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My beloved 1997 Saturn SL2 finally went to the highway in the sky. I owned it for 5 1/2 years, took good care of it (regular tune-ups, oil changes, etc), but the radiator crapped out and all of the issues I needed to address (coolant system, belt, brake job I had scheduled) were more than the price of the car, so I let her go. Almost made it to 175k miles!

I wanted a hatchback for work. My job as a sound mixer has me hauling around gear so the extra cargo space and ease of loading makes my life easier. My dad owns a company and drives all day in Alaska and has only bought Focus' as his cars since 2001. On his last one (before getting a '13) he put on 260k+ miles in a few years before selling it. It still ran fine and is probably still driving.

I scoured dealers and Craigslist and found a great deal: the owner had to relocate back to Australia and was unloading it cheap. After test driving and getting the once-over from a mechanic I ended up buying it. I paid $3500 for a 2005 ZX3 with 78,000 miles on it. Everything is solid inside and out, my mechanic couldn't believe the odometer and double-checked everything and took me aside and told me I should buy it on the spot, haha. The only minor work needed was a fix to the corner of the interior driver door vinyl (got it done today) and the armrest replaced (have one coming from ebay). I ordered a new stereo receiver for it after deciding the aux in options for the current deck were too expensive/PITA when compared to just getting a new unit in there. The inside looks and smells brand new. It's an automatic, has AC, cruise control, fog lights, and power windows. Clean history, two previous adult drivers, and no accidents!

I'm so happy with the purchase! It drives great, I feel much safer in it, and I'm excited to break 200,000 miles with it. This is the nicest car I have ever owned and I feel proud driving it around. After spending so many years (I'm almost thirty) driving less-than-stellar cars it feels good to not to have that worry in the back of your head about your daily driver. I'm still amazed that the keychain unlocks it and the windows are powered which should show you what my baseline is for automobiles.


It was missing two hubcaps so I purchased these matte black ones for it. I like the simple look of it and don't want to compromise any reliability by getting aftermarket wheels, although ones in matte black would look way rad.


Getting the door vinyl fixed today at Nacho's Auto Upholstery in North Hollywood, CA. They fit me in last-minute, did a great job, and only charged me five dollars. I tipped 100%, haha. Check them out if you need work in the area. Nacho is way funny!


It looks and smells brand new!


I honestly doubt anyone has actually ridden in the rear seats in this car.


RIP Saturn, this car treated me well. I paid $2000 for it in 2009 and was my daily driver until this week.

Thanks for reading, and for being a solid forum full of answers. I got linked here after asking a question on Reddit and have been clicking links to this site since my search started.
 

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Welcome to Focus Fanatics. Good find on that car, and the price was just right as well. I would be all over that myself if I were to find it. As long as you give it routine maintenance, these cars will last you well over 200,000 miles with ease. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I really lucked out on this one! I'm taking it in for it's 80k service next month and throwing two new tires on the front as well (the rear ones are new and the front ones have some wear on them).
 

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w/ my magic bag
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Welcome to FF. Looks great & a great price also...
 

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Multi-Focusing
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Welcome!

You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into...lol.

[neener]

That Focus looks nice!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks guys!

I'm so surprised at how much "go" this little car has when compared to similar models from other manufacturers. Super happy with the purchase and that I found this resource center online.
 
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