Tag: Focus

By on March 8, 2012

 

Zach writes:

Dear Sajeev and Steve,
My wife has recently started insisting (more along the lines of demanding) that I get a new(er) car.  While the junkyard gem 97 civic has only served me about a year, it has only cost me $1000 total.  With 270k on the odometer and counting, it is really starting to show its age but runs 80 down the road with cold air and no issues.  I drive 130 miles round trip everyday with practically all of it on the interstate.  The civic gets 34-38 mpg which is the part I like, but I am starting to question the reliability.

So now I am looking for a good commuter car.  The only option that I am dead set on is cruise control for the obvious reason.  While initially an 08 Impreza hatch grabbed my attention, 26 mpg was unacceptable for me.  So now I am left searching again.  I have test drove the Mazda2 and Fiesta and either would meet my needs as far as size goes.  They both seemed pretty peppy for all 100 hp.  I have plans to test drive an Accent but havent made it that far yet.

So now for the question, what else should I consider?  I have no issues with buying CPO or used.  We have an extra car in case something did happen to the civic so I am really in no hurry except for the nagging about how much dislike there is for the civic. (Read More…)

By on January 27, 2012


Bing writes:

I am a financially stable 27 year old engineer living in the Bay Area, where it seems BMWs and Audis are about as pedestrian as Camrys.  I’ve been getting the car itch, but I don’t like the idea of getting an entry level luxury car like everyone else.

Almost by accident, I stumbled upon the idea of buying a early 2000s Aston Martin DB7 Vantage Volante, which can be had in the low to mid $40s.  Aside from the car being gorgeous and powerful, I get to pretend that I’m not just another boring Silicon Valley yuppie (which, believe me, I am) while not being overly flashy (it’s old enough to have a “classic car” vibe).  Financially, I would also like to think it has steadied out in depreciation, and if I sell it a few years from now, I may be able to recoup more of my investment compared to getting a much newer car.  Finally, there’s something attractive about the idea of having your dream car while you’re young, rather than waiting until you’re 65.  So the question is: is this a stupid idea?

(Read More…)

By on December 14, 2011

 

Shawn writes:

Hey Sajeev and Steve,

I recently asked the Best and Brightest for help regarding my friend’s car buying dilema, but now I’m in one of my own! I am looking to get rid of my 2006 Mazda5 GT, which has been quite problematic. I can no longer tolerate the frequent trips to the shop. Its got about 125,000km on it, and I’ve been getting offers ranging from $6000-8000 for it on trade. The cars I am considering are in the compact to mid-size class, but there are benefits to each car, and I can’t seem to make up my mind. I am seeking a car with decent fuel economy that is fairly engaging to drive. However, I DO NOT want a harsh ride. The GTA is filled with pot holed roads, and I know the stiff ride would get tiresome. Manual transmission is preferred, but not necessary. I do carry four people occasionally, so cross out any coupes. On the Mazda I’ve taken quite a hit in the residual value, so this time around, I am looking to buy something that is a couple of years old. That way, someone else takes the largest depreciation hit. Here is the list so far:
By on November 2, 2011

Did you think $27k was a steep ask for a non-premium-brand compact car? How does a $40k Focus grab you? That’s a good four grand over what Nissan wants for a Leaf (and about $2k more than a loaded Leaf), and about $12k more than the Mitsubishi i (all before available tax credits). On the other hand, we don’t yet know if Ford can claim an EPA-certified range advantage over the Leaf (both Ford and Nissan initially claimed 100 miles, but the EPA dropped the Leaf to 73 miles). In any case, if you want the most expensive Focus ever built, or the first Blue Oval-badged plug-in, Ford’s started taking reservations online… but like any good insanely-expensive-for-what-it-is product, you need more than money to bring home an Electric Focus. Specifically, a little patience and an address in one of the following communities:

 Atlanta, Houston, Austin, Boston, Chicago, Denver, Detroit, Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, New York City, Orlando, Florida,Phoenix, Tucson, Portland (OR), Raleigh-Durham, Richmond, Virginia, Seattle, or Washington, D.C.

But only California and New York will get a Focus EV this year… the rest will be waiting until Q2 of next year. And the remainder of the US market could be waiting even longer, as Ford has not yet announced a full rollout date. But then, a little exclusivity never hurts when you get above the $40k price point.

 

By on August 8, 2011

You know it’s time to say “Toto, I don’t think we’re in traditional journalism any more” when fanboys get better access than industry rags. In a story picked up by Automotive News [sub], myfocuselectric.com commenter whitgallman showed the auto media what can be done if you just send a few emails… as long as you make it clear that you are only interested in buying a car, not embarrassing the program. Because then, instead of languishing in some disinterested inbox, your emails actually draw a response, like this from David Finnegan, Electrified Vehicles Marketing Manager at Ford:

For the first few months of production, we will be concentrating on California and New York. Our dealers in those areas will be the first to have their retail orders scheduled and receive the Focus electric. We will be rolling out to the remainder of our initial markets starting in spring 2012.

Well, that was news to Automotive News [sub], which had been told (along with everyone else) that the Focus Electric was supposed to launch in “late 2011″ in 19 US markets. So what happens to Focus EV intenders in Chicago, Detroit and Seattle (among others)? Per AN [sub]:

As for the rest of the country’s markets, no word yet from Ford, so the best advice is to be patient.

Uh-huh. We’ll send some emails ourselves, but we aren’t holding our breath for Ford to admit that, say, buying the Focus EV wholesale from a supplier may not have been a great idea. Or that there are problems with the batteries (again, hypothetically). But there I go thinking like a “traditional journalist” again…

By on August 8, 2011

When should a redesigned car get a new name? Whenever the old one wasn’t a success? Or virtually never? Can car companies count on the excellence of a new car to reverse whatever damage was done to the public perception of the model name in the past?

(Read More…)

By on August 1, 2011

As recounted in an earlier review, the new Focus in Titanium trim is good enough to justify a price tag over $27,000 for a compact Ford. But what if you don’t want to spend that much, or want a manual transmission, which is not available with the SEL or Titanium trim levels? How much do you give up with the SE? I requested a $21,380 Focus SE hatchback with the Sport Package to find out.

(Read More…)

By on July 25, 2011

 

 

TTAC Commentator tresmonos writes:

OK.  So I used to work for Ford and am now gainfully employed by them (again).  My dilemma is as follows:

I am rolling on a Z24 cavalier that I bought brand new in 2001.  It has 160K on the clock and the only thing I can see that’s wrong with it is a AC compressor that’s been on limp mode since 2007 (bearing), bad drum brakes due to my laziness (LMAO – SM), and interior fan’s lowest two resistors being shot.  The twin cam has a bad coil as it misses at idle, but I could care less.  The car’s exterior filth has literally out lasted my marriage. It’s been a hell of a financial savings for me.  But we all know the twin cam dream won’t last much longer.

I temporarily moved to SC and blew my car savings load on a 100% rust free 1984 lincoln continental turbo diesel.  I repainted it and have slaved over some wiring nightmares on it.  I’ve got 6K invested in the thing.  And I need a new mode of transportation.  Foolish purchase, I know… but if you would look at the clean, rust free body, and sit in that Corinthian plush leather seats whilst romping on the gas to behold two dual plumes of diesel particulate whooshing in the rear view, you’d understand.

(Read More…)

By on July 14, 2011
Animal...housed?

Animal...housed?

Brenden writes:

Sajeev and Steve,

My buddy is in college and needs a used set of wheels.  After 2 years of depending upon Baltimore’s awful public transportation system and the generosity of friends, roommates, frat brothers, and total strangers for car rides, his school work is starting to suffer and he’s decided to buy a car.  Unfortunately, his budget is about $2000.  His living situation and total lack of mechanical skills rule out anything German, Swedish, or otherwise maintenance intensive.

His criteria for the car are reliable/durable, fuel efficient, and cheap to run.  Working AC and heat would be a bonus, but he really only intends to drive the car about 15-20 minutes per day for school.  He has absolutely no pretensions about the car’s badge, perceived coolness, sporty driving dynamics, etc., but he probably won’t spring for a total crapcan like a metro or echo. Also, he’s currently unemployed, and I don’t think he intends to find a job due to his course load.
(Read More…)

By on May 4, 2011

Yes, this is a $27,340 Ford Focus. And nav would add another $795. How could a Ford Focus possibly be worth this much? Read on.

(Read More…)

By on October 17, 2010

TTAC tested the street version of this car a few years ago: check it out for a classic example of mid-RF-era TTAC reviews, complete with withering attention to interior-quality issues and not-so-gentle comments regarding the unwillingness of the average automaker to purchase a Ford.

At the time, the Focus sold for about fifteen grand. That was for the street car. How much does a racing Focus cost? The answer: One dollar. The answer is also $2500. And $6000. And $25,000. Confused yet?

(Read More…)

By on March 29, 2010

Here’s some encouragement for the folks freaking out about BMW’s front wheel drive heresy. Ford has found a way to make 345 horsepower work in an FWD chassis, shattering the conventional wisdom that 250 hp marks the reasonable limit for front-drive performance. Well, at least until the 500 lucky owners of this limited-edition mega-hatch start adding up their tire bills in a few years. According to Ford, the RS500 should be looking at a 5.6 second 0-60 time and a top speed of 163 mph. And no, you can’t order one at your Ford dealer in the US.

By on February 15, 2010

When GM axed four brands in bankruptcy, it seemed for one bright, shining moment that the era of America’s auto brand bloat was drawing to a close. No such luck. Both Chrysler and Ford passed up opportunities to hack off purposeless brands, and in doing so perpetuated some of the worst examples of brand engineering surviving in the US market. If there were one brand that needed the hatchet, it is and was Mercury. Now, after a decade of Jill Wagner-supplied life support, Ford is breaking the silence surrounding its entry-luxe brand, announcing that a Mercury-badged vehicle will be built “on the same platform” as the new Ford Focus. Put simply: the Mercury Tracer is coming back.
(Read More…)

By on January 11, 2010

2012 Ford Focus

When the Ford Focus first went on sale in the US, it was a rare glimpse for the still-SUV-centric US market at how the rest of the world gets from the Blue Oval. Of course, as time went by, Ford eased away from the Euro-funk of the first generation, first blandifying the model with a mid-cycle “refresh,” before eventually replacing it with the current embarrassment to the nameplate. And it’s not just the current model’s Mighty Morphin’ Power Rangers-meets-Pep Boys look that makes it unworthy of the Focus name: the whole idea behind the original Focus was the dream of a world car, that would be sold, largely unchanged, in markets around the world. With the 2012 model, now being previewed before the Detroit Auto Show [press release here], Ford has gone back to the model’s original vision.

(Read More…)

By on December 9, 2009

2009 Ford Focus CNG 018

Ten years ago I test drove the then new to North America Ford Focus ZTS. “Give it some gas,” the salesman prodded as we entered a freeway onramp. I showed her the whip. “Can you feel that,” he yelled enthusiastically over the buzz of the straining engine. “Well, it’s certainly making a lot of noise,” I thought, “but we don’t seem to be getting anywhere very fast.” A decade later it’s deja vu all over again, except my copilot has the good sense not to pretend that this 2009 Focus is any kind of street demon. And rather than fouling the atmosphere with noxious gasoline exhaust, birds are singing and bees are sweetly humming as I explore the green virtues of driving with Compressed Natural Gas.

(Read More…)

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