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Old 09-26-2006, 01:54 AM   #1
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My Ford Focus 6700 miles review

This will be a pretty small review since there is not much to review at this time.
When I was purchasing Focus, I had my doubts about it. People were saying that Ford cars sucked and broke down often. Turns out that those people were mostly ones who drove Toyota's and Honda's - “ricers” what we call them. To the offended ricer: Don't feel offended, as you're not the only ricer in the world who badmouths the American-made cars.

I read some reviews and decided to go with it. I bought the SE package for roughly $13,000 with tax and all because the sale was going on. The same Focus now costs about $16,000 without tax.

Love at first sight.

What I liked about the car:
Decent HP and TQ. Certainly better than a VW Golf Mk.4
The dash layout.
Fuel mileage.
Euro suspension.

What I didn't like about it:
Dash made out of plastic, making it feel cheap.
No locking fuel cap. One can be bought for about $20, but still.
Minimum rust protection.
3rd gear is hard to get into sometimes (with manual trans).

Of course, the car is new so I shouldn't have any break downs or anything, but it happens with new cars sometimes. It didn't with mine. Focus behaves like a well-fed, diaper changed baby. You gas it and it goes. The steering is very responsive and smooth. In fact, saved me twice probably. On both accounts I could have blown a tire while driving 70 mph. One time a square of plywood popped out of nowhere, and the second time a peeled off truck tire was on the road. Usually it's dangerous to move your steering wheel aggressively at somewhat high speed, but Focus never felt it. I have to thank the Euro suspension too. You won't have a Cadillac here (thanks to the hard suspension), but sometimes it's better not to. My dad sometimes complains how his 2000 Hyundai Accent is more comfortable than Focus, which is mostly true, but Hyundai feels unstable when you push it through corners. I've been reaching the speeds of 110mph without any trouble (apart from the cops). Focus is able to handle more than that I'm sure. Maybe some day on some airstrip we will find the maximum speed of Focus cars. But for now, I know it can go 110mph without any shakes or rattles.

I wish it was a little lower though. This can be reached by having 16” wheels instead of 15' like I do, but unfortunately there were no 16” available at a time of my purchase.

Sound system is great compared to other cars. Even though it has only four speakers, it could be compared to the latest VW Rabbit's. Front two speakers are subs I think (I don't claim to be an expert on this stuff) while the rear two are just regular speakers. You'll be heard though.

There are couple of baddies also. For example, on a quiet night, you can hear the engine rattle. It's not noticeable by day because of all the traffic noise and whatnot, but it is at night. At first I thought that my valves got messed up because I was pushing it a little too much the day before, but later I found out that it's the engine mounts. This was present on every Focus I guess. So that was a relief for me. Another thing is that the transmission is not at it's best sometimes. I noticed that on colder days (or early in the morning), I'm having trouble getting into third gear. It gets in, but you always have that feeling of doubt. “Did it really go in or is it somewhere in the middle?” I have no idea what's the cause of this. On hot days it goes ever-so-smooth that I sometimes can't believe that it can be that easy. When it comes to protection under the car and of the sheet metal, it's not so great like that of German cars. In fact, there is no protection at all at some points. No protection in the area where the shocks and springs are, among many. That's an easy target for salt in the winter if you are in the northern states where we get snow and salt dumped on us from November up until January. It's easy to solve though. Just ask your dealer to spray it with a coat of whatever they use to protect your car and you're done. I had to shell out extra $200, but it is worth it. Still, I feel that Ford should have done this in the first place. Another thing that Ford should have included is the locking fuel cap. Being it a new car, some of your less fortunate neighbors (the ones who drive rusted cars and live off of food stamps) might get jealous and pour salt or sugar into your fuel system. I got one for about $20 at Advance Auto Parts.

I drive this car rough from time to time, and sometimes I'm sorry for it, but I reward it with a good oil change ahead of scheduled mileage. Sometimes after only 2000 miles.

The time will tell more about this car. But as up until now, all is perfect.


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Old 09-26-2006, 11:21 PM   #2
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I've had my 2006 ZX5 for 3 days now and have put about 400 kms on it. I don't even drive to work, I've just been driving around for fun! The ride is smooth, the handling is excellent, shifting is easy and precise, the car is quiet and almost rattle-free, the engine is just powerful enough to be fun and sounds good at high revs, and the Sony audiophile stereo sounds awesome.

I traded in a 2004 Sentra SE-R Spec V and don't miss it a bit. The Focus is more refined in almost every way, and although not quite as quick, it's more fun to drive, more comfortable, more economical, and more practical. I can't wait to go for another drive :)
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:11 AM   #3
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wait, so all of the Focuses have Sony audio or just ZX5s?
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Old 09-27-2006, 01:17 AM   #4
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Old 09-27-2006, 04:03 AM   #5
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I was offered a chance to order a coating installed at the factory under my car, but I didn't order it. I'm shocked that a dealer in Iowa didn't order it for every vehicle on the lot. Ford offers a nice winter protection package.

It sounds like my Focus- I thought I broke my mount driving it hard LOL.

If the dash isn't soft enough you might consider putting some shag carpet from JC Whitney on it- they can even put your initials on it!!


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