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#1 29-08-04 01:05:11

jonks
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Ford Focus

Do you use a Ford Focus? 

If so, tell us what you think about the car...

Pro's and cons of using the car for instruction.

What madel do you use? (Eg. 1.4 Diesel)

How much does it cost to run?

29-08-04 01:05:11

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Re: Ford Focus




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#2 03-09-04 21:57:33

Approved Instructor
Verified Member
From: Blackburn, Preston, Lancashire
Registered: 16-03-04
Posts: 884
Website

Re: Ford Focus

I used to run a  Ford Focus 1.6 Ghia petrol 5 door

The pros: very comfy even after 10 hours, lots of space inside /  the boot, electric windows front and back, electric seat height adjustment, tilt and slide steering, easy to use controls, very smooth car to drive, easy to apply handbrake.

I had a focus for about 3 years and in that time i did not find any faults with the car for my general driving and for use as a training car.

(Maybe the rear view could have been better but you get used to it)

I'm not sure about the cost of the focus as i was on a franchise but the fuel did not last very long, at this moment in time i can-not remember how bad it was although i will re-post when i do.

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#3 05-09-04 23:12:38

Approved Instructor
Verified Member
From: Blackburn, Preston, Lancashire
Registered: 16-03-04
Posts: 884
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Re: Ford Focus

Posted: Wed Mar 17, 2004 7:49 pm  Member- Bigredl

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Ford Focus 1.6 Ghia

The good: Copes with 6'8" and 4'11" pupils, v/comfy, wouldn't go back to a car without heated front screen, good gear changing, distance sensors on back, value retention and saleability.


The not so good: Visibility out of back, economy (perhaps it's the way I drive?), Ford garages.

Regards,
_________________
Big Red

Patience & Professionalism at it's best!
http://www.bigredl.co.uk

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#4 05-09-04 23:21:49

Approved Instructor
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From: Blackburn, Preston, Lancashire
Registered: 16-03-04
Posts: 884
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Re: Ford Focus

Posted: Fri Mar 19, 2004 11:14 pm    Member - Lynne

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Focus 1.6 Zetec

I have one now after using a Corsa previously. All my pupils love the Focus in comparison. Quite a few feel more confident in it as they feel they have more power to move off quicker when they need it.

Rear visibility. I tried taking out middle head restraint obviously didn't try hard enough as it looked a permanent fixture to me. Will try again tomorrow. It would help enormously.

Reverse gear. What an absolute pita (pain in the a***) 

Last few weeks progressively louder squeek and 'boing' from the clutch when depressed. Took it to dealer who said some foam round the dual controls had come off and was rubbing duh...dunno not a mechanic but he fixed it although said he didn't know how long it would hold.

Overall though advantages outweigh the bad points. Would hate to go back to a Corsa!

Lynne

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#5 26-03-06 19:44:57

1stdrive
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

More and more AA instructors popping up around here and this got me wondering what the new Focus is like as a tuition vehicle. Although I've not been in one it does look nice but it is quite a size. Is there anybody on here who uses one? If so does the size make a difference (I'm sure the women would say it does  roll big_smile wink) and what is the visibility like etc? I personalley liked the original Focus but just wondered how this one compared. I'd be interested in anyones opinions and experiences.

#6 26-03-06 22:17:24

evan
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

I had a pupil come to me from AA 1st Drive she hated the Focus because she found the back window terrible, can't give you a comment from a teaching point of view, as I haven't taught in one. I have taught in the Astra that BSM use and both myself and the pupil disliked it, the back window looked as if it was on the far end of a football pitch and small. Ev

#7 27-03-06 08:30:01

1stdrive
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

Pretty much what I thought, it does look huge and I'd imagine manoo's could be a nightmare (although I stand to be corrected). Cheers Ev. 8-)

#8 28-03-06 11:43:02

markA.d.I
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

Try django.... pretty sure he teaches in one !?

#9 28-03-06 11:47:11

sparkle
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

I always think though , that if you start of with a big one-then you just get used to it?? I mean pupils wont know any different will they if its big? :-

#10 28-03-06 12:13:28

DampDog
Verified Member
From: Staffordshire.
Registered: 04-02-06
Posts: 1,538

Re: Ford Focus

Hmmm... Look's like we're back to the does size matter question..... smile smile


ADI (car)
1st CT (5)

I used to be a compleat idiot, until some bits fell off...

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#11 28-03-06 12:17:21

markA.d.I
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

I started in a megane, and a few pupils after the first lesson where telling me they felt intimidated by the size ! oo er mrs !

I would prefer a larger car, but whatever make the pupils happy is priority, one thing i would say, larger engines make life easier, namby pamy 1000cc up and down the box jobs aren't for me .... probably better practice though!


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#12 28-03-06 13:01:03

Lynne
Verified Member
From: Essex
Registered: 05-03-04
Posts: 925

Re: Ford Focus

I always think though , that if you start of with a big one-then you just get used to it?? I mean pupils wont know any different will they if its big? :-

Yep.

My lot love my Focus.  When I left the AA I didn't even bother to look at other cars. 

Lynne

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#13 28-03-06 15:46:06

clagy
Verified Member
From: benfleet essex
Registered: 14-03-06
Posts: 19
Website

Re: Ford Focus

it is a bit big , theres not a lot of space to spare when in the bays at my local test centre , but pupils dont seem to mind , most say they like it. tir can be a problem on some smaller roads , where pupils would do them in 3 in the old focus they now take 5 or are very tight. personally i dont like the view from the front or rear but it is a good car to drive.
big negatives from an instructors point of view are cost , and fuel economy is abysmal .ive got a 1.6 zetec petrol , dont know how the diesel compares.

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#14 03-04-06 14:27:24

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,694
Website

Re: Ford Focus

I have just sold off my latest model Focus - wasn't good for the wallet as you lose a lot selling a fairly new car with only 8,000km's on the clock. Pity I didn't heed my own avatar wink

My Focus turned out to be not ideal for tuition. It was the Aussie version, very highly optioned with a very punchy 2.0 litre engine, and looked great on its 17" alloys. However being assembled in South Africa(!) the build quality was disappointing - driver's sunvisor dropped down, interior mirror rattled loose & refused to stay tight, rear spoiler rattled (as did the spoilers on all the similar Focuses in the caryard I was later told).

Not only does the rear window look very tiny, the minimal interior mirror and undersized side mirrors combined with sharply raked windscreen, thick pillars and high waistline gave it lots more blindspots than I found acceptable. It was heavy car and despite the big powerful engine was easy to stall off the line. Lack of room for the drivers left foot, couldn't fit a dual accelerator which I normally have on all my cars, left-side indicator lever - I decided to go for an older but more conventional design a Mitsubishi lancer 2.4 litre which have never heard mentioned on these forums. It's seats, smoothness, handling etc aren't as good as the Focus but I CAN SEE out of it, and have had a dual accelerator fitted.

The Focus has good points and I think it's a very good car, great on a long trip. (I can only describe the Aussie version) It has a wide range of wheel & seat adjustments, very good seats, exceptional stability, pin-sharp steering, grippy cornering, big-car ride, very smooth & strong engine, all the modern electronic knick-knacks, superlative instrumentation. Pity about the view.

The Focus isn't a 'big' tuition car by Australian standards, here they range from small (Ka, Mazda 2, Fiesta etc) through to small-medium & large-medium (Corolla, Focus etc) to large big six-cylinder sedans designed for American-style V8's.


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#15 18-06-06 14:44:08

jonks
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

Ford Focus

If you use, or have used this kind of car for driving instruction, please tell us what you think of it as training car.

#16 19-06-06 16:00:45

Carl
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

I have a Focus which I do use as a driving school car occassionally. I love driving the car but for pupils the 1.6 engine and the overall size can be a little off putting.

Visibility is okay for taller pupils but smaller pupils can have problems. The drivers seat and steering column can be adjusted for comfort.

I prefer to use the car for more experienced pupils, pass plus and refreshers rather than new, nervous learners.

Carl

#17 19-06-06 18:16:21

Shrek
Verified Member
From: South Wales
Registered: 28-02-05
Posts: 255

Re: Ford Focus

Just a little foot note about the Focus here.
A bloke I used to know had one and I found it OK to drive, good handling, plenty of headroom etc (I'm over 6 ft so I need all the headroom I can get)  lol

The only thing that REALLY used to bug me about it was that in sunny weather there was so much light reflected  from the top of the dashboard (the raised canopy above the instrument panel) back onto the windscreen that I used to have to squint and twist my head/neck all over the place to try to look around the 'bright spot' on the glass.

It really was bad and could cause problems for a tall pupil. The 'bright spot' was directly between my eyes and the road ahead.
Try to imagine someone has painted a white blob the size of a football on the glass, at eye level, right ahead of you and when your driving you have to try to look around the thing to see where your going and you'll get the idea.
Cheers, Shrek.


Carry on Donkey -  you're going the right way for a smacked bottom!

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#18 19-06-06 19:32:16

wipers
Verified Member
Registered: 12-03-06
Posts: 63

Re: Ford Focus

Hi
   I used a Focus as a tuition car for seven months very popular with the pups.My feelings are the handling was excellent no one ever had a problem with reflections from any surfaces ! The biggest down side was the size a bit on the big size for learners when carrying out manoeuvres and the car was petrol very expensive on fuel.
   I now have a corsa not petrol saves me £45.00 a week on fuel to me that has to be one of the main factors in the choice of tuition cars, after all we are all in the industry to make a good living.
                          Wipers

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#19 19-06-06 22:15:33

Approved Instructor
Verified Member
From: Blackburn, Preston, Lancashire
Registered: 16-03-04
Posts: 884
Website

Re: Ford Focus

Ive used 4 ford focus cars over 2 years, not once have i had a problem of any kind.

Great to handle, sticks to the road like glue, nippy, smooth ride, solid build feel however a little large looking for many people who was learning to drive, also it took to much fuel 1.6 petrol.

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#20 29-06-06 13:30:55

Target
Verified Member
From: Winchmore Hill North London
Registered: 17-01-05
Posts: 5,695
Website

Re: Ford Focus

FORD FOCUS. ZETEC & TITANIUM 1.6 Petrols.

Driven both the MKI&MKII models, recently tried the TITANIUM also.

Both models handled like a dream. Good road holder, responsive steering. Found the boots very small and not good as a family car. Leg space in the rear is still limited.

In the passenger seat your at a distance from the pupil, so lots of feeling of space. Found the spacial awareness was a problem rather than manoeveres. Like anything, you pupils get use to it, but its that time getting use to it you do not want.

I always found the rear view mirror created a very bad blindspot. The hand brake never really held the car, and needed to be higher to secure on hills, but then pups could not take it off.

Fuel is a real problem. Sometimes less than 25mpg around town and the 1.6 is better than the 1.4.

FORD service and assistance is crap. They cannot arrange a bleep up in a brewery.

I'd definately purchase one and have no problems teaching in this car, however from an instructors point of view they are larger than necessary and heavy on the fuel. Definately a Diesel and perhaps look at the Fiesta.


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#21 30-09-06 11:57:11

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,694
Website

Re: Ford Focus

Had the Australian version of the 2.0 litre German-bodied Focus for a short while. Used it to drive 3,000km (1,900 miles) from Darwin to Adelaide and was rapt - smooth, refined, relaxing, very powerful, pin-sharp handling, super-comfy seats & myriad driver adjustments etc etc.
When I got to Adelaide & used it as a training car, what a different story.
Very powerful engine with silky-smooth, neck-wrenching acceleration yet so b****y easy to stall from a standstill!!!! Visibility extremely poor, blind spots bigger than normal - looking in the centre mirror like looking down the wrong end of a telescope. Mirror had to be tightened daily with a screwdriver, rear spoiler rattled badly (as did all those in the dealer's car yard when I went back to complain).
Our Aussie models are assembled in South Africa which would explain the quality-control problems, but not the traing car for me (sadly, it's a lovely private car!).

P.S. where I am the Focus is not a "big" car in terms of sheer dimension, my Mitsubishi Lancer is longer with much superior all-round vision, pity the suspension & instrumentation is so much c***p!



Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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#22 20-07-07 09:23:44

jq
Guest

Re: Ford Focus

It's getting to be time to change cars again. I'm currently using the old shape Focus and am thinking of changing to either a new shape Focus or a Fiesta. The car needs to be dual purpose, suitable for tuition and family. I like the new Focus but was wondering if any of you have tales of woe or praise for it before I take the plunge. The Fiesta would be a much cheaper option to buy but residual price would be less. Pretty much swings and roundabouts really. Also, can you move the duals from old shape Focus to new shape without problems (maybe just replacing the cables)

Any tales good or bad on either car would be appreciated.     


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#23 20-07-07 09:41:28

Carlo
Verified Member
From: North London
Registered: 03-07-05
Posts: 802

Re: Ford Focus

I can't offer advice on the focus or fiesta.   However, have you ever considered the Vauxhall Astra??  Nice size and not as chuncky as the focus in my opinion.  I had the 1.6 version when I was with bsm and it was a lovely car to teach in and a great family car out of hours.  Very comfortable to drive too!  smile

Good Luck with your choice!


"It's easy when you know how!"

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#24 20-07-07 09:50:15

malc
Verified Member
Registered: 04-04-06
Posts: 44

Re: Ford Focus

I changed from a Focus to a Fiesta tdi, find it great for teaching and my pupils seem to like it better,saving loads on fuel with it being diesel, very happy with it but kids moan it's not big enough so not a great family car but they have to live with it! All in all very happy and would have another.
                                                                                                                      Malc

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#25 20-07-07 10:56:39

Zipper
Verified Member
From: Darwin, Northern Territory Aus
Registered: 20-08-04
Posts: 2,694
Website

Re: Ford Focus

I had the Australia version of the Focus, made in Sth Africa - absolutely brilliant driver's car with its 17" wheels, pin sharp handling, strong 2.0 litre turbine-like motor., supportive seats etc
But NOT good for teaching - big, chunky & very poor general visibility even the central RV mirror (tiny, like looking thru a letter box slit). Ans surprisingly easy to stall off the mark, despite it's torquey engine.

The UK Focus might be a different kettle of fish to ours - but I soon sold my Aussie version!


Zipper ("G'Day Mate!")
I'm not 65! I'm only $59.95+tax
www.drivingnt.com

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