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Old 11-17-2003, 06:17 PM   #1
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looking for a focus, what should i look for?

hey, my girlfriend is currently looking to get a hatchback focus. is there any thing inpeticular i(she) should be looking for. certain year? certain features? she pretty much just wants a reliable car and im the one who wants to make it "fun" to drive. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!


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Old 11-17-2003, 06:22 PM   #2
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Get a '02 or newer since they have fewer problems. Importantly if you are buying used, run a carfax report to make sure it hasnt been in any accidents.

The '03s have an optional PZEV motor that suppose to be fairly reliable, but lack aftermarket parts.

If you see something you like, post it here and we can try to offer our opinions.
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:26 PM   #3
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the notorious bugs that caused all the recalls were almost non-existent in 02. i'd recommend going with 02 or newer. as far as reliability goes, the only engine offered in the hatchbacks is the Zetec (unless you're talking 03 or newer where the PZEV was an option in CA and other states). this engine has a very good rep as being a good, strong, and reliable engine with plenty of power potential. the ATX isn't exactly a work of art and won't hold up to a lot of aftermarket, so i'd recommend a stick (and this is coming from an ATX user). other than that, options are pretty much up to her. they offered everything from bone stock (only PS and PB) to fully loaded (power everything, sunroof, and traction control).

if you're going to be the one working on the car, you'll probably find a lot of it easier to work on than your audi. nothing particularly difficult, except for your typical FWD headaches like the alternator or any other belt-driven accessory. the car is a definite DIY when it comes to almost anything.

hope this helps, and let me know if you want to know anything specifically.

Mike

PS- stick around. you're sure to enjoy yourself. and get her on here, too.
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Old 11-17-2003, 06:54 PM   #4
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ANYTHING WITH THE LETTERS SVT IN IT.
thats the way to go.
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:11 PM   #5
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I bought my 2003 ZX3 just shy of 3 months ago and I love it. Not a problem at all.

Don't know what else to tell you... Personally, if you can afford new, go for it. Otherwise, listen to the folks here w/ their recommendation of 2002 and up.

Good luck!
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Old 11-17-2003, 07:56 PM   #6
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The only recommendation that I can make towards the Focus itsself, having just purchased a new '03 ZX3 less than two months ago, is to pay close attention to the car's weight balance. The front end, especially. That is, if you get the PZEV, which has bit heavier engine than the other flavors. Ever since the day after I bought mine, I've been bothered by how 'squishy' the front is, when compared to the rear. Not sure if that's specific to my car or all ZX3's with the PZEV engine...


Just typical car-buying advice:
Take multiple pictures of your car at the lot. Every angle. You never know when you may need them.
Also, I went for the $1,400 75,000 mile/6yr bumper-to-bumper warranty. It is Ford, after all.
And, as WB said:

Quote:
Originally posted by whiteboyslo
...the ATX isn't exactly a work of art...
Good advice. Stay away from an auto in just about any economy car.
You should definitely put alot of thought into your color selection, as well. I was planning to go with white and got stuck with a black one, instead. (the only car in my area that had the features I wanted and only the features I wanted) After having driven it for only a day or two, I couldn't have imagined getting it in any other color. Not saying that black is, necessarily, the color for you...but, just put some thought into it.

As far as whether you should get a used '02, new '03 or new '04...don't be fooled into thinking those are your only options. From what I'm told, the '05 is going to debut this spring ('04). Usually, when a car company releases a product mid-year, it's something special. So, by all means, investigate that possibility.


Anyway, good luck. And, definitely go with the fOCUS. It's a blast to drive, even if I do nitpick.
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:05 PM   #7
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Oh, one other thing...

If you decide not to go with the fOCUS, look under the rear-end of any car that you're seriously considering. You may be surprised to find a solid rear axle in a car that you wouldn't have though to have one.

i.e. Toyota Carolla - Toyota Prius - Toyota Echo - Nissan Sentra - Hyundai Elantra - Hyundai Accent - Chevrolet Cavalier - Scion xA & xB - Saturn Ion 1, 2 & 3 - etc.

The only quality products in the economy class that have a 4-wheel independant suspension are the Honda Civic(s), the Mazda Protege, and the Ford Focus. All of which are moderately- to extrememly-fun to drive.


Again, happy hunting.
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:06 PM   #8
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look for one that works..
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Old 11-17-2003, 08:45 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by fokuzsport
look for one that works..
lol, This is just a guess.. But im pretty sure they already knew that.

-Shawn
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Old 11-17-2003, 10:16 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by John
ANYTHING WITH THE LETTERS SVT IN IT.
thats the way to go.
I recommend
Zetec 2.0 ZX3
PZEV 2.3 ZX3 &
SVT ZX3
What kind of cars has she previously had?
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