I'm thinking about getting a 2006 Focus ZX4. I've done a lot of research
and it seems like it a pretty decent car, especially for the money. The
only other Ford I've had was a 1991 Escort, and I loved it. Right now I
drive a 1999 VW Jetta and can't stand it any longer. Too many repairs.
Anyway, I'm wondering what other people think about the 2006 model.
Anything I should think about before making a purchase that might not be in
a review? The other cars I have looked at is a Toyota Corolla, and a Mazda
3. Both of those are more expensive I think.
Also, I've been looking at many different dealer websites and have not found
very many cars (maybe 1 out of 15) that have a manual transmission, which is
what I want. Any reason for that?
Another thing I've thought about is possibly ordering a Focus to make sure I
get what I want. I've never done that before, so I don't know what to
expect. Is there an added cost to ordering? Approximately how long would
Thanks for any help advice you guys can offer.
I've got a '01 ZTS with manual. It's fun. The prevelance of auto
transmissions is just American buyer preferences. Fewer folks seem to want a
stick these days. Check around and you'll see many new cars that don't even
have stick available. One upside, assuming most aren't urban legends, is
that many car thieves can't drive stick!
Shouldn't be a problem if you can wait for it. Although it's also possible
that if you tell a dealer exactly what you want even if it isn't on his
lot--he may be able to find one elsewhere in the state and get it for you.
My '01 was made near the end of the "Focus problem era" so I did have
issues (failed fuel pump, water in the passenger foot-well, failed emissions
system solenoid) but I think problems are fewer now so I would not consider
an extended warranty on an '06. I'm not sure what's "standard" these days,
but I would suggest you make sure you get side air bags, ABS brakes, cruise
control and whatever else you consider valuable. If the '06s are like mine,
be careful with the fuel filler door which is all plastic and more likely to
snap off than one with a metal hinge.
PS--what wheels/tires will this have? Note that if it's a 205/50/16,
replacement tire options will be fewer and prices will be higher than with a
15" wheel. Also, if you live with snow & ice in winter, the wide tires
aren't as good as getting spare winter wheels/tires in a compatible 14" or
15" size. The 205/50/16s also will be damaged more easily if/when you hit a
curb or other road hazard...
The mazda 3 is a superior vehicle built with a similar engine (expect
with variable valve timing). The Corolla most certainly is not a POS,
not sure why you'd even say this. It is not a car for those who want a
sporty drive, but in terms of power it is very similar to the Focus
with a 2.0 engine, and gets way better mileage. Handling is completely
acceptable and safe (can't say the same for my focus). There is a
reason why the Corolla has a reputation for quality and reliabilty as
well. The focus has a reputation of being not so reliable and of
inferior quality - something mirrored well in my 2001 focus. Hopefully
this new generation of Foci (05+) are much better.
The Mazda 3 is a Focus. (Actually 2nd generation platform, the same as the
NOT! Have you driven a Corolla???? Not sporty? and yet you think it's
similar in power to the Focus?????
I took a '04 Corolla out for a week drive when my Focus was disabled after
an SUV hit me. During a light rain, where my Focus could handle curves
with ease, the Corolla was breaking free and gave almost no feedback to me.
In other words, I could not feel the road. Where I could go 120+ kph with
the Focus, I had to slow down to 60 with the Corolla as it floated above
the road. To me that is ONE HELL OF A SERIOUS HANDLING PROBLEM! Review
after review I've read backs up my assessment. Whether it is the tires or
the general setup of the car, or more likely both. The only person who
could love such handling is an 80 yr old fogey. Sure it would soak up the
bumps but only to the degree that I didn't feel the road at all. Fit/finish
on the car was comparable to the Focus but a few things like driver
position and visibility are definitely inferior. The Corolla is a bit
heavier than the Focus and has a smaller less powerful engine - therefore
in a direct comparison the Focus is faster and more agile. The Corolla I
drove had the SAME real world mileage not "way better mileage" despite it's
smaller engine. (I get 37-44 miles per imperial gal highway with the
People also have a habit of negativity about NA designed cars in general -
over and beyond actual facts and figures about reliability. In other words
people opinions don't affect the reality. If "foreign" designed cars are
so reliable then perhaps you could help explain why in my jurisdiction, the
Focus is the cheapest car to insure despite having a higher than average
population of youthful drivers.
The next gen Foci??? You mean the Euro version or the Mazda/Volvo
Actually the Focus has been on the recommended list 5 years running by
Consumers Report, only the 2000 has received a non-recommended rating. The
reliability factor is directly traceable to the fact that Ford didn't
assign enough engineers to revise the car when porting it from Europe. The
NA design had an entirely different drivetrain, different passenger
compartment protection, different bumpers, different paint, different
interior materials, etc. In addition the German design/British engineering
didn't factor in the extremes in weather experienced by Canadian users
which led to further issues. Since Ford applied more engineers and fixed
the problems, the model has experienced few and fewer problems through it's
history, with the 2003 versions and beyond are above average in
I will attest to this from personal experience. I have owned a Buicks, a
'98 ZX2, '00 Focus sedan, '03 Focus (until the incident with the SUV), and
my current '04 ZX5. Same drive train in each. No problems with the
Escort, a series of problems with the '00 and nothing on the 2 newer
versions. I also drive on a regular basis Sebrings/Taurus/Hyundai/Altimas
as part of company's pool vehicles while the Altima feels very much like a
slightly more sophisticated version of the Focus. The other cars are just
basic transportation - the Corolla falls in the same class.
On Sat, 22 Apr 2006 11:35:03 -0400, "Patrick Bennington"
I went from a 1997 Escort LX 5spd to a 2005 Focus ZX4 5spd. The Escort
was a great car. I averaged about 35 mpg and *never* had to repair it
in the 148k miles I owned it.
I have 14k miles on the Focus and love it so far. It is much peppier
than the Escort and has a more "sporty" suspension. It is a lot of fun
to drive; almost as much fun as the TR4 I had many years ago in
college. Gas mileage is averaging 29 mpg. A little disappointing, but
expected given the performance.
I have a 2001 Focus ZTS and it has been not been very reliable.
If you search the web you will find that some of the problems with Ford had
with the early Focus are still reoccurring. The other problem with Ford
products is that Ford does not stand behind their products especially the
early models. The Ford Focus also depreciates like a brick within 28 months.
If you do decide to buy you need to make sure that you have a good dealer.
You might want to consider a Honda Civic. Honda offers a lot more for the
money, has a higher safety rating because of the extra air bags, very good
fuel mileage and its styling make the Ford Focus look like a granny.
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