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MacAztec
Aug 6, 2004, 09:19 PM
Hi. I am looking to get a car soon, and there are 2 cars that I am interested in. I can get a Cadillac Eldorado (1993-1995) for around 6000 dollars, with 70k miles. I can also get a Ford Focus Z-Tech hatchback 2 door for around the same price, with around 50k miles.

I want a car with some zip to it, a nice ride, and fun to drive. I am turning 16, and both cars seem pretty sweet. Here are the pros/cons of each

Cadillac:

Pros

285-300HP V8 Northstar Engine
Leather interior
Looks VERY nice
VERY smooth ride
FAST

Cons

Older, may have problems
Old person car (could be....)
Not very good fuel economy (22mpg)


Focus:

Pros

Compact car
Great gas milage
Quick
Fun to drive

Cons

Weird lookin
Not as smooth a ride
Not as luxurious


What car would you recommend to get? I think they are both pretty sweet. I have about 6500 tops to spend. What other cars may be a good choice?

Sun Baked
Aug 6, 2004, 09:36 PM
Personally I would have said go old fart car, though not one of the FWD cars.

A Mercury Grand Marquis would be cheap, big, with low insurance and repair bills.

I would have said Crown Vic, but that could get you in trouble. ;)

And they're slightyly more expensive to insure than the Mecury -- because fewer old farts own them.

---

The only thing you have to worry about on them is the plastic intake runner on the coolant crossover (where alternator ties in).

Otherwise they are cheap, and relatively easy to keep repaired (plug wires when engine runs rough and tranny fluid every 20-30k when they hit 100k *).

---

Might not be sexy, but they give you a lot less trouble than any Focus.

* Basically easy to do either and the symptoms of needing either are easy to diagnose, vehicle run like crap and sounds/feels like it's broken bad -- change plug wires and tranny fluid...

Groovsonic
Aug 6, 2004, 09:50 PM
I would totally go for the Eldorado. But that's just me...

Millions and Millions of people have a Focus. There is nothing wrong with a Focus. But I would much rather stand apart and have a fast, cushy, roomy car.

I am 22, and I don't think of the Eldorado as being an old fart car. Besides, what makes a car an old fart car? Get what you like because you like it, not because of what people might think of it.

Plus, and take my word from experience on this one, getting a bigger car is a good idea for a first car anyways. Your chances of getting in an accident are higher right now as you are a more inexperienced driver. Having a bigger car with more steel surrounding you is a good idea.

Sun Baked
Aug 6, 2004, 10:04 PM
But I would much rather stand apart and have a fast, cushy, roomy car.

I am 22, and I don't think of the Eldorado as being an old fart car. Besides, what makes a car an old fart car? Get what you like because you like it, not because of what people might think of it.It's a high school thing that 80% of the people never outgrow.

But things like the Cadillac, Lincolns, and Buicks tend to be purchased by the blue haired crowd.

If you walk in with your father and grandfather -- they'll butter up the oldest person in the group.

jimsowden
Aug 6, 2004, 10:27 PM
Northstars are crap. They have major malfunctions when the 2 unused pistons don't reveive lube. And ford? Thats the Dell of cars. Why not just get a jetta or a civic and put one of those loub mufflers on it? You kids have no class.

Counterfit
Aug 6, 2004, 11:31 PM
Why not just get a jetta or a civic and put one of those loub mufflers on it? You kids have no class. Please please PLEASE tell me this is sarcastic!

Sun Baked
Aug 6, 2004, 11:37 PM
Please please PLEASE tell me this is sarcastic!Nope, just a sign of early senility.

Toreador93
Aug 7, 2004, 01:22 AM
What year Focus? They had some troubles before 2003 I believe.

Cadillacs...they have problems.

I'm a bit biased because GM ticks me off (drove 1981 caddy, they're turning Saab into trash), but here are some things to think about.

There is a reason Cadillacs depreciate so quickly. Fixing a Caddy isn't cheap. And it's usually not something your local mechanic can fix. Suspension might be sub-par.

But damn, that Northstar is sweet. I haven't heard anything bad about the engines or transmissions. In fact, I've heard they are one of the best drivetrains available. My 1981 Caddy was in mint condition (it was my grandfather's). It wasn't fast, agile, or mechanically sound, but it was damn cool looking!

Focuses (foci?) have their own problems. You'll probably be getting one of the early years which are known to have sub-par reliability. But it might still be under warranty. I don't really know of any specific problems, but most of them should be recalls. Engine definitely has less grunt than the Caddy.

Suspension will be more fun. You'll probably be taking corners more than you'll be drag racing. There are probably engine kits and many more upgrades available.

In conclusion...good luck deciding. I'd probably pay an independent mechanic $50 or $100 to look both cars over. If the Caddy passes the test, and you can afford to fix some potentially major electronic problems, go for it.

Abstract
Aug 7, 2004, 01:49 AM
I say get the Focus.

They're good cars (when they work). :p I believe its the most recalled car in the history of the auto industry. Something about a dozen or so recalls by Ford in its first 2 or 3 years. Make sure you don't get a pre 2001 model. ;)

stevehaslip
Aug 7, 2004, 08:14 AM
I've not heard of any big problems with the UK Focus but then the US ones are probably made somewhere different and to slightly different specs. I would go for the Focus myself but then they are bringing out a new one in a year or so, so prices will drop considerably. In terms of an investment the Focus will proabably lose alot in value, i can't really speak about the cadillac - we don't get many of them in the UK. its probably full of horrid grey plastic though!

By the way the new Focus looks disgusting so don't hold out for it.

poopyhead
Aug 7, 2004, 09:19 AM
you wanna be different
you want luxery
you need safety

get a used saab 900 or 9-3
tons of neat gadgets, a good hk sound system, leather, a turbo, and safety

evil
Aug 7, 2004, 09:26 AM
i would definately go with the eldorado.

iGav
Aug 7, 2004, 09:56 AM
I've not heard of any big problems with the UK Focus

Nor me... I do infact recall it being voted Europes most reliable car during the late '90's early 00's. The U.S. version must be different.

I've never driven a Caddy, so I can't comment on that, but every single review I've read of any model that was unfortunately shipped to our shore has got a serious pasting for being... well crap. Okay in a straight line, doesn't do corners. But the sums up alot of yank tanks with that jelly suspension that's fitted because of 'comfort' :eek: :p :p

Aren't Caddy's pimp cars as well?? :eek: :p

pseudobrit
Aug 7, 2004, 12:03 PM
The Focus is going to be much newer (2001? guessing by the price you listed) and likley had most of the recall-type problems it's going to have sorted out by the time you get it.

The Caddy, on the other hand, is about to go into its prime (over ten years old) for very expensive and extensive repairs. Price out the (water-cooled!) alternator on a Caddy sometime. Tranny work? Head work? Brake/suspension work? You don't even wanna know how much that **** can run ya!

Plus, spending $6000 or more on a ten year old car of any make or model isn't a wise choice, unless it's a specialty car (think Porsche 944, M3, Lotus), but in those cases you should be prepared to spend the price of the car again in repairs in the first year or two of ownership.

Coupled with the crappy gas mileage, I'd say the ElDo would be your money pit. Go with the Focus, unless you really like your mechanic.

EJBasile
Aug 7, 2004, 02:19 PM
I'm not really a ford fan but I would get the focus becuase its newer and will probably have less problems. Plus people might make fun of you for driving a cadillac because they are often considered as old people cars (except for the esclade series, lol)

Sun Baked
Aug 7, 2004, 02:26 PM
I'm not really a ford fan but I would get the focus becuase its newer and will probably have less problems. Plus people might make fun of you for driving a cadillac because they are often considered as old people cars (except for the esclade series, lol)Newer/fewer miles doesn't mean fewer problems...

It all depends on the repair history of the vehicle.

And it's unfortunate that the Ford Focus really hasn't had a good track record of hitting 200k miles with few mechanical problems.

Sort of sad that the new Ford youth vehicle can sour owners on Ford for life, when some of their other cars do tend to have much better repair histories.

EJBasile
Aug 7, 2004, 11:16 PM
Newer/fewer miles doesn't mean fewer problems...

It all depends on the repair history of the vehicle.

And it's unfortunate that the Ford Focus really hasn't had a good track record of hitting 200k miles with few mechanical problems.

Sort of sad that the new Ford youth vehicle can sour owners on Ford for life, when some of their other cars do tend to have much better repair histories.

Considering the focus has had a good repair historty. I have never owned a car that hasn't had a mechanical problem before 200k, 125k for that matter. Maybe its just my cars.

How high are cadillacs repair prices?

Maybe a Honda would be a good choice- innexpensive and reliable

Sun Baked
Aug 7, 2004, 11:45 PM
Considering the focus has had a good repair historty. I have never owned a car that hasn't had a mechanical problem before 200k, 125k for that matter. Maybe its just my cars.The Ford Focus repair history sucks, so far, don't know about the newer ones -- but a lot of the reports said they won't be fixed until the replacement car comes out.

The Focus was supposed to eliminate the problems of the Escort, and make the car as reliable and trouble free as a Toyota/Honda -- it fell far short.

Of course it is much better than the Neon. :rolleyes:

---

I game him the name of a car he can get with 70k+ miles and expect to have few if any powertrain problems (besides the need for plug wires and tranny flush).

The only major problem with the Ford 4.6 modular motor is the coolant crossover, if it's not aluminum skip the vehicle -- or budget the cost of a new intake into the price.

You can totally blow the motor and tranny and still get them replaced (junkyard or rebuilt) for far less than the cost of the same stupidity in a Focus.

If it wasn't for the Police fleets, Ford would never have fixed the intake problem -- like they neglected to do so many of the Focus weak points.

Plus, if he wants speed -- a lot of the Mustang stuff has found their way onto the sedans.

They're not perfect -- but the brakes, shocks, tie rod ends, ect. are all far less on these than the Focus.

jywv8
Aug 8, 2004, 01:08 AM
As an actual owner of a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 (2 door hatchback, purchased new), here is my 2 cents.

Space: The main reason I bought the car was that I wanted a compact hatchback, and the Focus was the only compact I found that didn't feel like a compact. Everyone who rides with me for the first time is always shocked at how roomy the interior feels (it being a compact and all). Due to the interior height, you'd be surprised and how much you can fit in the trunk, even when you don't fold the back seats down. And when you do fold the seats down...man, I fit a whole Lazy Boy back there the last time I moved.

Looks: Personally, I really like the styling, both inside and out. I think the hatchback looks way better than the sedan or the wagon (neither of which I like in this regard).

Reliability: I have had zero mechanical/reliabilty issues. However, over the first two years I owned it, I received 5 recall notices. That was very annoying.

Other: I think the Focus is a lot of fun to drive. It's no speed demon, but I live in Chicago, so I don't really need (or get a chance to use) a lot of horsepower. However, I recently drove it down to Atlanta and back, and it was fab. I got great gas mileage, too.

All things considered, I would recommend the car to my friends.

iJon
Aug 8, 2004, 01:47 AM
come on aztek, we talked about this before. get the lac. just cause my grandma drives a deville doesn't mean i would drive it. plus with that northstar engine you can street race the riced our focuses on the road. what do you mean old fart car anyways, do you not watch mtv :p.

iJon

Abstract
Aug 8, 2004, 02:29 AM
As an actual owner of a 2000 Ford Focus ZX3 (2 door hatchback, purchased new), here is my 2 cents.

Space: The main reason I bought the car was that I wanted a compact hatchback, and the Focus was the only compact I found that didn't feel like a compact. Everyone who rides with me for the first time is always shocked at how roomy the interior feels (it being a compact and all). Due to the interior height, you'd be surprised and how much you can fit in the trunk, even when you don't fold the back seats down. And when you do fold the seats down...man, I fit a whole Lazy Boy back there the last time I moved.

<snip>

Reliability: I have had zero mechanical/reliabilty issues. However, over the first two years I owned it, I received 5 recall notices. That was very annoying.



Yeah, the first time I ever got into one, I was actually quite amazed at the comfort of the back seat, size of the car in general, headroom, legroom, etc, in such a small looking car. You got a good car. My friend owns the same car, 1st year of release, and lets just say that he got a few more than 5 recall notices. Consider yourself lucky. :p

Chip NoVaMac
Aug 8, 2004, 09:39 AM
There was a recent article on the Apple Netscape News that talked about this sort of thing. While getting a luxury car seems appealing, they are far more expensive to repair. Too many gadgets that go wrong.

At 16, one should IMO look at reliability and cheapness of repair. Saturns are cheap on the used market, and are up there with Japanese cars in reliability.

Sun Baked
Aug 8, 2004, 09:48 AM
Fords Trouble Prone Focus Hit With Safety Recalls, Service Campaigns & Investigations

With 11 safety recalls to date and 6 defect investigations, the Ford Focus is proving to be an embarrassment to Ford Motor Company and its new President William Clay Ford, who are trying to stress quality in the wake of the Ford Explorer/Firestone ATX, Wilderness AT tire debacle. Not since General Motors introduced its ill-fated X-car in 1980 (Buick Skylark, Chevrolet Citation, Oldsmobile Omega and Pontiac Phoenix) which had 13 recalls in its first two years has a manufacturer had so many recalls. Among the Focus recalls are 351,000 2000 models whose roof pillars can cause head injuries in crashes and 203,700 2000 models whose left rear wheel falls off.

The Focus' sinking reputation was further hammered hard by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) announcement of 6 major investigations from February to May 2002. Evening up the wheel problem, NHTSA launched a new investigation into wheels falling off the 2000 models, only this time it was both right and left rear wheels. The 2000-01 models were hit with an investigation into engine compartment fires, resulting in a recall. Airbags that deployed inadvertently and that burned drivers were the subjects of two investigations in 2000-01 models. 2000-2002 models were under investigation for collapse of the front suspension. 2000-01 models were investigated for engine stalling, but the investigation was closed after NHTSA assented to a pseudo-service campaign - See "NHTSA Gambles with Focus Owners' Lives."

In November 1999, CAS wrote then Chairman William Clay Ford and warned him about Ford's overall reputation for poor quality and covering up defects to avoid recalls. The Focus fiasco shows Mr. Ford has a long row to hoe before he can restore some of the luster to his great grandfather's company.

"A Low Cost Model Is a Big Headache to Ford" New York Time, 11/20/02

"Ford To Repair Springs on Focus" Cleveland Plain Dealer, 5/20/03

"Ford's Warranty on Focus Extended: Engines Can Stall" Cleveland Plain Dealer, 11/20/03

Ford Focus Recalls

NHTSA Identification Number: 99V-346

Mfg Campaign No. 99S35 -Cruise control. DOM 7/99-11/99. Speed control cable end fitting can allow water to enter speed control servo assembly. Corrosion in servo assembly could develop and cause intermittent speed control operation or prevent throttle from returning to idle which could result in unexpected acceleration and crash. Correct by replacing speed control cable with new cable and inspecting assembly for internal corrosion and replacing servos with evidence of corrosion. Advise owners not to use speed control until vehicles are repaired.

NHTSA Identification Number: 00V-218

Mfg Campaign No. 00S20 - Roof pillar/FMVSS 201. DOM: 7/99-7/00. Vehicles fail to comply with requirements of FMVSS 201. The resultant HIC(d) value at one target location AP1, located on the trim panel at the juncture of the A-pillar and roof side rail, may be greater than design intent. Occupants in this location may not be provided with the needed impact protection. Correct by installing a new A-pillar trim panel.

NHTSA Identification Number: 00V-302

Mfg. Campaign No. 00S30 - Speed Control/Transmission. DOM: 3/99-10/99. Passenger vehicles equipped with speed control. Some control cables have a core wire that is long enough to catch on the sleeve at the throttle body end of the cable during wide-open throttle acceleration. A throttle that does not return to idle reduces vehicle control and risks a vehicle crash. Correct by inspecting these vehicles and, if necessary, replacing the speed control cable.

NHTSA Identification Number: 00V-303

Mfg. Campaign No. 00S31 - Wheel hub. DOM: 3/99-5/00. Some rear wheel hub retaining nuts loosen, allowing the left rear wheel and brake drum assembly to separate from the vehicle. Correct by inspecting the rear wheel bearings and installing a rear wheel retention cap to prevent left rear wheel separation.

NHTSA Identification Number: 00V-411

Mfg. Campaign No. 00S50 - Tail lamp. DOM: 3/99-12/99. on certain passenger vehicles, a decklid wire harness can fatigue and develop broken wires in the bend area of the wire harness. This results in either a loss of individual lamp functions, an electrical short in the broken wires that causes a fuse to open, or the loss of stop lamp or tail lamp function. Loss of stop lamp or tail lamp function increases the risk of a crash. Correct by replacing the decklid wire harness.

NHTSA Identification Number: 00V-418

Mfg. Campaign No. 00S55 - Seats. DOM: 3/99-10/00. Vehicles have a folding 60/40 second seat that becomes a load floor in the folded position. When the 60 percent portion of the seat is folded down and a load is applied to the front edge of the load floor, the outboard hinge pivot can disengage from the hinge. If the seat is then returned to the upright position without re-engaging the hinge pivot, the seat and seat belts do not provide the intended level of protection in the event of a crash. Correct by installing revised seat back hinge pivot.

NHTSA Identification Number: 01V-108

Mfg. Campaign No. 01S13 - Seats. DOM: 3/01. Some seat back recliner handle springs were damaged during an in-process test and the occupant may notice a chucking, or looseness of the front seat back. The seat back unexpectedly reclines. If the seat back unexpectedly reclines while the car is being driven, it results in loss of vehicle control. Correct by replacing the seat back recliner handle spring for the driver and front passenger seats.

NHTSA Identification Number: 01V-258

Mfg. Campaign No. 01S24 - Wiper Motor. DOM: (N/A). A switch in the plastic cover of the wiper motor gear case overheats and malfunctions, resulting in loss of wiper function and ignition of the plastic cover, increasing the risk of a crash. Correct by replacing wiper motor gear case.

NHTSA Identification Number: 02V-117

Mfg Campaign No. 02S37 -Speed Control. DOM 11/01-4/02. Speed control cable hangs up at the throttle body bracket during high, wide open throttle operation, preventing the throttle from returning to the closed position when the accelerator is released. Correct by replacing the throttle body and checking for proper operation.

NHTSA Identification Number: 02V-288

Mfg Campaign No. 02S41 - Battery. DOM 7/99-5/01. Loose or Broken attachments and misrouted battery cables lead to cable insulation damage, causing battery cables to short, and resulting in heat damage to cables. Smoke, melting, fire, engine light illumination or vehicle failure to start may result. Correct by inspecting cable insulation condition, proper torque at terminal ends, rerouting and replacing cables as necessary.

NHTSA Identification Number: 02V-289

Mfg Campaign No. 02S42 - Steering. DOM 3/99-5/01. Loose pinch bolts securing the lower control arm to the steering knuckle may lead to separation of the joint or fracture of the ball joint stud. Correct by verifying steering knuckle torque, tightening if necessary.

Ford Focus Service Campaigns

Service Campaigns are voluntary programs in which the manufacturer agrees to replace or repair a defect beyond the terms of the express warranty and may provide for reimbursement for prior repairs. Unlike a safety recall, the program may be limited in time beyond which the consumer receives no assistance. Sometimes the NHTSA accepts a Service Campaign in lieu of a safety recalls which means manufacturers and/or dealers are not subject to the enforcement provisions of the National Traffic and Motor Vehicle Safety Act. When NHTSA accepts a Service Campaign in lieu of the more consumer protective Safety Recall, NHTSA lists the Campaign on its website.

NHTSA Identification Number: 01I-017

Rear wheel bearing seal race can experience surface corrosion, allowing contamination to enter the bearings, resulting in noise/wobbling. Limited to "Salt-Belt" states: CT, DE, IL, IN, IA, KY, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, VT, WV, WI.

Ford Campaign No.: 01B85

Terms: Replace rear wheel bearings through December 31, 2003 regardless of mileage

Ford Campaign No.: 03M02 (See EA02-023)

Terms: Covers front coil spring fracture through earlier of 10 years or 150,000 miles

Ford Campaign No.: 03N01 (See EA02-022)
Subject: Fuel Delivery Module
Models Covered: 2000-01 Focus built at the Wayne and Hermosillo Assembly Plants from Job #1, 1999 through June 13, 2001.

Defect Investigations

PE02-016, Closed

Subject: Rear Wheel Bearing Failure
-Rear wheel bearings may fail, causing rear wheel to loosen and separate
from vehicle.

Investigation: EA02-017, PE02-020, Closed

Subject: Air Bag Burn Injuries/Vehicle Fires
-Air bag deployment may cause burn injuries and vehicle fires.

Investigation: PE02-026, Closed

Subject: Inappropriate Air Bag Deployment
-Air bags may deploy in low speed impacts, causing injury.

Investigation: EA02-014, PE02-032, Recall

Subject: Electrical System, Engine Compartment Fires
-Fires start in the battery area of the engine compartment.
(See Recall 02V-288)

Investigation: EA02-022, PE02-040, Open

Subject: Engine and Engine Cooling System
-Engine stalls
(See Service Campaign labeled as Recall 03V-482 - "NHTSA Gambles with Focus Owners' Lives")


Investigation: EA02-023, PE02-044, Closed

Subject: Front Suspension Lower Control Failure
- Front suspension may collapse, causing loss of control and crash.
(See Recall 02V-289)

KevRC4130
Aug 8, 2004, 11:31 AM
I'd say you should keep away from american cars, as they are very unreliable. Not only that, things made by GM seem to be the worst, and to top it all off, of GM cars, Cadillacs tend to be the worst of GM, especially the old ones. So basically, by getting the Eldorado, you are getting basically one of the most unreliable cars you can buy. I think you should get a Honda or Toyota, or if you want more class/money, an Acura or Lexus. And no, I'm not a ricer, in fact I hate rice. I just think that when you're a teen and tight for cash, an old american car with a gas guzzling V8 isn't your best option.

takao
Aug 8, 2004, 12:36 PM
wow i never heard that the focus is unreliable
our army is actually switching from those old VW golfs to ford focus station wagons since a few years because they are cheaper and more reliable
perhaps those european ones are different...who knows

Chip NoVaMac
Aug 8, 2004, 01:23 PM
wow i never heard that the focus is unreliable
our army is actually switching from those old VW golfs to ford focus station wagons since a few years because they are cheaper and more reliable
perhaps those european ones are different...who knows

The comments are about the US Focus. Ford (IMO) was too stupid to just take the European Focus and bring it stateside.

iGav
Aug 8, 2004, 01:46 PM
wow i never heard that the focus is unreliable
our army is actually switching from those old VW golfs to ford focus station wagons since a few years because they are cheaper and more reliable


I'm not surprised, VW's quality has been iffy for a few years now, it's alledged that VW have even refused to acknowledge that some of their recent models have suffered from "issues" and have point blank refused to recall them. :rolleyes:

Obviously they're not especially worried about continually being near the bottom of custom satisfaction and reliability charts... but then I suppose why worry when you're neck and neck with Mercedes on trying to claim that title. :eek: :p

johnnowak
Aug 8, 2004, 02:19 PM
Safety should be your ONLY priority. If you live in an area where you'll need to be getting on and off highways a lot, a car with some grunt would be nice so you can merge easier.

That said... do NOT buy a rear wheel drive car as your first car if you live in an area where it snows. You stand a good chance of crashing it if you don't have a lot of experience. RWD cars are awful in the snow (ignore anyone who tells you otherwise).

you wanna be different
you want luxery
you need safety

get a used saab 900 or 9-3
tons of neat gadgets, a good hk sound system, leather, a turbo, and safety

Saabs are lovely cars. I have a 9000 Turbo myself. They are very safe and sexy. You WILL pay through the nose though when it comes to repairs, I guarantee it. They're not cheap to maintain. Same for Volvos.

That old Caddy will ride like a boat, and the Focus isn't big enough to be safe (most likely). Poor handling with the Caddy is going to be just as dangerous as anything else. Note the newer Caddies are better in this regard... especially the CTS-V.

I'd recommend a used Accord or something. Something that's just going to run and is fairly safe. I managed to survive a 55 mph head on collision.. in fact I walked away without hesitation (although I couldn't hear anything for an hour and it hurt later).

Get a safe car... period. There's plenty of time later in life for sports cars.

A mid to late nineties Volvo 850 is an incredibly safe car btw for around $5000... if you live near someone who can service them without screwing you, I'd definitely get one. Note that with all cars around the mid to late nineties, one year may mean the difference between a passenger airbag, side impact beams, etc. Do your research. Have the car inspected before you buy it too. People are not adverse to ripping off teenagers.

Sun Baked
Aug 8, 2004, 02:24 PM
If somebody offers you an entry level Chrysler product, especially one with an automatic transmission, or worse yet a minivan or Neon.

Run away screaming.

Chip NoVaMac
Aug 8, 2004, 02:53 PM
I'm not surprised, VW's quality has been iffy for a few years now, it's alledged that VW have even refused to acknowledge that some of their recent models have suffered from "issues" and have point blank refused to recall them. :rolleyes:

Obviously they're not especially worried about continually being near the bottom of custom satisfaction and reliability charts... but then I suppose why worry when you're neck and neck with Mercedes on trying to claim that title. :eek: :p

I can say that as a former owner of a VW New Beetle '99, QC sucked a big one. I was able to get them to extend the warranty to 48K from the 24K. Only to suffer more two failures at 46k and 46.5K. I decided to dump and run. Went to a Honda Civic 2 door, only to go to a Subaru Baja a year half later. The Civic was just to harsh. Now with a year with the Subaru Baja, I can say that it is one of the best "trucks" in its class.

I will probably never own anything other that a Subaru or a Toyota in my life again. Honda would have been there too, but for their "denying" a problem with the oil filter design on the CRV's recently. Yeah, 20+ CRV's (in the US) caught fire for improperly installed oil filters.

The issue is that buyers no longer buy by brand, but on looks alone. In the US we dump and run with our cars. Also it is a matter that the luxury market is being pushed to add so much garbage that can and has gone wrong, that lead to the lower ratings for MB and others.

VW in the US did got to a 48K warranty to counter the bad QC. As fun as VW's were to drive, I will never own another one till Consumer Reports gives them a solid red dot.

winwintoo
Aug 12, 2004, 05:40 PM
Hi. I am looking to get a car soon, and there are 2 cars that I am interested in. I can get a Cadillac Eldorado (1993-1995) for around 6000 dollars, with 70k miles. I can also get a Ford Focus Z-Tech hatchback 2 door for around the same price, with around 50k miles.

>>>snip<<<<

What car would you recommend to get? I think they are both pretty sweet. I have about 6500 tops to spend. What other cars may be a good choice?

I thought of you yesterday while I was milling around on the street waiting for the fire department to reset the fire alarms and let us back into the building. Having little in common with my neighbors and wanting to be, well, neighborly, conversation turned to cars. I related my most recent car buying expedition and he told me about some repairs to his 1993 Cadillac Eldorado.

He says when he gets bored, he opens the hood and shines a flashlight around under there hoping to catch a glint of the gold that must be in there. He knows there must be gold because he just paid $750 for a new water pump.

m

Chip NoVaMac
Aug 12, 2004, 06:04 PM
Not to say that japanese cars are better overall. But history does show us that there seems to be better overall quality control.

That being said, Saturn's seem to have better QC that equals the Japanese. For what ever reason in the DC area their value falls behind the Japanese cars.

Stay away from luxury cars.....

3rdpath
Aug 12, 2004, 06:49 PM
my father was a driver/collector of caddies-especially the convertible eldo's...

they were a major pain to keep running. basically, they just fell apart. crappy gas mileage, everything that was powered(windows, seats, etc..) eventually stopped working...chugging, squeeking dinosaurs...

if you're into high maintenance land yachts, get the caddie.

justinshiding
Aug 12, 2004, 07:14 PM
Hmm. All I can say is that (and i havent read the previous posts so this might have been pointed out already) but cadillacs have a horrible record for reliability and they are fairly costly to repair. Since you're just 16 you might not want to saddle yourself with those kinds of repair bills. Me, I stick with imported cars ...my toyotas have served me very well , I have literally had nothing go wrong with them that I didnt cause myself. That's not to say they're all like that , but they are very reliable. :)

Justin

Edit : read previous posts...yup already mentioned.

sandmann41
Aug 13, 2004, 07:33 AM
There are many more vehicles that have received more recalls than the focus.
The focus recalls were just very publicized because the whole explorer tire problem had just taken place.

If you want a cheap, reliable, safe car, go with a focus. You would not believe the wrecks that people survive having in a focus.

Check out www.focaljet.com for more focus info. The site is owned and run by a mac fan too. :)

Sun Baked
Aug 13, 2004, 07:36 AM
Well GM just made Ford look a little bit better about their recalls, even with the fuel pump (ie, stalling) problem sitting on the back burner.

GM has avoided actually doing a recall that NHTSA ordered in 1999 until now. :rolleyes:

Don't worry folks it was only a problem with headlights and the ability to see at night, it shouldn't affect the owners of the vehicles. :rolleyes:

fuzzwud
Aug 13, 2004, 10:38 AM
the new 2005 focus will be built on the same platform as the Volvo S40 and the Mazda3. so i'm sure that will be a fun and safe car to drive. I plan to buy a new Mazda3 in a month.

as for Cadillac, i've never driven one; my aunt owned one (90s model) and rode in it. i believe recently Cadillac has improved its quality and reliability. Look at the JD power reports.

at the same time, I would not suggest buying a VW for its reliability issues ... it's hit or miss. I researched a lot into buying a Jetta or Passat (i liked them a lot), but i decided I didn't want to deal with poor service most of all.

I think repairs on any luxury car is going to be costly. I've heard that for Mercedes, Volvo, and even VW (not a real luxury brand). So I reason that Cadillac will be the same.

krimson
Aug 13, 2004, 10:42 AM
as for the Cadi, i'd stay away from any of the 90's manufactured ones. The Focus will cost you less in repair over the long run.

MacAztec
Aug 13, 2004, 01:05 PM
Ok, so I think I will get the Ford Focus. I REALLY like the Cadillac, but whateer car I get now, I will be taking to College. I don't want a car that will have problems and I will have to put lots of $ into.

I like the Focus HatchBack in Black, with the Zetec (ZX3) engine in it. Has anyone used this engine? Is it fast/zippy? What other focus models would you recommend?

3rdpath
Aug 13, 2004, 01:29 PM
you can also find info in Consumer Reports and online at www.edmunds.com

i used edmunds to research my last car purchase and got a wealth of info/reviews/pricing from their site and forums.

HeWhoSpitsFire
Aug 13, 2004, 02:23 PM
Car and Driver has rated the Focus most fun compact car for the past several years (SVT and ZX3). That is of course until the guys at Mopar cooked up the SRT-4 (I don't care what they do to it, it's still a Neon).

The funniest part about the whole thing is the Mazda 3/European Focus are the same car. Almost all successful small fords (count on several fingers) are all based on Mazdas. For example the Ranger is just a Mazda B2000. And yes the European models are ALWAYS better.

Chip NoVaMac
Aug 13, 2004, 02:59 PM
you can also find info in Consumer Reports and online at www.edmunds.com

i used edmunds to research my last car purchase and got a wealth of info/reviews/pricing from their site and forums.

Consumer Reports is always a good source overall IMO. Though it is like any survey. There are other factors that need to be looked at. Toyota, Honda, and Saturn - among others are great reliable performers. Some of the lower performers need IMO opinion to be looked at in terms of the economic/social sphere that they appeal too.

Meaning those that want he cheapest cars. are maybe the least likely to afford the up keep. Or maybe even take the care in in its warranty period, because it might lead to repairs that they might not be able to afford.

Though in my experience (having owned Mitsubishi, Mazda, Ford, Olds, Toyota, Honda, and Subaru over the last 20 years or so) that the Japanese cars are the most problem free. The most problem free have been the imports.