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Ford Focus, Volkswagen Golf, Coupe, Hatchback
#24 of 33 Build quality issues
Dec 26, 2001 (10:10 am)
I would have reservations about both the VW and the Ford. I've driven both (my family used to own a VW dealership even) as daily drivers and I can't say that either one is particularly reliable.
My car in high school was a '91 ('92? First year, anyway) Corrado, and the less said about that car the better. Tons of fun, but the usual early-90s VW electrical problems killed it.
I test drove a '01 Focus ZX3, and it was an astonishingly nice car, but the recalls and problems of the previous model year held us back... plus the salesman assumed we were complete idiots and was a real a$$hole.
So, you pay your money and take your chances, I guess. The VW is probably the nicer car, at least now, but I swear the damn things are held together by duct tape and bailing wire. Personally, I like the SVT's styling (cloth/leather seats not withstanding), but I'd wait until a direct comparison is possible once the new model year cars are out.
Apr 22, 2002 (8:04 am)
Ford salesmen do not leave good impressions on me, and I have been to several in the Detroit Metro area.
VWs today here in North America are at least as good as new Fords. My neighbor works at Volkswagen-Audi North America headquarters, and they have 4 VWs in the driveway for many years. Much better cars these days.
The Focus exterior styling is nicer than the GTI, but the interior of the GTI is simply made out of nicer stuff.
#26 of 33 Check the Monroney
May 08, 2002 (6:50 am)
VW Golf/GTI final assembly plant= CURTIBA, BRAZIL
Jetta/Beetle/Cabrio= Puebla, Mexico
Its that simple.
#28 of 33 I went with the SVT Focus
Jun 20, 2002 (7:03 am)
I just traded in my 2001 Impreza RS for an SVT Focus. There were many reasons that lead me to it and I'll try to explain them. I have always been a fan of VW GTI's and probably would of bought a 1.8 GTI but my experience with VW dealers in Miami, Atlanta, and Maine made me realize I would hate having to deal with them for service, let alone trying to buy one. They just don't have GTI's in stock and were very unwilling to earn my business.
While I loved my Subaru, I learned to hate driving a sedan, especially when the rear seats don't fold down, so I knew that I wanted a hatch or wagon and had to keep the cost low. I didn't go with an outback sport because of the rear drum brakes.
Low and behold, I went to an SVT Dealer in Maine, and they had three SVT's on the lot, I asked the dealer if I could test drive one and after a strange question about my age (I'm 27), he lead me to the car and made sure it had enough gas for a proper test drive. He asked me politely not to burn up the clutch or tires and let me go along my way. I couldn't believe that a dealer was letting me test drive a car by myself without asking for any ID. The test drive was great, yes the SVT is not as refined as a GTI, and does feel like a less expensive car, but the SVT is much more rewarding after a spirited drive. This dealer was one of the "no haggle" dealers and the price listed was $310 dollars more than Edmunds TMV for the car that day, (the TMV has since gone up), they gave me $2000 more than what Edmunds said the average dealer-trade for my RS was. When we started the paperwork, the dealer wrote down that the car was $200 dollars cheaper than what was listed on their "no haggle price" without me having to say a word. With the special SVT service that includes a distinct customer service number, as well as a free loaner car with all service (with the exception of just an oil change) I felt a little more comfortable about buying a Ford. One thing I know is that when the car is out of warranty the ford will be much cheaper to repair than the VW.
That's basically why I went with the SVT over the GTI, the buying experience was just a lot better, I have had repeatable miserable experiences in trying to buy VW's over the years that I went with another brand.
Hopefully I won't regret giving up the AWD for traction control this winter in Maine.
#30 of 33 I went with Focus SVT
Jun 20, 2002 (11:58 am)
emulous: Congratulations on joining the SVT Focus owners club! That was an impressive story about getting the opportunity to take an unescorted test drive in one. I got a test drive but the sales guy called the sales manager to check to see if it ws OK to take the car on the freeway. Turned out it was but the salesman tagged along. What color and accessories did you end up with? I ended up with a black one with the blue interior. The only option it had was the subwoofer $675 thing which I didn't want but bit the bullet (I didn't even own a single CD at the time I bought the car!). I did want the sunroof (being in LA the weathers pretty decent and I've grown to like them since I've had them in my previous two cars. It's kind of funny. Of the half dozen or so SVT Focii I've seen on lots, they all had the subwoofer thingy but none had sunroofs which I thought, given where I live, was odd. Saw my first "factory sunroof" in an SVT Focus last weekend. I ended up having a Webasto installed (which is a bit bigger than the factory model - had a similar one installed on my previous ZX3) which was about 80% more than the factory version!
Let us know from time to time how you and your new SVT Focus are getting along. Keep track of your gas mileage and see if you can beat the lousy 25 mph EPA highway rating. My last tank was 27.3.
#31 of 33 RE: I went with Focus SVT
Jun 21, 2002 (9:26 am)
Thanks for the welcome scootch. Since it's off the topic I'll reply in the SVT Focus room and see if we can get that room back to life.
Apr 12, 2003 (8:31 am)
Due to speculated demand, this discussion has moved back form our arhived files and reopened. Thanks for your participation!
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