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Old 03-10-2007, 12:02 AM   #1
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Comparison: 1.8T Jetta vs. Focus ZTS

This won't be a complete write-up, but rather a quick summary/commentary on an experience I just had tonight.

Obviously I had the experience of driving my friend and coworker's 1.8T Jetta tonight. I was impressed by some things and unimpressed by others.

First of all, I was impressed by the fact that the car could get up to speed seemingly more quickly than my Focus could. However, on that same note, I was highly UNimpressed with the mushy, fluffy clutch on the car, and also by the throttle. It was very uncatered to a true driver (and I laugh because I think of their former commercial: Drivers Wanted.). I could hardly drop the clutch on the dang thing!!! It just kind of puttered and then started to go, even when dropping from 4k rpms. Also, when reaching redline in all gears, then shifting hard and quick and dropping the clutch again, it really did nothing like setting you back in your seat. It just...kind of started to go again. I didn't have much chance to test the handling of it, but from what little I did test, I could definitely FEEL that it was a much heavier car than mine, and not nearly as responsive. Definitely a car that was more designed to cushion your butt, not cater to the true driver in you. Not nearly as much fun as...

MY FOCUS!!! I was really excited to get back into my car and go for a drive in that just to compare. And on startup alone I felt more connected to the car. Now I understand, some of you may be like "well it's your car, of course you will feel better driving it," but let me tell you that since the day I bought this car I have, unfortunately, been skeptical about it and never really felt entirely confident about it, etc. Let me tell you, driving her car and then driving my car DEFINITELY upped my enthusiasm about and pride in my Focus!!!

While my Focus didn't get up to speed as quickly as the Jetta did (though it really wasn't THAT big of a difference), I loved how responsive the clutch and the throttle were on my car in comparison to hers. When I mashed on the gas, my car WENT! And when I shifted at redline quick and hard, it definitely sat me back in my seat!!! I mean my car isn't a monster but it was a noticeable difference from hers!!! The little I got to test it, also, the handling was great compared to hers (though VWs have pretty tight handling and steering in general).

Moral of the story: just wanted to share with you that after driving her car, I am more pumped up about my car and I feel that it could have some potential . If you want you can share other stories about driving other cars when compared to yours. Also, please don't hate on me--I am not hating on VWs, just sharing my experience to say that I like my car!

Another thing--FF has been pissing me off lately. I wrote a much better write-up before, tried to post it, and the stupid forum took about 5 minutes to load before bringing me to a blank page where it obviously did not post. So I apologize if this one sucks.

Peace.


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Old 03-10-2007, 12:48 AM   #2
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Did she know you were dropping the clutch at 4K?

I've driven a 1.8T Jetta once, it had far more torque than the car I was driving then. I liked most things about it except for the price. Was used and still something like $19K.
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Old 03-10-2007, 03:25 AM   #3
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Haha yes, she was riding with me as was another co-worker...haha though she was halfway drunk so she didn't care. And she wouldn't have anyway, she trusts me. I don't abuse cars, just test them a little. My stepbrother, on the other hand...
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Old 03-10-2007, 07:44 AM   #4
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now a gti on the other hand.
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:02 PM   #5
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Thumbs up Things that I know to be true.

The VW is not a POS. It is a PITA however. Just check out Consumers Reports Frequency of Repair. It drives nice, like a cute little chick sedan that it is, it'll never be a true drivers car. There is no replacement for displacement comes to mind.

The American made Ford Focus is not the European Focus. Origianlly the same design, they are built in different factories and meant for different markets. The VW isn't. The current Focus is reliable, or at least resonably so . It is a workaday car meant to be a daily driver, not a sport sedan. Finally, it has more displacement, more mass and IS a good driver.

I forgot, that my older brother has owned one for four years. No major issues, good driving for the past 70K miles. He has the ZTS and the 2 liter Zetec engine. Drives like it's on rails, starts and stops with gusto and control. My friends wife's car on the other hand is BORING, breaks regularly (like three times last year), and OH Yeah, it's a chic car.

Last edited by jonas1022; 03-10-2007 at 12:07 PM. Reason: I forgot ;-)
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:16 PM   #6
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well i have a unique perspective on this topic because i own a 2004 vw gli 1.8t and 2003 svt and i totally agree with you about the focus def has a way of making you feel more connected to the car than the vw--in the svt you feel like you are driving it where as in my gli it feels like the car is driving you--but if you thought that a 1.8t would be slower than your zts you are so wrong--my gli is faster stock than my svt right now-- i say right now cause im getting a hfc,borla,67mm tb, and toms tune soon, then it will prob be better than my gli--but i dont want to get into it should or it will--plain and simple my gli is fast and has a very strong engine and i have no problems from my gli even with 55,000 miles on it where as my svt with 68,000 has had nothing but problems from day one- the build quality alone is ten times better than my svt --but all aroung i still like my svt more--because of the way it makes you fell when driving it--it def more of a drivers car--also yes the clutch is very "light" in a vw jetta --i personally don t like it either-- but trust me it does take some time getting used to and once you do the car is very easy to drive--but dont be foolish- casue a vw1.8t will woop a zetec in a heartbeat--i just for-warning you so you can save yourself the embarassment if you decide to race one---oh yeah and if they are chipped you can count yourself beat even worse-- just a lil perspective-
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:38 PM   #7
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in my gli it feels like the car is driving you
haha, in soviet russia, car drives you
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Old 03-10-2007, 12:54 PM   #8
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Exclamation

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Originally Posted by jstuver View Post
well i have a unique perspective on this topic because i own a 2004 vw gli 1.8t and 2003 svt and i totally agree with you about the focus def has a way of making you feel more connected to the car than the vw--in the svt you feel like you are driving it where as in my gli it feels like the car is driving you--but if you thought that a 1.8t would be slower than your zts you are so wrong--my gli is faster stock than my svt right now-- i say right now cause im getting a hfc,borla,67mm tb, and toms tune soon, then it will prob be better than my gli--but i dont want to get into it should or it will--plain and simple my gli is fast and has a very strong engine and i have no problems from my gli even with 55,000 miles on it where as my svt with 68,000 has had nothing but problems from day one- the build quality alone is ten times better than my svt --but all aroung i still like my svt more--because of the way it makes you fell when driving it--it def more of a drivers car--also yes the clutch is very "light" in a vw jetta --i personally don t like it either-- but trust me it does take some time getting used to and once you do the car is very easy to drive--but dont be foolish- casue a vw1.8t will woop a zetec in a heartbeat--i just for-warning you so you can save yourself the embarassment if you decide to race one---oh yeah and if they are chipped you can count yourself beat even worse-- just a lil perspective-

I went away for a fw minutes to check out some magazine articles of the cars. I didn't grab any links but I did check out the specs and impressions by the owners and writers from when the articles were written. We all seem to be saying the same thing. Except your car for some strange reason is reliable, at least compared to the CR and Car and Driver Owner surveys. They are not impressed with them. Fit and Finish high marks, reliablity low marks ( most years are Poor). The Focus is average (SVT wasn't singled out) reliablity, and Fit and finish is a 5.3 out of 10. The numbers are not significant enough on speed and acceleration. Resale is not very good for either car, no matter what survey you read.


Bottom line, I'm glad you got a good GLI. Not everybody has been so fortunate. And turbo that Focus, it'll really scat then!
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:03 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jstuver View Post
well i have a unique perspective on this topic because i own a 2004 vw gli 1.8t and 2003 svt and i totally agree with you about the focus def has a way of making you feel more connected to the car than the vw--in the svt you feel like you are driving it where as in my gli it feels like the car is driving you--but if you thought that a 1.8t would be slower than your zts you are so wrong--my gli is faster stock than my svt right now-- i say right now cause im getting a hfc,borla,67mm tb, and toms tune soon, then it will prob be better than my gli--but i dont want to get into it should or it will--plain and simple my gli is fast and has a very strong engine and i have no problems from my gli even with 55,000 miles on it where as my svt with 68,000 has had nothing but problems from day one- the build quality alone is ten times better than my svt --but all aroung i still like my svt more--because of the way it makes you fell when driving it--it def more of a drivers car--also yes the clutch is very "light" in a vw jetta --i personally don t like it either-- but trust me it does take some time getting used to and once you do the car is very easy to drive--but dont be foolish- casue a vw1.8t will woop a zetec in a heartbeat--i just for-warning you so you can save yourself the embarassment if you decide to race one---oh yeah and if they are chipped you can count yourself beat even worse-- just a lil perspective-
Haha yeah, I know, I could feel when I drove the Jetta that it was quite a bit quicker than mine, which was fun. I definitely could feel it. And I was expecting that--I mean it's a turbocharged 1.8L engine with an advertised 150hp/150tq, whereas mine is advertised with 130hp/130tq (hers is probably actually 135hp/135tq where mine is actually 110hp/110tq with the slight mods I have). Of course I really don't know, just guesstimating...but I'm glad we all think the Focus is fun to drive .

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And turbo that Focus, it'll really scat then!
I'm planning on supercharging (probably end up with a PW but who knows) down the road, so we'll see what happens then. I'm pretty sure with that she won't have a chance .
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Old 03-10-2007, 01:30 PM   #10
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well i do subscribe to consumer reports and i belive i read the 04 jettas reliability was pretty high--the others past years not so--i think the jetta is comparitable to the focus on reliability cause if you look at the first couple years of the focus it was very "shitty" then progressively got better after the had time to work out the bugs-- same with the jetta its reliability was very bad as well then got better and better every year so maybe that is why i have had no problems with my 04 jetta- they had enough time to make it right -- then they changed to the new mk5-lol- i guess i should have waite dfor the 04 svt --maybe i wouldnt had some many problems with my svt
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