2005 Ford Focus

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Alright, I've been looking for a car on and off for like a year now. I need to buy one by the end of Christmas break (January 7th-ish) for a couple reasons (long story). So I went out today, and found a 2005 Ford Focus ST at a local dealership. Here's a quick summary:

-40,000 miles (65,000km)
-Leather heated seats
-Power everything
-Manual
-4-door
-Sunroof(moonroof?)

The guy gave me a deal (I think), and knocked the price down from $12K to 9. I haven't heard bad things about the Focus, but I'm wondering if anyone here has--the car is a bit more than I wanted to spend, so I need it to last a while. Also, is that a deal or should I look for something better?

posted by  chris_knows

Well I can give you my opinion. I have never personally owned a Focus, but I know someone that did. He bought a brand new (back then) 04 Focus 2.0 auto. (It was the small 4 cyl. I don't remember what size, but 2.0 sounds right. Please correct me if I'm wrong) He ended up putting in a new transmission around 35K and personally, it just wasn't that good of a car. (Everything that broke on the car was strictly because of him) I personally won't own one ever. I hate the styling, inside and out. But, if you treat it right, it could be a good car. Personally, I think there's better cars out there than a Focus though.

posted by  Satty101

Driven a few, and they aren't terrible but generally feel like washing machines, loud and rough. Plus, don't you think that he knocked 3 grand off the car is kind of surprising?

What budget are you working with, and translate it into USD for me please :laughing:

posted by  newyorker

It's a bit odd that he'd knock it off, but I figured it was since it's a manual and not many people are in the market for that. It's still got like 2 or 3 years powertrain warranty, so I didn't really think about that much.

Absolute max I'm looking at around $8,000 Canadian, or about $7,000 U.S. (but if I buy from the U.S., taxes are lower so it kinda evens out).

posted by  chris_knows

There's plenty of cars in the 7G range that have about the same miles and are better cars. Might not be as new, but there are better ones..

posted by  Satty101

Yea, I have a pretty big list of cars I want, but don't seen them often at dealerships. Kinda nervous about private sellers, too.

posted by  chris_knows

Knowing where dealers get their cars, I would be more inclined to go with a private seller, trust me, I have seen the cars that come through the auction block, and I would not have bought mine from my dealer if I didn't know the full history of the car beforehand. I'm happy to help you through the car buying process, because I deal with it every day and have a decent ammount of knowledge on how things work, just let me know if you have any questions. What is your list of cars? Better yet, what are you looking for in a car?

posted by  newyorker

Go Ellis Juan...

posted by  Satty101

Who??

posted by  newyorker

Could I go straight to the auction and get it for the same price as the dealer?

Generally, I'm looking for something like:
Chevy Cobalt
Pontiac Pursuit
Pontiac G5/G6
Toyota Celica
Hyundai Tiburon
Lincoln LS (test drove this one and it was great)
Mazda 3
Mazda Protege
Hyundai Sonata

That's just a general idea off the top of my head, but along those lines. I'm considering Civics, Accords, and Integras but they cost more to insure.

Basically, here's what I'm looking for:

-seats 4 or 5
-decent fuel economy
-manual/automatic (prefer manual)
-awd/fwd/rwd no big deal
-don't need a lot of cargo room
-2000 model year or newer
-max of about 100,000km or 60,000 miles
-max price of around $7-8,000 (maybe a bit higher if it's worth it)

posted by  chris_knows

Ellis Juan...LS1

posted by  Satty101

Who??

Chris, I am in the middle of doing some work for school but I will give you some info on your post tomorrow night when I can actually digest it all and answer properly.

posted by  newyorker

Chris, how about this?

http://cornwall.en.craigslist.ca/cto/927090874.html

posted by  Satty101

That HAS to be a scam, those cars are worth over 30k still...that's USD

posted by  newyorker

I've done hundreds of miles in both a petrol Focus and a diesel Focus. Obviously the diesel wont mean much to you over there, but the reliability of the petrol model probably will. Before it got written-off, the 2001 1.6-litre petrol Focus we had where I used to work, had 212,000-miles on the clock. As far as reliability goes, they're ok, although ours had about 160,000-miles on the clock when I toom a speed hump too fast and badly damaging the engine...Meaning a knew one was apparently 'needed'. Anyway, other than mechanically, they're ok, too, the interior wears as you'd expect, although I can't vouch for leather as our upholstry was cloth.

Newyorker has a point about them sounding rough etc when driving, but the are Fords afterall, lol. The ST you mention should have the 5-cylinder 2.5-litre Volvo Turbo unit in it, which should erradicate the roughness of the otherwise installed 2.0-litre Zetech 4-cylinder engine. This engine is arguably more reliable than Ford's own lump too. And much quicker, lol.


You could do, assuming things are the same in all countries, lol. Obviously there's alot more risk buying at Auction than there is at a Dealership. I suggest taking someone with Auction experience with you if you choose to go to one! One of the best tips for buying at an auction is to set your budget and don't go above it, as it's very easy to get carried away! Also, you usually get the chance to view the cars before the auction starts, take this time to have a good look over any cars you're interested in.


If I was looking to buy a car in Chris's pricerange, I'd certainly go to a dealer rather than buy privately. For starters, regardless of the dealer, you'll always have more backup from either them, or another agency, if the car goes wrong just after buying it. Also, there's ways in which to find a good dealer, by reading reviews etc. You just have to be careful about who you buy from, by using a little common sense.

posted by  Cliffy

The NSX looks sikk. I'll email the guy but even if it is real, he's like 500 miles from here.

Newyorker, take your time, finals are a bitch.

Cliffy, our ST comes with the same 2 litre, but it makes an extra 14hp. Thanks for the input, though...seems like they're more reliable than I thought.

posted by  chris_knows

Well you just have Ontario as your location so I had to guess where. lol:thumbs:

I'f it's real, I think I'm gonna say **** Wyoming, I'm movin to Canada where shit is even cheaper!

posted by  Satty101

You don't have to look for cars for me, but if you feel like it, I appreciate the help. Generally, I'm looking in the Detroit-Windsor area.

posted by  chris_knows

The auctions dealers buy from most of the time are dealer only auctions, if you know a dealer though, I'm sure they can get you something.

Cobalt - never drove them
Pursuit - same as cobalt
g5/6 - here they cost more than your budget, about 2x more i think
celica - good car, i would get a GTS if you can (180hp one)
tiburon - hyundai's quality has gone up over the years, not sure on the tib though
lincoln ls - we hate them in the industry becasue they tend to break a lot
mazda 3 - price range?
protege - good car
sonata - same as tiburon, not a fan of the styling except for the newest generation though

Look at the 1.7EL, I hear they are like my old civic (which was great btw) but more...acura





As far as the auctions, things are fairly guaranteed where we buy (Manheim). Cars come with condition reports at the auction, carfax reports, you can look at them, and then for a little extra money you can do what is called a PSI (post sale inspection) where they check the car to make sure it's fine mechanically, if something is wrong, you have the right to refuse the purchase and not pay for the inspection. It makes buying from the auctions very safe IMO.

As far as warranties go, they can be purchased from aftermarket companies like GE and Continental. Buying privately there is a better chance someone will have kept service records of the car, and if you do end up with a lemon, here in the states we have something called Lemon Law which protects you from that, how I am not sure, but all I know is you won't have trouble with it. Just be very careful inspecting a car regardless of where you get it, and if you have a trusty mechanic to look it over, it's better to slip him/her a few dollars to check the car than buy blindfolded.



European Ford is different from North American Ford (at least it applies to the states). Cars in europe generally tend to be more reliable to begin with, I don't know if it has to do with how they are assembled, parts used, better maintenance across the pond, or whatever else, but don't think that because someone in England had a good car that you will. From what I understand, VW in Europe is fairly non-problematic, here in the States, they are nothing but trouble when it comes to electronics and sensors and other little bits that result in big bills.

posted by  newyorker

I'm positive I saw a Mazda3 for like 8 or 9 grand the other day. It's uncommon, but they exist.
For the G5/G6, here's (http://www.stricklandautosales.com/detail.php?id=83058) a G6 that's $8,000. This place is pretty close to my house, and I saw a flier the other day that had a G5 for the same price.

I'm more reluctant about the LS though. I'll check for an EL but haven't seen them around much.

posted by  chris_knows

Weird, I thought they were still more pricey. If you want a decent ride, one car that recently impressed me was a Hyundai Accent (if you have them). We have an 06 all bare bones only options are auto trans and cd player, power nothing, no ac, and it just drives so well. Has a nice feel to it, and its not quick but peppy plus practical IMO.

Maybe cars are cheaper in Canada, maybe they are just depreciating faster than I can keep up with it.

posted by  newyorker

If you plan on hauling more than 1 person besides yourself, stay the hell away from the Tiburon. The back seat had 0 room. If you're over 5'8", your head is hitting the top of the hatch. Oh, and NO leg room either.

posted by  Satty101

The 2005 Ford Focus ST is a solid choice for a young person's car.

It's cheap, sporty, quick, stylish, safe, and can get ridiculous gas mileage. (upwards of 35 mpg).

Unfortunately, the vehicle was discontinued in 2006, but fortunately, the 2.3L engine which is in the american ST, is still used in the ford rangers. You'll find that part prices will continue to rise as it does with most discontinued vehicles, but not as much as others. he tranny has had a few problems with people that enjoy dropping the clutch, but is backed by the warranty. If something's going to go wrong, it'll happen in the 5 year, 60,000 mile period. The vehicle was rated highly by consumer reports, and the ST has every option available. It can comfortably seat 4/5, and has a sporty sound, peppy acceleration, tight handling, plenty of trunk space, excellent visibility, extreme gas mileage, and rally car looks.
I see no reason not to buy this vehicle for a first solid car. It has everything you need and want for cheap.

Don't overthink this, Chris. You'll like and be as, if not more happy with this vehicle as you will with any other comparable vehicle.

posted by  Godlaus

Thanks for the reply Godlaus, I'll keep it in mind

I forgot about the most important criteria; I want to buy a car with pussy magnet.
(I think) girls like pick-ups, so I'm considering that.
I don't really need to carry around stuff, but it could be useful..

posted by  chris_knows

That really depends. Every girl likes different things. I don't like to steriotype (Mainly cause I confuse the different types), but the "preppy" girls DO NOT like trucks or sports cars. They seem to prefer high class luxury cars (I.E. BMW, Audi, Mercedes, etc). The more level headed girls seem to go more for sports cars, and some trucks. Country girls go for big trucks with whips (CB antennaes), and the smart girls (The girls you typically would want if you care about them and not just about the sex/looks/status) usually don't give a shit what you drive. As long as you stay you, you're good (Or bad..that depends too:laughing: ). Usually no girl likes 4-door econoboxes.

posted by  Satty101

And aren't pick-up trucks associated with Alabama? :laughing: :joking:

posted by  Cliffy

He wants to be white trash? :laughing:

posted by  newyorker

I don't want to be white trash, I want something girls will like.
There's lots of pick-ups in Canada too..

posted by  chris_knows

We have 2 and looking at a 3rd. I live in Colorado. You're thinking of the lifted S-10/Blazer frames with Camaros and El Caminos on them with big confederate flags in the back window, usually reading something of the nature of (Redneck, Cowboy Up, Yee-Haw, etc.).

posted by  Satty101

Yeah....My bad, lol...:laughing:

posted by  Cliffy

I dunno, if you ask me, the Focus has enough good looks behind it
http://i178.photobucket.com/albums/w271/shaun_ford/S6300600.jpg

posted by  Godlaus

With a decent set of rims, a bodykit, and maybe a small spoiler, they look decent.

posted by  Satty101

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