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2001 Ford Focus Sedan

4dr Sdn SE Street Edition

Starting at | Starting at 25 MPG City - 33 MPG Highway

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  • $14,320 original MSRP
Printable Version

2001 Ford Focus Sedan

Printable Version

2001 Ford Focus Sedan

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2001 Ford Focus

Source: New Car Test Drive

Who says frugal and fun can't go together?

by John Matras

Base Price (MSRP) $12,125
As Tested (MSRP) $15,200

Introduced last year, the Ford Focus is one of the most enjoyable compacts in its price range. It's fun, it's practical, and it's safer than most, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Wild New Edge styling helps it stand out from the crowd.

An available twin-cam engine give the ZX3 hatchback, ZTS sedan and SE wagon enthusiastic response. Yet all models deliver good fuel economy.

Model Lineup

Ford Focus comes in three body styles: three-door hatchback, four-door sedan and five-door wagon.

Two 2.0-liter four-cylinder engines are available (a 110-horsepower single overhead-cam and a 130-horsepower double overhead-cam Zetec). There's also a choice of 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission.

The sedan comprises the bulk of Focus sales and is available in three trim levels, an entry level LX ($12,385), an upgrade SE ($14,040), and the fully-equipped ZTS ($15,260). ZTS comes with the more powerful twin-cam Zetec engine.

The hatchback is available as one model, the ZX3 ($12,125). This is a sport compact, and comes with all the requisite hardware: a more powerful 130-horsepower twin-cam engine, 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels, and fog lights. Its wild styling makes the hatchback look sportier and even more distinctive than the sedan. Power windows, mirrors and locks, and keyless entry are now available ($740), along with optional cruise control.

The wagon is available only in the SE trim level ($16,235) and offers the largest cargo capacity in its class. For 2001, it comes standard with the 130-horsepower dohc Zetec engine. Also new, is the availability of the 5-speed manual transmission in addition to the automatic.

For 2001, Ford has added its AdvanceTrac ($1225) vehicle dynamics system to the option list. Described below, AdvanceTrac includes rear disc brakes and traction control, but requires ordering the optional anti-lock brakes ($400).

Other optional safety equipment includes side-impact air bags ($350). Cruise control, which was not available last year, has been added to the options list.

Walkaround

When Ford engineers designed the Focus, they didn't simply make a smaller sedan. Ford studied the needs of passengers and designed the Focus from the inside out. Instead of figuring how to fit passengers within the conventional three-box sedan profile scaled down to compact proportions, Ford raised the roof for today's taller average heights the elevated the seating height for more effective legroom.

To accentuate this change in concept, Ford employed its New Edge styling (introduced on the Mercury Cougar). Ford's New Edge styling, with tidy creases that define intersecting arcs, looks simpler than it really is. Large pie-section headlamps give the front end a distinctive appearance. On the ZX3, they are joined by fog lamps in the grille opening below the bumper. There's a similar, but smaller opening above the bumper that houses the turn signals. Both are outlined by arcs. The front and rear fenders are highlighted with geometric curves creased into the sheetmetal. The roofline is highly arched, particularly noticeable when parked next to another car. The roofline is truncated just aft of the rear axle line. Wedge-shaped tail lamps set in the C-pillars enliven an otherwise plain rear end. Ford claims the tail lamps are more noticeable in that location and reduce repair costs in minor accidents. However, the sedan and wagon have conventionally placed tail lamps, so we'll accept the unique shape and location as distinctive and effective styling.

Lower bodyside PVC coating provides protection from stone dings on all models, and the underbody gets PVC coating as well. Clearcoat paint is standard across the board. The ZX3 and LX have black rather than body-color bodyside protective molding, but this is offset on the ZX3 by black rocker panels. The door handles on all models are black as well. The door handles on black cars blends in, but black also masks the distinctive lines of the Focus that are accentuated by the brighter colors.

Interior Features

If you like the Focus outside, you'll love it inside. The New Edge styling extends to the interior. The dash is a collection of arcs, the instrument panel covered by an asymmetrically curved and sharply creased bezel. A 7000-rpm tachometer flanks a 140-mph speedometer in the ZX3. Both instruments are round and easily readable, clearly marked with white numerals on black, though the tach has no redline. The fuel gauge has a small arrow pointing to the right, denoting on which side the filler is located, appreciated by those of us who drive a number of cars, have bad memories or both.

The center dash panel is formed by an arc that sweeps upward across the dash to the right side of the car and an inverted parabola. The radio fits into the top of this area and includes a single-disc CD player. Part of the controls can be taken with you to discourage theft. Snuggled in to the left is the cigarette lighter/ash tray. Circular ventilation controls, less frequently accessed, fit below the radio and are styled in the New Edge theme, with buttons styled to fit the room available. The trunk release, on the left end of the dash, is triangular as well, shaped to fit into the intersection of the arcs outlining the instrument panel.

The overall asymmetry lends an informal air to the interior, but the feel of the interior is rich. The control knobs all have distinctive shapes for easy identification; rotary controls are rubberized for pleasing soft-touch operation. The steering wheel on the ZX3 is leather-covered and satisfying to touch. Even the plastics used on the dash and door panels have a finger-friendly soft-touch feel. Painted silver accents around the center dash give the ZX3 a modern look, while wood grain in the same area enhances the ZTS model.

The seats are comfortable with an exceptionally high hip point, 20 inches above the ground. The advantages of this seating include a better view down the road, plus more effective leg room front and rear, and it takes advantage of the Focus' roofline with headroom for the long and tall. It also makes entry and exit easier. The manual height adjustment on the ZX3 allows almost everyone to find a comfortable position behind the wheel and an easy arm's length away from the manual shifter.

The back seat of the ZX3 is best accessed by the young and agile, but both front seats do slide forward. Once back there, however, rear seat riders have lots of legroom, thanks to widely spaced runners under the front seats, plus adult-sized head and shoulder room. Versatility of the hatchback design is lost on most Americans, who prefer the more formal sedan profile with its conventional trunk, but this design is hugely popular among Europeans for its practicality. Fold the back seat of the ZX3 and there's 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space and a big door for access.

Driving Impressions

Like an eager puppy, the Focus ZX3 begs to go for a ride and you're just as happy to comply.

The 2.0-liter 16-valve double overhead-cam four-cylinder engine starts instantly and rewards drivers with an almost imperceptible idle, it's so smooth and quiet. The 130-horsepower engine answers a heavy foot with surprisingly rapid acceleration, a benefit of a lightweight car with well-developed torque characteristics. Fully 80 percent of the engine's maximum torque is available from idle to 6000 rpm; peak torque of 135 foot-pounds comes at 4500 rpm. Making the ZX3 even more satisfying to drive is Ford's excellent control of noise, vibration and harshness in this engine. Forget the usual inexpensive four-cylinder harshness; this puppy loves to run and doesn't complain about visiting the upper reaches of the tachometer.

Clutch take-up is good and easy to modulate. Shifting into first gear reveals a rubbery feel to the linkage of the long-shafted shifter. It feels like a Saab shifter; it's precise but not inviting.

ZX3 doesn't act like an economy car. It accelerates and turns much more quickly, making this one of the most enjoyable cars in its class to drive. Response through the rack-and-pinion steering is quick and precise, and feedback is excellent. The car feels like it is leaning in corners more than it actually is because the driver is sitting higher in the saddle. Optional 50-series (16-inch) tires sharpen handling response.

The ZX3 cruises easily on the Interstate. The engine is quiet and wind noise is subdued. Ordinary roads feel smooth, while well-maintained superhighways feel velvety.

Optional AdvanceTrac monitors the car's behavior while cornering, checking the steering angle, lateral acceleration and yaw rate, then helps maintain stability. If it senses you're in trouble it reduces power and selectively applies to brakes to individual wheels to keep the vehicle on course; it uses the ABS and traction control system to help it accomplish this. The system intervenes progressively so that the drier is hardly aware that AdvanceTrac has been activated. It may be turned off by pressing a button on the instrument panel, but comes back on whenever the vehicle is started.

Final Word

The Ford Focus breaks new ground in economy car design. The ZX3 hatchback proves the economical and practical can also be sporty and fun.

Overall, the Focus shows that Ford has done some thinking outside the box. In doing so, Ford has created an inexpensive car that is desirable as well as practical.

© New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2001 Ford Focus Sedan

Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt
Traction/Stability Control Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2001 Ford Focus Sedan

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/Unlimited Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Ford Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Manufacturer's 7 years / 100,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty. See dealer for details.. See dealer for details. Rental Reimbursement $30/day.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer / less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 172
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2001 Ford Focus Sedan

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