2003 vs 2004

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I am looking at buying a used Focus for a new driver in the household.
We are looking at the 2003's and 2004's. Are they basically the same??
With having seen many discussions on recalls in 2001 and 2002, was 2003 a
lot better and is 2004 even more so in that regard?
Thanks, Larry
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I presume you are in North America. Most of the problems were in 2000 models, fewer in 2001 and by 2002 they were basically resolved. 2003 and 2004 models are very similar, although I have seen comments (i.e. Edmonds) that the 2004 models rode a little better. Quality should be about the same. How the individual car has been treated is more important.
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wrote

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Hi Larry. It's worth remembering that even on the 2000 models, not all recalls effected all vehicles. I have a 2000 wagon, and many of the recalls didn't pertain to it. Those that did, were taken care of by the dealer during regular service visits.
Rob
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wrote

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Why would you want to buy a vehicle that has had so many problems. The 2003 models still have some of the same problems as the earlier models. These Ford Focus depreciate like a brick falling into water. The residual value on a Ford focus after 3 years of ownership in 28% on what it cost new.
Do yourself a favour and buy a Toyota Corolla or a Honda Civic. These cars are more reliable, better engineered, better made, get better gas mileage and will hold value.
Am I biased, yes I am. Over the years I have had many Ford Products, and then quality was job one. Fords new slogan "the buck is job one, to hell with quality and reliability." I purchased a 2001 Ford Focus ZTS, new. I have had numerous ignition lock failures, recalls and problems galore for suspension, steering ,electrics, parts falling off, paint peeling from hood and roof,. I have had to put up with lousy gas mileage, suspension that goes bong ever so often, and many front brake pad replacements. This from a car that I baby. My next car is not going to be a Ford.
You should buy a Focus then you can suffer with the rest of us.
I am looking at buying a used Focus for a new driver in the household.
We are looking at the 2003's and 2004's. Are they basically the same??
With having seen many discussions on recalls in 2001 and 2002, was 2003 a lot better and is 2004 even more so in that regard?
Thanks, Larry
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Most problems seem to effect North American Cars European Focus seem much better put together and more reliable.
So I would buy one from Europe (Thats over the other side of the Atlantic) :)

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That's not what all the major consumer and automotive publications say. Nor is it the experience of most of the participants in this newsgroup.
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Dave. Isn't this our same, tiresome troll raising his ugly head again? Not worth the effort...
Rob
------------------------
"Dave Gower" wrote ...

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MD wrote:

How do you know this? Do you drive a 2003? Have you experienced the same problems?

> a Ford focus after 3 years of ownership in 28% on what it cost new.
I didn't know people bought cars to invest. Personally, I buy a car not for its monetary value, but because I expect it to take me places.
But okay, let's put these numbers of yours into perspective. If we take the cost of a 2004 Ford Focus SE Sedan and run it through Kelley Bluebook, the predicted depreciation of this car will be around $10,000 over five years.
Now let's do the same for competing cars. Well, gee. For comparably-priced and classed Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki and even Kia cars, the five-year depreciation values all end up being within between $8,500 to $10,000, with an uneven spread that leans more to the $10,000 end.
So yes, a comparable car might depreciate slightly less percentage-wise, but only because you're paying more for the car overall, particularly on foreign cars that offer no rebate incentives or lower percentage financing. The real monetary, numeric value of that depreciation is still about the same.

Thanks for admitting so. :)
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I am not going to dispute your figures because we do not use the Kelly Bluebook in Canada. A 2001 Ford Focus ZTS purchased for approximately 23,000CDN(tax etc inc) after 3 years of ownership, with 60,000km is worth $8100CDN. That is the book price I recieved from a professional auto appraisal company. (After a lot of shopping around and within a $200, it really was about the best price I could get for it no matter what I was buying).
At this time in the local paper a Ford Focus ZTS 2001 with an average 75,000km on it is showing an asking price of between $8200-9500. Where the rub come is that if you are in a wreck, the insurance company will generally only pay out the book price on the car.If you have it financed or leased you are on the hook for the delta.
In comparison a 2001 Toyota Corolla or Honda Civic (comparably equipped, and sold for the about the same price as the Focus, using the same mileage - because the mileage is the figure which sets the "condition") will have a book price of $12000cdn and a asking price of $14000 and up.
The Jap cars or Rice burners or what ever you call them are made in Canada and the U.S. by north American workers and for some reason do not appear to have the same on going problems that the ""domestics"" do. (domestics is an oxymoron, oops! should not say that, someone on this newsgroup might think I am referring to them!!))
MD wrote:

How do you know this? Do you drive a 2003? Have you experienced the same problems?

> a Ford focus after 3 years of ownership in 28% on what it cost new.
I didn't know people bought cars to invest. Personally, I buy a car not for its monetary value, but because I expect it to take me places.
But okay, let's put these numbers of yours into perspective. If we take the cost of a 2004 Ford Focus SE Sedan and run it through Kelley Bluebook, the predicted depreciation of this car will be around $10,000 over five years.
Now let's do the same for competing cars. Well, gee. For comparably-priced and classed Chevrolet, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, Suzuki and even Kia cars, the five-year depreciation values all end up being within between $8,500 to $10,000, with an uneven spread that leans more to the $10,000 end.
So yes, a comparable car might depreciate slightly less percentage-wise, but only because you're paying more for the car overall, particularly on foreign cars that offer no rebate incentives or lower percentage financing. The real monetary, numeric value of that depreciation is still about the same.

Thanks for admitting so. :)
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Our version is the Red Book, see http://www.canadianredbook.com/default.asp

What rubbish. I just did a sort on the online Auto Trader. There's 54 listings in Ontario for 2001 ZTS models. They range from $15,000 down, with very few under $9500. The median (i.e. midpoint) value is about $12,000. And with the 2005s out now, a 2001 is four model years old not three.
You may or may not be a troll, but you certainly are a liar.
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In rebuttal of your unkind remark. I will stand to correct you once again.
My posting was correct and not a"lie" as you assert.
Maybe you should buy your cars in this part of the Canada and not in Ontario.
I to did a search on Auto Trader.ca and the prices you obtained appear to be Retail prices from Ontario Dealers .
I would have thought that you would have gone down to your local Ford Dealer and asked them what they would give you in a trade for your Focus. because that's the "REAL" book price.
But it does not matter what you call me. I ponder whether it has it ever crossed your mind that there is are places outside of Ontario?? And Prices of items might be different in those places. I guess not.
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That's not what you said in your post. You said "asking price in the papers". Those are equivalent to Auto Trader prices. And there are no substantial regional differences in used car prices. There's too many people willing to transport cars from one region to another.
As a matter of fact, I did recently have a conversation with my dealer about the value of my car. They quoted me a value pretty much in line with what I see in the Auto Trader.
You are a phoney. You know very little about cars or the car market. I doubt you are a Canadian, or a Focus owner, or maybe even old enough to have a driver's license. You and your "friends" are fooling no one here. Get lost..
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Sorry you've had problems. My 03 ZTW runs like a top--I only got 10k miles on it, though. When I went shopping for a new car, I wanted one that is safe, had the features I want, looked WAY better than a Corolla or Civic, handled WAY better (in dry and rain and snow) than a Corolla or Civic and got a deal WAY better than a Corolla or a Civic. I'm happy so far and so is Momma. Problems? Zero. I aint suffering.
--
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"Just drive, baby"
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I've had a '03 and '04 ZX5. The differences are minimal - mostly cosmetic. Ford saved the major revisions for the 2005 model.
The only significant change - Pirelli P6 tires instead of the Firestones Firehawks. The Pirelli is a stable tire with predicatable feel and is probably better in snow and slush than the Firehawks judging by the way it handles in the rain. But note that P6s are prone to side wall blow outs for some reason.
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They are basically the same 2003 and 2004 but it's all based on options and models....for a new driver I'd go with all around airbags and ABS for the most safety but that would also depend on where you're located. If you want additional info you can email me as I've had a 2000 wagon I loved - even with all the problems and recalls of a first year model and I now have a 2003 ZX5 that I really love...so the problems didn't turn me off to them. My brother and my mother in law also got Focus based on my experience with the cars and love theirs - they have a 2000 4dr. sedan and my brother I think has a 2001 3 or 4 dr...I forget. So ask me what you need to.... Later - Linda
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Hi Linda, thanks for the info. You sound very happy with your Focus (as did many others). Glad to hear it.
My family went shopping yesterday (again) for cars and took out the Focus for another drive.
We really liked it. Unfortunately, we came up with an issue for her. She is 4'9" and that creates some interesting ergonometric quandries. In the case of the Focus, the back end kind of sweeps up and is raised up in a rounded way. That hump creates a pretty significant blockage for her rear view. That made her uncomforatable (as it did me). So, after some discussion last night, we are just going to have to pass on the Focus for this round. Otherwise, we found it to be a fine little car. I thought it drove really well.
Thanks a lot for your input and that of all the others in this thread. This one certainly got interesting (as they often do).
Larry
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Just because she's vertically challenged (I have shorter friends too) doesn't mean you need to rule out the Focus...there is a good way to adjust your mirrors to compensate for it. Even though I'm almost 5'9" I have problems...if you want to know what the "secret" is let us know...I know there are people on here that can explain it better than I do - I even got my husband to do it. You do know HOW adjustable the seats are too don't you ??? My brother is 6' 5" and my husband is 5' 6" and the car is comfortable for both... Linda
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You might want to check the rear visibility of the different body styles (sedan, hatchback, wagon). Sometimes, the different rear window shapes can change the rear visibility significantly (this goes for any car).
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