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Old 05-02-2013, 01:41 AM   #11
04ZTSJelf
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Originally Posted by GreyScorpion View Post
I love my 2.3 Duratec in my 2004!!
/\ This! /\

Though I wish it was a 5-speed so bad. Mine was the only 2.3 even remotely close up for grabs and I'm glad I got it, even being an auto.
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Old 05-02-2013, 07:54 AM   #12
fiddlesticks
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Originally Posted by 04ZTSJelf View Post
/\ This! /\

Though I wish it was a 5-speed so bad. Mine was the only 2.3 even remotely close up for grabs and I'm glad I got it, even being an auto.
What makes you wish for a 5 spd? Meaning, is the auto lacking? I ask because one of the Foci will go to a new driver. He wants an auto. I, however, grew up driving manuals until kiddos came along. I know there is a learning curve but I have also read more favorable reviews on the manuals.
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
What makes you wish for a 5 spd? Meaning, is the auto lacking? I ask because one of the Foci will go to a new driver. He wants an auto. I, however, grew up driving manuals until kiddos came along. I know there is a learning curve but I have also read more favorable reviews on the manuals.
Firstly, the manual will be more fun and engaging. Second, I feel its more reliable and would be easier to replace or get work done on it. Third, you will be able to eek out an extra mpg or two when driving modestly, probably even cost a few bucks less to buy manual vs auto.

Teach that youngin how to drive stick, it will make them a better driver in the long run. Plus, it seems its always easier to learn something new the younger you are
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:52 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
What makes you wish for a 5 spd? Meaning, is the auto lacking? I ask because one of the Foci will go to a new driver. He wants an auto. I, however, grew up driving manuals until kiddos came along. I know there is a learning curve but I have also read more favorable reviews on the manuals.
My auto went out at 125k, probably due to neglect by the previous owner (I obtained it at 119k. I have read many posts of failed auto transmissions mated with the 2.3, to much torque. That was a $2400 repair. Compare that to a new clutch.........
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Old 05-02-2013, 08:59 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by fiddlesticks View Post
He wants an auto. I, however, grew up driving manuals until kiddos came along.
As someone not very far removed from that age I can say that teenage drivers don't actually know what they really want. When I was that age I was sure I NEEDED to get a civic
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Old 05-02-2013, 09:28 AM   #16
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As someone not very far removed from that age I can say that teenage drivers don't actually know what they really want. When I was that age I was sure I NEEDED to get a civic


At 14 he was "going to get" a Subaru Baja (a sales rep friend let him ride in one with my older son and he thought it was neat). Since then he's moved on - his last wish list was: Camaro, Focus, Mustang, Jeep, WRX. Each has a reason that is kind of unique to him - not just random lust. But several of those aren't happening! And honestly, he really will be perfectly happy with anything and very grateful but I'd like to go with something that makes us both happy. His 21 yo brother is hoping he gets a 5 spd so he can drive it too. (He drives a VW GTI)
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:12 AM   #17
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I'd get a 2.0 manual over a 2.3 auto. Even though the 2.3 has more power, neither engine is "powerful" or terribly fast.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:22 AM   #18
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You could also consider the Mazda3, if you get a hatchback it comes with a slightly stouter version of the 2.3 by default. The styling, interior, and build quality is arguably preferable to the Focus, but the Mazda3 will cost a bit more than a Focus on average.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:26 AM   #19
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I've owned a 2004 Mazda3 hatch, touring trim. It was a nice little car. The driving feel is slightly muted compared to a Focus, but it's also a much nicer car.
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Old 05-02-2013, 11:28 AM   #20
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Yep, that was my experience with the Mazda3 and Mazdaspeed3 I've driven. I was surprised by the amount of road noise that the Mazda's have. Other than that, great cars. The shift feel was much nicer than on my SVT.
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