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Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Hatchback
Aug 27, 2000 (8:22 am)
First of all, id like to say im a fan of all cars.
Customs, Imports, Exotics, Classics, Lowriders, anything... as long as it looks good/kicks ass.
I also spend alot of my spare time car shoping. After all, i just moved to the Sacramento area In california and live like 2 minutes from the Roseville Automall (THE first "Automall"). Ive looked at almost every car availible in the US in the past year (did most of this while helping my mom shop for a new car, she bought a 2000 Suburu Legacy GT Limited Sedan) and im probably going to get a new car in the next year or earlier, depending on how long my current car lasts... (its been having ALOT of engine trouble lately).
Figuring that ill probably only be able to spend in the 15k range, and need a car that can carry stuff but prefere cars that are nimble and small, ive come down to the Focus Zx3 as my #1 Practicle choice for a car. But if i could spend in the 20k range, i would either go with a Golf 1.8t, a Bug 1.8t, or a Suburu Impreza 2.5RS.
I test drove the Golf a few months ago, and i was impressed... but as some of the previous posts have stated, it is a little "soft" in terms of suspension, but not soft and stiff like a BMW (test drove a 3 series as well). Last week, i drove a zx3 and i was very impressed... It didnt drive like a ford! (seriously) Heck, it didnt feel like a ford at all... It felt like a VW. 130hp doesnt sound like much, but its more than most cars at that price range, but its more than a base golf and that much less money (btw, you can order a New ZX3 for just $100 over invoice). The actuall interior space is very simular, but the Focus has much more head room. And yes, the golf does have more "neat" stuff in it like VW's have, and the quality is a little better... but once again, theres the price difference. And i know that alot of people cant stand buying american, just as i know alot of people cant stand buying foreign, but the focus is simply not a typical ford in any sense, even reliability. The focus has been out in Europe for much longer than it has in the US, and if you were to go there right now, you might notice something... Focus's are EVERYWHERE in europe (my cousin was just over there). Now if Europeans are buying fords... thats got to mean something.
Dont forget that the 2001 focus ZX3 will have 16 inch wheels in the premium package for basically free (try pricing it out) which is another good mark for the focus if your planning on buying.
Btw, just to make everyone know that im not ford-happy... if i were to buy any reasonable (ie not super expensive) car i could today, i would buy a Lexus IS 300
BUT, i just read an article about the Focus-R that its going to come out next summer probably, and will have a base cost just UNDER 20k! (220hp for 20k with no mods required? Nice)
Let the flaming on me commence!
#98 of 156 carlady
Aug 31, 2000 (7:40 pm)
Sorry, flame-free zone.
Sep 17, 2000 (1:27 am)
are you talking about the base golfs? they are junk and just reek of cheapness. the focus hatch is a damn nice car for the money
Sep 25, 2000 (2:35 am)
I don't think you've been in a base Golf or else you would say something so outright wrong. Other than having different cloth seats, no power windows, and no armrest, the base Golf (there is no base "golfs", the only base Golf is the Golf GL), uses the same rich materials as in the higher trim Golfs and, in fact, the same materials as in the more expensive Passat. And if you read any review of the Passat, you'll most likely see a compliment about the rich-looking, rich-feeling materials and design of the interior.
"junk" and "reek of cheapness"? uh, no.
p.s. My next car will probably be a Focus 5-door so I have nothing against the Foci.
Sep 27, 2000 (5:54 am)
Golfs are totally not cheap. VW is the closest thing to BMW for the money.
Problem with Golfs is the money though, but with the Sports Suspension option for 2001 I would actually thing about getting one in the $20k price range (1.8t of course)
#102 of 156 Base Golf
Sep 27, 2000 (11:34 pm)
I own a 2k Golf GL and as far as it being cheap junk, someone is out of his/her mind. My boss owns a 3 series Bimmer and would rather drive in my Golf. That is the reason I bought it over the Focus, it feels like a much more expensive car than the 15k I paid for it. Get inside a Golf and drive it, than drive anything else in the 15k price range. If you put ABS, side airbags and all the standard Golf things on the Focus you only save a few hundred dollars. I looked at everything out there for six months and felt nothing came close to the Golf for the money...
Oct 07, 2000 (1:59 am)
i have been in a golf ( a gl) and the dash and other interior parts were nice but i noticed a lot of bare pieces of body color metal showing though...(from the inside) the seats were nice and soft but not very supportive and the engine was basically gutless. the gti on the other hand would definitely be better than the focus or civic si.
#104 of 156 No Focus for me
Oct 08, 2000 (5:32 pm)
I personally would go with the Golf. I feel its alot nicer than the Focus. I probably wouldn't even consider a Focus, but thats just me. Test drive both of them and see. Good luck in your decision!
Oct 27, 2000 (4:40 pm)
a focus ZX3 equipped like yours (and mine) should have ONE recall. THat is all. THere were a couple of other things going on with the sedan, but not the hatchback. And something with the cruise control. Take care of that single recall and don't worry!
#106 of 156 Golf v ZX3
Nov 14, 2000 (6:34 pm)
My wife and I have rented many Foci (sedans and Zx3) While we liked them very much and almost bought one, there really is no comparison to a well-equiped Golf.
After months of research and lurking on this and other websites, we decided to purchase a Golf GLS 1.8T with heated seats (we live in Canada), Monsoon, CD, ABS, traction control, roof, alloys, etc.) Ended up paying Cdn$4,500 (about US$3,000) more than a fully loaded ZX3 (that doesn't have traction control or side airbags). The final tally:
Pro Golf GLS 1.8T
- better acceleration
- max torque available off the line
- slightly better road feel
- traction control
- side airbags
- electric sunroof
- arguably better resale
- 4 doors!!
- heated seats
- more comfortable seats for longer drives
- $3k less
- leading edge design
- lower maint and repair $$
- better gas mileage
- bigger interior
- better warranty
- marginally better cupholders (hint: try changing a CD in the Golf while you have a drink in the holder - its almost a road hazard!)
The acceleration, road feel, and low cabin noise in the Golf is better than the ZX3. Under hard acceleration, the Golf 1.8T doesn't protest, and pulls continuously through the range, whereas the Focus seems to rumble more loudly and doesn't reach peak power until higher up in RPMs. Both are quick, nimble cars that are leaders in their class, the Golf 1.8T with about 25 lbs more torque than ZX3. We agree with other observations on this site: Focus seats are not as comfortable on drives longer than 1 hour - why is that?
Our exhaustive analysis yielded the following simple question: Is driving a Golf 1.8T over a ZX3 for 3 years worth the cost of 2 cups of coffee a day?
Both are very good purchases, but if you can spring for a few extra dollars up-front and a few more maint $$ later on, you can't beat a Golf 1.8T