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At $2,100, Does This 2002 Ford Focus ZTW Deserve A Good Look?

Illustration for article titled At $2,100, Does This 2002 Ford Focus ZTW Deserve A Good Look?
Photo: Craigslist
Nice Price Or No DiceIs this used car a good deal? You decide!

The seller of today’s Nice Price or Crack Pipe Focus tout’s the car’s Zetec four and five-speed stick, but then brings us down by noting its rocker rot. Let’s see if it’s cheap enough to overlook the latter, or if it should just rust in peace.

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When considered on a per-pound basis, yesterday’s 2010 Porsche Cayenne Turbo seems to be a pretty legit deal. I mean, consider its $12,400 price divided by its 5,200-pound road weight. That works out to about $2.39 a pound, which is cheap ground chuck pricing. You know, the greasy 60/40 stuff, not the fancy 80/20 meat the rich people eat.

For many of you, that was enough. For even more, the fact that the Cayenne looked to be in decent shape and rocked an appreciably low overall mileage sealed the deal. When all was said and done we got ourselves a laudable 82 percent Nice Price win to kick off the week.

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When Ford dropped the Escort name for its small car here in the U.S. with the introduction of the Focus, no one really cared. The previous car had been around for about 20 years but it hadn’t ever really gained iconic status in the way the Mustang nameplate had. Things were different in Europe and Great Britain, however. There, the Escort had established itself over a 30-year life as Ford’s everyman car, offering everything from tradesman vans to rabidly hot hatches and everything in between.

Illustration for article titled At $2,100, Does This 2002 Ford Focus ZTW Deserve A Good Look?

If you’re a resident of the U.S., I’ll bet you haven’t ever really given the Focus much thought. It’s long been a solid contender in the small car category, standing up to the Corollas, Sentras, and Golfs of the world, but it hasn’t ever broken out of the pack. That’s a class of car that’s fallen from favor as well. So much so that Ford will soon cease sales of the model entirely here in the States.

When that happens, the only option for Focus lovers—if such a thing exists—will be the used market. At that point, cars like this 2002 Focus ZTW with its five-speed stick and 130 horsepower DOHC Zetec engine will prove to be some of the most sought-after by those Foci-fanatics. That is, should cars like this one manage to last that long.

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Illustration for article titled At $2,100, Does This 2002 Ford Focus ZTW Deserve A Good Look?

This one, in gold over tan leather, has had a ton of work done to keep it ticking. That includes what the seller describes as a “recent complete engine refresh,” which apparently means a lot of the external bits having been replaced. The timing belt (this is an interference engine) is said to have about 30K left in it, so that’s solid too.

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Other pluses include decent brakes, some Mustang GT-style wheels that may or may not have the proper offset, and some new suspension bits.

Illustration for article titled At $2,100, Does This 2002 Ford Focus ZTW Deserve A Good Look?
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There’s some lack of Focus here too. The seller notes that the engine work included an exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) delete and that is throwing up a CEL. The muffler has been removed in back, replaced with what’s called a “slight blast cap,” and one of those pony wheels has a bead leak necessitating occasional topping up with air.

Oh, and that’s the not-so-bad stuff. The most concerning elements here are the steering which seems to need new ball joints or a whole new rack, an axle seal leak in the transmission that someone tried to address with JBWeld, and… well, rust.

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The road rot is said to be prominent in the rockers and as you can see n the pics they look like the before shots in an Accutane ad. The exhaust system is apparently rife with the stuff too. The good news is that rockers for the Focus can be had for less than a C-note for the pair. Should you be handy instead of handsome, you could probably fix both problems over a couple of weekends in the driveway too.

The rest of the car is reasonably solid looking. The paint holds up okay and there aren’t too many dents, dings or scrapes on it. The interior looks serviceable as well, with some tear-through on the driver’s seat, but otherwise little to complain about. The beer tap shift knob is a cheeky bit of kit but also easily rectifiable should it not be your mug of suds.

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One thing to note here is that the current owner has added a pine tree air freshener to the car but seems to have failed to remove it from its retail packaging. What is up with that? It’s not like it’s an original Star Wars action figure or anything, my friend.

Illustration for article titled At $2,100, Does This 2002 Ford Focus ZTW Deserve A Good Look?
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Anyway, the car comes with a clean title and a sizable 225,000 on the clock. The wagon body is perhaps the Focus’ most attractive. It’s certainly the most utilitarian. And you know what? You simply don’t see these anymore. At least, I’m guessing that few of us are looking for them. Maybe there are tons out there but like pigeons, they just blend into the background.

You could blend into this seemingly well-kitted but somewhat flawed example for $2,100. That’s a good bit of change for an old Focus, but then this one does come with the Zetec mill, five-speed stick and that longroof body, all laudable attributes.

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So, what do you think, could this Focus be worth that $2,100 asking as it’s presented in the ad? Or, does that price blur the lines?

You decide!

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Cincinnati, OH Craigslist, or go here if the ad disappears.

H/T to JimmyLuntzel on the Twitter for the hookup!

Help me out with NPOCP. Hit me up at rob@jalopnik.com and send me a fixed-price tip. Remember to include your Kinja handle.

Rob Emslie is a contributing writer for Jalopnik. He has too many cars, and not enough time to work on them all.

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DISCUSSION

I don’t understand the massive CP vote here - It’s a running, functioning brown stick-shift wagon for (with a little negotiation) less than $2,000. This is prime Jalop content! At that price drive it until the wheels fall off, it’s probably a hoot.