My Mexican-built 2001 yellow manual-shift ZX3 was my first "American-label"
car after owning a variety of Hondas, Toyotas, and VWs. I bought it
because I liked the reviews I'd seen of its handling. A 230-mile drive
from the New York area to the Washington area last night, roughly 10 PM to
2 AM along I-95, normally the East Coast's most congested highway, was such
a joy it again validated this Ford purchase.
This time I was once more impressed with the acceleration, steering and
handling... even navigating construction area single-lanes hemmed in on
both sides by concrete barriers, like a toboggan chute. I could roar
straight down the middle at high speed with nary a concern about bumping
the sides. As other traffic became sparse, the ZX3 sprinted effortlessly,
easily taking in stride occasional passing spurts at 85 to 90 MPH. At no
time did the car feel it was straining or becoming unpredictable. I've
never owned 6 cylinders or any kind of sporty car (except for a Civic SI)
but the Focus simply feels great, despite being just a cheap Ford. And the
driving position adjustments are superb.
My only regret is that in 2001 the ZX5 was not yet available here, as it
would have provided easier access to the rear seat, especially for my dog.
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Charles Gillen -- Reston, Virginia, USA
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