How is focus quality now?

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Considering a 2003 ZTW wagon and wondering if 2003 is a good year. Google found lots of problems for earlier years, so I'm a bit nervous about the quality.
TIA F.Plant
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We bought a 2002 ZTW a year ago last June. It now has 22k miles on it and we have had no problems. None. Zip. Nada. With all the rebates, discounts and incentives now is a good time to buy: Before word gets around that, CU and other naysayers notwithstanding, Focus is a quality car, and the price goes up.
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If you don't mind me asking if you get the dealer to move much on the msrp? Just wondering if the reputation is still bad if they might be a bit eager to dicker to get an August sale.
F. Plant
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Thanks for taking the time for the report.
F.Plant
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Would be more concerned about depreciation. Even with large rebates, you'll probably be backwards on the deal as soon as you drive off the lot. John Cairns

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On Sun, 17 Aug 2003 01:45:00 -0400, "John Cairns"

Um, you are "backwards on the deal" as soon as you drive any car off the lot. Anybody that says different is just kidding themselves...
Jon
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Focus is crap, friend just picked up a brand new 2003 Focus wagon, defective right off the lot. The rear fold down seat wasn't even properly bolted in. The doors feel light and tinny and overall the car feels cheap. On the bright side, it sure hell is roomy, has a nice upright driving position, I wish like hell ford would get its quality in line as I would snap one up in a heartbeat. Ford has to fire a few of its marketing staff to make room for more engineers.

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"F. Plant" wrote:

What I found helpful was to research problems reported not only for the model I wanted, but for several other models produced by the same manufacturer, and doing the same for each make/model I was interested in. It gave me a very good idea what problems appear to be found with many/most new cars (the short lifespan of brakes in modern cars is a good example), what problems seemed to be prevalent across a manufacturer's product lines (for instance, certain generic Ford problems seem to be problems with tailgate/hatchback rust, ignition cylinders going bad, failure to start or to suddenly stall), and basically what to expect.
After comparing problems across product lines and against rival products, you're in a better position to decide what problems you can deal with (at least by knowing what to watch for) and how many problems you'd be willing to possibly have to deal with.
And you may decide that the later-model Focuses look pretty typical in the problems area after comparing them to comparable models by other manufacturers.
HellT
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Just a personal opinion but I think it has to do a little bit with, for lack of a better word, luck. I have a 2000 ZTS and have had no problems with it except for the recalls. But there are others that have been in and out of the dealer with the same model for major problems. When buying a used car then your at the mercy of what the previous owner did to it, but if your looking at a brand new 2003 I suspect it's a little bit of luck of the draw.
--Mike
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Go to the library or check at newstand for Consumer Reports magazine new car issue. They have ratings on vehicles by year broke down by engine, tranny, electrical, a/c, etc. CR usually is pretty accurate.
Rich

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Not accurate and VERY prejudiced about the Focus...everyone reports good experiences with 2001 and up models but they then state "due to substandard quality issues with the 2000 models we can't recommend it" How long are they going to penalize Ford for a first year model ??? Give me a break...Linda
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Linda: You got that right! Strange, last I looked, they had a black check mark next to the Focus, which they elsewhere explain, means average. But then in their review,they just repeat what they said the year before about reliability. So far, based on our '02 ZTW, I'd say the Focus is more reliable than Consumer Reports!

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If you check model years other than 2000, Focus rates as well as a Honda Civic (not sure that's a plus, really). No idea why they don't bother mentioning this in the text. I *think* they don't recommend Focus because they have insufficient data for 2002 & 2003 (whatever that means). Curious since there were plenty sold for those years and you'd think they'd have the returns from 2002, at least, tabulated. They could and should explain much better how they arrive at their decisions. In any case, some part of their ratings is based on their test drive which is subjective and I frequently disagree.
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As accurate as can be expected under the circumstances. I have been a subscriber for 6? years, every year we get a survey to fill out, which we never have, of course. Quality ratings are assigned based on the surveys. Whom would be more likely to fill out such a survey, satisfied or dissatisfied customers? How many Focus owners subscribe to CR and fill out the reports? John Cairns
wrote:

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I've got a 2003 Focus ST (European 173bhp model) with only about 1000 miles to the clock (got it about a month ago). Though it's too early to draw any conclusions, it feels taut and well-built. I used to have an Audi A3, which produced far more chassis squeaks that the ST and generally didn't impress me much. Only ST problem so far is a rattle that seems to be coming from the rear door or possibly the front passenger-side seatbelt housing (mine is a 5-door hatch). Guess I'll let the dealer have a look at it when i have the car serviced.
In the end, it's a thrill to drive and with a 3-year warranty I should be well covered anyway.

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It's worth noting that the European Focus has been near the top of the pile in quality surveys since its introduction, so it would appear that it did not suffer the same teething pains as the North American Focus anyway. I've had my Focus TDCi Estate (wagon) for a month now, and 2000 km, and so far have no problems with only two minor "annoyances". There is a quiet rattle in the instrument panel which sometimes occurs at 60kph, sometimes doesn't happen. It's hard to detect over ambient noise. Also, the 50 cent plastic piece in the glovebox which holds the owner's manual in place snapped off, but that's partly due to my ham-fistedness. Other than that, smooth sailing and smiles all around with the performance, smoothness, fit, finish etc. I was initially surprised to see that the (Swiss at least) Focus is not fully undercoated, with some bare painted metal in the wheelwells and down the center tunnel, but having crawled under several on the lot, it's clearly intentional and not a Monday-morning oversight. Time will tell if this makes a difference for the galvanized chassis, but it has a 12-year warranty agains corrosion.
Stephen
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Thanks for all the feedback. Rented a focus and was happy with how it drove etc, but can see they have cut some corners on body construction. Didn't like the low metal lines under the LH front corner as they look like they could be easily damaged. Same for bottom pulley.
F. Plant
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Just picked up my 03 ZTW yesterday. Perfect so far, three comments: Came with Pirelli P6s--pleasant surprise Came with cross racks--pleasant surprise DRLs were off--will turn them on
Will chime in when I can do some serious driving/evaluation.
--
Rick Rivard (via Arizona)

"F. Plant" < snipped-for-privacy@spam.spam> wrote in message
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Ooops, no DRLs available on non-fleet Foci--Ford so silly...
--
Rick Rivard (via Arizona)

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Don't buy a Focus! We have a 2001 ZTS and it has been repainted 4 times by our local Ford Dealer. There was rust on the trunk and doors and we have now found it under the hood as well. Ford knows this is a problem and has not done a recall, thank goodness we are still under warranty. The dealer was not helpful and did a terrible job of painting, I don't know how they are still in business. We have looked around in used car lots and found that all Focus in for sale had this problem....I wish that we could put a class action suit against Ford . Since we bought this car 2 years ago the price has gone down to $8000.00 for a trade in and we can not lose that much money on a trade in on a new car - NORTH AMERICAN vehicles no more.

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