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#9 of 18 Focus Impression
Jan 02, 2000 (2:37 pm)
Yesterday, I went to the D.C. Auto Show, to check out all the new cars, and some of the VERY cool concept cars in the works. Thought I'd stop by the Ford section and finally sit in a Focus to see what everyone was talking about. I already knew they were butt UGLY cars before I went, but when I actually sat in one, I was even that much more unimpressed. Interior is as ugly as the exterior, and has a very cheap feel to it. And what's up with the height adjustment "crank" on the front of the driver's seat? Sure, they're more affordable than my Golf, but I'm glad I paid a few extra bucks to get all my standard features, standard SAFETY features, and a tight, solid, well put together car.
#10 of 18 Re: Focus Impression
Jan 02, 2000 (4:01 pm)
I'm sure the service department is glad you bought the Golf too.
#11 of 18 RE: Focus Impression
Jan 03, 2000 (4:35 am)
Funny, I didn't see you at the D.C. Auto Show.
Seriously, I agree with your assessment of the Focus interior as cheaper than the Golf. The door liners of the ZX3 are very ugly. On the other hand, I like the tactiles of the Focus steering wheel and switch gear.
I also love the Focus seat height adjustment crank! A lot of Focus reviewers have criticized the feature, and I don't get their problem. The crank is intuitive and simple to use. Moreover, it provides precise adjustment. (Would you explain to me what is "wrong" with the crank? Maybe I'm missing something....)
As for the price differential, I can afford either car, and I recognize that the residual value of the Golf will be substantially higher. Still, its hard to justify a $2000-2500 difference (negotiated prices of a ZX3 versus that of a Golf GL with the 2.0L gas engine), especially when the ZX3 handles and rides so well. If the Focus works for you, why pay more? You'll save even more money in repair and parts costs!
If Ford can establish the Focus as a high quality vehicle, we may be seeing the prices of future Foci rising, especially as traction control, sunroofs and new engines make their way into U.S. showrooms next year.
Note that we're pretty lucky to be arguing about the relative merits of two such high-quality entry-level products. I knew the VW management team was good (I own a '91 Corrado and a Passat), but the Focus has convinced me that the team now running Ford knows what it is doing. I'd like to see them push each other to even better products.
(Actually, I'd like VW to quit short-changing the U.S. market and send us 1) a 4-Motion AWD vehicle, 2) the remarkable V5 Golf GTI [not just the 1.8T], and 3)the Seat Leon. [The latter has the 180 horses of the Audi TT Coupe, super styling, with the price tag of a U.S. Golf GTI.]}
(And memo to Ford: where is our 5-door Focus?????]
Jan 03, 2000 (3:27 pm)
I've driven various versions of the Golf/Jetta and Focus, and it's true that the Golf/Jetta has much richer looking materials, EXCEPT for the seats in the base GL models. Yuck! Nothing wrong with cloth seats but the "fun" pattern is gross. A Focus zts with leather would probably make up for a lot of the downscale look in comparison to the VWs.
I'd have to disagree with those who say the VWs feel a lot more "solid" and "tighter". The VWs are quieter (except for the 2.0L engine at hw speeds), but the Focus chassis is as tight and solid. The doors probably do not have as much sound deadening material, but on the road I didn't notice any creaks, groans, or rattles.
There both good cars, with the VWs feeling more upscale, mainly because of the dash materials and better sound-proofing. Fun-wise, the Focus will give the VWs w/2.0L engines a run for the money.
BTW, I own a Passat and never owned a Ford, FWIW.
#13 of 18 VW Service Dept
Jan 03, 2000 (11:29 pm)
Maybe I'm lucky, but I owned a '92 Jetta, and had not a single problem w/ it, and enjoy my Golf even more. I've just never been fond of Ford products. I had a '95 Contour, and regretted buying it almost as soon as I got it home. The transmission (automatic, reluctantly) had the typical linkage problems that is not a stranger to Ford products, and to be honest, it wasn't all that attractive of a vehicle, and didn't handle all that well either. I'm sold on VW.
#14 of 18 Re: 95 Contours & VWs
Jan 04, 2000 (8:29 pm)
My '95 SE has almost 160,000 miles with NO problems...
170 hp worth of performance and great handling...
My Probe GT (turbo) had over 240,000 miles on it when I bought the Contour and IT had all original parts (except for tires, brakes, battery, muffler). The only problem I had with IT was a stuck headlight retractor.
Thanks, but I'll keep my Fords.
#15 of 18 Former GTI-VR6 owner buys Focus
Jan 05, 2000 (1:12 am)
And I'll tell you why-
Because VW has NO OPTIONS.
Meaning, I don't want power windows/locks, A/C- special wheels, keyless entry-
None of that crap.
I want the bare-bones as-light-as-possible machine.
On all VWs, this stuff is standard.
Ford gives me that option, the stock Hatchback is just about perfect.
The only thing I'd possibly add is ABS.
The car's weight is about 2500lbs.
I can use the 3-4k I'm saving by not getting a Golf and buy a turbo kit for the Focus.
And I'll be just as fast as I was in the old VR6.
And I'll handle better (but look weirder )
#16 of 18 Optional Crap
Jan 05, 2000 (12:58 pm)
The GL is bare to the bones. The GLS has all the optional crap, standard. To each his own, but I like all the power windows, locks, sunroof, keyless entry, alarm system... etc.
#17 of 18 redundant topic
Jan 06, 2000 (12:33 am)
There already is a Golf vs. ZX3 topic. Why is this one listed?
#18 of 18 carlady
Jan 06, 2000 (3:09 am)
Good point, tomcat630! Let's continue our conversation in topic #246. Thanks!