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Ford Focus hatchback



  • jenevievejenevieve Posts: 11
    so when is this car supposed to be available for someone like me to buy? i'm on the verge of buying a golf or a subaru outback sport, but if it's not too long a wait, i might take a look at the focus.
  • dae3dae3 Posts: 55
    The last that I heard it was October but things may have changed since then.
  • occupant1occupant1 Posts: 412
    Ken, I agree, the 1991-1996 Escorts were good...but not nearly the same caliber of the other cars of the time...I had a 1992 Pony to thrash around for awhile and it was OK, not bad, but not especially good either. I see the resale values are not too good.

    The Aspire shifting thing is something you should be HAPPY for. These 3-speed automatics in the Aspire, Festiva, and Metros are built tough for a reason...durability under load. The 50-70 horsepower engines aren't enough to overcome the tires nor the transmission. If you are driving your car hard enough to cause a really hard shift (like pulls the steering wheel out of your hands) then maybe you should buy a tachometer and not let your car shift at 6500rpm...

    I like the Focus, but for my $12,280 I would rather have two slightly used Geo Metros, or maybe a Plymouth Road Runner, 383/727, in Sub-Lime...we can all dream can't we?

    $12,280 will also buy a Golf III/Jetta III with a V6, or a late eighties Mercedes-Benz 4Matic wagon...hmm?
  • manchildmanchild Posts: 18
    But how many miles are going to be on that Benz wagon, or even that V6 Golf? That alone would make the Focus a little more attractive, wouldn't you think?
  • tom_71tom_71 Posts: 3
    I ripped out the blaupunkt cassette player that came with my car, and put in a cheap little 35Wx4 sony CD player i got at the sony outlet store for 65$, and changed the stupid paper cone speakers with a pair of 30W 50$ sony speakers from Wal-yworld. So I had to pay 150$ for a system that should have been in the car the first place. Oh well..

  • travismltravisml Posts: 10
    Hi Folks,

    I may be a bit out of date here, but a great link for pictures and info on the Focus is ford's uk site. will take you directly to the focus.
    Please let them bring the 5 door here.
  • manchildmanchild Posts: 18 has just opened up its 2000 Model Information Center, which has complete pricing info on the Focus and other Ford Models. A quick MSRP check reveals...

    Ford Focus ZX3 Hatchback w/ these options:
    - Air Condition
    - Anti-Lock Brakes
    - Power Door Locks w/ Remote Entry
    - Side Impact Air Bags
    - Floor Mats

    With the 5-spd manual: $14275
    With the automatic: $15090

    Judging from these prices, I'd be willing to bet that some Ford dealerships will advertise the 5-speed Focus with those options at $12995 and still make a few bucks from that deal. That should get people around here interested, eh?
  • Dealers in the metro DC area are quoting me about 5% over invoice, with delivery in 4-6 weeks. A loaded ZX3 (without power locks but A/C, A/T, side air bags & ABS) can be had for $13972. Still a thousand dollars above Manchild's target, but the automatic transmission accounts for $750 of that difference.

    BTW, one dealer has a black wagon arriving the end of August. Anyone want a dirt magnet?
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Thanks for the link, travisml. I'm with you. Let's get that 5 door Focus stateside!

  • manchildmanchild Posts: 18
    Actually, that's pretty much what I was expecting for a ZX3 with an automatic -- $27 less, in fact -- though I figured they would include the power locks option with that. Still, that's a deal that could hit the VW Golf where it hurts.
  • I just talked to a MD dealer who confirmed a letter from Ford sent in the spring: ZX3s will ship after the release of the sedans and wagon. Official release of the hatchback is November, so cars will not appear until late Sept./early October.

    The dealer did not have the color options for the ZX3, making it difficult for me to order. (For some reason, he's not convinced that the ordering codes are already available on the Internet at!)

    [BTW, Very small color swatches are shown at, but they're too small to be useful. The overseas Ford sources use different names than the US..... Have any of you found a good source of color information?]

    At 3% over invoice, a loaded ZX3 with shipping is less than $14,500: a good deal, if the quality is in fact Job One.
  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    I wonder how long the Escort ZX2 will remain in production. I saw a picture of a Focus coupe on a German website. Maybe this will replace it.

    I am glad that the 3 door is coming earlier than the spring. Hatchbacks were looked down on by buyers as econoboxes, but now the image has faded with time, Hooray!

    BTW: Earlier someone said that they do not buy domestic cars, only trucks. Well, I consider my Contour and the Focus as equivalents to US made Hondas, Toyotas, etc.
  • fischdafischda Posts: 272
    Well, I just spent hours on the Hatchback and now Focus threads. First time poster. I was ready to negotiate on a VW Golf, test drive a Civic DX Hatch, and now I'm all misty about this Focus. A few weeks ago, I saw 4 truckloads of Foci (sedans, wagons, and hatches) on I-76 in PA. Wonder if they were headed to the DC area? I need a car now! I love my Ford Ranger 4X4, but can't take the 5-spd in DC traffic anymore. What can you tell me about any of the current hatchback offerings mated to an AT?

    I wonder if the Focus will go "chunk" (like the Golf), or go "clank" (like the Civic) when you slam the door. I prefer a good solid chunk. Fell in love with the Golf's spitited ride on the test drive, and the 4-wheel disk ABS is awesome! Have owned Hondas with suspect brake longevity. BUT, I do like Ford trucks, and will consider waiting for the Focus to see how good "Europe's best" is.
  • mznmzn Posts: 727
    Welcome fischda! I'm glad you found us.

  • tomcat630tomcat630 Posts: 854
    The Focus was a Car of the Year for Europe auto journalists. It means a lot more than Motor Trend's award, btw.

    I can't wait to look it over and drive. My Contour is solid, much more than my mother's 94 Sable. If the Focus is newer design, I expect it to be as good as my car.
  • cool3cool3 Posts: 4
    I don't understand Ford's logic. Why do they think that Americans will want to buy a 3 door hatchback, but not a 5 door version. Reg Football, sign me up on that petition. Now Ford has at least four customers for the 5 door hatchback.
  • dae3dae3 Posts: 55
    Sign me up too. That makes six.
  • dae3dae3 Posts: 55
    I counted my wife.
  • Yes, indeed! That is what we want!

    BTW, a local dealer sent me word tonight that he has a silver Focus sedan. So they are coming....
  • sgroversgrover Posts: 2
    I drove a loaded focus se today and I gotta say it was nice. I'm actually holding out for the zx3, but after all I've read, I had to drive one. Of course the loaded se is essentially a zts, but I can see what the appeal is. The strangest thing I found was that the fuel door was actually plastic, not metal like the rest of the side panel. Also the horizontal adjustment on the driver's seat is actually a hand crank, kinda like a door window handle. I've read great reviews on the handling, but have heard nothing about reliability during the year it has been in Europe. Any one else hear anything about it? I could see myself buying one but I sure would like to know if it has had any first year problems across the pond.
  • richspirichspi Posts: 1
    I love my 92 Probe's hatchback! I can get my bike
    without taking so much as a wheel off, spare wheels, cooler & duffel bag. I can also fit two bikes (front wheels off) & as many as 3wheeelsets.
    I know its a high liftover but most of my stuff is
    pretty light. In the winter I can fit 3 cross country skiers (in winter clothing), their ski's,
    boots & poles! Will the Focus hold as much?
  • I was at recently and went to their 2000 model year feature. They have all the new cars listed, with the features and pricing. As far as the Focus is concerned, I noticed that there is one significant omission. The only variant of the Focus that will have an option for speed/cruise control is the ZTS sedan!
    All of us that have a long drive to and from work would sure love to have at least the option to have cruise control on our car (at least I do). Hopefully, that was's mistake. I sure want the ZX3...
  • cool3cool3 Posts: 4
    To compare find out how much cubic feet of cargo your probe has and compare this to 18.5 cubic feet for the zx3.
  • cool3cool3 Posts: 4
    Don't worry sgrover, according to a 4 year research on the now defunct escort, the focus should be as reliable as the 2000 corolla.
  • tjts2tjts2 Posts: 18
    I really like the Focus. I didn't think that Ford would actually be able to make a car I would actually consider buying. The last Ford I liked was the 80s Taurus wagon (don't ask, I am a freak.)
    But I just don't understand Fords strategy. The cheapent model comes with the most powerfull engine while the most expensive (wagon) has the lesser. What the hell are they thinking? I would love to have a 130hp wagon with a a stick. Oh well. Leave it to Ford of North America to mess up what the Euros created.
    I was previously considering a Civic hatch, but the Ford hatch is a much better value in a more attractive package. I am just aprihensive about the quality.
    Here is some advice: If you can wait, dont buy one of the early examples to come of the line. Wait a couple of months to order yours. I have seen that with many new models (from a variety of manufacturers) the first examples have some build quality issues in general.
    I curently have a base 95 Meon with no options (power steering and AC does not impress me HA HA HA.) Its noizy as hell but bullet proof despite all the bad press (go figure.) For $8600 new, it was the best deal I ever got, on anything. I just hope the Focus prooves to be just as good.
    Does anyone think that I could get my hands on a base ZX3 for $1100 or less?
  • tjts2tjts2 Posts: 18
    I ment to Say "Neon" and "$11,000". Not "1100"(I wish.)
  • dae3dae3 Posts: 55
    The reason they put the 130 hp engine in the hatch is because it is supposed to be the sporty model that appeals to younger buyers. That is also why the hatch has a standard CD player and alloy wheels standard. The 130 hp engine is an option on the sedans and wagon and is standard on the ZTS sedan.
  • lucien2lucien2 Posts: 2,984
    Waah! I want a 5-speed Zetec wagon! When is Ford going to wake up? (I have given up on DaimlerC and GM). Is there strategy on transmission something like "Let's just hand over those 90 or 100,000 units a year to VW." ??

    Hey Ford, newsflash- young, active buyers like to row their own boats! Ask VW and BMW if you have doubts...
  • Hey,
    Someone asled about the feel of the door on the Focus, and I can attest that they feel more solid than Civics. My Dad (in Europe) has a ZX3 (it is called Trend over there) and the door close with a very solid sound. Overall, in Europe it is a well-built car. I just hope American quality will be at least as good.
    BTW, the American ZX3 has better engine than the Euro car, which is GREAT! I cannot wait to drive this 130hp car!
  • Will the focus with an automatic be towable with all four wheels down?
This discussion has been closed.