The 1999 Ford Emphasis was a bit of an odd duck. While it proudly wore an American manufacturer’s badge and was assembled in Wayne, Michigan, for the U.S. market place, it was largely a product of Ford’s European arm, the place it wanted to contend with the likes of the Volkswagen Golfing and other proven compact staples.
This ostensibly American compact was also greatly motivated by world arms of the then-bigger Ford empire. Mazda performed a considerable purpose in improvement of the Duratec sequence of 4-cylinder engines that would power afterwards examples of the initially-gen Concentration and its engineers (together with Volvo’s) had a hand in increasing the Concentration chassis for its next generation. That car or truck was under no circumstances offered in the U.S., but the system underpinned each the initial-era Mazda3 and several compact Volvos.
Why the Ford Emphasis?
This is a query some ask with a diploma of incredulity, and admittedly with some degree of validity. At no issue in its lifestyle did the Emphasis delight in a sterling standing for trustworthiness or longevity, but as with many rules, this one has exceptions. But right before we get to that, let’s chat about why you’d want a person in the initial position.
The Ford Concentrate supplied contemporary engines, a compact independent rear suspension that supplied both of those excellent managing and journey good quality ideal up there with the Honda Civic, plus a dizzying array of variety variables with some further tricks that created it amazingly sensible. Straight out of the gate, the Focus was provided in both of those a few- and five-doorway hatchback models, a four-door sedan and a 5-door wagon, and a coupe model would come later on. The Concentrate was designed with fold-flat rear seats (with forward-pivoting base cushions) that develop an immense load space in the rear, particularly in the hatches and wagon.
Energy arrived from a wide variety of four-cylinders, with the headliner remaining the SVT hatchback’s 170-horsepower 2.-liter (which was the only one particular paired to a 6-velocity guide). The SVT model also received a handful of aesthetic and suspension upgrades, an optional European look bundle with Recaro seats, and some neat, unique colors. Even in its most standard variety, though, the Concentrate was really fairly pleasant to travel, plus the SVT-spec suspension bolted proper up to most early products employing only factory elements, that means a small more sportiness was just a pair hundred bucks and a few hours of wrenching absent.
The Target marries these compact European touches to all of the basic positive aspects of proudly owning a mass-created American vehicle: It was low-priced and Ford marketed a ton of them, so getting them serviced (and sourcing replacement elements) is dirt uncomplicated.
Which Ford Concentrate to pick?
Let’s start off with the SVT Target, which was the enthusiast’s decision. It was supplied in equally the a few- and 5-doorway hatch types only, and it was discontinued after 2004, which ought to slim your research. Be informed that the 6-speed transmission in the SVT versions was not regarded for keeping up effectively to electric power modifications, so be careful of super- or turbo-charged automobiles on the aftermarket. Even at stock ability concentrations, an abused gearbox could be on its last legs.
Stepping down from the SVT, we’d propose a 2005-2006 product with the 5-velocity guide (the four-velocity car works good it is just boring). These later vehicles arrived with the Mazda-derived Duratec four-cylinder engines, which were being updates in equally performance and toughness. 2006 was the previous 12 months of out-of-the-box SVT suspension compatibility, though kits have been produced to adapt it to later products (and physique styles not meant to settle for it, this sort of as the wagon), but at that place, aftermarket could make just as significantly perception, price-intelligent.
A mid-cycle refresh was done for 2005, so models created from that place on bought a nicer inside with improved products, but it was also the commencing of the conclusion for the variants with the most enthusiast attractiveness. The wagon and each hatchbacks would disappear ahead of the Concentration received a considerable overhaul in 2008, technically marking the stop of the initial-gen motor vehicle.
Availability and listings
There is a to start with-gen Target for just about every funds. In the Midwest, a perfectly-employed and rusted illustration could almost certainly be had for a scenario of beer and a rifle magazine, but assume to pay out at least a few thousand pounds for a straight, functioning motor vehicle. The SVT commands a top quality, and as unmolested examples rust, wreck and retire, demand from customers carries on to increase. Thoroughly clean SVTs can command $10,000 (or additional) from the correct customer.
Our utilised car or truck listings can be beneficial to come across a very good deal around you. Slender the choices down by a radius all-around your ZIP code, and shell out attention to the offer rating on each listing to see how a automobile compares with other folks in a related spot.
What else to look at
If you are shopping for an older compact, you have tons of options. For hatches, we’d propose an early Mazda3 or fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf as a modern day option. The more mature Mazda Protégé5 and seventh-era Honda Civic Si hatchback will also do pretty nicely, particularly if you want an option to the peppy SVT. The Matrix was also provided with a superior-revving 4-cylinder if you like Toyota dependability, but it will appear at a cost.
If you’re wanting for a sedan, that adjustments factors a bit. The Jetta’s fanatic enchantment will come with a larger price and trustworthiness no far better than any provided Focus’ (or worse, specifically if you’re on the lookout at a fourth-era auto with the 1.8-liter turbo). The Civic drives about as effectively, but will price really a little bit extra the Corolla of the time was really uninteresting apart from the XRS, and even then, the aforementioned Matrix is considerably additional attention-grabbing regardless of their similar underpinnings.
The elegance of browsing for an aged compact is that there are plenty to select from, and it actually arrives down to your demands and spending budget.
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