'99 Toyota Tercel or a Ford Focus?

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I'm looking to purchase a used vehicle and I was hoping to get some opinions on which is a better buy. I have read a lot of reviews on the Toyota Tercel CE. They all say that it is a really reliable car, and cheap on gas. But I've also read some good reviews on the Ford Focus. Personally, I am more inclined to go for a Toyota because I know that they are generally a very good car. My Dad had a Toyota Tercel Wagon that lasted him for 14 years. But I wanted to get some other people's opinions. Also, does anyone know aprox. what insurance costs for the two vehicles? I have tried to get insurance quotes but it has been such a hassle if you don't actually own the vehicle. Thanks.

posted by  vibrantflame

Simply put, stay away from teh '00, and '01 Focus models, unless AL th recall work has been done. the '02-04s models havne't had teh issues that plagued teh first year cars, but they are still kind of cheap compared to the Toyotas (though the Ce is a really basic car, too) . Styling is subjective, and I like the Focus better for that. Driving dynamics are better in the Focus, and it feels less like an appliance.

Still as an overall first car purchase, I'd steer toward the Tercel, and do some personlaizing and upgrading, just to make it less bland.

What kind of price range are you looking at?

posted by  ChrisV

Tercel... I dont trust Focuses... one rolled on the Editor and his minions in Automobile when they were writing a story on it... they went into a ditch! :thumbs:

posted by  StiMan

Myself civic but Toyotas are good to. Everyone I know that has had a Toyota
the steel ends up rusting and rotting before any mechanical problems start. :thumbs:

posted by  Driver-88

id personnaly go for the focus, they are both ugly cars.. and maybe toyota tercel is more reliable, but i think the tercel is much uglier.

posted by  Ki2AY

http://www.svtoa.com/images/news/articles/50C92099823F4E72ABAD6F81D5A8FEE0/ focus%20autocross.jpg

And yet they don't roll under hard cornering in stock form in autocross. How odd. Maybe the people at the magazine did something stupid?

I watched a driver in an Accord roll his car over swerving to the median on I5 south of Seattle. Accords must be bad!

posted by  ChrisV

i like the focus WAY better than the tercel. It's sportier by a mile, and some judge a book by its cover.

posted by  MOPAR

Here in Germany the Focus has reached a top ranking in a reliability research done by a car club. It was almost as good as the Toyotas. (But this is only for the Focuses that where built here in Germany, the USA one's are built somewhere in South-America I think, so I won't put my hand in the fire for this ones!)

If you where a European I would tell you to buy this car, but it is not available in the US, although it is built by a GM Company:

http://www.opel.de/res/img/content/shop/cars/astranew/gallery/photo/pic06_b ig.jpg

posted by  Diewaldo

In response, I am a big fan of Opel... and I am a fan of their cars and I can speak on them with absolutely no authority whatsoever.... but you do have to watch out for GM.... but about the subject at hand.
Personally, I would lean towards the Ford Focus. Their reliability has been--- average. On the other hand, Toyota has a spotless record for impeccable reliability- if that's a major concern. The Tercel really is an ugly piece of machinery, though... not to say that the Ford Focus is all that attractive, either. Also, depending on your intentions for the car, you may lean one way or another. There are certainly more parts available for the Focus, if you are looking to tune. Either way, I might reccommend you look elsewhere- something more liveable, perhaps. For the price of a Focus, you could get something much nicer with more years on it from Honda or Toyota that is going to bring you the same amount, if not less headaches. And there's my six pence. :2cents:

posted by  Patrick

I'll put it like this, the '99-01 focus had over 13 recalls since it was introduced. enough said

posted by  Solar

Why do people always say, that if a car has a lot of recalls it is a bad car?

Surely you can tell that the recalls make the Cars better, than they were before.

When a car has had no recalls, it can be a bad car too! It just means, that the manufacturer of the car is willing to make his cars better than they were before!

posted by  Diewaldo

Generally, when a car has that many recalls there is definetly something wrong with either the way it was designed, built, or perhaps even both. To say that a car with double digit recalls is a "well built" car is ludicrous.

posted by  Solar

If you include Safety, General, and Service Bulletins, my guess is that all cars easily get into the double-digits.

BTW...double-digits begins at 10.

posted by  BavarianWheels

Ummmm... thx?

posted by  Solar

Maybe you meant above 60 or something?...

posted by  BavarianWheels

Hmm, I guess I put it in the wrong words (sorry for being a dumbass German, that's mothertongue is not Englisch)!

I will try to explain it with an example from Japan:

In Japan Mitsubishi had cars that had serious quality problems, but they didn't do anything. They simply did not recall cars! They even did try to keep this problems secret.

After all the Japanese Government got to know this, they had to change this ... they had to pay money etc.

Now Mitsubishi has a load full of problems and car sales in Japan are catastrophic at the moment!

If they had called back theirs cars in time and fixed the problems they could have saved: a) a lot of money and b) had not lost their face in Japan.

An other question that comes from this:

How can you tell that a car is good, when it had no recalls? The answer is, that you can't do that!

My advice would be, that you just ask people who have that car, how confident they are with their cars.

Even so in ourdays it is a matter of fact, that a lot of recalls in Germany are not made public - you drive the car to your car dealer, he got informed by (per example) Mercedes to change this special part, when the car comes in for regular inspection. You don't get to know that the part was changed, because Mercedes pay the dealer for his work and for not telling you!

So this is how such statistics can be faked, so I don't believe in it any more!

posted by  Diewaldo

JNo car used to be recalled. Factories merely changed teh designs. Ever hear of a british sports car being recalled for having Lucas electrical bits? Ever hear a Porsche being recalled for bad electrical grounds? Ever hear of an early honda being recalled for trim bits falling off? it merely happened and you either put up with it or bought a differnt brand.

NOW, a Focus has a trim clip on the A-pillar that can go bad, so it's treated as a Safety Recall, and people like you harp on how bad a car it must be due to recalls... Amazing.

posted by  ChrisV

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