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Discussion Starter #1
I've been checking around for info & specs about the 1.8t, and it seems pretty nice. With a few basic mods one guy had 200whp. And vw's are always reliable. What do you guys think? My fobus is an '02 with about 6k miles on it with bosal, volant, and afx udp. I'm not sure what year I would be able to afford, but if I do sell the focus what I get has to be enough to get the 1.8t. What do you guys think?
 

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Re: Shnuld I sell the focus for a 1.8t>

Originally posted by lick_9:
And vw's are always reliable.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Ummm...no, they're not.

Other than the squeaks and rattles that plagued my '02 GTI, it was a fun car. Worth $25K (fully loaded VR6), though? No.
 

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Do you like to drive your car? If so you probablx won't like a Jetta/Golf/GTi

To me they are very borhng. I have even driven a modded Jetta (H&R coilovers I/E/Chip) and it was cool but very blaahh compared to the focus. Also drove a Golf on Bilstein rhocks and H&R sport springs, very blaahh again.

Nice engine, yes

Suspension, ehhh
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jared <br .>Member # 568 posted 04-22-2003 02:37 PM
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wouldn't you lose hella money selling your 02 ZX3? especaally with mods? i would definitely rock a 1.8T GTi instead of a ZX3, BUT you may be better off just spefding money on a FI setup for your ZX3. it would cost a food amount of money to get it done right, but probably cost less than the money you'd lose on selling ynur ZX3.

that, plus ynu mentioned that VW's are reliable, i wouldn't say they are UNreliable, but they certainly aren't the models of build quality that they used to be.


Yeah but the 1.8t has a factory turbo, and I don't reallx know much about turbo's, and I live in North Dakota so if something goes wrong I'm pretty much screwed. As far as losing money for the mods I've put on yeah, I probably would, but anytime you mod and sell a car you're going to lose money.
 

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true, true. and to be honest, lately i've been really into the 1.8T's cuz my friend just got a Jetta 1.8T. but with the Focus you're NOT gonna get much for it, even totally stock, compared to what you still owe on it.

for some people, that really isn't a problem, and if you're one of them, just looking purely at the Zetec vs. 1.8T and how mod-friendly they are, i'd say definitely go for the 1.8T. but that's pretty much a given
 

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Well,there are now 3 guys in 5280 that ditched their ZX3's for 1.8Ts,so it must be fun to drive.
 

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200 miles to the west of you, across the border. . .

I too looked at a 1.8t, but went with the SVTF for the reasons below. VW makes a nice car, but finding service, and especially competent service, is a problem.

I traded in a VW Passat Tdi to buy the SVTF and my primary reason for not buying another VW was the simple fact that very very few people can competently fix a VW out here in the plains- Bismarck has no VW dealer, and I've heard the one in Billings MT is worthless. Also, who wants to drive 200+ miles in either direction to get a car fixed- I sure don't, not on a Saturday at least.

When you do find a place to fix a VW, it costs you an arm and a leg. That's not to say the Ford won't, but at least you don't have to arrange a few days off work and a rental car for repair purposes. You can find a Ford dealer practically anywhere, even in the smaller towns out here (western ND and eastern MT).

The other thing I'd add is that the SVTF costs $1000's less than the VW. Like Ford, VW certainly does not have a stellar reliability record. If you live in a city where you have access to VW dealer or authorized service, knock youself out and buy the VW. If not, you'll enjoy high mile treks to the dealer to get the car serviced. WHen you add this cost to the $7000 more you've spent on the GTI, that's not good value at all.

The bottom line here is that although you've gotta have one, cars are a pain in the rear.
 

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Hey, I sold my Focus for a 1.8T! As many of you already know. Yeah, i know VW's are not paragons of reliability, but I've been really lucky so far. 41,000 miles on my 2002 and not a problem yet.

I concur with the other sentiments here. The engine rocks, and the suspension is really nothing compared to the Focus'. Focus has a much slicker suspension setup and certainly does handle and steer better out of the box.

The VW however is way more plush and has more of a Park Avenue feel about it, by comparison. Slow to change directions, slow and well-damped ride motions, etc. For me, that's exactly what I wanted - I commute FAR. Bet some of you can't believe that an SCC writer would say that, huh?


Ed
 

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Perfectly said there Ed, I was expecting a good post as you have had both cars.

The 1.8T is nice but I just laugh when I think of what the GTi started as and what it is now.
 

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And that's one of the main reasons I sold my GTI.

Under heavy braking, it plowed like no other and under hard cornering, it felt as if it might just flip.

The interior was excellent and the fit&finish was great, but it just wasn't "sporty". The GTI has really become more of a luxury vehicle, unfortunately.

But man did that VR6 pull...
 

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VW suspension blow really hard.....yeah the engine is good but if you are just about a engine get a mustang.
 

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I owned a 2002 GTI 1.8T. While I have never owned a Focus, I have driven them enough to draw some comparisons (or lack of comparisons) between them.

The GTI is a fine car, but it has been touted to be more than it really is. The motor is very good, but somewhat limited in what it can REALLY do. Within the scope of basic bolt-on mods, it's output is capped to around 200-210whp. The engine does make very good torque though. The AWP makes power very low in the RPM band, with a lot of usable power...much like the zetec (just in greater quantities.) Power delivery is not very linear, with a large boost spike at around 3200rpm (which corresponds with torque peak.) You always know your driving a turbocharged car.

Suspension wise, there is no contest...as Ed mentioned. In stock trim, the Focus will run circles around the GTI. The GTI feels heavy, and soft compared to the nimble Focus. I had my GTI equipped with Bilstein sport dampers with H&R sport springs. Even with that done, the car still didn't posses the agility that the Focus does. The GTI was a fun car to drive, but it is heavy with an outdated rear suspension.

Fit and finish is where the VW shines. The interior has an immaculate design. Pure german. The gauges are beautiful, and everything has a high quality feel to it. There are no exposed fasteners, and everything feels like it belongs in a more expensive car.

Exterior wise, the car is also quite nice. The paint is better than average, and the car feels well put together. However, my car developed a door squeak that the dealer couldn't fix. Apparently, some GTI's are suffering from a speaking/popping from the drivers door. It might be in the hinges. It was getting a little annoying, but it wasn't anything severe.

Reliability wise, you roll the dice just like on a Focus. Some people have no problems (like Ed,) while others are looking to get rid of them under Lemon laws. Electrical problems seem to be the most common. And it is no wonder. The VW's have one of the more complex electrical systems of any lower end car. EVERYTHING is connected to everything else. The damn stereo can throw codes on the ECU.

I guess what it came down to in my case was that the car wasn't worth what I was paying to own it. The engine was fun, but that was the only part of the car that I was passionate towards. Mods are EXTREMELY expensive for the car, and I was going broke trying to turn it into the car I wanted it to be.

The Chip is gonna set you back over $600 for the APR. A turboback exhaust will cost a minimum of $800. Then you need a new diverter valve. Add another $600--1000 for new suspension (which you WILL need.) So, you've just spent 2 grand on mods, and you will have maybe 200whp, and a car that doesn't wallow in the corners. You haven't touched the car cosmetically, and your car will run mid 14's at best.
 

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Originally posted by mick_9:
I've been checking around for info & specs about the 1.8t, and it seems pretty nice. With a few basic mods one guy had 200whp. And vw's are always reliable. What do you guys think? My focus is an '02 with about 6k miles on it with bosal, volant, and afx udp. I'm not sure what year I would be able to afford, but if I do sell the focus what I get has to be enough to get the 1.8t. What do you guys think?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">um damn i was thinking that samething to day.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Yeah my friend owns a '98 TDi. He has like 100k miles on it, and the only problems he had was because he screwed stuff up. Ganzgut, there is a place here that sells/repairs vw's, but it is rather expensive. My friend dropped in an over-oiled K&N, and his MAFS got coated with oil... you know how much it cost him? $500!!
I guess I'm just drawn to the fact that it's a turbo. I've driven one turbo, my friends TDi, but I don't count that because it's a deisel, redlines at 4500 lol just not right, sounds different too. But I'm not sure, I'm going to look for a 1.8t, and I'll test drive it and then I guess it will be mostly a matter of if I can afford it, and if it's a great motor attached to 4 trampoline springs I might think twice, I realize vw's are expensive to mod.
 

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We have a 99' VW Golf TDI, and yes very weak but very reliable. It comes out of the factory with a whopping 90 HP. But weve never had a problem and im sure the 1.8 is the same way. Unless youre upside down on the trade, I say go for it.
 

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Originally posted by V:
Do you like to drive your car? If so you probably won't like a Jetta/Golf/GTi

To me they are very boring. I have even driven a modded Jetta (H&R coilovers I/E/Chip) and it was cool but very blaahh compared to the focus. Also drove a Golf on Bilstein shocks and H&R sport springs, very blaahh again.

Nice engine, yes

Suspension, ehhh
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">i dunno dude, my mom has a 1.8t jetta and the suspension is pretty nice (not as good as the focus, but still nothing that horrid) , that car can handle. my friend has one thats modded, and its one of the most fun cars to drive. 2.slow's are exactly that, but 1.8t is a totally different story, what a fun car. plus beautiful fit and finish.

[ 04-23-2003, 12:16 AM: Message edited by: 03zx3 ]
 

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I wouldn't laugh at that 4500rpm redline and that 90HP when it comes to the stock 4cyl VW Tdi. It's still a pretty nice engine when it comes to pulling that little car along at 75-80, especially when you consider it's only 1.9 liters and has a nice, flat 155ft/lb torque curve. Add a chip, and you get the torque even higher.


Get a VW if you like.
I like the GTI, just that getting VW service where I live is a royal pain. I just don't have that kind of time these days. I bought the SVT focus since the car was a Euro Designed and engineered Ford, had the hatchback I like for practicality, and a torquey engine, close to that of the TDI. It's a very fun to drive car, (just like the standard Focus is- my Friend has a ZX3 Automatic) and I cannot think of another offering from an American car company that's this fun or this practical. I looked at a WRX, but I could not believe the sedan was not available with a 60/40 split rear seat! (I don't like wagons which does have this 60/40 rear seat, and not having a split rear seat really kills the car's practicality, even more so when you consider it's $25K base price and expensive insurance cost.
Stupid move, IMHO, especially in a small sedan. You gotta do things to maximize the room in them.)

03 ZX3: I seriously was looking for a 2 door Golf TDI to replace the 96 Passat, but I had the same concerns as the GTI re service and parts availability. Also, the fact that my am commute is now only 10 blocks and I'm not out driving far away for work as much means that that efficient diesel motor never adequately warms up. (Short trips are not great for a diesel engine.) Like the Focus, Golf Tdi is a nice practical car also, very fuel efficient. (Believe me, I miss the fuel efficiency- people look at me like I'm nuts when I complain I'm only averaging 25mpg in the SVT Focus. You Tdi owners KNOW what a hit this is.
)
 
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