Last post on Jul 30, 2002 at 5:45 AM
You are in the Hatchbacks - Archived Discussions
This discussion is ARCHIVED. To reactivate the discussion, post a request in the Lost? Ask the Hatchbacks Host for directions! discussion.
What is this discussion about?
Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Hatchback
#127 of 156 Golf TDI Maintenance re carlvrone
Dec 12, 2001 (5:48 pm)
carlvrone wrote-BUT, the maintenance requirements (at least for the TDI are HORRENDOUS! in this age of LOW MAINTENANCE and what is with the 2002 powertrain warranty being LOWERED to 50000 miles only-
The maintenance consists of oil change at 5k,10k,20k,30K,etc., timing belt at 80k, fuel filter at 20K, brake fluid change 24 months, and the other normal items such as air filter. What is HORRENDOUS about this? There is actually less maint. required on TDI than on 2.0 or 1.8T gasoline motors and you get 50MPG with the TDI. Please explain what you were referring to regarding maintenance cost.
The warranty for 2002 DOUBLED from 24 months/24k miles to 48 months/50k miles and 5 years/60k miles for powertrain. You were incorrect about the warranty as well as maintenance cost. The powertrain is very durable on VW's and it is the small items like power windows and MAF sensors that break so doubling the b-to-b warranty is a great improvement.
#128 of 156 brazil
Jan 25, 2002 (4:54 pm)
here's what i know about the manufacturing of the golf: it was built in germany until around january of 2001. so about half the 2001's out there are german. check the VIN on the 2001 and if it says "WVW" you've got a german car. if not, it's brazilian. all 2002's are built in brazil, not mexico as edmunds states. the price went down as they switched production, and i can say that my german 2001 GL is well built.
as for the focus vs. golf, i think it's like comparing a mustang GT to an integra. sure it's faster and flashier, but in the long run you'll wish you had the better car. the focus is a typical ford, with shotty build quality and gas mileage worse than advertised. the 2.0 isn't super fast but it's a good motor.
#129 of 156 I'm curious...
Jan 29, 2002 (3:10 pm)
How, exactly, do you make the comparison Focus vs. Golf become Mustang vs. Integra? For starters, the Integra isn't in the same class as a Mustang, so the comparison is moot (and why are you comparing a Ford to an Acura when the original comparison was Ford vs. Volkswagen?). Secondly, I DON'T want an Integra, and especially not the new RSX (the Integra replacement). Third, what makes the Integra a "better" car than the Mustang GT? You need to define your terms.
As for "shotty" (sic) build quality, my Focus is better-built and more durable than the Jetta I drove for six years and 120,000 miles. My (German) Jetta, which I dearly loved, had to revisit the dealer TWICE IN THE FIRST FOUR DAYS, and at least 3 times/year after that. My Focus is going to see the dealer for the FIRST time on thursday, after 13 MONTHS, and only then to take care of the outstanding recall. Can you cite examples of "shotty build quality?" Remove recalls from the equation and start from there. Ironically enough, the Focus is being recalled in this case to take care of the thing that went wrong three different times on my Jetta, rear-wheel bearings. Before you say this is evidence of "shotty" build quality, I will note that I had to PAY to get the wheel bearings taken care of on my VW, and at Ford they are doing it for free.
And here's another place you need to be brought up to speed, the Focus is NOT a typical Ford. It is an OUTSTANDING Ford, probably better than anything else they make... It is an atypical Ford indeed that is on C&D's Top Ten list three years running, as well as Automobile's All-Stars (This year it takes TWO wins out of a total of ten for all cars).
And I must be doing something wrong, because I basically get the mileage that is advertised for the car, just a mpg or two less on most occasions. Same with my VW, and indeed the car I owned in-between.
And to those looking for various Golfs, see if you can find one made in Germany, even if it's a leftover from last year. The German cars ARE better-made, as has historically been the case (I refused delivery of my first Jetta, insisting that I get one with a German VIN; they were 50/50 Brazil/Germany in those days).
One thing you are correct about, though, I started out shopping Golfs, but what I wanted and what I could afford were two different things. Not everyone can blithely write off an additional 3 or 4 thousand dollars to get what they want... And that's what it would have been for the lowest-priced Golf I could see myself in. Here's what a $15,000 Focus got me that a $15,000 (base) Golf wouldn't:
16" Aluminum wheels/50-series tires
Everything else on a base-model Golf, from power locks, remote entry, tilt/telescope, ABS, I have. The only things I DON'T have are rear discs (the Focus has shorter stopping distances anyway), side airbags (an additional $300, but I couldn't find one so equipped even though I wanted it), heated locks/mirrors (who cares, living in upstate NY I have never needed them), daytime running lights (thank GOD I don't have those), and illuminated vanity mirrors (somehow I will live without them). To kit out a Golf with the same equipment is, WHOOPS!, over $18,000, and even then you don't get a glass moonroof, you get an opaque SUNroof... Unless you spring for the GTI, in which case you are moving up and out of the Focus' league, as well you should for $19 grand.
So... Before you pooh-pooh the Focus any further with specious reasoning and questionable accusations, look at what you get for your dollar. Next time around I might spring for a GTI, but I am more than happy with my Focus. It is the best driving, most reliable, and flat-out fun car I have ever owned.
2001 ZX-3 5spd
#130 of 156 My reasoning for the Golf TDI
Jan 30, 2002 (12:58 pm)
50 mpg highway (which I do 95% anyway), can't argue with that.
TDI's tend to last much longer anyway (maybe I got brainwashed by the diesel-geeks I work with).
Ouch....the price, but since I'm planning for keeps...I figure by something I won't regret....GLS TDI, which includes (with options):
Security system (std on Golf)
Side & Curtain airbags (std on Golf)
Sunroof(option on GLS)
Alloy wheels (option on GLS)
Heated seats ($150 option on GLS)
Full-Size Spare Tire (std on Golf)
just some features...let's see if it lasts as long as my Camry I'm replacing
The Focus....it never really caught my interest. I'd own a Ford anyday over GM or Chrysler....Focus, it just some reason, I have no interest in it.
#131 of 156 Diesel VW's
Jan 30, 2002 (2:50 pm)
Yes, good choice if you do mostly hwy driving. A guy I used to work with had a diesel Jetta, still does probably... That thing had over 200k miles on it and was still running strong. Cosmetically suspect, but mechanically sound (this was a pre-85 model, don't know what year). Slow as a glacier, but I know the newer ones are MUCH more sprightly.
#132 of 156 focus a little blurry (ok a bit shoddy)
Feb 02, 2002 (10:42 am)
Fortunately I rented a focus sedan before having to replace my ancient 1985 golf diesel which was put back into service at 210,000 milesafter my 95 jetta was totaled.
The focus had a very loud clunking sound originating from the trunk area. Upon returning the vehicle to national, I told the service rep that something was wrong, and they should take a look at it. He said all of their foci (math plural) had them, and the dealer couldn't do a thing about it.
Beside the disappointing ride and interior quality,I noticed the gas milage wasn't that hot. I was glad to get back into my old golf.
I realize cost is an issue if you simply don't have the cash up front, but in the long haul quality and value reign, and if you put in the driving qualities of volkswagen, so much the better.
#133 of 156 Baffled
Feb 02, 2002 (1:23 pm)
I really don't know how to respond to the prior post (but will anyway), since it just seems painfully obvious to me that you simply DON'T LIKE the Focus, and you are picking up on other people's complaints and using them to make your own point seem stronger.
Interior? You are saying the Focus' interior quality is disappointing, and your comparison is the 85 and 95 VW's? Having owned a VW representative of the 85 (a 90 Jetta) and having spent two weeks driving a 95 Jetta VR6, this simply doesn't make any sense. The 85, especially, was a hodgepodge of hard, brittle, shiny plastics and creaky door materials, easily-broken air vents, and only semi-durable seat materials. I loved that car like like it was my child, but I knew even as I was looking at it on the dealer's floor that there were other cars available at the time that had nicer interiors. The 95 was much better, and I still have access to that car (belongs to a friend who treats it like it's a priceless Duesenberg), and therfore I have a recent memory of it, and its' interior isn't anything special, either. A quantum leap ahead of the A2 chassis, but nothing that shames a similarly-appointed Focus. You should also realize that the NEW Golf is in a class of its' own, interior-wise... Its' being better than the Focus in this regard is not a failing of the Focus, as it has a nicer interior than ANY car in the $15-25k range. One can make a reasonable assumption that this is where a large chunk of the price premium over the Focus came from, and when I was car shopping, a nicer dash simply wasn't worth two or three grand to me.
"Disappointing ride?" This is one of the, if not THE, best-riding cars in its' segment. Actually the ride is almost TOO good (IMHO), I would gladly trade a little of the ride quality for some stiffer springs (in a sense I already did that by getting the bigger wheels and low-profile tires). Automobile magazine even refers to the suspension of the Focus, or at least the quality of the persons involved with its' tuning, as being more or less on par with BMW. Not a bad comparison.
Mileage? Well if mileage is your only gauge, you shouldn't even bother looking at a Focus. Go get an Echo. You'll be bored to death, but boy will you get good mileage. I think it's fair to say that your needs don't match up with most others', in that absolute mileage doesn't mean a buy/no buy decision. The miles you rack up pretty much makes that point for you, and if you are going to pooh-pooh a car on the basis of your own narrow definition of what makes a car desirable, you should qualify it as such.
Clunk in da trunk? Well I don't own a sedan, but this one is news to me. The sedan and the hatch Focii are about as different from each other as the Golf and the Jetta, which is to say not very... And neither I nor anyone I know who has a ZX3 have any such untoward noises. By the way, using a rented car as a representation of all cars of its' type is fraught with pitfalls, as those cars are frequently abused and subject to much higher wear per mile than one owned by an individual. Not only that, but did it occur to you that the person at National was just making that up to cover for a fault in a specific car, hoping you wouldn't complain any further and he could just get you out the door? He might've just wanted to prevent you from asking for any kind of refund for being given a faulty vehicle.
Long-haul quality... Well as much as I love Volkswagens (and will very likely own another in my lifetime), I am aware that they are not any better than average in long-term reliability. Mine was subject to a half-dozen visits to the dealer in the first 18 months, and maybe ten in total before the drivetrain warranty ran out at 50k. I spent a lot of money keeping that car running over the 120k miles I owned it, so I simply don't abide by the "long-haul quality" argument (and a few long-term tests of various VW models that I have read lead me to believe that things haven't improved all that much in the last ten years). 15k miles and 14 months after picking up my Focus, it still hasn't seen the dealer for any warranty repair. I've changed the oil, put in gas, and replaced a defective tire (Firestone, go figure). That's it.
Driving qualities of a VW... Yes, I am quick to admit that a VW is a wonderful car, but it's not like some high priest with a flowing robe tunes the suspension and his magic can't be duplicated by anyone outside of the VW round-table. The driving qualities of the Focus are well-known and highly praised by the automotive press, as evidenced by its' continuing presence on various "top ten" or "best of" lists. You will note that no VW's appear on any of these lists. I recommend you forget your rental car experience and just go test drive a ZX3, ZX5 or ZTS on a saturday afternoon and see for yourself.
So to sum up... Golfs/Jettas are wonderful cars, no doubt about it. They're just priced rather dearly for what you get. If you have the extra $$$ or don't mind stretching out your payments over a longer period of time, by all means, go for it. If you want great mileage, go buy a diesel Golf and have at it, but that will run you even MORE money than a gasoline Golf... FOUR THOUSAND DOLLARS more than my ZX3 with similar equipment, and the Golf is still missing some things I have on my car. You are going to have to drive the whee out of that diesel car to make up for the price differential.
Not to mention, when I looked into it a year ago, the Focus' insurance premiums are less than those for the VW (at least in my NYC suburb).
BUT... If you want a wonderful little car that is widely lauded by professional auto reviewers, drives like (and basically IS) a European car, is practical and relatively economical, take a look at the various Focus models. You likely won't be disappointed.
The Focus range and the Golf/Jetta range are all superb automobiles... Just ask yourself if the $2500-$4000 (that's about 15-25%, depending) price premium is worth it to you.
#134 of 156 MY 2 CENTS
Feb 02, 2002 (8:47 pm)
Focus is a well done package for its size. I just wish it had a better engine. I found the seat of the Focus to be a bit short in length, and the tilt and telescope feature of the steering wheel to be a bit short in travel. The optional traction control on the Focus is said to be top notch, and leather is an option. As to the Golf, I think it is a better built car and probably safer in a crash too. I think that all VWs are at the top for front seat comfort, although Focus is up there in the next tier and ahead of Civic and the new Corolla in my opinion. MPGs on the gas models of either one are nothing to write home about. Rear seat leg room is a lot better in the Focus. All in all, I think the Golf is a better car out of the showroom....what the 2 of them cost to maintain and repair I'm not sure, but I expect the VW to cost more to fix and insure over a lifetime.
#135 of 156 "Better engine?"
Feb 03, 2002 (10:02 am)
What, exactly, is "wrong" with the Focus' engine? Compared to the naturally-aspirated Golf, the Focus engine has more horsepower, more torque, in a car that weighs in at about 300 pounds less. This makes for, surprise, a faster car. What's so disappointing then? I think it's the GOLF that is disappointing. They even get about the same real-world mileage (with the Focus coming out marginally ahead).
Before anyone suggests the 1.8T version of the Golf, keep in mind that it's now only available in the GTI, which means if you want the 4-door you're stuck with the 115 horse engine... and that GTI with the lux pkg is over 20 grand.
Feb 04, 2002 (9:45 am)
if you rented the focus, you probably had the "LX" sedan which comes with the base, old-escort carry over engine (not the DOHC engine that is standard in the more optioned out Focus's). Also the LX doesn't have the same suspension setup.