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Ford Focus hatchback



  • Yea, I read about that but doubt that a standard issue radio really requires one. At any rate I can't see myself bothering to detach it.
  • wdrwdr Posts: 11
    This is my first time checking out this Focus thread, but I have many comments to make:

    1. The ZX3 was a late addition to the NA Focus lineup and will be produced in Mexico. I wouldn't take this necessarily as a negative as my experience as a mfg eng. working with Mexican plants is that the workers are often more conscientuous than NA workers.

    2. My first model preference would be the wagon with a 5-speed. I had the chance to drive a Euro-spec model and liked the looks and functionality of the wagon. My second choice would be the 5-door hatch.

    3. I really don't care about the lack of power locks, but would like to have cruise control and a sunroof.

    4. The criticisms about early production glitches are just plain stupid!! People who make such comments really have no idea what they are talking about. What is more important is that Ford stands behind the product and keeps defective vehicles from getting to customers. Remember, the Focus may have been already on the market for a year in Europe, but many of the suppliers of component for the NA Focus are different, although the designs may be the same.

    5. The "wood" on the ZTS is simulated and looks pretty bad in my opinion. I'll probably skip it and look to the aftermarket for a wood dash kit.
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    One more fan of the 5-speed wagon. I hope they start to make that model available here soon!
  • I think what the ZX-3 needs is a step up in horsepower and handling to make it a serious threat to other sporty cars (Civic Si, Cavalier Z24, Golf GTI) etc. 150 hp. A tighter suspension and some aggressive tires would do nicely.

    I could see Ford softening the hatchback up far too much to meet the tastes of sporty buyers that are spending zillions of dollars on their import cars.
  • if you read the oct. issue of Car and Driver they have a prototype Ford Focus R. It is a sportier version. There is also talk that SVT is working on a version of the car. There will be a "GT" version I am sure...... the ? is when.
  • Maybe by 2001 or 2002 there will be some sporty ZX3's. The Civic cult in LA is a good reason for Ford to beef up this car
  • abbaabba Posts: 17
    The new zx3 reminds me of my 93 Civic Si HB. I read that Ford used the Civic as a benchmark. The new Ford sure looks sharp! But they won't hit the 0-60 benchmark of 7.5 seconds that C&D recorded for the Si. C&D clocked the sedan at 9.6 seconds 0-60. But it's good to see that Ford (unlike Honda) still believes in an economical, versatile, performance HB. It will be interesting to see how it sells. By the way, the SI came STANDARD with a fun sunroof. Ford would be wise to offer one as an option.
  • kenitokenito Posts: 1
    Could anyone tell where (i.e: which assembly plant) is the currently European Focus being built? This might answer the reliability of Focus in Europe. Also, where will it be built for the US market, this will determine my desire whether to buy the car or not. I love the reliability of my Honda Civic, so if I am to go for Focus, I want the same reliability. I have had too much bad luck w/ Ford's Festiva and currently with my S.O.'s Jeep Grand Cherooke that I am so afraid to buy anything comes out of the Big 3 (G.M, Ford, Chrysler).
  • I recently read in the October 1999 issue of Car and Driver that there will most likely be a 160hp version of the hatchback in GT trim. I went to my local Ford dealership for some more information and was told that it will be out at the end of the year, but he did not mention if it was this year or the end of 2000. Also in the mentioned magazine were an ultra-high-performance all-wheel-drive version labeled as a Cosworth model and turbo 200+hp Focus R that if ever made production would be labeled as an SVT model. I went to to get yet more information and found out two interesting things: 1) in mid-2001 Ford will phase out the Contour SVT and replace it with a 170hp 4-cylinder SVT Focus sedan; 2) also in mid-2001 Ford may eliminate the 2.0L Zetec and replace it with a 2.3L 4-cylinder witch will be shared by the Focus and brand new 2001 Ford Escape mini-SUV. I really don't know how dependable these sources are but they all seam good to me. If anyone has any information on any of the issues I discused please post a response, especially on the rumored GT model.
  • I just wrote on the GT model and gave the wrong website, the correct website is as follows:
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    Hey Steve, did you really see a ZX3!? Man, we have to go trolling together more often...
  • silyboysilyboy Posts: 90
    ford today went live with their 2000 model year web site- they have more info on the focus on there, but not too much (still not as good as canada's i think) also, a lot of the info in the product matrix on the ZX3 is wrong (as in options that are std. on the car not avail, etc, etc) just that you all might like to know........
  • I recently drove the Focus ZTS sedan with the 5-sp trans. The int/ext styling, seating and comfort are very good. Steering, tracking and handling are very good. The Zetec engine is noisy thru the gears and at highway speed. Also, plenty of road noise enters the cabin. The 2000 Golf has a more nimble feel but it is more expensive. The VW is a much quieter car except for engine noise at speed. The gear ratios favor accel so at 65mph the engine is revving at 3000 rpm. VW needs an overdrive gear for more relaxed cruising.
  • I am interested in the Focus but need a car I can tow behind a motorhome. I really don't want a Saturn, and am looking for other options. Can you tow the Focus and if not, which ones might be towable? TIA
  • Ld,

    If you want a car which is conducive to being towed, I say go with the Ford. I guarantee the Ford won't let you down; I had a Ford and it got towed all the time, and that doesn't count being removed from illegal parking spots.
  • I recently drove a new Ford Focus. I am very impressed! The car has the feel of a Camry or Accord, but retails for thousands less. Ford's concern should be telling the U.S. market it has a winner and having people believe it.
  • I know it's a guessing game but does anyone have a wager on what the average lifespan on the Focus HB might turn out to be? I've been shopping and was really sold on a Civic because of all the stories I've heard about 300,000 miles and up and still going. When I get a car, I drive it 'til it's dead! I've previously owned a Fiesta, which was thrown together from race car parts and actually plunked along pretty well given it's dubious start; and now own a '91 Festiva which is starting to have major problems at 220,000 miles. Of course, I wasn't there during the first 160,000 miles of use to make sure it was properly maintained; however the lack of Festivas on the road leads me to believe that perhaps 200,000 miles is average. The point here is that if I'm going to finally break the barrier and buy a NEW car, I want to make it the best investment possible for as many years as I can keep it going (15-20!! :o) ). So what's the consensus?
  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    It's nice to see someone who actually holds on to a car, and doesn't feel the need to buy a new one so often.
  • The Festiva falls in to the cheap econobox class of cars (along with Geo Metro, Hyundai Accent). The Focus, Civic, Neon, are one step up. I would expect, on average, that between a similarly maintained and driven Focus and Festiva, the Focus would last longer, but you never know. By the way, count yourself lucky to get 220,000 from a Festiva, it must have been babied.
  • Have ya'll seen the November issue of Automobile magazine? Really terrific reviews of the Focus, including a head-to-head with the Civic and Jetta in which the author concludes that the Focus " a great small car, one that raises the dynamic bar." (All credit to Automobile and author Mark Gillies.) I'll take a 2-door hatch in bright red!
  • As a matter of fact, I did not treat the car as well as I should have. I ground out the gears once in first and had to replace the transmission. I put over 20,000 on it the first year I got it ( remember it had 160,000) with road trips to the mountains and desert(off road trips!)I waited forever to replace the squealing brakes. The drums had shaving marks on them by the time I fixed them. The car has been abused so I'm not complaining about 220,000; in fact, after reviewing my neglect, I should be happy I've had it so long. Needless to say, I will NOT treat my new car this way. I do intend to reach 300,000 with routine maintainence. In spite of my lack of care for my previous car, I do become attached, which is why I keep them so long. The Fiesta and Festiva both have pulled through for me in many a hard time. The day the junk yard wrecker hauled off my old 1980 blue Fiesta was a sad day indeed! Thanks for the opinions, more would be appreciated.
  • dhkdhk Posts: 49
    With this kind of great engine life, I'm guessing most of your mileage is highway trips, 50 miles or more at a time. Also, would bet you don't have your foot on the floor too often, and you've been changing oil every 3000 miles. True?
  • I travel about 40% hwy and 60% city, I have not been very good about oil changes, I have a touch of leadfoot and, as I mentioned previously; I did ruin one transmission by downshifting and winding it up too high in 1st. I have been rough on this car and I plan to be a better owner in the future.
    In fact, I think there may be a correlation between "cheap" cars and general neglect. I would never imagine treating an expensive car in this manner; nor would most of the car owning population. Perhaps the less you spend, the less you put into it. Assuming the car will fall apart sooner or later, why bother? ...just a thought. :o)
    P.S. not my personal philosophy on cars, mind you!
  • WHO CARES about an old Festiva?!? I thought this site was for comments about the FOCUS!
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Good point, fastfocus. Friends, we have topics in this conference on the Metro and the Festiva. Let's keep this topic focused on the Focus. Thanks!!

  • Hey! Old Festivas are pretty darn cool! The Expire hasn't had much of a track record, and the Focus probably owes a lot to this late, lamented little car! I have a '93 Festiva GL (yeah, I know, AT! Wimp!), and I am considering the Focus hatch or wagon but really am reluctant to part with what I call The Toy Car. She's been a great little putt-putt car with under 60K and no major complaints, except for the d*mned emergency brake getting stuck! Besides, we have to support all hatches on this list, don't we?! Peace, bluedog63
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    I am not a fan of Festivas or Aspires.

    Please go to those posts.

    Also, do not respond to jake696 or carfreak, they were rude in the "..should Honda get nervous" post, it's now frozen.
  • mkrebsmkrebs Posts: 3
    What fools are running the marketing department at Ford? One change - making the SE sedan's comfort pkg. an option on the hatchback - would attract many more buyers to the hatchback. Burger King offers more options on a lunch! Ford's motto should be: Have It Our Way.
  • alf3alf3 Posts: 83
    Has anyone noticed that it seems impossible to get a Focus brochure from the dealer ?? I wonder if the Ford dealers here in the South would rather just sell those high-profit pickup trucks and Expeditions/Excursions. I'm very disappointed that the all-new Focus is being launched with very little marketing support from Ford.
  • So what are your opinions on longevity?? The only reason my previous autos were even brought up is because I was getting more comments on them than the Focus. The history is only a contrast and compare with Fords previous smaller economical vehicles abd how they relate to the Focus. You want to talk Focus, talk Focus, please, by all means!! :o)
This discussion has been closed.