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Old 08-18-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
trixwagen
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"My" 2005 ZX5 SES Review

Picked up my Focus a few days ago. Here's what I think so far. If I echo what others have said, so it goes.

Driving: The air conditioning really takes a bite out of the performance. I went with the 5 speed: I have to find that sweet spot going into first...it's really easy to chirp the tires, however, if I don't rev it up a bit, there's a definate bog for a moment. I've driven the highway a few times and at 75, it felt not as sure footed as I would have expected. The wind may be a little gusty here in South Dakota, but I don't think I'll be hitting the 108 limiter any time soon. I haven't found a road out here that has decent twisties to throw the Focus around, so I can't really comment on the "legendary" handling. The engine is dead quiet at idle and I like the sound it makes if I rev it up. It actually feels fairly quick most of time, not pinned-to-the-seat quick, but not bad for stock. It is not a sports car, but still fun.

Interior: Thank the car gods for telescoping/tilt steering. If my model didn't have it, I would not have found a comfortable driving position. I can't shift with the center armrest up and it sort of gets in the way when it is down, but I can deal with it. No rear head restraints. I have an SES with everything except leather, heated seats and the sun roof...maybe only the ST has rear head restraints, I don't know. Not exactly a problem since only the kids sit back there. The wife complains a lot about the front passenger seat...something about the lumbar support of the seat presses uncomfortably on her butt. She's fiddled with the seat and it's a little better, but not quite right. No problem with the driver's seat because the height adjustment makes it easier to find a comfortable position.
And, yes, the hatch has some blind spots, I've seen worse, but during lane changes I sometimes wish I'd gone with the sedan. I haven't used the overhead bins yet..I wasn't all that impressed with them...maybe if I had sunglasses or a garage door openner, I'd have a different opinion.
People complain about the 05 dash being too much like everyone else's, but it works without being gimmicky.
I don't really think the audio controls on the steering wheel are necessary, but the audiophile system sounds pretty sweet.
In spite of performance robbing, the air conditioning works great.

Quality: Some parts of the Focus feel solid. I like the feel of the leather wrapped steering wheel, for instance, but overall, the car feels cheap, lots of flimsy plastic, just adequate to do the job. I'd be interested to see how it will hold up. There's no squeaks or anything like that and the body panels fit together just fine. I mean it seems fairly well put together, just the parts seem kind of delicate.

Exterior: There are a lot of Foci out here and honestly, the front of the 05 looks ok to me, even when compared to the 04 models. Mine is Pitch Black and it looks execellent...for a few hours...dirt shows up like crazy...but that's the price I pay.

Value/Buyer's Remorse: Honestly, when I pulled into the parking lot at my job and EVERYONE else has a Ford pickup, a Jeep or SUV, I thought I might have made the wrong choice. But a couple days ago when regular gasoline went up 17 cents a gallon, I'm happy I have a four banger. I saw a new Chevy HHR and for a moment thought that might have been a better choice than the Focus, but not for the aditional 5 grand. No regrets so far. I like my Focus a lot, though it does have a few design quirks.


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Old 08-19-2005, 04:37 AM   #2
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I saw pics of European Focus interior before and they come with headrest. I think lack of headrest is a safety concern if you actually use the backseats.
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Old 08-19-2005, 07:56 AM   #3
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Nice review-- I got the SES wagon with everyting but roof and ABS-- It is now just about a year old and I bought it in February of this year. I've found mine to be a good blend of economy, practicality and some fun too. The wagon handles as well as the sedans and hatches and holds tons of stuff that even some mid sized SUV's cannot. I agree on the feel of the trim being a little cheap but after a year, no problems, nothing broken or torn. I use the overhead compartments for my garage door opener, cell phone and misc stuff that I want unseen but readily accessable. I had a V6 Passat that required premium gas so am pleased with the economy-- and very glad I don't have a SUV-- My neighbor paid $46 for a fill up in his mid sized SUV after slightly less that a weeks worth of driving. I paid $27 and went for about 11 days. I too like the styling of the front end and like the dash. I didn't like the dash of the older models initially but have come around to like them too.
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Old 08-20-2005, 01:36 AM   #4
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Ya, test drive a 05 focus today, didn't like the dash~~

But the price are awesome! $22xxxCAD (tax in) fully loaded except leather and moonroof!!! plus 36months zero percent financing! Ford family plan rocks! and my friend is getting the new graduate credit thing, thatz $1000cad buck off... so finall price only $21xxxCAD
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Old 08-20-2005, 04:11 PM   #5
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Update:

I had to follow a friend on the highway in his brand new loaded Chyrsler Town & Country minivan and it took some effort to keep up. Yeah, he has 205 horses pulling that thing, but still...I was a little humbled to be sprinting to keep up with a minivan. If I stay in third gear into highway speeds, it pulls pretty well..like there's a sweet spot around 4500 rpm but I must be an old guy now because I am thinking more about a few more MPG and breaking in the new engine than hitting the redline...if it had a redline...you know what I mean.

I had 22.5 MPG my first tank, mostly driving around 25 mph in town...not great, but I was hoping it would be at least as good as my 43 year old VW, which always seemed to get 25 MPG no matter how I drived....it also went about 25 miles between breakdowns, but that was part of its charm. And damn...the "regular" gasoline here is 85 octane.. This is all a conspiracy to force me to spend an extra ten cents a gallon to use midgrade. I'll have to figure if it's worth buying the cheap stuff, then buy an octane booster...insanity.

I don't think there are many street racers here in Western South Dakota, but I did a little informal undeclared streetlight to streetlight acceleration from a dead stop. A new RAV4 left me in the dust, I don't know if he was even trying, however I blazed past a lowered pimped out orange flamed Nissan pickup like it was a diesel...maybe it was..ha!

I see Foci all over the place here, I want to start a club or something, but all of the cars appear to be bone stock. Just a guess, but I figure the majority of Focus drivers out here just consider the car to be little more than an appliance..just something to take them from point A to point B. It would be like me trying to start a toaster or refrigerator club. I'll have to see. This is pickup territory. If there's a sport compact scene, I see little evidence of it.

Anyone out there from South Dakota? Hello? (Echo...tumble weed rolls by....)
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Old 08-22-2005, 01:50 PM   #6
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your impressions pretty match up with mine... Nice but nothing to write home about.. I too was impressed by the leather steering wheel feel... Of course I have a feeling that if the rest of the plastic bits were as solid as it, the car would be $20k....Of course I only drove it 30 miles to work and back home one day to show the co-workers (wifes car). It felt comparable to the Jetta we had several years back.
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Old 08-22-2005, 02:21 PM   #7
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I don't know why it was hard for you to keep up with that van. I have no problems keeping up with my family's 05 Explorer (210hp/253lb-ft, but heavy as hell). Also, the redline is at 6750rpm.
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Old 08-23-2005, 05:34 AM   #8
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Just bought a 2005 Focus ZX5 SE, loaded except leather, moon roof, and abs. Silver paint. After the Ford family discount, and $2500 rebate, I ended up financing about $14,500 + tax. They even threw in 4 dinners at Red Lobster, and 20% window tint. I just hope the car lasts about 7 years.

I don't plan to do anything else to it, unless I can figure out how to plop a 454 in it and keep the same hood. Trying to have a sleeper you know.

I guess I could have a sleeper if I bought a pop-up camper and towed it around! (I kill me!)
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Last edited by tumunga; 08-24-2005 at 08:04 AM.
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