Re: Should I buy a Focus?

My wife and I have a 2001 SE Wagon with the 2.0 Zetec engine. In the two years we have owned it, the Focus has served us reliably. We special ordered our wagon with the manual transmission and that makes it a lot of
fun for me to drive, the wife doesn't like the manual so much. Positive comments: - The gas mileage is great. Power is ample, even with a canoe loaded on top. - Best bang for the buck for a wagon in its class, although the Suzuki is worth looking into from what I have heard. - Handles very well, even when avoiding road objects at 100kph which we unfortunately had to experience. - Lots of cargo room in the wagon.
Negative comments: - The seats are very poor, they hurt my back on extended trips. We will probably replace them when our finances improve. - The air conditioning can be a bit smelly when you initially turn it on/off. - Low end torque leaves a bit to be desired.
Minor problems so far. A couple of engine sensors died making the car feel like it was missing and hesitating. Both times the dealer fixed it up under warranty no problems. At two years old we are happy with our purchase and unless there is a time bomb somewhere in the vehicle, we will continue to be happy for then next six or so. We feel we got our moneys worth.
Try and get the Zetec, the SPI will probably dissapoint you and may be the source of many of the issues that are out there. Had we not wanted a wagon, in all honesty we would have looked at a Honda Civic.
Tim.

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As far as reliability goes, it depends on the individual vehicle.
There may be 5 hondas on the lot. 1 will be trouble free for years. 3 may have minor problems, and yes, 1 may be a lemon. If you get that one lemon, well...........
I like my SE Sedan because it's just great, and made in the USA. I can get parts for it too. Got a good dealer too. Price was right.
The Honda and Toyota dealers wanted me to think it was a priviledge to just look at their cars, and then pay top price. No thanks. Just wait until the first good repair bill for a Japanese car comes.

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Two points I can address maybe...as far as the A/C being smelly you can either use Frigi-fresh from the dealer or use Lysol in the fresh air intake right in front of the driver side - on the outside...there's open spaces there...you should have your A/C running normally when you do that - then turn off the engine for a while. As far as the seats have you tried to adjust them ??? I've put mine all the way up and down...and tried different settings and think they're OK now - but it did take a while...the seats in the ZX5 are much more supportive though than my wagon was. Have fun... Linda
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I have a 2001 Zetec hatchback (3dr, 2.0i) and IMHO it's a great car.
I believe the suspension on this model is slightly stiffer than standard and it handles really well, plus it has traction control and ESP. Also, it has more supportive seats than the base models which I find really comfortable.
One thing that really impressed me though was the amount of rear seat headroom; I am 6'2" and with the driver's seat set in the position I have it for driving, I can comfortably sit in the back of the car.
My only gripe is that the fuel economy is not great - I only get around 32 miles to the gallon (UK gallon), but then that's probably due to my driving style. By comparison, my 2.0 Sierra with 135000 miles on the clock would give 35mpg+.
Overall, I'm very happy with my Focus, which I have now had for two years
Tim

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