I bought this vehicle new in 2001 (Focus ZX3 hatchback; 5-speed manual with no air conditioning or electric windows).
This is the best car I've ever owned.
We now have over 225,000 miles on the car with little maintenance.
By keeping up on the oil changes/tune-up's, we've had no major issues other than changing out the ignition once while it was still under warranty.
Great mpg (30-40 avg overall); I mostly drive freeway.
We're considering buying a 2013 as a replacement vehicle for our 2000 Focus SE sedan (bought it used; automatic w/electric everything; it has too many issues now at 180,000 mi).
The ZX3 is a wonderful car.
I would recommend the version I purchased.
It's a keeper!
Reliable car; great handling and mpg (30-40 avg). Glad I purchased the basic version (5-speed manual w/no electric windows/air conditioning, etc).
Best car I've ever owned.
N/A; continue to offer the basic model with a hatchback and no electric windows.