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Ford Focus Wagon



  • magneezomagneezo Posts: 15
    ZTW is the SES of earlier Focus Wagons.( this Taurus lettering thing is silly)
    The ZTW can be topped out w/ options and can be a hell of a good deal if you shop it right.
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    1) I would suggest to anybody to get their hands on the Ford service info DVD, if you have a DVD drive on your computer. You can get them on EBAY or the like for about $25.

    2) I'll take a look at my Ford DVD later and tell you what I find. Sensor replacement sounds like the 1st thing to try.. Does the temp guage run high?

    3) There are some Focus sites where you can just do a search and usually find the info you need. WIll I get in trouble for this, focusfanatics?

  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    I think the temp sensor is just measuring coolant temp.

    Is your temp guage going up well past 1/2 way?
    If not, you may not have a problem.

    From what I have gathered, a properly functioning Focus' handles high temp pretty well and it is not unusual for the radiator cooling fan to Not come on even on a hot day in stop and go. Most Focus' have 2 cooling fans and one is dedicated to the air conditioner condensor. The only time I hear a fan come on is when my AC is on and I
    am stopped on a 100F day. My heat guage never goes above 1/2 way so I think everything is OK. FWIW

  • ajweeksajweeks Posts: 5
    We recently bought a 2005 ZXW in May and one of the main selling points for this car along with the great cargo room and price, was the gas mileage (26/32 MPG).

    So far we really like the car, but the gas mileage has been no where near the estimated values. We drive mostly on city streets and it is summer, but we are still only getting around the low 20s MPG--not even close to 26! We have around 1500-2000 miles on the car so far and it is an automatic.

    What MPG are others getting with the focus wagons? Do you keep the overdrive on when driving on city streets?

    I'm hoping the gas mileage improves in the future. If we had wanted low 20s MPG, we might have have opted for a larger car like the Freestyle.
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    This topic has been raised on several forums and the conclusions I see are not very surprising. Driving style is key and of course if you really push it, MPG can be surpisingly low. Your engine will improve a bit in a few thousand more miles.

    I think the most meaningfull baseline is your max MPG under ideal conditions like going through an entire tankful on a long highway trip with few stops. If you get that opportunity it should be close to your EPA Highway number. My best was 35 mpg over 2 tankfuls at a steady 75 mph. I average around 29-30 in mixed driving but it drops when I have "episodes of enthusiasm". . That is with a 2.3 and 5-speed.

  • magneezomagneezo Posts: 15
    The owners manual suggests keeping the O/D on during all normal driving,
    only turn it off when hitting steep hills or curves (mountain driving-up the hill)
    It was opposite of what I expected to read, and had initially driven the car for 3 weeks with it off.
    Check your owners manual. It will state that.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,992
    O/D on is always the norm because at every gear it shifts a little earlier, thus giving better gas mileage. Every automatic is that way.
  • I have a 03 SE focus wagon with the 2L ZETECH. So far I am getting almost 40MPG Highway 30ish City. So I am pretty happy with this. I have had to learn to control my lead foot and accelerate slowly to get this however.
    I found an OEM cruise control unit on Ebay and was assured it was a plug and play install. I keep getting stuck trying to find a 7 pin ignition plug connector in the directions. I have a 9 pin ignition lock connector when I remove the steering column shrouds, but the 7 pin connector is MIA. Anyone ever done one of these installs before? Or know where this 7 pin ignition plug is?
  • Remember, using the A/C on a hot day can drop the mileage significantly in City driving, as it increases fuel consumption, particularly during idle (as a percentage). So if you are in stop and go city traffic with th A/C cranked up on a hot day, you will not get close to the EPA indicated mileage. I have heard estimate of A/C fuel consumption (how much more is used with the A/C on) of about 1/4 of a gallon per hour, e.g., if you are in town getting 26 MPG and only drive an average of 26 MPH, the A/C could drop your mileage from 26 MPG to 20-21 MPG. Of course, if you are driving 65 MPH on the freeway, the A/C will have less of an impact on MPG.
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    Bnordberg, Wow, almost 40 mpg is really super. Note the wagon drag coefficient is actually a tad better then the other Focus models. I think the Focus responds really well when you strive for max MPG, you just have to be patient. Re: cruise control, I can not offer too much constructive on the connector. I do know that Ford sells a retrofit unit that reportedly works well, but it's pricey.

    Re: AC. I have to agree with penguinfrost's comments. I notice the AC seems to have more of an effect on my Focus MPG that it did on my Civic MPG. Maybe a bigger and/or less efficient AC unit?

    BTW I test drove a Mazda5 and took interior measurements. Interior cargo area height from deck to ceiling is the same as our wagons, about 36". Second seat floor to ceiling height is also the same on both cars. That's in a vehicle that is 4" higher. Lastly, I verified the MZ5 is 41" wide in the back vs 44-45" for our cars. Clearly, the Focus Wagon has more cargo volume.

  • thaicatthaicat Posts: 19
    And I can verify that Jaz is correct in his measurements... :D
    I too did a test drive of the Mazda 5 and the cargo space in the Focus Wagon is not only bigger, it is IMO better configured with a flat floor space.

    Lovin' my wagon, so far.
  • smariasmaria Posts: 279
    BTW I test drove a Mazda5 and took interior measurements. Interior cargo area height from deck to ceiling is the same as our wagons, about 36". Second seat floor to ceiling height is also the same on both cars. That's in a vehicle that is 4" higher.

    Yeah, the Mazda5's "theater-style" seating raises up the 2nd and 3rd row, so no more head-room in back even though it's a taller vehicle.
  • fchoyfchoy Posts: 3
    I also have recently purchased a 2005 ZXW SES (used) and the gas mileage is also not close to 26.

    I keep the air conditioner off, and am very light on the gas pedal. When driving, I look in advance for a red light ahead and will not bother accelerating to reach the light.

    With the engine cold, I noticed that when first starting the vehicle, the rpm is at 2, and will slowing go down to .4, a few minutes. After this with the engine hot it will be at .4
    Also when accelerating the engine doesn't seem to be as smooth as my previous vehicle, or it could be just me.
    The fuel gauge seems to be precise, since the needle moves noticeably.
    Is the newer Taurus a better choice ? I had 1994 before (head gasket blew).

    Haven't been driving much because of gas prices and have been feeling sick because now I want to trade it in (but can't afford to),

    Having a hard time getting a gas cap lock that will fit, so will try again next month.

    I am thinking about installing a K & N air filter, if it is possible.
  • Just Saturday I bought a 2000 wagon. I wish I'd have camped out in this forum before I did so. Of course for every problem that is brought up there are those who will also say they have had nothing of the sort and love the car.

    This vehicle had 26,000 miles on it and I thought gee what low miles for a car that is almost 6 years old now. I test drove it and noticed nothing to dissuade me.

    When I drove it off the lot I got an education. Without warranty it looks like I now own the problems.

    The directionals broke or were broken and amazingly I did not detect this during the test drive, the dealer insisted they were were working. They do not turn off on turns and have to be manually turned off. When I went to fill it up it took only 6 gallons despite the gauge showing 1/4 tank. Upon closer inspection I could see where the previous owner had gouged the plastic instrument facing trying to make it work. Broken gas guage which I have been reading on the forum here is very common on these cars. Finally after driving it for some time I noticed the high pitched whinning noise that either comes from the engine, transmission or rear end, take your pick. Of course this may be just how they sound in general but nonetheless I find it irritating and have never owned a car with this.

    I am thinking my best bet is to fix these things and get it in the paper quickly and consider myself lucky if I can get rid of it

    Any comments would be appreciated. Caveat Emptor. :lemon:
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    I heard that Stanton make a locking gas cap for the 2005. This cap is different then previous years. An internet search should find you a supplier. Re: K&N filter, there are different ways to do this. If you mount it right off the throttle body you will be drawing in warm air instead of the cold air that the stock air filter takes in. You may not gain anything at all either in MPG or HP. If you go the Cold Air intake route then the K&N filter is mounted low and some say is a potential danger to pick up water in wet areas. On the other hand, this system will gain you some HP, there are claims and some data stating 8+HP gain, but what often happens is the MPG goes down 'cuz the driver likes using the power more. In either event you would have to put the stock air filter back in every few years if your state smog check requires a visual inspection, and you need to put it back in before going to a Ford Dealer 'cuz they may void your warranty. Also note the stocker does not require filter change for over 100K miles I believe. IMO I would leave the system stock.

  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    I may not be able to offer much constructive except to future potential buyers. The 2000 and 2001 had lots of problems and recalls being the first years of a totally new car designed in Germany and produced in Wayne, Michigan (wagons). But even in these years plenty of people do not have problems and get over 100K miles easy. From 2003 on there is a 36/36 bumper-to-bumper transferable warranty and 60 month/100K mile powertrain warranty also fully transferable and I would recommend these years and the quality increases as the years go on. As for the 2000 in question, some states have laws requiring the dealer to take the car back during a short grace period, but I assume you are not in one of those states or it's too late. Also, if it was a Ford dealer there may be a short warranty on it. But assuming that neither is the case you are right to fix the indicator and fuel guage. The whining noise is not normal and that could be a big problem. If the sound is coming from the rear end - that is good news cuz there are no moving parts back there other then wheel bearings. If you know a trusted and reasonable mechanic I would have him troubleshoot it. You may be able to tell if it's the engine by seeing if the frequency of the whine corresponds to engine rpm or to vehicle mph. If you are going 30 mph and down shift one gear and are still going 30 does the whine frequency increase or stay the same? It is also possible that it is something not quite as expensive like wheel bearings or differential. One last thought is that 25K miles is suspicious for a 2000 car and I would do a Carfax check if you haven't already.

  • Thanks Jaz,

    I should have done my homework and lot checks better, shame on me.

    The dealer which is an off lot supposedly with a good reputation is looking into possible Ford recall notices on the non working directional auto off. I am seeing that the non working gas guage is a common problem in reading the board.

    As far a the whine, I am not optimistic. I thought at first it was just how the car ran and sounded but I believe it comes from either the trans or the engine as it rises when I accelerate but is not loud.

    Sorry to admit but it looks like my best bet would be to get rid of this turkey before it costs me much more to keep fixing and fixing.

    I guess the lesson here is that a vehicle with low miles should be viewed with as much suspicion as one with high mileage should be with caution!

  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    BTW you can check for Technical Service Bulletins here:

    I would venture to guess the whine is not the engine, more likely the tranny ( I assume it's an auto). Here's one possibility that would be good to eliminate - have the ATX fluid completely changed and defintiely replace the filter. It can get really gummed up and clogged in 5 years even with low miles and cause some noises.

  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    I am thinking of buying a used 2000-02 focus wagon (if I find a buyer for my Windstar). Drove one today and the only problem I had is the steering wheel was a little farther away for me than I would like. The 2002 I drove had only a tilt wheel no telescoping.

    Would the telescoping wheel allow the wheel to get closer to me than the standard non-telescoping, or only further away?

    Was the telescoping wheel part of an option package for these? It might help me identify listings for ones that have telescoping, if I know they had to have some other option(s) to get that.
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    I didn't realize my tilting wheel was also telescoping at first. While the lever is disengaged for tilting, give the wheel a good tug - it also telescopes. It could be that they also made a tilt-only wheel, I just don't know. Yes, the wheel does seem a little far away depending on what car you are coming from, but the tele gets it just right for me.

  • dudleyrdudleyr Posts: 3,469
    I thought they all telescoped. Maybe that was changed at some point though.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    At it says:

    Tilt/telescoping steering wheel (standard on SES and ST models only. Also available on SE with Convenience Group).

    I don't know if that has been the way it was always packaged, though.

    I am pretty sure the one I drove did not telescope, I tried to push and pull it several times with the tilt released.

    Edmunds overview for the 2001 model says: A tilt/telescopic steering wheel is optional.

    Hmm...the 2001 overview also says: SE Wagons also get the Zetec engine as standard...which I guess means the zetec was not standard in the 2000 model. That will be another thing for me to check out, I may not want one with the base engine.
  • Jazvan,

    You are a wealth of information.

    Thank you,

  • magneezomagneezo Posts: 15
    I've read 'rumor' that the whole thing is playing out w/ Ford's hand in the basket.
    KIA has its dividends and stockholders. A key player to their '99 bankruptcy bailout was Ford, who already had at least 15% invested.
    As with any other 'up and coming' company, blueprints can be bought and sold.
    In this case, the Mazda line-up takes on a change while KIA gets the ol' Protege
    look alikes......somehow. The whole Spectre line is shaping up to be what is hauntingly close to those old designs. That Oval around KIA's name may not be blue, but in a hollow sort of way it's on the same hand me down path, something leftover from the Festiva days that slowly grew bigger than Ford ever anticipated.
  • magneezomagneezo Posts: 15
    2003/2004 SE Wagons built for commercial sale in the USA did not offer a convenience group (comfort group on earlier models) so there was no tilt/cruise available. 2005 saw the return of the convenience options, and the ZXW SE can be outfitted with so many things now that the SES is not really 'in a league of its own', except for Leather seats I suppose. Choices Choices.
    Still Love my 2003 SE Wagon, and they're not hard to sport out.

    *Damn Those Brakes Though!!*
  • Jazvan,
    Please send this msg. along to those still looking for an '04 Focus ZTW, 5 Speed,2.3,Sport Group,etc.
    I located one in Charlotte, NC- Here's how the ad reads:
    2004 Ford Focus Wagon ZTW, blue, 5 Speed,ac,pw,pdl,CD,alloys,16k,
    Factory Warranty, $10,500 Tri-M Motorcars, Charlotte, N.C. "Your Wholesale Source" 704.451-5242 or 704.522-0004.
    The seller is currently driving the car and says it's great! Does not have Leather or Sunroof, but has Traction Control, the 2.3 ltr., and all the Goodies!
    See it Online:
    See the Ford Listings.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    Thanks, I have had a hard time finding even a 2000-2002 with telescoping wheel, so that I could see if that improves things enought for me to consider on of these. They all seem to just have tilt.
  • jazvanjazvan Posts: 106
    2.3 with 5 speed in a wagon is pretty rare and is a great combo. Notice however that you could not get traction control with the 2.3. Maybe they meant to say ABS? If you got the bucks and think it is worthwhile you can retro-install a Quaiffe or Torsen traction diiferential which is better in some ways then traction control at least at higher speeds but it is big $$$$.

  • There's something odd about the Focus Wagon's cargo capacity. The Wagon lists 36 cu ft with seats up and 73.7 with seats down(by some listings). But the hatchback shows 18 cu ft and 40.2. How does the wagon get almost 38 cu ft by folding the rear seats, whereas the hatchback(which is probably full height by the time you get the rear seats) only gets 22. It seems to me the right answer is in the 60s. somewhere, as another poster calculated. Still pretty good.
  • just traded my Elantra hatch in for the Focus Wagon (05 SES - sonic blue with auto) and while some things about my Elantra seemed more "luxurious" I think I may enjoy this wagon a bit more.

    the things I am totally enjoying so far:
    ride height is high enough to improve my visibility on the highway
    seats are totally comfy so far for short drives (1 hour or so)
    the stereo is a major improvement over the Hyundai
    the auto drives as peppy as the 5-speed in the elantra, maybe even more peppy
    AC is more powerful
    I should get 4-5 mpg better in the Focus
    it looks good for a wagon

    gonna miss my Saab-copy Elantra hatch, but it was ready to move on.

    just hope my car holds up to the next couple of years and proves to be as enjoyable over the long haul. might be the first car i consider keeping beyond the loan.

    btw - NEVER want to do business with the dealership I bought this car at again! They are criminals in my opinion.
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