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Old 10-04-2003, 07:26 PM   #1
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Model choice - my dilemma

First post from a www.impreza.net refugee.

Due to a lemon law situation, I have a $17,000 credit with Ford, that I can only use on a new Ford. I can't use the current $2,000 rebates, so I really only have $15,000 toward any non-SVT Focus. The car will belong to my wife for a few years then be mine.

A little about me. I like long walks on the beach, and candlelit dinners...

Er, I'm an open-minded Subaru rally/autox fan who has great respect for the performance potential of the Focus. Our SE Wagon was a good little hauler, but it leaked water and got moldy. Puke.

We're happy to get a new Focus, but I want something sportier than the SE. I'm leaning toward the ZX5 Premium/ABS or the SVT 5-door. I'm in New England, so I automatically get the PZEV 2.3 engine with any non-SVT. Some questions, and I would have searched but my kid crapped his pants and we have to pack for moving etc. etc. etc.:

- Does the non-SVT ABS package automatically include rear discs?

- How "sporty" is the non-SVT "sport" suspension package that comes with the higher-end ZX5 and ZTS? How 'bout the "sport" seats?

- How well will the PZEV 2.3 be supported in the performance aftermarket in lieu of the upcoming 2.0 version I see people talking about? Will the 2.3 just be a holdover for one year or will it take the place of the Zetec as the mid-grade Focus engine? Does the emissions equipment make it difficult to modify?

- Is the SVT worth the extra 3 grand?

- How has resale been on the SVT compared to the rest of the Focii? It has no rebate where all the others have $2,000, so it's worth that much more after the sale, at least at first.

- How does the SVT run on regular or mid-grade fuel? Will it knock like a monster or will it just lose some "oomph?" Gas ain't cheap, and I'm not as concerned about max power until I decide to go AutoXing.

- How well is the full-length ZTW wagon supported in the suspension aftermarket? I understand the rear suspension design is different to make more cargo room.

Bottom line: I want the ZX5 or SVT, but I don't know if it has enought space for a family with two small kids and all their gear. I also live in snowy Vermont and will have to spring for snow tires and/or rims, and the 17's aren't cheap.

Help.


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Old 10-04-2003, 07:39 PM   #2
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if u have 17 that u need to spend at ford get an svt if u can. otherwise id say go for whatever one you really like. the 2.3L has a little bit o aftermarket out right now, intake, header, exhaust, pulley, maf, and im not too sure what else. there has been talk that a 2.3 will be released a little dif everywhere else and might not be pzev. so the aftermarket really could be limited if thats the case. look into that, id call up focus central and focus sport during the week to get their 2 cents
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Old 10-04-2003, 07:41 PM   #3
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wow your in a bind.... test drive them all.. what ever feels right get!
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Old 10-04-2003, 07:48 PM   #4
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if i were you, i'd get the regular old ZX5. more performance parts, and the SVT is likely a goner, so there goes aftermarket on that. ZTW wouldn't be a bad choice, i got to see viney's today, and i like. (and yes, there are suspension parts out for the wagon.) back to the PZEV, i've just had this feeling in my gut that it won't last. the zetec is too popular in my mind. however, i could be wrong.
good luck though, and just get whatever feels right for you.
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:30 AM   #5
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Re: Model choice - my dilemma

Thanks. I still have a few questions:

- Does the non-SVT ABS option automatically include rear discs? I can't find that anywhere on the web and I don't trust the sales guy - they usually get details like this wrong.

Survey says: ______________________________

- How "sporty" is the non-SVT "sport" suspension that comes with the higher-end ZX5 and ZTS? Any owners care to share?

Survey says: ______________________________

- How well does the high-compression SVT run on regular or mid-grade fuel? Will it knock like a monster or will it just lose some "oomph?" Gas ain't cheap, and I'm not as concerned about max power until I decide to go AutoXing.

Survey says: ______________________________

Thanks again for any more info. I'll let you know what I get.







(Survey says: I am a dork, I know)
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Old 10-05-2003, 09:41 PM   #6
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wow. a AWD ztw sure would be sweet in the snow since that is an issue for ya. um but yeah thats prolly not an option. heh
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Old 10-05-2003, 10:04 PM   #7
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If you get ABS or advancTrac option, you get 4wheel anti-lock brakes, yes. All the foci have decent suspension parts, but if you're looking for performance, you'd have to change them anyways (unless you have svt's, they hold up nicely stock). If you get an svt, prepare to run premium and nothing else. I'd highly suggest getting the SVT, if it were me, i'd get an 03 svt w/ European appearance package. Oh yes baby yes, competition orange, HID, Recaro seats, 17x7 multi-spoke argent wheels, sexy. The ONLY threethings that i would think would be an issue for you is : Gas, you use regular 87 on the regular focus, and premium on svt. and the svt's only come with 6speeds, does your wife mind driving a 6spd? And, do you plan to do extensive modding? If you plan on doing heavy modding, the regular zetec and 2.3 would be easier to mod. If you want a nice rocket out of the box type deal and don't plan on doing big mods, get svt. All in all, you get a nicer body kit, most dealer lot svt's have HID's on them, you get the nice looking 5 spoke 17x7 wheels, nicer seats, sportier exhaust/suspension, and MORE POWER.
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Old 10-05-2003, 10:25 PM   #8
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NO.. the ABS does NOT come with rear disks. The advance trac option DOES come with rear disks. This is the big bad regret I have on mine. I should have gotten advance trac!! ( I have ABS.. no rear disks.)
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Old 10-06-2003, 02:16 AM   #9
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The 5-door SVT is an amazingly practical package for such a fun car. Room and easy access for 4 adults, adequate cargo space in the back. Premium gas only though. As for dedicated winter tires and wheels - the recommended "alternate" tire size in the owner's manual is 205/60-16, should be easier to find than 17" snows!

The base SVT seats are just fine, and a whole lot better than the non-SVT seats. No doubt you'll want the "bun warmer" option.

One thing to watch out for - the Audiophlle sound system has a subwoofer that eats up a bunch of cargo space. I would not recommend this if you want to haul more than a couple bags of groceries. I specifically went looking for an SVT without it.

Oh, and there are incentives on the SVTs. $2K cash, $1K cash and 0.9%, or 0%. I took the middle option.

The wagon can hold huge amounts of cargo, but you already knew that.
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Old 10-06-2003, 02:35 AM   #10
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then i stand corrected.
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