, and later a Dodge Caliber and Nissan Versa also worked, but now that both kids are in forward facing seats, I got a Focus and it works fine too.

    The Focus definitely doesn't have a much "behind front seat" room as the Caliber, PT Cruiser, and Versa, but those three are the exceptions to the "not much rear seat room in small cars" rule. All the small cars are ok for kids up to 10 or 11, but adults aren't very happy back there, at least American size adults.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 7,741
    For much of the year, the Ford Focus compact car, which averages 27 miles per gallon and comes with optional cutting-edge Sync telecommunications and entertainment technology, climbed the sales charts. So far this year, the vehicle built in Wayne is up 20.5%.

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  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Sometimes a lot of small changes can accumulate to make what drives like a whole new vehicle.

    I have owned 5-6 (I'm too lazy to rummage through my folders to count) Focii since 2000, and the 2009 is definitely the best yet. Some reviewers complain about Ford's decision not to use the same "platform" for this car in both Europe and the US, but I think Ford's decision to focus on incremental improvements instead of introducing a completely new design with "bugs" was a wise one. They have squashed all the bugs from that first year while making year after year of subtle and not so subtle changes.

    First, the quiet, ride, and handling are what you'd expect from Honda, if they built this car, which is a little larger than the Civic but a lot smaller than the Accord. It is an order of magnitude quieter than the 2009 Cobalt I bought two months ago (and that is a quiet car, in absolute terms) and a LOT quieter than either the 2008 Honda Fit or 2008 Nissan Versa that were my trades.

    The engine isn't as strong as in the Cobalt, but it is VERY smooth (part of the NVH - noise vibration harshness upgrades) and rev's very willingly. Driven at lighter throttles, it is actually more pleasant to drive than the slightly gruffer Cobalt. At almost full throttles, the Cobalt really moves out, the Focus is strong but not as dramatic.

    Handling and ride are MUCH better than on the Cobalt - which in turn was MUCH better than the Fit or Versa. In a nut shell, I'd say the Focus handles like a driver's car, rides like a riders car. The Cobalt is more of a riders car, but very competent when pushed.

    The Focus feels 1 size larger than the Cobalt. I know on paper many measurements are similar, but the Focus feels closer to midsize (except for rear seat legroom, which is sacrificed in trade for an enormous trunk). The Cobalt feels closer to compact. The Versa had the most spacious feeling cabin, and both the Versa and Fit had much more usable rear seat space for adults. The Versa "floated" like a French car (bobbled a bit) but gripped the road well. The Fit handled like a go-kart, but felt vulnerably tiny.

    For enthusiasts, I highly recommend the Focus or Fit - both drive well. The Focus is more comfortable and much quieter than the Fit. The Fit has "mini-station wagon" abilities. Overall I'm happier to be in the Focus that the Fit, which felt a little squirrely and was a little too noisy for very long interstate drives (I did drive it from SF to LA once).

    If I had my latest round of purchases to do over...I wouldn't change my choices. I think the Cobalt is a better choice for an automatic - the extra horsepower in the Cobalt makes up for the slush box. For a stick shift I'm glad I went to the Focus instead of buying another Cobalt - yes the Cobalt with a stick shift would have been an acceleration monster, but I like the better steering feel from the conventional hydraulic power steering on the Focus, and the better handling feel from the fully independent rear suspension.

    BTW, for enthusiasts, the Focus coupe has 3 extra horsepower (possibly with increased noise due to a less restrictive muffler setup), 1" or 2" larger wheels and wider tires, and a slightly stiffer suspension. Of course you lose the practicality of four doors. If you want slightly better handling in the 4 door than I am getting in the SE edition, if you pop the luxo bucks and get the SES you get a rear sway bar - although Ford has tuned the '09 without a rear sway bar to handle as well as my old ZX3's with a rear sway bar. Also Steeda offers a rear sway bar kit with all the parts you need to mount it for a nominal $160 or so.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    and handles and rides better than the 2009 Cobalt (1,500 miles on it), 2008 Honda Fit (7,700 miles at trade), 2008 Nissan Versa (7,000 miles at trade).
  • scape2scape2 Posts: 4,124
    the European Focus. go to google and type in Ford of europe. Then navigate to the cars and to the Focus. This is a nice car! If Ford can bring this to the U.S. the Civic is done. In Europe the Focus actually bests the Civic. Rumor is the 2010 Focus is supposed to be of European design.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The American Focus is actually much improved. I give Ford credit for making gradual, incremental improvements over the years since its introduction in 1999 as a 2000 model. When Ford Europe went to the "second generation" platform and we didn't, I initially felt we were being cheated, but when I drove the Mazda3 which DID get the upgraded platform, I wasn't impressed - the car had gotten smaller and shorter, it didn't have the "high seating" position which makes the Focus feel like a larger car. I did some research and found out that the Europena platform had been changed mainly to allow all-wheel drive so it could be used for small Volvos etc.

    I have no doubt that the European Focus is - well - more European than our Focus. Which generally means a little noisy, a little harder ride, better handling, slightly better driving dynamics. But my '09 American Focus is definitely a nice ride compared to the other cars I've driven lately - other American compacts and some Japanese compacts and subcompacts. It's really quite a nice car now, and as a result of making incremental improvements rather than starting all over, it's had an enviable reliability record the past 6 years.

    Supposedly Ford is going to "rationalize" its domestic and international manufacturing so that more design and parts are in common. I doubt that will happen. The American Focus platform is so solid and reliable and such a known factor now (and so "tweaked" with the latest generation improvements to body solidity) that it would probably cost more than it's worth to start over with the next generation (3rd) Euro platform. For what, anyway? We don't do AWD here, at least not on compact cars. It would probably take Ford 3 years to get the bugs out of a major platform change, and even if Europe and Amerca started out in synch they would begin to diverge anyway - European subcontractors and American subcontractors make different subassemblies for different tastes etc.

    Finally, the Chevy Astra, a hot competitor to the Ford Focus in Europe, came over here virtually unchanged (it is built in Belgum I believe) as the Saturn Astra and opened to so so reviews and little interest. Likewise the Focus SVT, a fine, fine auto, languished over here.

    There isn't much of a market for upscale, hot, small cars. Such market as there is, is owned by Mazda with its 3 Series. The Focus is a car for the masses, and those of us who actually like to "drive" cars, are lucky that Ford has been willing to keep the "European feel" of this fine little car as much as they have. Most single moms, starving students, and cheap seniors don't care, all they want is reliable, cheap transportation.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    First, the '09 Focus Sedan stick shift was awesome for the drive to LA. I had to drive bumper to bumper the first 26 miles (which took 2 hours), then slow and go for 225 miles, to my overnight stop. The car was quiet and smooth throughout. It was solid and quiet a 75 mph, comparable to my old '06 Impala. What a relief to have a quiet car at last, and not to have to "upsize" to Odyssey or Impala size to get rid of the noise!

    Anyway here is my report on mileage:

    Tank #1 (my first refill)

    181.7 miles, 5.387 gallons, 33.73 mpg

    Tank #2

    175.2 miles, 4.953 gallons, 35.38 mpg

    Tank #3

    226.7 miles, 6.21 gallons, 36.51 mpg

    Tank #4

    271.9 miles, 7.907 gallons, 34.39 mpg

    Overall 34.98 mpg, incredible from a car this size.

    The MPG indicator in the "computer" message center built into the car (SE's and above) was wildly optimistic, initially showing 39-40 mpg. It seems to be "settling down" to more realistic numbers (it is currently telling me I am getting 37 mpg) although I thought it counted fuel injector pulses and should be quite accurate. The Ford calculator makes the Chevy calculator, which is only ever 1 or 2 mpg optimistic, look like a model of accuracy. If you have a Focus, you should print out gas receipts and note your miles on that tank (using the trip mileage calculator) for a more accurate indicator of milealge.

    The only oddity I noted in this series was that I seemed to get better mileage in the slow and go (after the initial bumper to bumper) than in constant high speed cruising.

    Love the car, love the mileage.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I've owned 5 or 6 - or maybe more (you lose track when you trade in two cars twice a year) - Focuses since 2000. But I haven't owned one (up until two weeks ago) since I purchased an '05 ZX3. Why?

    Well, first and foremost I made a shift towards purchasing cars with side curtain airbags (the most important kind for survivability per the, and Ford was slow on adopting them. They DID offer a combination torso/head airbag, coming out of the seat, for the front occupants only, but I have kids now and wanted front and rear head coverage, plus the combo bags were hard to find. I was fortunate that my '05 ZX3 came with them, although otherwise lightly optioned (as I like my cars).

    Second, I didn't like the fact that for some reason Ford didn't offer rear seat headrests on any Focus until '09. I didn't feel right about offering to drive co-workers to lunch, in the rear seat of a car that didn't think whip-lash protection via head rests is important.

    Third, I had gotten used to lot quieter cars. Other economy cars got a lot quieter, but the Focus didn't, until 2008 when they added better sound proofing and a special, thicker windshield (an upgrade made to the Escape that year, too). I thought this was a minor difference, until I went driving earlier in the year in a left-over '07 ZX3 (yes, I loved the Hatchback Focus) and realized that while the engine and road noise were moderate, the wind rush was horrific. Thankfully, starting in 2008 Ford redesigned the Focus to be much quieter (but watch out for the Coupe which has a noisier muffler, which is actually deliberate on Ford's part), and my '09 Focus is comparable in sound levels to the two quietest vehicles I've owned, an '06 Impala and my wife's '07 Honda Odyssey. That's saying a lot.

    Fourth, the hatchback disappeared! I love hatchbacks, they are smaller than a sedan for easy city parking, but when you flop the rear seats down, they turn into really effective "haulers." I sure hope they bring the hatchback back!

    So those were the negatives, most of which got solved (Focii come with curtain air bags standard, they are quiet, they have rear headrests).

    So which was the tipping point for me?

    Well, if the Focus this year had still been stuck with those goofy fake air vents on the fenders, I wouldn't have even test drove this year's much improved, very satisfying model. I could probably have lived without rear headrests (my kids are short and co-workers can ride in their own cars!) but I definitely couldn't have lived with those cheesy fake vents.

    It doesn't hurt that the front air dam area got cleaned up.

    Although initially I thought the Focus interior was cheap looking compared to my recent Fit and Versa experiences, I have actually come around to liking it a lot. It is less "busy" than the Fit, which was way over designed, and I like Ford's use of pebbling, micropebbling, and "sticky" or "grippy" overlays (on the arm rest). Now that I have 1,000 miles on the car, I see the interior as cleverly minamalist, in that way I used to like VW's (until they started getting all Lexus'd out). A lot of thought when into surfaces, seat fabrics, lighting under switchgear, the center arm rest, the controls, the rubber lining in the console cupholders, etc. The only thing I miss are hand grabs, not because I use them to get in and out, but because I like to grab them while on interstate drives to stretch out a little.

    If you like your Focus, as I do, please share your thoughts with your friends, relatives, and coworkers. This is a very difficult time for the American manufacturers. I have watched them for the past 8 years, and they have been diligent about reducing so-called "legacy" costs while upgrading their products to reduce warranty costs and quality control issues. Ford, imho, has done the best job - the Focus is still in the hunt compared with Corollas and Sentras and maybe even Civics, if you give it points for its Euro-centric driving experience - the Fusion is a hit - the Taurus models may be boring, but they are rock solid derivatives of Volvos - the Edge is sweet, the Escape is sensibly (finally) upgraded with a great new engine, and the Flex is way too far out to come from an American company. They both need and deserve our support in these very difficult economic times.
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    Interesting messages Mike. " Tipping points " I wonder what the "tipping points" are as Congress makes its decisions as to what is to become of U. S. sourced and owned automobile manufacturing.

    I have described in previous postings how I came to purchase my 04 ZTS Focus exactly 5 years ago which I still enjoy driving everyday and for 65,000 miles.

    the 04's were the last model year with the funcky dashboard. In my opinion the 05-07's were too generic for my taste in that area. This was imortant because I don't think most people realize that you live with the design of the car on the inside more than you do with the outside. The elimination of the telescoping feature on the steering wheel in the latest models, also eliminated some value. On the other hand, all reports say that there is a quieter more upscale quality to the interior. "Tipping Points " again, Ford evidently feels that it was necessary to do this, and they were correct, as sales of the model have been a high light in the dismal market otherwise.

    I have "talked up" the Focus over the years, I think that Ford has improved its image here in North America, Their image in Europe has always been better. Recently through their periodical to Ford owners here in America, european models coming here have been announced.

    During the last two years of elevated fuel prices, the 2.3 PZEV was capable of getting 30-35 mpg, and since it has a very wide torque range, one does not need to wind it or thrash it as with most 4 cylinder engines.
    Enjoy your new FOCUS.
  • I have a 2005 Ford Focus ST with the 2.3 liter I4 engine and 5-speed manual transmission. This was the sportiest model for 2005 and is fully optioned with traction control, sunroof, heated leather seats and more. I have 70,000 trouble free miles on the Focus now and still grin when I drive it. It is the most satisfying small car I've ever had. I've driven lots of highway miles between Minneapolis and Phoenix and the chair height seats and compliant ride let me comfortably do 12-hour days without being saddle sore. Ford got so much right on the Focus. The independent rear suspension gives a far smoother and more compliant ride than most competitors that ride on twist beam solid rear axles. The 2008 and 09 have updated interiors and exteriors but the basic goodness of the chassis and layout remain. Plus Ford's quality is now solidly above average and on par with the best of the Japanese according to statistical reviews. My problem free experience is consistent with that. It's frustrating to read the news of auto industry problems where Ford gets lumped in with Chrysler or GM. Ford is in much better shape from consistently high quality to stronger financial condition. In my experience, the Focus is a much better choice than the Corolla. The Civic has strengths, but long distance comfort isn't one of them. The Focus is both technically on par or superior to the competition in key areas and is a better value. Focus sales are up dramatically in 2008 with the remodeled Focus, strong fuel economy numbers, and the Sync music system. It's easy to see why. I've driven a lot of small cars and the Focus still excels and satisfies.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I agree that the independent rear suspension is a BIG plus on the Focus. I have had several "twist axle" rear suspensions (Honda Fit, Scion xA, Nissan Versa, and my old and current Cobalts) and all of them give a solid "thump" and "loose" "jumpy" feeling when I hit swells on the freeway. My current Focus (and all the prior ones) handled those sorts of freeway irregularities just fine.

    My '09 has a much better suspension "tune" than my '05 had. My '05 suffered from the bean counter decision to forego the rear sway bar except on the upscale SES trim lines. The '09 is missing the rear sway bar, too, but it has the same taut handling as the early Focii which all had rear sway bars - apparently Ford adjusted coil spring rates, shock and strut rates to make the car truly handle well without a rear sway bar. Which means on the S and SE trims, the Focus is TRULY fully independent at the rear.

    What has degraded, imho, is the tire grip. It felt fine on the fuel saving Hankook Optimo 725's (which, in non-OEM format got good marks from Consumer Reports in their all-season tire tests) BUT this morning I noticed the car does NOT feel well connected through the tires and when I take freeway sweeping curves, I have to turn the steering wheel more - I think these tires don't grip as much and require more "slip angle" at the front end to do their job. Please note that suspension damping and body lean are all good, it is just the tires, the final connecting piece, not doing their job.

    I'm not that excited about changing tires (I would move to Kumho KH16's which I've used before, or to the more expensive, highly rated, but unproven by me Michelin Pilot Exalto A/S). Money is too tight now, and I hate to waste the stock tires.

    If you buy the Coupe instead of the sedan, you get peformance tires instead of gas saving tires. If you buy the SES in the Sedan instead of the S or SE, you likewise get performance tires.

    On your other issue - Ford quality and driving dynamics - I agree they are among the best, equal to or better than Honda (in driving dynamics, at least), better in both than Toyota, and better than GM and DC. HOWEVER they made some marketing boo-boos the past few years - the current Taurus/former Five Hundred was poorly marketed (and is still poorly marketed); they were slow to issue 6 speed transmissions, and the initial releases didn't downshift briskly when needed (but "hunted" in other circumstances); the 3.0 was outdated, and the great 3.5 came out just in the nick of time; the Escape was badly in need of a suspension update, which it got this year, and badly in need of an engine update, which it also got (2.5 instead of 2.3), and badly in need of more cogs in the automatic transmission, which it got this year; the Fusion needed a better base engine (the 2.5 vs. the 2.3); the Flex should have come out earlier, and came out in way-expensive "luxo" versions instead of including some bread and butter, affordable trims and models; the TaurusX, a GREAT clone of the Volvo XC90, was horribly marketed; their minivan update accomplished nothing, and then they dropped it altogether.

    On the other hand the Expedition update was great, the new F150 is great, and they still have that ace in the hole, variable valve timing, to roll out on their 4 cylinder engines (the Focus 2.0, the 2.5 in the others). When they come out with VVT, their 4's are going to rock.

    They probably also need to take the pretty much all new 3.5 and downsize it to 3.0 for the Fusion, and upsize it to 3.8 for the Mustang and Flex. Unless they can show us the 3.5 has enough power for their larger applications, but doesn't waste gas in the smaller vehicles (Fusion, Escape).

    just my 2.5 cents.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    Having no sway bar just to ensure the suspension's full independence isn't necessary the best tuning for ride/handling compromise. I just did a comparison/experimentation on my MkI Jetta's tuning.

    The factory tuning goes like this:

    1)Soft (diesel model): soft springs w/ a small rear sway bar (no front bar)

    2)Medium (gas model): medium springs w/ a small rear sway bar (no front bar)

    3)Hard (GLI/GTI): hard springs w/ a medium rear sway & a front bar

    I ended up choosing the soft springs w/ the full set of GLI/GTI front/rear bars!

    It may ride firmer than the Soft setting (but no firmer when crossing speed bumps evenly), but corners even flatter than the Medium setting. The only thing I have to watch out for is avoiding deceleration while cornering hard, as the soft springs do make the car dive pretty badly. :D I think it's a fair trade off for the comfort I've been gaining. I just have to try to accelerate while cornering in order to keep the front springs lengthy.

    The July '08 Consumer Reports found the new Americanized Focus's "steering isn't quite as crisp as it was on the original." That's right, even the SES model w/ Pirelli P6 205/50-16! So that leaves the most desirable Focus to be...
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    I prefer my '07 ST over my '05 ST. I traded in the '05 for the '07 hoping to get rid of the nauseating low-quality plastic smell, but no luck. Too bad this piece of German-engineering w/ American quality is still flawed. I better open the windows often :sick:

    At least, dynamically, the '07 is better tuned than the '05 for my taste!

    The '05 had an identical suspension as the SVT (ST170 in Europe), except the lowered springs. The '07 has a less firm springs & less-abrupt-riding shocks. But I'm still looking forward to replace w/ Gabriel shocks for relaxing ride motion.

    The '07's traction control (no longer std) is less intrusive, & I love it. It seems to be able to be defeated completely this time. Even with the aftermarket Quaife differential installed, it is still useful to leave it on during slippery conditions.

    I do missed my '05's smother shift linkage as well as the European-ish reverse lock-out ring, though.

    Now here's the best thing -- pwr steering tuning.

    The '05's is always slightly too light & therefore lacks confident-inspiring resistance during high speed ramps. I tried to temper w/ the steering-pump wiring, but only able to firm up during the mid & low speeds.

    The '07's may be even lighter at lower speeds. But above 40mph, it firms up nicely at high speed curves to feel confident inspiring! Tempering w/ the wiring only adds excessive self-centering action at all speeds to disrupt your natural resistance during cornering! So it's the best to just leave it alone!

    This kind of reminds me (Euro) Performance Car magazine's complain about Mini Cooper S's adjustable pwr steering -- heavier setting actually dulls the road feel!

    & what's so good about the Civic other than the fancy interior? The Civic Si's electric pwr steering lacks road feel so badly even the best video game can do better (see recent Car & Driver's comparison w/ Mazdaspeed3, etc.).

    Dec '08 Bimmer magazine: In the comparison test they complained about the Mercedes C300 Sport's lack of steering feel, the BMW 328i's little steering feel, &, despite the mighty powertrain, the BMW 335i being less fun to drive than the 3-series from the previoius generations due to lack of feel/involvement.

    I still can't imagine which sedan out there today steers better than the '07 Focus ST 2.3 :P Even with such quick ratio, it still tracks straight for relaxing cruising. This can not be said about the fun E36 3-series w/ or w/o the quick-ratio steering rack (from the std Z3) installed!
  • I purchased the first 2000 Focus LX sedan with 5 speed our local dealership received. The car has performed beautifully for almost 9 years. It has been a daily driver the entire time and is starting to show age. Unfortunately, due to growing kids, 11 and 7, I will need to go bigger in the next couple of years. This car was my first new car purchase and it has been the best car I have ever owned. I tell everyone who is looking for a small car to drive one first and then test the rest. I would buy another one tomorrow if I could part with this one. It is getting rusty but it is still trusty!! :)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I don't know what Ford changed, but the manual transmission in '09 isn't as smooth, or as easy to drop into 1st, as the ones in my prior Focii. It's fine, but the earlier ones were exceptionally good, close to Honda standards. Anyone know if they change vendors?

    Also I have a buzz which I have isolated at the plastic sleeve that covers the seatbelt in the "b" pillar of the door. When the car is cold (cold morning) on certain rough roads there is a little buzz as the sleeve vibrates around the seatbelt channel. Easy to stop it by touching it, may insert a matchbook or something in the sleeve to dampen it, but want to check with the dealer first since, after all, it's the seat belt mechanism and I want to make sure it can do it's job.

    The engine is incredibly smooth and feels stronger than the 2.2 Ecotec in my '09 Cobalt, but that one has an automatic transmission, which may sap too much power from that larger, higher rated engine.

    The suspension and NVH in the Focus blow away the Cobalt though. This is the best small car I've ever owned, and I've owned a lot, included VW's and Japanese.
  • Focus RS. 2011 Should be the best year for the focus yet.

    ">link title focus-rs/<a href="
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    What year was your previous manny tranny?

    Compare to the '05 Focus ST I used to own, my '07 Focus ST does not slip b/t gears as easily/quickly. & I hate it!

    & the '07's shifter simply looks stupid (& nerdy) w/ its dummy reverse lock out. Where's its European heritage? :mad:

    I still prefer the '07 over the '05 due to the pwr steering's stronger centering & more heft at higher speeds -- more confident inspiring.

    Maybe the '06 has the best of both... :confuse:
  • yogitech1yogitech1 Posts: 3
    I recently had an accident where I was forced out of my lane and lost control of the car hitting the gaurd rail. Upon hitting the gaurd rail the drivers side grab handle procceded to put a gash in my head down to the bone and knocking me out for a short time (long enough that the next thing I saw was the EMT. I have since removed the handle after getting the car repaired. It looks like new, and the insurance wanted to total it? lol. :P
  • yogitech1yogitech1 Posts: 3
    Does anyone know how to remove the rocker panels on the 2000 Ford focus 2 dr.? What holds them onto the car? :confuse:
  • jweirjweir Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how to change a valve cover in a 2006 Ford focus Zx4...
    Can't even find a chilton's or a aynes manual for it in a parts store...also I need a diagram of the engine compartment, so I can figure out how hard it will be to replace it...

    Trying to sell it and I found out that the valve cover has a small hole in it..
  • robflarobfla Posts: 4
    Update on my Focus.Still enjoy driving the car, but im extremely disappointed with the problems that have occured. I will list the dealer stated repairs and you judge for yourself. In addition to the problems stated in the previous post, this is what has happend. The grunting/squeaking noise is the normal result of a parking brake engaged when entering or exiting the car, loading groceries,etc. Dealer says this is normal and it persist to this day.At 3900 miles, the turn signals and hazard lights stopped working. Dealer replaced bulbs and shorted fuse. Dealer replaces bumper and rear brackets at 4000 miles. Rear lug cap falls off and is replaced at 5500 miles. Replaced right side cowl panel,discolored at 8000 miles.All dashboard guages and lights quit working,wiring assembly replaced at 9300 miles.Dealer replaced all valve stems under warranty recall at 10000 miles,one month after i had a flat tire due to a cracked valve stem. Squealing noise begins in engine at idle or driving at 10400 miles, dealer replaces tensioner assembly,drive belt. The car currently has under 11000 miles on it. Buyer beware, unless you enjoy visiting the ford repair shops and taking courtesy shuttles alot. Gas mileage improved dramaticaly after 5000 miles. I now average about 28 mpg in town. Will never buy another Ford again.
  • swindleswindle Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Focus ZX4 SE. Where do I plug in my mp3? There is an AUX button on the CD/mp3 player, but I can't find where to plug the mp3 player in. Help would be appreciated.
  • If you have a removable number pad like my 2000 it may be under that if not then it would be on the rear of the radio.
  • lhoaglandlhoagland Posts: 1
    Has anyone ever heard of a problem with the Focus completely dying while driving? This has happened several times. The alternator has been replaced and all connections to the battery and starter have been cleaned. I don't want to throw good money after bad chasing this. Help ! ! !
  • markus5markus5 Posts: 102
    edited August 2010
    :) Hello friends,
    I check into this blog with decreasing frequency as the years go by. The 04 ZTS I purchased in Nov. '03, is actually running more incident free at 89k than in any other 2 year period. I have mentioned before cthe bean counters at Ford had their hand in some of the decisions about accessorizing this model. There are also the quirky noises from the brakes which remind me that this is an economy car.

    But every time I get behind the wheel, I am reminded of the important thing is it works so well and has better moves than most cars purporting to be high end sporty cars. Although it has seen very little in the way of fine care or polish theree is nothing here that would indicate that the Focus has seen 6 upstate NY winters never garaged.

    I have recently test drove a few brand new cars ranging from a Versa to a Suzuki Kiaschi and to indulge myself, a new V-6 Mustang Covertable. The versa was clearly an appliance type of vehicle, even if it had more power it could not get out of its own way
    a real snooze. ( they paid me $25 to take the test drive and that is why I was there) The New Suzuki claims to have 185 HP. , But it to was a CVT transmission, which I can not quite get used to.
    Ford had a promotion recently which I took part in . $50 to test drive a new car, the Fiesta which they said they would have for me was not there, and that is how I got paid for the spin in the new convertable Mustang, He did not even go along for the ride, Yes it would be wonderful I could rationalize about the 31 mpg and 300+ hp.
    Well, I got back into my Focus and drove it fast had fun and realized that this kind of freedom probably could not be had in a Mustang because the Police would be all over me.
  • basiliskstbasiliskst Posts: 55
    edited September 2010
    Our 2005 Focus ST racked up 110,00 miles before suffering an ignoble end in a car accident. It did its job and sacrificed itself to protect my daughter who was driving at the time. Hate to see it go as it was a truly superior and fun car.

    We really had almost no maintenance other than oil, tires, brake pads and regularly scheduled maintenance. At the end there where three "wear issues." The buttons on the radio had worn off some of the numbers. The center console arm rest was lose and floppy (I think it got leaned on too hard sometime late in life). And the little bin by the driver's left knee had the latch broken. (That one was my fault. In the dark I pulled up on it thinking I had a hold of the hood latch. I wasn't low enough.) Our all in fuel economy was approximately 30 mpg. We tried to find another ST to replace it, but the ST was scarce and the ST with traction control and heated leather seats, scarcer still. I guess I'll have to wait for the new World Focus and the promised new ST version.

    Favorite things remain:
    Great steering wheel. Perfect size and shape with the thick cross section and bulges at 2 and 10.
    Precise steering and supple, controlled handling. Way more fun than the typical small car. Independent rear suspension makes a huge difference.
    Great torque from the 2.3 liter motor.
    Short throw, direct feel manual gear shift.
    Chair height seats that provided good thigh and lower back support, wrapping the kidneys for grip. The heated seats were great.
    4-wheel disk brakes with ABS and Traction Control -- not offered on many small cars, especially at the time.
    Complex hinge on the trunk rather than a goose neck so closing trunk didn't intrude on cargo.
    Great safety for the size of car with high ratings and great real world performance. There was no intrusion into the passenger compartment in it's final front end collision. (Hit a much heavier SUV in the side with the Focus' nose in an intersection.)
    Great reliability with exceptionally low cost of ownership, with acquisition cost, maintenance, insurance, and fuel economy much better than average.

    Dashboard could be more luxurious and interior more durable, but for the price point, I'll take that trade-off.
    I'd like a 6-speed manual with a taller cruising gear for improved fuel economy and less noise.
    I'd like more sound deadening and isolation, but again for a compact economy car, I can't complain too much.
    The new World Focus reportedly has all of these improvements in a new body with new EcoBoost engines.

    All in all, the Focus ST was probably my favorite car I've ever owned, not because it was the most expensive. It was one of the least expensive cars I've ever bought. It was intended to be a third car. It was so much fun to drive it saw a lot of use. And it was still a bargain. But it was a favorite in the end even more because when push came to shove (literally), the safety was there to protect our daughter. Cars can be replaced.

    I would definitely buy a Ford again (and have -- we bought a 2008 Mercury Milan for our "big" sedan). I'm hoping to buy a new 2012 Focus ST when they become available. Our ownership experience was exceptionally good.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited September 2010
    I've sat in the new Focus III sedan in Ford's focus group almost a year ago. It's an one-size-fit-all design:

    1) The inside door handles are now located more Japanese/Lexus-like (read for short arms)

    2) The front seat cushions are tiny -- for short thighs.

    & I don't like its rear outward visibility -- the lower right corner being cut off.

    The exterior is bulky, as the platform is a shortened Volvo S80/Mondeo (also driven by James Bond in "Casino Royale"). But then, its rear leg room is also not as cramped as in the new Mazda3.

    & it does look like a down-sized current Mondeo.

    Do you think the bulkier current Mondeo is as fun as the old one? I doubt it. :P

    You know, the previous Mondeo ST220 is what the '05-07 Focus ST 2.3 sedan's styling trys to emulate -- more compact, sleek, less bulky (especially being 2 cylinders lighter under the hood, but w/ the most macho cylinder size of all Focus')...

    I am still excited about doing project on my '07 Focus ST sedan (w/ no optional side-airbags for easier seat change!), after I traded in my '05. The traction control was no longer std for '07, so that's the only option on my stripped (but special ordered) '07 ST. & it's way less intrusive than the one in the '05!

    The main noise is actually the ST exhaust, which interferes w/ human conversation. So I plan to tune the sound to a lower frequency, possibly by changing the resonator.

    I've added the Quaife (Torsen-type) differential.

    Being 5'11", I am replacing the front seats to fit me better. I've looked at the Volvo S40/V50's supportive manual cloth driver seat with multiple adjustements, but the bottom cushion seems to be too shallow to absorb road bumps. & forget about aftermarket seats like Recaro, Corbeau, Flo-fit, or even Monaco. They simply give you a bumpier ride. So after traveling to other countries, I've decided to adopt these stylish & supportive blue sport front seats from the Focus II S (Sport) in Taiwan (I believe the Focus II ST's front seats are hard-riding Recaro designs, although I've only had a brief ride in a Focus II ST taxi there). They're shaped even more S40/V50-ish, but the cushions are extremely thick & firm -- good enough for off roading. LOL Unlike when riding on the original seats, road vibration (which could not be felt through these blue sport seats in the Focus II w/ more sub-frame isolation) in my car is actually being transmitted on to my butt through these thicker-firmer-cushion new seats! But I believe their much deeper cushions will still provide more overall long-distance comfort.

    Not being able to stand the short seat cushions (especially the front passenger seat), I will give the ST sedan's original cloth interior a new face!

    This is the type of blue front sport seats being transplanted into my car from the Focus (II) Sport

    I didn't bother with the orange/black cloth sport seats

    Focus (I) SVT/ST170's std sport seats (red)

    Focus (I) SVT/ST170's std sport seats

    Focus (I) ST170's optional Recaro seats

    Focus (I) SVT/ST170's optional Recaro (leather) seats:

    Focus (II) ST's std Recaro seats

    Focus (II) RS's std racing seats
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited September 2010
    Focus III ST

    The ST version has longer seat cushion for thigh support.

    But will there be a sedan version for the U.S.?

    Will the suspension be lowered uncomfortably?

    The beauty of the '05-07 ST 2.3 sedan is having firmer sportier suspension w/o being lowered like in the SVT/ST170. Compare to the '05, the '06-07 has an even comfier/softer set up still, & (per Consumer Reports 2006) trumped all competitors from GTI, etc. in ride comfort.

    But I am not sastisfied, b/c the rebound motion is still too quick for comfort. I plan to put Gabriel shocks in my '07 ST sedan.

    By the way, VW can no longer afford to continue with the (already cost-effective) mutli-links engineered by the Focus engineer.
  • creakid1creakid1 Posts: 2,032
    edited September 2010
    Actually, VW can no longer afford to continue with the (already cost-effective) mutli-links engineered by the Focus engineer on the Golf/Jetta unless it's the expensive GTI/GLI, which has uncomfortable lowered hard suspension.

    So then the new Golf/Jetta will be Fiesta-like w/ simple rear suspension, but I am pretty sure the new Jetta w/ over 104" wheelbase will excel even the new Focus III's rear leg room.
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