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Old 03-20-2009, 02:55 PM   #1
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Question Is the Focus a good first car?

Hello everyone, my name is Carlos and I am wondering if the Ford Focus (ZX3 preferably) is a good first car? I am really keen to the Honda Fit, but with today's economy, it is a little too expensive, and my Dad has been gravitating towards the Focus for me. I used to love them, and I still like them, but the Fit has been really my love now, but it's a "need vs. want" situation. Anyways, I am concerned with the first gen Focus hatchbacks, and their reliability, funness (I just made that up), and overall feel for the entire car. Thanks so much you guys.


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Old 03-20-2009, 03:03 PM   #2
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well you asked on a focus forum so most of us are going to tell you yes its a great first car. i bought mine brand new fromt the dealer in nov 2000. i will probaly never get rid of mine and i love the fact that i am the one and only owner of the car. i am looking at getting my son a ZX3 for a first car, becuase it is the perfect car for a 16 year old to start out with.
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Old 03-20-2009, 03:06 PM   #3
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For the price it is a good first car. I have had my car since 2003 and has taken care of me. Every car will give you some crap though ... but stay up with maintenance and you will be good to go with what ever you get.

I think the fit does look pretty nice also ... but yeah you are on a focus site and we enjoy our focuses. If you ask a honda group ... they would be vice versa. But we are quite bit nicer over here too ... because we open our arms to all enthusiasts.

Good luck with you first car ...

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Old 03-20-2009, 03:07 PM   #4
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Well, first of all, Welcome!

Secondly, the Focus is a great car, and if you get the right one and take care of it, very dependable and reliable.

2000-2004 models are the best looking IMO, but share the same platform as the 2005-2007 and 2008+. For whatever reason, Ford decided to stop making the hatch in 2007.

From 2005 to present, the base engine is a 2.0 duratec engine. It has a chain driven valve train, where as the zetec engine, which was the base engine between 00-04, (2.0) has a belt driven valve train and requires replacement by 120k miles as per Ford (however, between 80 and 100k is a good place to replace it for prevention). I prefer the 5-spd, and the mtx-75 is a fairly good manual transmission.

As with buying any used car, test drive many different ones and know the pricing (KBB and other sources) for that vehicle. Know what to look for as far as common problems.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:14 PM   #5
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Great first diposable car. If you smash it you won't break the bank to buy another. I have a 02 hatch and the only problem was the ignition tumblers. My girl left the car in the flood but that's not the cars doing.
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Old 03-20-2009, 04:31 PM   #6
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I'd say it's better than most used cars far as cost of repairs and such. Hit and miss far as getting a good one the way it seems, but most can be fixed with relative ease, and we are here to assist in that endeavor.
The newer ones (duratec) do seem to get better mileage but the cost of repairs is also higher and a bit more complicated, still manageable though.
Suspension is pretty tough and really no issues unless it's been damaged and out of whack. I've got 140,000 (bought it brand new with 6 miles on it) on completely stock suspension and have never had to do alignment. Tires ware perfect. But I drive mine like it's a mini truck, dodging pot holes and debris.

Far as fun factor, any first car will be fun for you being not had one prior. I wouldn't say it's the funnest car for the money but then with more fun you tend to loose mileage and repair costs go up.

I can honestly say I'd buy another one if I had the money.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:31 PM   #7
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compared to chevy and chrysler vehicles, the focus is much more reliable than their comparable cars!

really only major pita on our cars is the thermostat housing, and valve gasket leaks, other than that it's a very reliable car
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:39 PM   #8
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The Focus is a great first starter car. It's reliable and most important, it's SAFE. If you ever get into an accident(we all do) the car will do it's job and protect you.

If you want the most "fun" try and pick up an SVT. You will NOT get a better bang for your buck out of any other car out there.
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Old 03-20-2009, 06:52 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OrangeSVTguy View Post
The Focus is a great first starter car. It's reliable and most important, it's SAFE. If you ever get into an accident(we all do) the car will do it's job and protect you.
this is sooooo true the focus is one safe car, ive been on the forums for a few years now and seeing others owners totaled focus, it protected them very very well and you would have never guess they walked away for the crash.

and my Uncle flipped his SE end over end doing highway speeds, and walked away with just a few bumbs. the focus is one safe car.

and like most owners if i had the $ i would buy another one, i love my focus and i have no plans on ever getting rid of it EVER. and chances are my next car will be another focus
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Old 03-21-2009, 12:00 AM   #10
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I'd say they're really dependable cars and the parts wont be very expensive to replace if something does break.
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