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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I'm trying to decide on a Focus, and I can't figure out whether the PZEV wagons have the same magic as the hatchbacks. Here are my specific questions:

1. Does the SE Wagon have the same suspension as the ZTW wagon? Is it tuned just exactly the way the ZTW is, for sporty ZX-style handling? Does the SE have the exact same suspension as the ZTW -- stabilizer bars front and back, etc? If not, how much difference does it make in the real-world driving experience?

2. How much slower are the SE and ZTW wagons than the ZX3 or ZX5? They're maybe 150 lbs heavier, I think. Does the extra weight make the handling more ponderous, or slow 'em down much?

3. Overall, if anybody has driven both the PZEV hatches and the PZEV wagon(s), could you love the wagons (especially: The SE) the same way you love the hatches?

Ford offers practically

THANK YOU! I'm making a decision within 48 hours, so your help is MUCH appreciated!NO information about the SE/ZTW suspension differences, and of course, no comparative speed times, and I can't test drive the wagons in my area, so I must throw myself on the mercy of the court! I'll be placing the custom-order within two days.
 

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I believe the suspension is identical between the SE and ZTW. Only Focuses with the SPI (or specialilty models) came with the lesser suspension.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I notice the gear axle ratios are different for the SE and ZTW. Does that imply a difference in the suspension? (Since the engines and trannies are supposedly identical.) Also, carsdirect shows the SE as not having a rear stabilizer bar, ZTW as having it. But elsewhere on the web, this difference isn't shown.

Any owners of either wagon care to comment on performance?
 

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The rear stabilizer bar should be the only difference between SE and ZTW wagons. All 5-speeds on 2.3 Duratec's are the same - 3.55 v.s. 3.82 in the 5-speed Zetec versions.

FWIW - had I to do it over again, I would've saved up some more cash and got a wagon. The ZX5 is handy, don't get me wrong. But the extra space in back would have been handy, and the wagon would be a bit more invisible to the cops.
 

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Folkus said:
I notice the gear axle ratios are different for the SE and ZTW. Does that imply a difference in the suspension? (Since the engines and trannies are supposedly identical.)
Where did you see that? A 2.3l MTX will have the same ratios as any other 2.3l MTX. Same goes for the ATX.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Hey, Zoomer, thanks for the personal opinion ("FWIW"). That was interesting to hear. I'm not sure there's a big price difference at this point -- the SE 2.3 Wagon, with $2500 in incentives for the next few days, can be had for about 14K, nicely equipped [:p] (but add $700 to that for ABS and the side head/torso airbags). How much lower could a decently equipped ZX5 be?

Honestly, with Focus' improved reliability (generally only "red marks" in Consumer Reports since '02; now "recommended" again by CR), and with side head-protection airbags, I can't imagine spending $5-$10K more for a Jetta or Forester wagon! I've driven both of those, and the Focus is infinitely more of a driver's car. Not to mention more cargo space than either of those cars, or even certain german sport wagons...

I'm very enthusiastic about having an SVT-range powertrain and the Focus' teutonic road manners for pocket change ! [thumb].

Now, if somebody could just confirm that the PZEV wagons with 5-speed are nearly as quick as the hatches (i.e., in the same general range as the SVT), I would go happily sign on the dotted line.

Re: the different ratios for the two wagons, it certainly could have been an error on the website I was visiting. Sorry if I promoted misinformation about that.

Folkus
 

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I own the '03 ZTW PZEV w'ATX and had the same questions with the SE vs ZTW differences.
My friend has an '02SE and it does have a rear stabilizer. Ford shows no rear stabilizer on the
'04 SE though. There were almost no differences in options of the '03 models on local dealer lots. The only things the ZTW had standard over the SE are tilt/telescoping wheel, Speed Control and airline style map lights. There were options not available on the SE like leather seats.

If you go to fordvehicles.com and compare, the options and differences look more clear for 2004.

As far as being slower due to the extra weight, it is only the difference of one extra passenger.
Love my Wagon!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
DidHeFocus, This is really neat to hear. Man, am I getting excited.

Can anybody comment on the transmission options with the wagon? The more I think about it, the more worried I am that maybe I won't be able to resell or trade in the 5-speed wagon at a decent price (Think: how many soccer moms/dads want to buy a station wagon with a 5-speed?). Am I wrong or right about this?

How did you, DidHeFocus, as an enthusiast, wind up with an AT wagon? How fast is your AT wagon? Did you consider the 5-speed?
 

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Folkus,
You are correct about the resale value being somewhat lower with MTX.
I came to buy a wagon with ATX because I needed to replace my '88 Ranger MTX.
The occasional commute from Sacramento to San Francisco, gave me a very sore left knee from shifting in 2 hour bumper to bumper traffic. I also drive almost all day for work and wanted a sporty, roomy, economical car. When I test drove it for the first time, I was amazed by the off the line power and how fun it was to drive.

I pulled up next to an SE wagon that I was behind for a while yesterday and realized it was a former co-worker so we had a quick chat at the light. "Nice car", I yelled to him. He replied, "yeah but I don't know why they got it with a stick.(Company Car) The clutch went out twice already."
The light eventually changed to green and we went are separate ways.

I've driven only a manual trans for over almost 25 years, but don't regret getting an ATX at all.
Besides, now I can drive and drink my grande latte without spilling it.[hihi]

Another note on the rear suspension:
I am thinking about upgrading the shocks and stabilizer.
It tends to be a little too soft for me and it bobs up and down too easily, probably from the extra cargo I always carry. The front rides ok though.
 

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hmm I would not exactley call the ZX3 suspention sporty... shey should have taken all the money it took em to develope that crappy stock airbox and put in stiffer shocks and crap
 

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This advice may come after the fact, but, that said, I have an '03 ZTW with MTX and Sport Package. I recommend both options. The sport pack gets you two very nice upgrades in the sound system and larger wheels with lower profile tires.
Another nice upgrade is ABS.
As far as "does the wagon have the goods", well, I say yes. I test drove the coupe (zx5) and went for the wagon. The added space is great and best in class. The extra 200 lbs, doesn't bother the Zetec engine so with the added power of the duratec, I imagine you will be satisfied with the power.
BTW, the MTX is a very nice but you will probably find it hard to find. My ZTW came from a dealer 350 mi. away as he was the closest w/ an MTX. Personally, this car is so sporty and the clutch and shift performance so refined, I'd never get this car with anything but manual.
Obviously, some folks are just more comfortable with the ATX.
All models of the Focus (with Zetec and Duratec ) are exciting cars. I think the wagon, at 2700 pounds is still light enough to give agile handling and provide one with great space.
BTW, I have read that the wagon is the model with the least amount of wind drag, most areodynamic.
 

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might be too late here but I'll second that bit about the sport wheels. It makes al the difference in the world
 

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Great thread, and timely for me too, as I'm also pondering ordering a ZTW MTX wagon. One dealer in my area (SoCal) couldn't locate one on any dealer lot in the state, and the other dealer told me Ford doesn't make a 5-speed wagon! Despite what the Focus brochure and website clearly say! LOL![eek] Pretty clear which dealer I'll be using!

Anyway, I wanna know: Folkus, did you order your wagon? How did it go? What ETA did they give you? And what kinda price/options did you get? I hear they will give you factory rebates even tho they are supposed to be for cars in "dealer stock" only. Did you get rebates?

Jake: Got any more pix of your wagon? Looks sweet. [thumb]
 

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I also have a ztw with a 5 speed and the sport option ( easiest way to get a tach)..Nice car, I've driven a zx3 and a sedan and they handle pretty much the same, perhaps maybe a hair more roll in the rear, but I'm pretty picky to that sort of thing...anyway, my zetec has the goods so a pzev should be a tad better. The car handles VERY well for a wagon under 20,000. We had a subaru before this and before that a chevy wagon ( celebrity thing), and they both handled just so-so, actually the chevy handled like do-do until a put better shocks and struts under and that upgraded it to so-so.


Remember all the motor stuff ( vortech, Tom's turbo, JRSC, and nitrous all work on the wagonds , too)[:)~]
 

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Jake said:
The extra 200 lbs, doesn't bother the Zetec engine so with the added power of the duratec, I imagine you will be satisfied with the power.
Bullshit. I can tell a huge difference when I have a passenger in my car.
 

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Sorry Wanna Wagon, thats not my rig in the Avatar. It is a pic from a German after market company called Stoffler-Autotechnik. Mine looks pretty stock except for Euro Headlamps and Grille- but hey, I'm just getting started.


Infra3sv,

My point is that my ZTW wagon is not underpowered. I can pass with ease and cruise all day at 80 and the engine is smooth and quite. Obviously, any added weight makes some difference in acceleration. It is a matter of physics. ( However, bare in mind that the wagon is more aerodynamic than your ZX3, and wind drag is a much greater force than 200 pounds of dead weight while cruising.)
In fact, I do remember a time when I was loaded with three adults and myself. I noticed a difference, but still had ample power.

Below is a pic of the SVT Wagon sold in Euro. Named ST170 Estate across the pond. Wish they sold it in the states-but as Infra3sv points out in another post, most Americans think of a wagon as a grocery getter and Ford knows that so the best we can get in a Focus is the ZTW with sport pak and then mod.
 

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shaneZx3 said:
might be too late here but I'll second that bit about the sport wheels. It makes al the difference in the world
How so?

The 16" sport wheels with lower profile tires will corner a little better but at the expense of comfort. The 15" standard wheel has more rubber and air between the you and the pavement which effectively filters more noise and vibration.
Both have the same diameter for proper fit and gear ratio.
 

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That Euro wagon is sweet. It's too bad most Americans are so SUV-obsessed that they can't get interested in cool wagons like that. But maybe they need an enthusiast crowd like this one to show the way!

The thing that's most noticeable about the Euro wagon, to me, is the roof rack. Why is that different from the U.S. roof rack? Would there be any way to get this Euro rack as an aftermarket piece? Probably my biggest disappointment about the U.S. Focus wagon is the roof rack, which is flimsy plastic. This is a concern to me because I plan to be hauling my 65-pound handmade wooden canoe up there! [confused]
 
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