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Old 01-21-2007, 10:45 PM   #1
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Suggestions on which year Focus to buy?

Hey Everyone, New to this site, and new to Ford Focus'. More familiar with trucks, and especially Ford Rangers. I learned from owning my Ranger that looking at these Forums and knowing more about a vehicle before you go and buy one can help to get a better one.

To start with Im looking for a car that will get good gas mileage, and be reliable, and don't really need any performance mods and lots of luxury items. Im thinking of just going with a Focus LX Four Door sedan.

So what do you guys suggest as far as year for most reliable/low maintenance. I heard that 99/00 year models have some hickups being just introduced, so 01 and later models would be better bet. Do you guys agree?

I would also like suggestions on what model you guys suggest even though I think the Four Door sedan would be best for me!

Thanks for any input.


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Old 01-21-2007, 10:48 PM   #2
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basically anything 02 and up, but if you want a duratec, which you apparantly don't 03 and up.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:52 PM   #3
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if you get a sedan, make sure it comes with a zetec and not the spi. at least give yourself a path to upgrade. dont make my mistake and get an spi.
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Old 01-21-2007, 10:55 PM   #4
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Yes, 02 and up is a better bet, and if you don't mind a stick they will get a tick better milage. The tranny seems to be bulletproof on those. Also, there are more than one engine choice. The zetec is the most popular for aftermarket goodies ( 16v ), but there is also a 8v SPI, which has been around forever and seems to get a hair better milage and the cost of a few HP. Other than that the cars seem to be quite reliable.

Welcome and have a look around!
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Old 01-21-2007, 11:07 PM   #5
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you can buy my 03 white lx sedan, already has some mods done to it, downside is there no pwoer windows etc... and it has the spi, not a bad motor, but its not as much pep as a zetec or duratec, and you are also a few thousand miles away lol
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:12 PM   #6
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I will no doubt go with the 5Spd tranny, not very trustworthy of auto tranny's.

Then is the Duratec the 2.0L DOHC 16V found only in the Hatchback? Or is this engine found in the Sedan models as well?

Or is the Zepetec similar to the Duratec but found in the Sedan models?

I will probably choose to go with the little more powerful engine, as I am not a big car guy, I might as well go with the most HP! So will my best bet to identify which engine be to look at the specification tag under the hood or is it on the drivers door frame?


Thanks for the Info!
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:21 PM   #7
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2000's have the best intake manifold.......

I'd say 03 for Zetec

or an 04 for the Duratec if you want that motor with the original style
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Old 01-22-2007, 08:40 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fordtoughranger View Post
I will no doubt go with the 5Spd tranny, not very trustworthy of auto tranny's.

Then is the Duratec the 2.0L DOHC 16V found only in the Hatchback? Or is this engine found in the Sedan models as well?

Or is the Zepetec similar to the Duratec but found in the Sedan models?

I will probably choose to go with the little more powerful engine, as I am not a big car guy, I might as well go with the most HP! So will my best bet to identify which engine be to look at the specification tag under the hood or is it on the drivers door frame?


Thanks for the Info!
Any sedan 00-04 badged LX is the SPI engine. Any sedan 00-04 badged SE is the Zetec. The hatchbacks, 00-04 are mostly Zetec, with the exception of some 03&04 ones which have a 2.3 Duratec pzev in them.

Since you are interested in Sedans....The LX badge is like the bone stock focus....while the SE has more features...You can usually tell by color-matched side moulding, sunroof ( sometimes ) little things.

Its not too hard to tell the engines apart...just pop the hood. The Spi says "2.0L Split Port" on the valve cover, and its unpainted. The Zetec has a black valve cover and says "Zetec" or "2.0 Zetec" or something like that.

Happy Hunting.
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Old 01-22-2007, 09:05 PM   #9
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I'm gonna have to go with '02 and above also. Earlier models had a long list of recalls. That doesn't mean if you get an '00 or '01 it'll fall apart. It's just better to be safe and to stick with a later year model.

The styling is also different (exterior and interior) on the '05 and later models. You may want to compare the earlier generation of Focus with the newer one, if you plan to put the extra bucks down for a newer one.

I myself own an '02 ZX3. I prefer the older style of Focus over the newer one, both interior and exterior. I haven't had any major problems with the two that I've owned.

These cars can take A LOT of abuse, especially with the numerous stupid mistakes I've made with them. I also have to give partial credit for preventing serious injury/death with the first Focus I totalled. It's one of the main reasons why I got another, of the same year model.
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Old 01-22-2007, 10:19 PM   #10
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If you are looking at just a sedan, I would have to say an '03 - '04 with the 2.3 Duratec. I am biased though being that both my wife & I drive a Focus with the 2.3 in it. Her's is an '03 SE sedan, (2.3 w/ MTX, w/ power package). Mine is an '04 ZX3, (2.3 w/ MTX and power package).

By sig you can see I have done a "few" modifications to my car. But I can honestly say that stock vs stock, my wife's '03 seemed to be quicker than my car. I don't know if it was the gearing difference, difference in the ECU programming, (they messed with it a bit I think from the '03 model year to the '04). Can't put my thumb on it, but it was quicker then my car when it was in its stock form. In addition, have not had any major hiccups with either car.

After all that , I would recommend any '03 model with the 2.3....
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