Longtime VW driver asks ... should I? - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus Discussions > General Car Chat Lounge

General Car Chat Lounge Discussion Forum relating to nonspecific Ford Focus models, car purchasing, auto industry news and any car talk.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
FocusFest FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply




 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 08-14-2007, 12:01 AM   #1
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Fan#: 5823
Location: Colorado
What I Drive: 2004 Forester XS; 2002 VW Golf TDI

Posts: 3
FF Reputation: 1 maybeafocus Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Longtime VW driver asks ... should I?

As my user name suggests, I've been considering buying a Focus for years and years. Something always held me back, chiefly a lack of well-equipped models on the market. I consider side air bags more vital than front air bags, and I've been driving with ABS for so long, I don't want to unlearn those habits. Nowadays I'm seeing more well-equipped FoFos for sale, and I'm going through a rough patch with my VW Golf- the third multi-day trip to the shop this year. I'm strongly considering jumping ship and picking up a cheaper, newer car. The Focus heads my very short list of possible replacements.

My question is, have any of you come over from the VW fold? If so, how would you compare the overall ownership experience? VW does a great job of delivering tactile delights. Everything you see and touch inside resembles a luxury car-- if sometimes a car designed by someone who's never driven a car. Someone who actually said, "Let's hang the cupholders on the dash, in front of the radio," and got his way, rather than getting fired.

Have any of you dumped your VW and regretted it? Or was it the best decision you ever made? because right now I could trade my '04 TDI for $14,000 worth of car. Is a late-model ST the way to go? I care about gas mileage, so SVT power isn't so desirable, but tight, flat handling is. reliability counts, too. I've never owned a car that didn't feel sporty and responsive, and I don't want to start now.


maybeafocus is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 08-14-2007, 01:49 AM   #2
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Fan#: 49155
Location: Bay Area
What I Drive: 2001 Black Focus LX

Posts: 15
FF Reputation: 1 Bat Girl Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Here's my experience:

I drove my VW for the last 15 years and sold it to a friend two weeks ago (I bought a Ford Focus the same week, a 2001). So far I have 0 regrets. I actually feel a lot safer in my Focus. I was constantly scared my VW was going to break down on the freeway or just fall apart. Mind you, I drove a 1973 super beetle so it's quite a bit older than the Golf, but my grandma drove an old Rabbit, and we've had a few VWs in the family.

I considered buying a new beetle, but they are made in Mexico and it's really a gamble (some are alright, but others are true lemons). The electrical system tends to be messed up in the new bugs and there are other problems that made me decide not to get a newer VW after being loyal for many years. Over the years, I've had to get some parts for my old bug (mexico seemed to be the main supplier). The quality of the parts were extremely poor and broke or rusted easily. I would have rather pulled parts from a bug in a junk yard.

So, it's only been two weeks with the Focus. I love it. I got a thorough history from the last true owner. I bought the car from a dealer, but the dealer had the service records from the prior owner so I gave her a call (without telling the dealer). It was great to get the car's history from someone who wasn't invested in selling it to me.

My car is very sporty. The wheels were replaced with premium alloy wheels and the glass was tinted before I bought it. It completely grips the road. The car is also an LX (basic model). I liked the manual windows (they're very similar to my old bug), but the handles wind the opposite direction to roll them up and down which takes a little getting use to.

When I got the Focus an oil change last week, a lady was talking to the mechanic about her late 90s VW. She was informed that she needed over $2000 in repairs and she replied, "...but this is a VW! They're suppose to last forever!" to the mechanic. This experience confirmed to me that I made the right decision not to stick with another VW.

I also had to rent a car for a weekend when I went out of town (I took a flight to reunion a week ago). The rental was a new Toyota Corolla. The blind spot was horrific with the backseat headrests blocking most of the rear window. I considered getting a Toyota too, but no regrets now.

I strongly suggest test driving a Focus. I have a 5 speed manual. I felt very comfortable in the car when I test drove it. In fact, it was the first car a test drove and my intuition told me it was the right car for me.

I find the seats comfy, but my boyfriend is 6 feet tall and says he needs more lombar support when he drives it. Other than that, it's roomy.

Good luck!
Bat Girl is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 02:33 AM   #3
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Fan#: 1690
Posts: 8,262
Points 11,855, Level 71
Points: 11,855, Level: 71 Points: 11,855, Level: 71 Points: 11,855, Level: 71
Level Up 52% Completed
Level up: 52% Level up: 52% Level up: 52%
Forum Activity 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
FF Reputation: 69 SkaAddict Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (6)
As far as reliability goes its luck of the draw, but that's true with practically any manufacturer. What I like about my Focus is that I can do 99% of the repairs with a basic socket set...can't say the same for a VW, as they're infamous for making things difficult for your average amateur mechanic who doesn't have access to the expensive specialty tools they make or over-engineered parts that go back together like a jigsaw puzzle. My gf drives a 2000 Beetle, and while there's a few things I like about it, just looking at it makes my skin crawl as far as maintenance is concerned. The engine is shoe-horned into the compartment, it took me about 5 minutes tonight to get the negative lead of a set of jumper cables onto her battery because of the way it sits under the fender, while all I had to do on my Focus was pop the hood and make the connection.

So far I've been lucky with my '02 ZX3 in as far as major repairs are concerned. I only had one mishap that required a trip to the dealer when my internal shift linkage snapped inside the gearbox while I was away from home. Other than that, everything else has either been covered under extended warrant/recall (fuel pump) or was something I was capable of doing myself (wear items, clutch master cylinder, bearings, etc.) I think the VW name is hyped as far as reliability is concerned, and frankly, if an auto manufacturer tells me to bring my car into an authorized dealer to replace my headlight bulbs (as my gf's beetle's manual did) I have about as much respect for them as they do for me.
SkaAddict is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 02:53 AM   #4
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Fan#: 49155
Location: Bay Area
What I Drive: 2001 Black Focus LX

Posts: 15
FF Reputation: 1 Bat Girl Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
As for safety. I hear the Focus ranks pretty well in that department.

SkaAddict: What I like about my Focus is that I can do 99% of the repairs with a basic socket set...can't say the same for a VW, as they're infamous for making things difficult for your average amateur mechanic who doesn't have access to the expensive specialty tools they make or over-engineered parts that go back together like a jigsaw puzzle...

Ugh. You just reminded me of the insane time it's taken for my BF and his dad to do simple repairs on my bug. We had 4 different repair manuals for the same car just so we could make sense of all the nuances. It took forever to get the brakes adjusted correctly after replacing the shoes. I finally had to take it to two shops to get the brake's and brake cable adjusted properly as it had stretched out. The mechanic who could fix it was one who actually drove an old bug like mine and had tinkered with them for years.

My BF's dad swore he'd never EVER want to work on a VW again. His dad has an old Bronco that has over 400,000 miles on it. I kid you, not. This thing is ancient, but he's taken excessively good care of it. My old bug will probably go that far eventually, but it'll be a pain to get it there. I had to adjust the points all the time and check the oil at least once a week. I hear that oil leaks are the bane of new VW's too.
Bat Girl is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 09:13 AM   #5
Dragon Warrior
 
JRODSVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Fan#: 15362
Location: West Frankfort, IL
What I Drive: 03 SVT ZX5

Posts: 309
Points 23,987, Level 94
Points: 23,987, Level: 94 Points: 23,987, Level: 94 Points: 23,987, Level: 94
Level Up 64% Completed
Level up: 64% Level up: 64% Level up: 64%
Forum Activity 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
FF Reputation: 97 JRODSVT Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (6)
I can't say much on the experience of going from a VW to a focus but I do deal with VW on a daily basis and I drive my SVT. I cannot say I am a fan of VW products in general but I can say there build quality and fit and finish are usually good. But there is no way i would trade my SVT for any VW or Audi and I mean any. I constantly see New VWs just being poor once they roll off the lot. A while ago we had a 07 GTI at work with 11K miles every light o the dash was on and the A/C didn't work ot to mention it was anemic. i don't know what the former owner did but that thing was toast.

As far as reliability of the focus. In 3 years i have not been stranded and it has been an absolute pleasure to drive. it is nice and it is safe. My car also has side airbags and there are other models as well with them equipped.
__________________
J-RAWK!!!
FocusFests best of sound 2008
(Oo> (SVT) <oO)
o xxxxxxxxxxxx o
JRODSVT is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 09:57 AM   #6
Focus Fanatic
 
cayres's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2006
Fan#: 35184
Location: Westland, MI
What I Drive: 03 Comp Orange EAP SVT, 06 ZX3 SES

Posts: 1,830
FF Reputation: 8 cayres Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (3)
boo 17 mm lug nuts yay for 19. no on a serious note the focus is a pretty great car if you get the better models...like the ses or the svt if you want to go used. The car is simple but like ska said a heck of a lot easier to work with than any vw. They offer good gas mileage and handleing, as far as the airbags go the svt has them but im unsure about any other models. Just do a pro and con sheet and then make an educated discision. Plus if you get a focus you can come and get all of your questions taken care of here. Listen to what ska says though he gives very informed and thought threw answers.

Chris
cayres is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 10:34 AM   #7
Focus Fanatic
 
thenorm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Fan#: 14947
Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
What I Drive: '04 liquid grey ZX3, built for FSP

Posts: 2,163
Points 6,087, Level 50
Points: 6,087, Level: 50 Points: 6,087, Level: 50 Points: 6,087, Level: 50
Level Up 69% Completed
Level up: 69% Level up: 69% Level up: 69%
Forum Activity 1%
Activity: 1% Activity: 1% Activity: 1%
FF Reputation: 40 thenorm Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (5)
any model focus will give you excellent handling. you might have to put some beefy rubber on though (the base model with the 14" steel wheels may need upgrade)
No focus, except maybe the base model with the SPI engine, will get you milage that compares to a TDI. Most driver can attain >30mpg on hwy
If you want a posh cockpit, get an SVT or, ST, or even a fully loaded regular model (they could have leather, sunroof, cruise control, side airbags, abs, traction control, but the SVT is std with all of that)
I've never had a problem with my 2 Foci, that i couldnt fix myself, and im not a mechanic. Also I race my cars on the auto-x track, so Im not too nice to them, and that hasnt killed them.

So, "Yes" is the answer to your question.
__________________
May 2014 ROTM, June 2015 ROTM
for auto-x: '04 Liquid Grey ZX3
for street: '02 Infrared SVT
thenorm is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 08:32 PM   #8
Turbo!!!!
 
WitchCitySVT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Fan#: 33699
Location: Salem, MA
What I Drive: 2012 Chevy Sonic 1.4 Turbo LTZ

Posts: 5,797
FF Reputation: 30 WitchCitySVT Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
I've owned two Vdubs. A 1992 GTi 16v and a 2001 GTi vr6. I find a lot of similarities between the two. It's any easy transfer.
__________________
BUILD# 840 out of 3985 BUILD DATE 4/1/2003 *RIP*

2003 Competition Orange SVT *Revived*
2012 Black Sonic 1.4 Turbo LTZ
WitchCitySVT is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 08:40 PM   #9
Focus Fanatic
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Fan#: 1690
Posts: 8,262
Points 11,855, Level 71
Points: 11,855, Level: 71 Points: 11,855, Level: 71 Points: 11,855, Level: 71
Level Up 52% Completed
Level up: 52% Level up: 52% Level up: 52%
Forum Activity 0%
Activity: 0% Activity: 0% Activity: 0%
FF Reputation: 69 SkaAddict Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (6)
Quote:
Originally Posted by thenorm View Post
No focus, except maybe the base model with the SPI engine, will get you milage that compares to a TDI. Most driver can attain >30mpg on hwy
I don't think I'd want a TDI now that diesel is low-sulphur and the VW TDIs were built before that. You either have to get additives that go in with every tank or run a 25% B100 (biodiesel)/75% ULSD that's being sold at the pumps.

Last edited by SkaAddict; 08-14-2007 at 11:32 PM.
SkaAddict is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 08-14-2007, 09:51 PM   #10
Focus Rookie
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Fan#: 49468
Location: New Jersey
What I Drive: 2005 Black ZX5

Posts: 8
FF Reputation: 1 Popsikle Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
All my friends drive VDubs. When I totaled my last car, I was looking at the GTI or a focus. They tried to convince me to go GTI, thank god I didnt! The GTI's just arent roomy enough for my likes, and my little focus has more pep then the same year GTI (cost to pep comparison anyway).

I still attend Waterfest every year with them, and they try to convince me to put a sticker on my car that says "Wanna be GTI" but I think thats because they are jealous and I broke the mold!

Being a VW owner is like bing part of a club, and nobody every wants to leave the club. You feel like you would abandon something if you did, but trust me thats not the case!
Popsikle is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:
What I Drive
Year, color, and model of your car. Example: 2003 Pitch Black ZX3
Name
Your real name.
City
State
Country
Insurance
Please select your insurance company (Optional)

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
What is a good driver? gthang General Car Chat Lounge 51 08-29-2008 10:34 AM
DTC Codes (Detailed Descriptions) S2 General Technical Chat 13 12-11-2006 11:06 AM
Why Car and Driver sucks OneAMRadio General Car Chat Lounge 33 08-25-2005 09:59 PM
Kenwood tape, Kenwood 10-disc, MA Audio Line driver AaronMC BST Archive 0 06-14-2004 04:28 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:35 AM.


Copyright 2002-2015 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Mazda CX-3, Audi S3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus, Focus ST and Focus RS related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac ATS Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum, Civic Type-R Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.





Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1