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Old 03-22-2011, 03:58 AM   #1
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Help convince me to buy a focus?

Hey there everybody, I'm new here and I've just got a few questions for you guys, but before I get to that, I thought I would just let you know why I'm here.

Basically, I ran a stop sign going 15 MPH in my 93 Civic' hatch, and t-boned a Cadillac. I was not in the proper state of mind because my mom had passed away two weeks before hand, and I was still out of it needless to say. Anywho, the car crumpled on impact. Going 15 MPH, it blew my radiator up, dented my fenders, my headlights fell out, my hood was crumpled, my bumper cracked in half, my lip cracked in half, my condenser was shot, and my core support was pushed back about 2". From that point on, I just decided Honda's were no longer worth it to me, and decided to part the car out. I'm still in the process of doing that, and I estimate I'll have about $3,000 to spent on a new car once everything is sold. (some parts are being put on my fiance's car because it's having some issues.) The reason I've decided to get out of the Honda scene for a bit was because I previously had a 87' El Camino, and hit a wall going 30 MPH, and left a dent on the wall. I know it was made of steel, but still I don't believe a car should crumple going 15 MPH.

So, I've basically decided to get either a 01-03 Focus, or a MKIII Jetta/Golf. I've heard TERRIBLE things about the Jetta, so I decided to start doing research on the Focus first.

I know you're all big Focus fans here, so I figured this is the PERFECT place to start.

Okay, so here we go:
  1. I'm torn between a Focus sedan, and a Focus hatchback. I almost ALWAYS have atleast 2 other people in the car with me. How are the back seats of the hatch? In my Civic, people were never comfortable. Pictures would be great.
  2. As you can see, I'm only going to have $3,000 maximum, so low mileage most likely isn't an option for me. How do these cars hold up when it comes to mileage? Are there any major defects I should be looking out for? I know I should check maintence records, and all that good stuff, but how about problems specifically aimed at the Focus?
  3. I'm going to be getting a manual, how are the transmissions in Focuses? Are they known to encounter many problems?
  4. As for reliability, on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate it? 10 being the best, 1 being the worst. I'm a college student, and I require my car every day.
  5. As for maintence, is the car itself difficult to work on? I know a bit of automotive engineering, but I've worked on some difficult cars, such as the 300ZX, where I would much rather just bring it to a shop.
  6. With that being said, how much are parts for the Ford? I'm assuming they're cheaper than any imports considering they are American?
  7. As far as modifications go, I guess you could call me a ricer. I'm not into huge wings or any of that bull crap, but I'm also not into performance mods on a daily driver. I see the car as a front wheel drive econobox, which is great, but I do like it to look good (wheels, lowered, tints, possibly debadging depending on the car). I'm not into excessive decals, or the whole FnF craze, I just see no point in modifying a DD engine.
  8. How are these cars on insurance? I reckon that the Sedan would of course be cheaper than the hatchback, but I'm just not sure.
  9. How is the community of Focus owners? I know for Japanese car enthusiast boards, most people are douchebags.



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Old 03-22-2011, 06:06 AM   #2
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I've had an assortment of very exciting cars, going way back to the Corvair, Pontiac GTO, a multitude of Datsun Z Cars including turbo, 87 Dodge Shelby Charger turbo, Fort TBird turbo coupe, Eagle AWD turbo, and the 03 Focus zx3 2.3 for 6 years. It has 110k miles on it, and is really the most fun car of all, it goes like hell, handles excellent, and has been reliable. Only replaced the radio, and swaybar links too many times. Seating capacity is your option, but if you want to fill it up, no compact is going to do the job. In highschool, I had a 35 ford coupe, only the bench seat, and rumble seat, which if the school chums wanted a ride in the rain, get in and close it up.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:05 AM   #3
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I own a 2006 E55 AMG and a Powerworks Supercharged 2002 ZX3. I still LOVE driving my Focus and drive it every chance I get. It's in the shop now getting the engine built up so I can use the 2.4 inch pulley, and I am considering throwing a turbo on it as well. Something tells me that my Focus will always be with me.
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExJapFan View Post
  1. I'm torn between a Focus sedan, and a Focus hatchback. I almost ALWAYS have atleast 2 other people in the car with me. How are the back seats of the hatch? Still a compact car, so dont expect to be swimming in space. I'm 6' and some change and have sat back there on occasion, its not terrible. You can find the focus hatchback with four doors starting in '02, so you arent limited to the sedan if you want four doors.
  2. As you can see, I'm only going to have $3,000 maximum, so low mileage most likely isn't an option for me. How do these cars hold up when it comes to mileage? Are there any major defects I should be looking out for? I know I should check maintence records, and all that good stuff, but how about problems specifically aimed at the Focus?
  3. I'm going to be getting a manual, how are the transmissions in Focuses? Are they known to encounter many problems?
  4. As for reliability, on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate it? 10 being the best, 1 being the worst. I'm a college student, and I require my car every day.
  5. As for maintence, is the car itself difficult to work on? I know a bit of automotive engineering, but I've worked on some difficult cars, such as the 300ZX, where I would much rather just bring it to a shop.
  6. With that being said, how much are parts for the Ford? I'm assuming they're cheaper than any imports considering they are American?
  7. As far as modifications go, I guess you could call me a ricer. I'm not into huge wings or any of that bull crap, but I'm also not into performance mods on a daily driver. I see the car as a front wheel drive econobox, which is great, but I do like it to look good (wheels, lowered, tints, possibly debadging depending on the car). I'm not into excessive decals, or the whole FnF craze, I just see no point in modifying a DD engine. Well lucky for you, the Focus will handle amazingly well with decent suspension upgrades. So if you lower the car, make sure you pair lowering springs with matched set of shocks/dampers and you will have lots of fun driving the car. Members are always selling misc stock wheels from 15"-17" so finding a good set of OEM rims is easy, also plenty of choices from places like tirerack.com if you want aftermarket. You'll fit in fine here if your idea of mods are just lowering, tint and debadging.
  8. How are these cars on insurance? I reckon that the Sedan would of course be cheaper than the hatchback, but I'm just not sure.
  9. How is the community of Focus owners? I know for Japanese car enthusiast boards, most people are douchebags. If you spend anytime here, it may ruin other car forums for you. People tend to be more helpful than douchy. Nice bunch of people, not to say we dont have our little aurguements but good overall.
I can't really touch on too many of your other questions, I drive an '07 so it has a different engine (and other little differences.) Also it being a few years newer than you are looking at, insurance/reliable and costs will be different for me. I havent had any issues and the car has treated me well. Welcome to the forums
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Old 03-22-2011, 09:43 AM   #5
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Both the Focus and the Jetta will crumple if you t-bone a cadillac at 15mph. I t-boned my sister's jetta into the side of an f-350 going 10mph, and yes, there was damage.
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:00 AM   #6
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the focus overall is a great car just make sure you dont get the sohc terrible motor. says split port on the valve cover. i got my sedan for the room also. the trannys in these cars are also amazing especially with an lsd. hunt around on the forum there is alot of info and everyone is very nice
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Old 03-22-2011, 10:24 AM   #7
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1) I'm torn between a Focus sedan, and a Focus hatchback. I almost ALWAYS have atleast 2 other people in the car with me. How are the back seats of the hatch? In my Civic, people were never comfortable. Pictures would be great.

The back seats are quite nice my little brother has a hatch and im 6'-2" and i sat back there just fine.

2) As you can see, I'm only going to have $3,000 maximum, so low mileage most likely isn't an option for me. How do these cars hold up when it comes to mileage? Are there any major defects I should be looking out for? I know I should check maintence records, and all that good stuff, but how about problems specifically aimed at the Focus?

Like i said previously the only bad motor would be the SOHC. other than that there are little faults here and there but mainly just regular maintenance.

3) I'm going to be getting a manual, how are the transmissions in Focuses? Are they known to encounter many problems?

The manual transmissions are amazing. its called the MTX75 if you want to look more into it.

4) As for reliability, on a scale of 1-10, how would you rate it? 10 being the best, 1 being the worst. I'm a college student, and I require my car every day.

as for reliability truthfully i would put it around an 8 because it does have its faults just like every car out there. but i have always been able to make it where i need to go with my DOHC motor.

5) As for maintence, is the car itself difficult to work on? I know a bit of automotive engineering, but I've worked on some difficult cars, such as the 300ZX, where I would much rather just bring it to a shop.

It is for the most part easy to work on there are a couple things that are hard to get to for instance the alternator is in a tight space where you have to loosen the motor mount and move the motor a little bit.

6) With that being said, how much are parts for the Ford? I'm assuming they're cheaper than any imports considering they are American?

suprisingly aftermarket parts are pretty expensive compared to a honda. There just arent as many companys making stuff for it. if you want factory stuff Tousley Ford gives us great deals and has fast shipping.

7) As far as modifications go, I guess you could call me a ricer. I'm not into huge wings or any of that bull crap, but I'm also not into performance mods on a daily driver. I see the car as a front wheel drive econobox, which is great, but I do like it to look good (wheels, lowered, tints, possibly debadging depending on the car). I'm not into excessive decals, or the whole FnF craze, I just see no point in modifying a DD engine.

You definately would not be called a ricer. most of the people on this forum do only suspension mods with very minor bolt ons to "wake up" their focus.

8) How are these cars on insurance? I reckon that the Sedan would of course be cheaper than the hatchback, but I'm just not sure.

insurance is good i pay about 150 for a sedan and im 20.

9) How is the community of Focus owners? I know for Japanese car enthusiast boards, most people are douchebags.

The focus community is the best community out there. I once tried to join a integra forum for my gf's car and i just got flamed so i gave up on other forums.
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