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57 posts

Master Geek

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#275669 3-Sep-2020 08:36
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The time has come to replace our diesel Hyundai i30 wagon. Small station wagons are rare these days. We have been looking at 2019 Ford Focus S/W’s like this 


It has a conventional 8 speed auto not the troublesome DCT of earlier models. Is there anything else I should be aware of?

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Uber Geek

  #2556160 3-Sep-2020 09:57
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To be honest that model and it's engine and transmission are so new it's hard to make any reasonable call other than the known issues from the prior generation have been changed or addressed.  The Focus range has a pretty good track record of being reliable and economical, outside of the RS models anyway.

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  #2556557 3-Sep-2020 16:18
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From my research I found that only the petrol models had problems with the auto gearboxes - the diesels had a conventional gearbox and never suffered the same issues.


I have a 2016 Focus diesel Trend wagon automatic which I use as my daily commuter and have found it to be great. It's the model previous to the one you're looking at. To be honest the depreciation on these seems to be huge. I picked mine up at the start of the year (3.5 years old) with 75k kms on it for $10k. I figure the very worst of the depreciation is over in my case.


To me the diesel wagon Focus is a bit of a sleeper. The torque on acceleration is amazing and they really do run on the smell of an oily rag, especially on the open road. I get around 5-6 litres per 100km in the city (Christchurch) and around 4 litres per hundred on the open road just cruising. Annoyingly the RUC costs more per km than the fuel. They are comfortable and well equipped, and I am sure the 2019 is even more so.


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  #2556593 3-Sep-2020 17:25
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As a Focus (petrol hatch) owner the biggest bugbear for me is the exorbitant servicing costs by franchised dealers.

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Uber Geek

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  #2556610 3-Sep-2020 18:24
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Paging the world's biggest Focus fan @sbiddle

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  #2556623 3-Sep-2020 19:55
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A colleague drives one - window leaks around the rubber.


Has had rear shock and brake troubles... he's up to about 90,000k's now.


Servicing through Ford is wickedly high.




He would not choose another.


Frugal, goes 'okay' on the road... but it doesn't exactly scream reliability or feel overly well appointed compared to other vehicles in the fleet.

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Uber Geek


  #2556646 3-Sep-2020 21:40
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Are you absolutely hung up on having a diesel? They're not as cheap as everyone thinks they are to run when you take in the extra servicing costs and the RUC.


A colleague and I did a back of the envelope costing recently comparing a large V6 petrol sedan with a diesel Corolla over a 100 km open road trip using our observed real world fuel consumption for each vehicle. We only counted fuel and RUC. The costs were about equal which surprised the both of us.


Sure we were only comparing highway trips, which is what both of us mainly do. Around town running will skew the figures in favour of the diesel.

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Uber Geek

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  #2556666 3-Sep-2020 23:51
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Review from last year:


The summary on google is "Do people still buy small diesel wagons? Not really, but the Ford Focus is a very good one anyway"

My take on the market:


  • Segment is loosing buyers to the softroader suv segment like crazy. (a pity as because I think small wagons are awesome).
  • The NZ petrol tax / RUC system favors petrol from a tax perspective for vehicles of this size, and diesel for vehicles that would be very thirsty in petrol trim (aerodynamic SUV's, Utes, Vans etc). As vehicles get more efficient and the tax policy remains the same, the cross over threshold is increasingly large vehicles.
  • Diesel exhaust fumes being listed as a class 1 carcinogen & the VW dieselgate fallout has dampened the popularity of diesel fuel in vehicles that can be economically run on petrol.
  • Hybrids (especially Toyota) and plug in vehicles winning buyers chasing the lowest fuel consumption.
  • Concern about reliability of diesel emissions control systems (and need for regular 80km/h+ driving) further detouring buyers.

Seems ford has dropped the wagon version of the focus this year (which was the previously the only diesel focus, so diesel fuel is out too).


My take of the small wagon market.

If you want performance / handeling there is the levorg. The 2.0L is the one people want. The 1.6 ex japan is much cheaper but has only 125kW, I imagine still handles nicely.

If you want cheap purchase price there is the corolla wagon (now built on the yaris platform I think) $30k driveway.

If you want economy get a hybrid (prius alpha?).

Otherwise it is only really the i30 waqon vs the last of the focus wagons.




Many buyers will in this segment will be looking at crossing over to something like the rav4 hybrid. You can get a 2019 exdemo for $40k. Its 163kW AWD, with fuel consumption of 4.8L/100km on 91RON.


It's pretty sad that nobody puts a drivetrain like that into a small wagon.




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Uber Geek

  #2556673 4-Sep-2020 00:52
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Some of the Skoda wagons are closer to 'small' than the likes of the Ford Mondeo's etc.


They are nice cars, but they cost a lot more than they are probably worth in my opinion and servicing outside of warranty is phenomenally pricey for what you're getting (a VW in different clothing).

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  #2556693 4-Sep-2020 07:24
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Servicing through Ford is wickedly high.



Wickedly high is an understatement. They give dentists a good run for their money.


I had a heater core replaced in my car last month. This is a major job that's around 12 hours of labour to completely dismantle the cabin (remove seats + dash) to swap out the heater core. The heatore core itself is cheap - $180 or so, but labour costs were something crazy like $130 per hour which is just absurd for a mechanic, but finding outside mechanics capable of doing the job gives very limited options.



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Ultimate Geek


  #2556699 4-Sep-2020 07:52
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Would you consider an Astra wagon? There's a fair few on TM which seem like bargains.... but I suppose the problem of it being a Holden....



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  #2557229 4-Sep-2020 19:30
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  #2557234 4-Sep-2020 19:42
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Would you consider an Astra wagon? There's a fair few on TM which seem like bargains.... but I suppose the problem of it being a Holden....





And the other problem is it's an Astra.


My employer in UK had a fleet of Astra diesel wagons we had to use, they were the lowest form of transport.  Admittedly that's a while ago but I'm still sufficiently traumatised I'd never buy an Astra

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  #2557323 5-Sep-2020 00:18
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If we are talking euro built wagons like the astra, one could go all the way and get a euro badge as well. Something like a VW golf.


Would be quite nice to drive, but would want to check if the clutches are dry or wet in the DSG if you plan to own it for a while.

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