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Old 11-21-2004, 01:55   #1 (permalink)
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Smile Tim's new Focus

The 1994 KH Laser has been the family workhorse for many years, the first car we bought when we moved back to Australia in 96, done many kms, moved houses a couple times, two boys learned to rally, er, drive on it. ()

So, I was requested to find a replacement, and so I jumped into the Blue Flame and headed out. The vehicle requirements: Laser sized again, auto (but it was not allowed to be a total slug), air, ABS, cruise, non metallic paint, 5 door hatch.

I stopped at Toyota (Corolla), Honda (Civic), Mazda (3), VW (Golf), and Ford (Focus). Companies that were not considered at all were Holden, Subaru, Mitsubishi, Hyundai, Daewoo, etc. Holden in particular not because I feel associated with Ford, but because friends of ours have had major dramas with the dealer here and their small cars are far over priced anyway as a company. Others were dismissed immediately due to quality of vehicle and materials not being to our liking, just a personal choice.

The Golf was the first car I looked at, being NRMA's best mid sized car, but straight up I realised the car was far too over-optioned for a base model and therefore far too expensive. Over to Honda, a similar deal, expensive cars, and while there is a base model sedan without the variable timed engine, but the base hatch had the VTEC engine and started over 32 grand, pricewise. Mazda's 3 was a real contender but again, once you added the ABS, auto, air, it was soon up on 30 grand also. Toyota's Corolla came closest, being ever reliable, but the base model was under-optioned and over priced in comparison to the final contender, the Focus. The Corolla did well against it's competitors, ended up just over 28 grand with what we wanted, but the Focus really had the last say.

The Focus's worst problem was the lack of non-metallic colours. Even black is metallic now, and my blue flame has been discontinued since late last year, so the only colours left were White and Colorado Red. To avoid the hire car look, we went with the red.

Auto is always a 2 grand hike on the manual. Safety is a priority on a family workhorse, so one option was the safety pack which adds ABS, discs all round, and an extra airbag. Cruise control and the leather wrapped steering wheel were nice touches, plus of course, the obligatory set of Focus mats. All this came in at $22,630 on the road, our previous extremely sour experience with our lemon BA XR6 giving us leverage to force a very low price from the dealership. Plus the 5 year warranty being offered by dealerships at the moment is good.

The 2.0L auto performs as expected, effortlessly doing what it should, obviously Focus owners are familiar with the way the car drives as far as chassis dynamics, with the IRS and all. And to come in at about 6 grand cheaper than other high quality rivals, the totally unbiased decision was the Focus.

Because the safety pack is a factory fit, there may be a wait on the vehicle, but we're in no rush. So, there'll be another EuroFord in the family before long, did not think we'd ever buy another Ford after the BA experience (we'll never buy another Falcon again ever no matter what still), but here's hoping the car will be 100% reliable as my own Focus has been, as it really won the race in the mid sized car segment for our requirements.

Regards, Tim!
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Old 11-21-2004, 02:15   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Time to buy a mid sized car

I'd have to agree with you there Tim, the Focus would be my ultimate choice for a small-medium car. The Corolla Accent seems a bargain on paper until you look at what your getting. Basically to me the accent is a cardboard box on wheels and prolly drives that way too. The Focus is really a joy to drive drive, very taut, lively and fun and has the best steering feel in it's class.

I can relate to this cause dad considered a small-medium car until we settled for the 2002 XR6 VCT (prolly due to my nagging and liking of falcons.
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Old 11-21-2004, 14:33   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Time to buy a mid sized car

Its a girl!!! Birth to a brand new Baby Red Foci.... Isnt she so cute!!!

'Uncle' Russ
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Old 11-22-2004, 00:19   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Time to buy a mid sized car

BRING IT ON!!! 2 Foci in the family!!!!!!! Good stuff. Congratulations. Let me know the SIDO and I'll track it ALL the way from Germany to your door mate!!!!!
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Old 11-22-2004, 00:23   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Time to buy a mid sized car

You'll be looking to January or February Arrival at this stage mate.
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Old 12-08-2004, 02:07   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Time to buy a mid sized car

Ok, well, a final update on this one.

Ford no longer import the Focus anymore for custom orders, so....

We took delivery today of Blue Flame #2, an LX with air, cruise, factory bodykit (it cant be totally like mine!), all that usual stuff. It did have the 17's on it as well but they tyres are too noisy and its a family hack, so we got a discount and got them removed for the std 15 inch alloys. We only got the bodykit because the car had it fitted, it was the dealers car. Blue flame has been out of production and off sale since last year, so the colour will remain unique.

Due to the bad taste left by our BA, we got the car at an incredible price, and everyone concerned is happy. Only one Laser left now...

I'll get photos up soon!

Oh, and I have to make special mention of Matt's help tracking down vehicles in Europe for purchase, that was most appreciated mate!

Tim
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Old 12-08-2004, 05:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Time to buy a mid sized car

No problems mate, if it has a Ford badge and I can't find it on the system it doesn't exist!!!!! Taking orders for AWD twin Turbo V6 Focus Cosworth..... anyone? I WISH!!!!!
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Old 12-21-2004, 02:23   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Time to buy a mid sized car

Ok.... finally, the unveiling of the new car which is..................

A Capri Blue Ford Focus LX !!!!!



Thread with all the photos is here:
http://www.fordforums.com/f185/three-times-four-93655/#post1024044

The car drives well, is very quiet, hope it's as reliable as my existing one.

See new thread! Tim
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