Last post on Oct 31, 2002 at 6:39 PM
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Ford Focus, Pontiac Vibe, Ford Taurus, Mercury Sable, Hatchback, Sedan, Wagon
#6 of 16 I was right there with you
Oct 25, 2002 (12:13 pm)
When I was looking for a new vehicle, every couple of days I would be talking about a different vehicle, and not many of them had anything in common...but that is what is so attractive about the townhall.
I purchased a Focus ZX3 and it is great for my and my wifes needs and the ZX5 would be great when we add to our family. There is great room upfront, even for big guys like myself, it is adjustable to fit my wife, the cargo room is plentiful for camping and shopping. The only thing that I would add to my car would be the 2 extra doors.
My father was a salesman for Ford for 12 years and demoed many Tarui over the years. I had the occasion to drive them while I worked at the Ford dealer and when he would demo one and they were great. I rented a Taurus in July of 2001 and was left even more impressed with the power and the comfort. Plus the prices are nice.
Have you thought about a Saturn L Series, they offer great standard features (even though GM dumped the ABS and traction control for 2003, but there may be some 2002s still out there)
#7 of 16 Vibe /Matrix or Focus ?
Oct 25, 2002 (1:35 pm)
We need your feedback, too. As buyers - it looks like a Toyota is a 3-4 month wait here in Ontario. So, Vibe it may be. Toyota dealer is happy to take deposit, then see you next March (Full list, of course) Pontiac dealer says no problem, we'll have that automatic base Vibe ready to drive and they did. But wife's not happy with Vibe's front end looks. Does anybody have something good to say about Focus ? Auto press love them but problems seem to dog this model. PS Taurus wagon is outside our budget.
#8 of 16 Good Things to say about Focus
Oct 29, 2002 (2:27 pm)
I have had mine a little less than a year and I still love it. Excellent handling, fun to drive, roomy, great visibility from the tall seat, and great standard features for the price. However, these are not as well built as your average Japanese car. Sad to say, I have had some trim problems with mine, and a possible steering problem, but from what I can tell from myfordfocus.com, mine is above average reliable. It creaks and groans much more than a Japanese car at the price.
I wouldn't trade it for a bland Toyota, or noisy Mazda in a heartbeat though. The car gets my blood pumping, and any corner I tackle leaves a huge smile on my face. You can't beat the 19 cubic feet of cargo room, and 30 mpg HWY figures. Not only that, it is very distinctive. I see rarely see another ZX3 or ZX5 around, and the unique love it or leave styling jumps right out at you. Mine looks gret after a year. It actually reflects its European heritage well. Just like any old Euro car, its got tons of character and is a great drive, but you'll probably have to put up with less than stellar build quality.
Oct 29, 2002 (2:57 pm)
with you, but my Matrix can beat your 30 mpg hands down: 32 city, 37 highway so far for me.
It is also bigger inside if you have a ZX3, about the same if you have a ZX5. The only Focus with significantly more room is the station wagon.
OTOH, it probably is a bit bland, although I like the looks, it has less pep than your Focus, and certainly the Mazda is LOUD!
Oct 30, 2002 (1:39 pm)
You are correct, sadly I do not get that kind of mileage. The best i have seen yet is 32 mpg. It gets better as the engine breaks in.
I think the Matrix looks like a blockier but less controversial version of the ZX5. I like the way mine looks better. The Vibe/Matrix came out after I needed a car, but had I bought one, I would not have been able to afford the more expensive model with the larger engine and 16 inch wheels. For the same price as my Focus, I would have ended up with a slower Matrix with the awful dog dish hubcaps. My coworkers Matrix with the XRS package looks much better. SO for the price, the ZX5 has excellent value. It also has more headaches than a Japanese car, sadly....
Oct 30, 2002 (8:15 pm)
I wish Toyota would stop using those awful, disgusting, ugly, cheap wheel covers they use.
All Matrix have the 16" rims though, even with the dog dishes. For mine, I had to have alloys...
I know there have been some recalls for your ZX5, but has it been a problem with breakdowns, or just with going back to the dealer? Or was it a different headache of which you spoke?
Oct 31, 2002 (7:41 am)
there have been no recalls for the ZX5.
Mine has been fine by the way.
#13 of 16 Recalls and the Focus
Oct 31, 2002 (3:22 pm)
If you have a 2000 model year Focus you have had 8 or 9 recalls.
If you have a 2001 model year you have had had 3 recalls
If you have a 2002 (like mine) you have had zero, except for a very, very small one.
If you have a model year 2000 BMW X5 you have had 11 recalls. Which is more known to be unreliable, the Focus or the X5?
Anyway, mine has had very minor issues. Interior trim that is misaligned or broke, and a possible steering problem. No car is perfect, thousands of parts to put together. I have not had anything happen with my Focus that will lead me to believe it won't start, will catch fire, or leave me on the side of the highway. Overall I am exceptionally pleased.
The biggest problem I can tell from the Ford Focus Forum I participate in is dealer service. Ford has a long way to go with customer service. Any problem a car has is better served by the way the dealer handles it, and I have heard many stories of the dealers not fixing, returning the car with more dents and dings, and one girl had her Focus lost and then it was in an accident at the dealers hands...
#14 of 16 High Performance Taurus
Oct 31, 2002 (6:39 pm)
I am the owner of a 03 Mustang Gt, I have been told by people that when they want I high performace sports sedan, Ford or GM do not offer anything. I was just wondering if this is true? I know the GTO will be coming out from Pontiac later, that should be a performance sedan. I like the Taurus, should Ford offer a high performance model like they used to, the old SHO?