Seriously considering brand new focus as DD
Just a quick intro, I've been shopping for a new car for the last few months on/off and I think I am pretty close to coming to a decision as to what I want. Sadly it's been a difficult choice because there really isn't much out there in terms of value, and although I was thinking about buying used the difference between financing a used car vs. just buying a flat out new one is minimal.
I've narrowed it down to about three cars. A honda fit (yes it looks goofy, but the car is quite peppy, fun to drive and very roomy on the inside), the hyundai elantra, and of course the ford focus.
All three cars come in hatchback models with the exception of the Elantra (I was looking at the sedans) and all 3 cars are right around the same price of each other. Regardless of which car I am going to end up with, it WILL be a manual transmission. What I liked most about the Focus was that it was a fun driving experience and I've gotta say they did a great job with the cabin redesign and exterior look. Comes w/ a lot of goodies for a fairly decent price. I am looking at the hatchback SE model 5spd and they had one listed for 20k at my local dealership. The dealership is running a special right now where its up to 4500.00 off MSRP and plus I am going through the Costco auto buying program which should help net me some savings (don't know how much but every bit counts), in terms of value and performance the car is pretty good.
The only thing stopping me is Ford's questionable reliability on their line of cars. I know that they have improved tremendously over the last few years but I have been reading some problems on this site mainly w/ the automatic transmissions and I guess Ford had a bad batch of engines from the first model year (can't remember what, leaky oil seals or oil in coolant...something oil related lol) but I am wondering if they have improved on that for this year. I know I'll be avoiding the transmission issue considering I am getting a manual but the 5spds are so hard to find nowadays that it's hard to find a good review on those transmissions and whether or not they have any problems. It's kind of hard to screw up the design and longevity of a manual transmission though so that point is kind of moot.
I guess what I am asking is, for those of who you bought your focuses over other cars in that segment, how do you feel about your choice x amount of miles later? I am looking for comfort, quality, good fuel efficiency and fun spirited driving factors. Even the base model focus I test drove seemed to have handled very solidly and the road noise was surprisingly minimal. How is your car faring in reliability so far?