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Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Matt Butler, Nov 30, 2004.
Any experience with these? I need a new car. Something basic; so ive been looking at these.
I'd pass up on the Focus and check out the Toyota Echo. Better fuel economy, better reliability, etc.
They've truly worked out the kinks on the Focus. I've had one since its' somewhat troublesome(recalls) inception here in America in late '99. The new Focus with the 2.3 Duratec comes 154HP stock and can easily be upgraded with legal add-ons. I'd test drive one if I were you. It's a very fun car and I save a lot of gas in comparison to my big-ass truck. A slight European feel to it.
Here's a pic of my current Focus:
Based on their history, I wouldn't want to take the chance of owning one of these.
Have you driven the Pontiac Vibe? It's a really fun and functional car. It's based on the Toyota Corolla (as is the Toyota Matrix)with the Pontiac badges and look. It will probably be our next car....that or the Hyundai Santa Fe.
Good luck, and be sure to test drive a lot and do some research online etc.
Another ZX5 Ford Focus owner here. I read a report recently that had the Focus pretty high or near the top for reliability, so the kinks have been worked out as Zen said. Fuel economy not great; not horrible either. I usually get around 30 on the freeway.
The latest redesign I'm not so much a fan of. Ford got rid of the edges and styling of the previous years for a more conventional feel.
Test drive one and let us know what you think. I was looking at the Echo, but the profile has always bothered me - snub-nosed and disproportionate. I think more recent designs have been better though.
I recently bought a new Mazda 3, based on the upcoming 2nd generation European Focus platform also shared by the new Volvo S-40. The US Focus will not get this new platform.
This is imho the finest small car on the market for anywhere near the price--European feel and handling with Japanese reliablity, and perhaps the smoothest manual shift/clutch action going. All Mazda 3s are built in Hiroshima Japan with 95% Japan-sourced parts. These are as close to a BMW as you're gonna get for under $20k. Comes as a 4 door sedan or 5 door wagon-like hatch. The Mazda 3 is currently Consumer Reports highest rated compact car, displacing the Focus.
They are a bit pricier than the Focus, however.
If you need lower price and great value for money I'd strongly suggest you also consider the Scion XB--comes with ABS, Traction Control, and Vehicle Skid Control, power windows and locks, keyless remote entry, AM/FM/CD, AC etc. for under $15k.
The Echo is frankly ugly, doesn't handle worth a damn, screams "cheap". And I work for a Toyota dealer.
look into the honda civic. good mileage, reliable, and...good mileage
I own a Focus wagon. It was cheap, had every gadget available (butt warmers, heated outside mirrors, etc.) and was practically new. I REALLY like it, but I got it because it's a great wagon. It has more cargo room than most mid-sized SUVs, and it handles like a small car. What could be better?
However, I don't think I'd own any of the non-wagon Focus models. As small cars go, I think there are better values out there, like Hondas, Toyotas, (and Scions - I really like the XA) and Mazdas. I would probably buy a used Mazda 3 before I'd buy a new Focus for the same price.
If you're looking for something basic in a commuter-car sort of way, I'd look closely at the Scion XA.
Get a MIni Cooper
Us canadians get the Echo hatchback, which I think looks good (though its looks are really love-it-or-hate-it):
But yeah, i hear nothing but good things bout the Mazda3... though the Ford Focus has made Car and Drivers' 10best numerous times...
the mazda3 came up, but no mention of the scions? the tc looks nice.
I would get something along the lines of a Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla, Nissan Sentra, or Mazda 3....great reliability, cheap to maintain, and good resale value.
If you can pay about $18K and doesn't care about only having 2 doors, the Scion TC is way cool.
All kidding aside, the only reason I reccomend the Cooper is you also get besides the regular 4/48 full warranty ... a 3/36 maintenance warranty .. which covers oil, brakes ... all kinds of regular maintenance. So for 3 years you really have nothing to worry about except making finance payments ...
I have one for 15 months already and literally beat it daily in NYC traffic with no problems whatsoever. I had a Xenon headlamp replaced under warranty .. this is the only issue I had with it.
The car is more roomier that it looks, very deceptive, has good mileage and drives like you would not believe.
Definetelly look into it.
I've been happy with my Focus and haven't had any problems so far. I test drove an Echo when I was shopping for a new car and the thing that killed it for me was that the one I drove had an incredibly weak engine. Not that I need a car that's MIGHTY~, but I had to floor it to get up ordinary hills
Having actually driven the new Mini Cooper, the car is a blast to drive but do be aware of one thing: the car is very stiffly sprung. In short, you will feel every pothole and rut on the road.
I would suggest getting a Honda Civic LX sedan or a Toyota Corolla LE sedan instead.
That is mostly due to the Runflat tires it comes with as standard ... they have stiffer sidewalls than regular tires. The car is no Lexus by any means, but the sporty ride is part of it's appeal.
The grin you get when you drive it beats any dime a dozen Honda or Toyota
Thanks for the recommendations guys. I didnt really explain myself too much but one reason I was looking at the focus was that I need something relaible but inexpensive. ($6 to 8k US). Plus I gottra figure out what to do with my Acura. Im upside down on the loan.
Interesting to see the extreme range of opinions on the Focus.
I got the 2000 ZX3. Yeah, there were a couple of recalls, but I was on the ball with taking care of them, so I never had a problem. In March, I'll have had it for 5 yrs and 75,000 miles and have no complaints.
the coopers are cool, but quite a bit more than the focus aren't they?
How about a slightly used SVT focus?