Focus opinion

Well I am down to the 2006 Focus Wagon or the Toyota Matrix, Pontiac Vibe is the same car. any opinions, will the new Focus's go the distance, are they as reliable. any input will be appreciated.
thanks Chet
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chet wrote:

been quite reliable and aside from replacing brakes and tires it has been flawless. Would I buy another Focus? Maybe not. The Toyota has an appealing style, great reputation and does just about everything a Focus does and gets better gas mileage. I'd opt for the Matrix (or Vibe).
Ron
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Some comments: -You might also compare these to a Mazda 3 -I found that even a fully loaded ZX5 or ZXW version of the Focus will be about $3k (US) cheaper than the Japanese cars. This is significant in a car in this price range. The Japanese makes dont discount much and Ford has incentives. - The Matrix has significantly worse handling and poorer rear seat ride comfort than the Ford or Mazda - The Matrix will get better fuel economy than the other two. (Work it out on an annual basis based on your expected mileage. This may offset the initial cost difference). - Resale value is better in a Japanese car than the Ford or Pontiac. Not a factor if you keep your car a long time.
In summary, - if you want a sporty car and dont care too much about the initial and fuel cost, consider the Mazda. - if you want a high quality, versatile vehicle and dont mind the ride and handling, the Matrix would be good, especially if the fuel savings offset the intial cost difference. - if they want the best 'value' in a terrific handling /riding car (but with only reasonable fuel economy), the Focus ZX5 or wagon is a great deal in a now reliable car. It puts a smile on your face when you drive it.
-Garyz
chet wrote:

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Garyz
I appreciate you input on these cars, I always had the Focus in mind till I read to check out the Matrix or the Vibe, I will look at the Mazda 3, not sure if it will have the room I am after, I probably will never have the rear seat occupied, so they will be down 90% of the time, I am into shooting sports, I need the lenght for rifle cases, ect. that was one of the reasons I had the Focus in mind, I need room, the Matrix just barley cuts it, but the economy gets me leaning towards the Matrix, but I will check out the Mazda 3.
thank you Chet
garyz wrote:

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If you want a roomy car, check out the Scion XB. It's very small on the outside, but really huge on the inside, and has lots of good features as standard that you have to pay extra for in the Focus and Matrix. Also gets great mileage. I think the front seats in both the Scion and the Matrix fold flat for longer loads. If the decision is between the Focus and the Matrix, then I'd personally pick the Focus because it has more room, and I think it has a 100,000 mile warranty this year. I drove both (back in 2004) and ended up with the Focus, partly because the Focus had more incentives that more than paid for any gas savings I'd ever realize with the Matrix. I didn't get the wagon, though, the wife liked the ZX5 better and the car is mostly for her.
John
chet wrote:

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I like the looks of the XB but does it get out of its own way? Not many horses under the hood.
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In alt.autos.ford.focus EOO <whereeverforever.com>:

Never heard, from searching it looks pretty ugly. Think I'd charge them for driving it.;) The 108 hp should be enough to get it moving, even if 1.5l sound like you'd need to rev up high to go a little faster.
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Michael
I did some research on the Scion XB on the newsgroups, I hear they are not getting the fuel mileage as rated and the 1.5 engine, I really don't want an engine that small, to be honest the 1.8 engine in the Matrix dosen't really excite me, I can get my with it, it does get good mileage, and the only thing about the Focus is I have in the back of my mind is, can it be as reliable as the Matrix, and it is $1000 more to purchase over the Matrix, and I was hoping Ford didn't drop the Employee programs. the Matrix will run me $15,776 plus $700.00 for the additional 6yrs, 75,000 mile bumper to bumper Platunum warranty, If Ford had their programs on I could make out better. I stopped and looked at a Focus wagon SE dealer sticker was $18,385.00 his final price was $17,000 so I am between a rock and a hard plate, I like the Matrix (Toyota reliability) and it mileage, plus I like the Focus for it extra room. plus I hear Focus's have has their headaches, and I do hear they are supposed to be much better these days (I hope they are) any opinions, and does someone know if it is possible any discounts comming real soon on the Focus's
Chet
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Dunno, had no big problems with mine (2l wagon Ghia - 1999), bought it used in 2001. From reading here for some time, the European Focus, like mine seems to be better quality and better fitting.
Dislike the new design, looks like a big step backwards letting the Focus look like most other cars in the size.
Concerning fuel economics, tried a bit harder and got now 27mpg out of mine with A/C running mostly. IMHO 31mpg could be possible but there won't be much fun driving left.
Had a look at some alternatives regarding fuel usage, the latest oil price raise, seems to have dropped up prices for used 3l (78mpg) VW Lupo tremendously. In real live the car uses about 2.5l/100km (94mpg) diesel! You can't get this special 3l model new anymore.
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EOO wrote:

power to do the job, but they recommend the stick shift version to get the most out of the engine. It's the same engine that's used in the Toyota Echo, which is one of the highest MPG gas cars available. Most of the mileage reports on the tests have been pretty close to the EPA numbers, with some tests actually beating the EPA numbers. Consumers Reports had a list of gas guzzlers in the current months edition, and the Scion made it in two categories, and this was based on actual tests. I think if you want quick acceleration, you wouldn't like the Scion XB or the Toyota Matrix, especially in automatic versions. On the other hand, my Focus accelerates faster than my V-8 pickup, but it has the 2.3 engine. My 2.0 engine in my Ford Escape was peppy, but I had stick shift, which makes the most out of small engines, and that got about 28 MPG on the Interstate.
John
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JPH wrote:

Oops, I meant gas misers, not gas guzzlers. Another interesting car that just came to my attention yesterday in 2 magazines I subscribe to is the new Mazda 5. http://www.channel4.com/4car/road-tests/M/mazda/505-/505-.html It's a mini-minivan in the same price range as similarly equipped Focus and Matrix, available with 2.3 litre engine and 5 speed (or 4 spd auto), and has seating for six via 3 rows of bucket seats. Those last 2 rows fold flat. Also has a 3000 pound tow rating which I find curious since my 2.3 litre Ford Focus only has a 1000 pound tow rating. I wonder if Ford will be coming out with a similar car soon, since they share a lot with Mazda?
John
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Could it be that the Focus numbers are for trailer without breaks and the 3000 for trailer with breaks?
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Michael Heiming wrote:

love to tow my 1780 GVWR pop-up camper with it (it has plenty of power), but don't want to risk the liability or the warranty by exceeding the manufacturers limits. It seems the American car manufacturers tow ratings go down more every year. Don't know if it's liability problems, or the cars just aren't up to the task. Even the Hyundai Elantra is rated to tow 3086 pounds with it's 2 litre engine.
John
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Re Re: Focus opinion:

Around here in Northwest Alabama (U.S.A) the Toyota & Nissan dealers mark the cars up *above* sticker by adding several pissant "dealer installed options" such as a undercoat ($300) and charging inflated prices for the option. You pay the price or you walk. I walked out.
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Before you buy a Focus you should take look at the new 2006 Honda Civic SI, that is a smart looking car. The Focus is a good car in Europe (its made in Spain) but the north American ones are crap. They still have reoccurring problems , same problems as the earlier models.(check the internet).
These car also depreciated in value like a brick into a river. If you plan to keep the car for 10 years its not a problem. but if it gets written off or you need to sell it within 3-5 years you take a really big hit financially compared to Honda, Toyota or Nissan.
I have a 2001 Focus, lots of problems and Ford has really not stepped up to the plate with fowled ignition locks, brakes, and emission problems. Fords customer service is outsourced so you do not get much support from them - they just punt you back to the dealer if you have unresolved problems. The 100,000 power train warranty only covers the basics, it does not cover suspension etc. like the 3 JAmerican makes or the 10 year 100000 warranty from the Korean manufactures.
Its your money but there are better cars out there with more value for the buck.
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Uh, no except for a few posts by negativist campaigners like you the evidence on the Internet and elsewhere is overwhelmingly that since 2002 the Focus has quality fully competitive with other cars in its size and price range. Which leaves things like comfort, handling, fun to drive and that's where it win hands down, in my opinion.
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wrote:

Germany, England and Russia almost produce Focus.
-Nick
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