Getting firsthand information from an actual car owner is one sure way to get an idea of car performance once it leaves the lot. Autobytel features real consumer reviews that give the unbiased experience of a car.
Pros: Performance and style
Advice: Great VehicleThis has been a great car. We have had it for 5 weeks now and have already put on 5500 km's. After 5000 when the engine broke in we noticed a big increse in engine performance. The handeling is awesome and the gas milage is good too. We just came back from camping and we fit a 20' by 20' tent in there (rear seats down) and my wife and I's stuff and 3 regular tents my guitar 2 coolers and 2 other peoples stuff it was amazing. This is a great car good job ford.
Pros: Cosworth co-developed engine and 6-speed Getrag Tran
Cons: I don't have enough time to drive just for fun!
Advice: Takes premium, be prepared for a performance feelPlease read this carefully, there are other reviews which are misleading about this car. It was not designed for gas mileage, drag racing or to compete with 6 or 8 cylinder cars for room! This is the best handling, most fun to drive car Ford has produced. The SVT team had a particular goal and got it right (not unusual for them.) The Focus chassis highly regarded already, highly European derived and with the correct tweaks it is hands down the best performance value under 20k. yes, I agree that it should come in 2 versions, one with a supercharged or Turbo'ed engine (about 225-300 hp)and a dual-traction front drive train (or All wheel drive), but that will cost you another 6-10 thousand bucks and is for the serious performance people for track time and testing radar guns. Believe me, that 170 hp will get you into the 'slow-down' zone plenty quick enough and if you can find a twisty road somewhere, go ahead and ask the 'Impala' to try and keep up..! I love mine.
Pros: 200hp Duratec engine
Cons: No in dash CD player when combined with a CD changer
Advice: Skip the 6 passenger optionThe wagon has more room than SUVs in the same price range, 38 cubic inches with rear seat up and 81 cubic inches with rear seat folded. The 200 hp Duratec DOHC V6 is a must. Go for the safety package which adds traction control and front side airbags. Avoid the 6 passenger seating option since it add little or no value. The part I dislike about the car is that you can't get an indash CD player and CD changer. The Duratec package adds the CD changer and a in dash tape player. Overall this is a wonderful car. Beware of the critics who constantly complain about the Tauruses resale value. If you get a good price upfront there's nothing to worry about.
Pros: The 6 speed gear box
Cons: The loud turn signal
Advice: Compare the list of standard features for the price.The SVT boys/girls really did a fantastic job with this vehicle. It handles like a fine German machine costing three times the asking price. The 6 speed gear box is a thing of joy! Any one who has driven the stock ZX3 Focus already knows how much fun it is, and this SVT will leave you smiling mile after mile. This car is loaded with features with a list that goes on and on. I added the winter package and got heated seats, a engine block heater and traction controll. If you really enjoy driving, and don't want to spend a kings ransom, then this is the car for you! Test drive it and once the RPM gauge goes past 4 grand, you'll be hooked. And oh, don't forget to crank the tunes, you've got 290 amps to fill your ears!!
Pros: Smooth ride
Cons: abs breaks not standard
Advice: great buyA small car that rides like a mid-size.It has alot of room,comfortable seats,nice power with the V-Tech engine,easy to see radio and air condition controls and handles great.
Pros: Love the rims, enjoy the comfort of the seats, the engine is powerful
Cons: 'Mach' stereo system = tweeters on the front doors. C'mon Ford! :-( It doesn't have to be standard, but OFFER your musician/audiophile customers what Volvo does. Dolby ProLogic with awesome sound via HarmonKardon/Alpine/Dynaudio components.
Advice: I replaced all speakers with new $200/pair Pioneer 6x9's (4 speakers) It made a HUGE difference. Now it is acceptable... but nothing more. Head unit replacement requires $100 conversion kit with A/C controls. :(Since 1998 I've driven turbocharged Volvo luxury sedans ('99 S70 T5 & '00 S80 T6) with the most comfortable seats and highest safety ratings. Honestly it was hard to think about driving anything else, but after a relocation & career change the $40,000 price tag became unreasonable. I wanted to choose wisely, knowing it would be a big change to leave Volvo. I decided on a new 2003 Taurus SES Deluxe Sport Chicago edition with sunroof, 6-disc CD changer etc. Coming from a perfectionist that loves fine cars, I have to say this Taurus is awesome- a well crafted machine. Ford had a great rebate incentive, and the bumper-to-bumber 100,000 mile extended warranty with free oil changes first 36,000 miles was affordable. I've driven 6000 miles now, and not even a squeak has surfaced. The Duratec is a dragon-powered engine that eats like a lizard. I really enjoy this car, and HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who expects quality for their money.
Cons: I have covered it.
Advice: Check the Mazdaspeed Protege instead.I have to give this high-performance compact a 'thumbs down'! It gets worse gas mileage than a lot of mid- and full-size cars I have checked with more h.p. and torque and V6 or V8 engines. Ford could have followed Mazda on this by adding a turbocharger, rather than just increasing the engine's h.p. which still left it poor on torque as well as fuel economy. I also find it lacking a true sporty look since it is a hatchback and not a coupe or sedan. I recommend checking the Mazdaspeed Protege instead.