I have a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 (not the best year for this model). It has
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).
And it really doesn't matter if
I'm wrong I'm right
-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.
- 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.
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.
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
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.
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
Michael Heiming wrote:
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
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
Most of the tests I've read on the Scion Xb comment that it has enough
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.
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.
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?
Focus is limited to 1000 pounds in the USA, with or without breaks. I'd
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
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.
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.
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
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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