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Old 10-15-2003, 09:13 PM   #1
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Red face Aloha.

"Many returns of the day," a donkey once said to me.

Whenever I start considering a major investment or purchase, I always like to scout around and see what kind of online community the product has spawned. In a way, the vibrance and tenacity of it's online community is a good measure of it's quality.

Anyway, hello from Hawaii, and do feel free to refer to me as the proverbial n00b[ie]. :)

I'm a random college student who just transfered to Hawaii thinking that Oahu was small enough to be able to get around on the bus and walking to the beach was all I'd ever want to do. Reality check: the bus system sucks, the beach rules, but all the good ones are 15-20 miles from campus.

In order to save my sanity, my time, and throw in a lot of distractions I could do without, I am in the market for a car.

At this point I'd ask you "Well jeepers, do ya'll (please note to the use of the word 'ya'll') like and love your Ford Foci?" Which immediately following afterwards the moderators would (rightfully) ban my hide and segregate me from you fine folks. :)


Yeah, I'm looking at the Focus. Price range is beteen 10-15k new. I figure I'll go new since my family has been plagued with problems when we've purchased used. indicates they could get me a pretty nice one with a 3k rebate putting it around 10-13k depending on my options.

This will be my first car. My only car.

I do have a few questions I'd like to submit to you guys who have more experience and knowledge in this area. :)

#1 -- Did you purchase your Focus on the internet or at a dealer? works with the dealers and arranges the price on their own, if you request it, and being one who hates the "dealership experience" likes this avenue. OTOH, I've heard mixed things about the reliability about the cost saving factor.

#2 -- How much of a lifespan does the Focus have? The first model was a 2000, correct? Can such a question then be answered? Also, a lot of cars here are rusted because of the proximity to the ocean. How resiliant do you think the Focus would be to the elements? (and no, don't have a garage)

#3 -- I'm tall. 6"2. I need space. Room. Freedom. Never been in one (of course I plan to be when/if I test drive one), but wanted to gauge the comfort level of anyone who is vertically inclined. ;)

#4 -- I'm mainly looking at the 2door hatchback (ZX3), believing it to me the most bang for my buck as far as cargo space and seating capabilities. No I don't like wagons, I drove an Escort Wagon for 4 years thank you very much. :)

#5 -- Do you "love" your car? No, no, not "like" in the analytical sense but rather the superficial sense based only on visual looks. (Inside and out) Pictures from different angles reveal the hatchback to be rather frumpy looking in some poses and very striking in others. The racer on the frontpage of this web site makes me drool, I'm not ashamed to admit.

#6 -- How good is Ford's warranty in your experience? If there's legit problems, do they take care of it or am I better off going to Saturn given the wonderful and prophetic things I've read about them. This kinda money isn't something to screw around with.

#7 -- Do you have a moonroof on yours? Like it? Worth considering? I've always wanted one but never really knew how practical or worthwhile they are in actuality.

Anyway, those are my (lucky 7) question. I appreciate anyone who has the time to answer a few these in order to help me on my way.

My friends keep badgering me to get a Honda Civic. Except in Hawaii everyone and their freaking grandmother owns one. They maintain it's the best bang for the buck but after being in one it just feels...wrong somehow. I have no doubt it's a good value but if it can be helped I'd rather explore these other options first. :)

Thanks for listening to my long-winded tirade.



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Old 10-15-2003, 09:15 PM   #2
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Aloha Chris and welcome aboard.

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Old 10-15-2003, 09:18 PM   #3
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Welcome. I am 6'2" also and fit fine no problems. I bought my First Focus at a dealer and am about to inherit the second from my father. I love the car. It is Ford yet has a European Appeal to it. I have seen a couple of Focuss that make the trek into Wash DC everyday on those brutal roads and they had almost 100K on one and the other had 120K. Saturn are good but if you want to mod it, I would stay away from them. I had one, a 96, few mods and the motor went tits up. Don't rust though.

Welcome aboard and I hope you go with a Focus.
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:24 PM   #4
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I Live in Florida......sorta like Hawaii. Everyone has a civic, an eclipse, or a Tiburon (biggest piece of crap). I decided to be different, and it has paid off. From Experience, Foci drive much better than civics or elcipses, and handle the best. Foci may not have quite the straight line performance of a car with V-tec or a V-6, but I have only lost to a turboed civic and quite a few Mustang Gts and Cobras. As far as headroom, my brother, who is 6'2", has no trouble, and has 2 or 3 inches to spare. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. We have a plethera of different opinions and sources for tips, so ask away.
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:29 PM   #5
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the focus is a huge car inside...
is economy becouse its cheap...
dont be fool by that....
about the waranty...
i think you can buy like 10 years waranty from you dont have to worry...

i love the car...(i think almost every owner love this car)
you can alway modify it to make it look more like the euro version....
there are lots of after market for the performance part could be cover relatively easily...

an advise..
try to get the 2.3 engine and get a manual...

My focus is not even a shadow of what it once was...
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:35 PM   #6
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I'm 6'3'' and I fit just fine. I also own a 1991 civic hatch that is slower than your grandma's grandma but I seem to fit in that one pretty well too. I say go with the focus b/c to me it is a more comfortable ride, accelerates faster, looks so much better and different than a civic, handles better, and is a sleeper w/ tons of aftermarket support.
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:38 PM   #7
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1-yah I did considering I know the owner, but if u go in with a pissy I'm the boss atitude they sometimes help u out depending on what kinda salesman u get...I got thrown out for pissin a guy off cause I was right, he tried sellin it to me for 200 more than the paper said and then he said wrong ass!!! anyways
2-thats a good q....if u aint gonna beat on it a hell of a long friend bobby hofman had a 00 (gave to sister) se and beat the shit out of it everyu day...litterally never drove less than 40 mph and gas on it every time he drove, trans is still good, but is gettin on its last leg cause it is ...yah...has 55,000 miles on it...might be under warranty but he doesn't wanna take it in, not sure if his sister will
3-my friend tom newman is like frickin 6-4...when he puts the seat back he says hes good...
4-ummm yah only way to go man!! U can fit 2 12 in subs in there and still have room for cargo! well depending on where u put em...
5-I'm still gettin into the love stage...I loved my old car (200 coug) but it died a sad sad sad sad :( early death and I'm still gettin over that (1st car and badass) but once thats done I will love 4ever! I hope they come out with another version thats faster so when I sell this one in like 5 yrs I can get another cool one!
6-that I'm not sure...mercury's sucked...if they didn't find somethin wrong with u'r car when u brought it in for warranty repair (ex. I thought somethin was wrong and actually not) they charged u!!! stupid as far I brought my car in for oil change and stuff...good experience although the guys at the dealership are *******s...I took it in cause it made a weird noise...they checked it it was fine...took it in cause one of the hoses wasn't on right and leakin they fixed it no prob...NOW I have to take it in cause I think my fuel pump is crappin out on me (on a 6000 mi car) cause I was gettin 175 miles to a 1/2 tank on all city driving and mid grade gas, now I put in the low grade cause I was told its better for the car and will INCREASE gas mileage and I'm gettin like 120 to 130 a 1/2 tank...I'll prob take it in next week after anothr couple fillups although I already talked to the guy...he sounded fine with it! Prob cause hes hagglin me for a good review cause they are asses over there!
7-no I don't have one but yes I'd like friend derek (cowsgomoo) has one and it won't close right now...I'd say go for it if u want one cause dealer will always fix if broken its only 400 bucks or so for more happiness!! DO IT!!! Warranty work is awesome!
PS: BUY A FOCUS!!! IF U DON'T I WILL ....wait I won't do anything! :) just get one or another FORD related product and u will be good but I like (will get to love in a lil bit) my focus!!!! 5 Stars! Blue Oval certified! ;) ok thats over the edge :)
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Old 10-15-2003, 09:41 PM   #8
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I got a power moonroof, I wasn't really planning on getting one, just the one I liked at the dealer had one, so oh well... and it is really nice. I especially like the vent mode on it. It is really nice when it is warm out to have the windows rolled down and the moonroof open.

As far as the warrenty, if you have a pretty good dealer then you are probably okay. Sometimes there are dealers that like the really give you the shaft (or at least it seems that way), not all just a few that I've heard of. I've had mine in for minor warrenty stuff like the high beams weren't aligned properly and they fixed them quickly. I haven't had any problems yet with my dealer.

BTW, if you are refering in #5 to the car on the top right hand of the page, that is a focus RS. They aren't available in the US however I know people and I even saw one at a g2g I went to, that have converted to ZX3s to look like one. You can buy the parts that are the same that go on the RS.

Also check out the showroom forum here, you can see tons of pictures of everyone's cars.
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SVT Upper Front Grill and Euro lower grill is up next.
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Old 10-15-2003, 10:17 PM   #9
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I LOVE my car, and I LOVE my sunroof. Hell, over here in nw indiana, in the past week it's ranged from 70-40 degrees... even when it gets ass cold, my front windows are down and the sunroof is cracked, and the heat is turned to max, and i cruise it. I'll never drive a car without a sunroof or convertible ever (I may make an exception for a Z06). As for style, I like the look of the zx5 the best... it doesn't look odd and long like the zx3, it doesn't look boxy like a wagon, it doesn't have this odd rear shade that the sedans have, in my opinion. The warranty is only 36k on 02's, and is like 70 months/7 years on the 03's, so it's good, as far as how they warrant it is more up to your dealer, mine is great. The focus is still a young car so it's hard to find one's with TONS of miles on them, but most people have can vouch that their fords last a pretty long time with good maintence. I purchased from a dealer, i regret it. If I could go back, i would had purchased a brand new SVT focus off the internet for the same price i paid my dealer, figures.
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Old 10-15-2003, 11:46 PM   #10
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Welcome aboard.
I have a moonroof and it's so awesome. Just like CowsGoMoo said, I like to open all the windows and the moonroof and crack that heat up. It's got lots of room inside. Just because it's kinda small doesn't mean that it's dinky inside. Heck, I even rode in the back seat for the first time this summer and there is a lot of room back there.
I promise you once you get your Focus, you will never wanna quit driving it. It's so fun and it handles great.
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