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Ford Focus Sedan



  • Tired, you asked "where will it end?" You keep spending money like that, it might end with you in the poor house. ; )
  • I'm not a Focus owner. After following the latest business news from Ford, the best thing that could have happened was that 'Jac the Knife' Nasser was booted out. His management style was a root cause of Ford's dramatic drop off in vehicle quality. It is a known fact that any corporation's problems start at the top and filter down. Jac wanted to micromanage and that technique never works. He retired or otherwise got rid of the senior engineers who would have caught component, manufacturing and assembly problems before they got into the cars.

    Two men, who are both 'car guys' and were major players in turning Jaguar around are now in positions to do the same with the Ford brand.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    Anybody see the long term Focus report in the newest Car and Driver? It was of a 2000 SE Wagon and they said some very positive things. They particularly applauded the mechanical reliability and the cost of service as compared to other cars in the class.

    Looks like all the 2000 Focus are not as unreliable as some on this forum would have us believe.

    My son's 2001 SE Sport has got over 6000 miles on it since last March and it is still a great car.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    According to the latest edition of Consumer Reports, the 2001 Focus is "Not recommended" due to the worse than average reliability this model has exhibited. The car has earned a Solid Black Mark for expected reliability. CR likes the car very much otherwise but they still do not recommend it due to the poor reliability it has.

    Check the 2001 of Consumer Reports, car edition.
  • I have had no real problems so far. This car is fun to drive. I just added Michelin Arctic Alpins for winter and while they are a bit noisy, they sure grip! The CD playback quality seems fine to me. I live in a fringe area and the radio reception could be better. I am not sure if its is the radio, the antenna, or interference from my automatic starter. Any suggestions?
  • I don't like CR, some of their fans will be happy when all manufacturing companies are controlled by overseas concerns. What makes them think that overseas companies are more socially acceptable? They still are profit-driven and capable of exploiting workers and polluting.

    Regarding reliability, the operative word is "predicted", which is CR's opinion, and they are not the car Bible. It is based on past recalls, which have been addressed. These occured with Nassar and now, with new management, I bet Ford will do better.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    CR does tend to lean toward the import crowd but mostly the japanese market. But they do have a few decade of information backing their claim. The reliablity ratings ar based on actual owner experience which is much more accurate then JD Power.

    Ford has been awful lately with their new releases. I used to be a Ford man but not after their last 3 model years and I'm not even including the firestone fiasco. I hope things change under the management. I think it will take several years to get the quality back. Most of the problems they have been having is with the quality of the products supplied by their suppliers. Until they and other domestics revise how they handle suppliers, the quality will not be equal to Honda and Toyota.

    The focus started off bad 8 or 9 recalls in the first year and half of production but it seems to be doing better. It is the best compact car onthe market even CR agrees. I just hope Ford got all the bugs out of it. Once they do that, it will be Focus and Civic doing battle for the next few years.
  • Dtown, you say that CR's predictions of reliability are based on actual owners' experiences and this makes them more accurate than JD Powers.

    Excuse me?

    The JD Powers survey on initial quality, the survey on reliability, and the survey on dependability are all based on actual owners' experiences also.

    How did you not know that?
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    consumer reports....yuk.
  • I have a 2001 SE w/ Sport package. I put 6000 miles on the car in only 2 months!!! Not a single problem to report. Not even an annoyance. In fact, I even did a solo road trip from Boston to Philly to Madison, WI, and back to Boston. I drove long streches on open highways (I ran her at over 80 mph for 4 straight hours at one point), I drove windy mountain roads in Pennsylvania, i drove downtown in Philly and Chicago, and I parallel parked everywhere. All in all, I drove about 2500 punishing miles in only 9 nine days and the car held up beautifully. Now sure, if you are used to a monster SUV with a V8, the Focus is not for you. But if you are used to compact cars with a 4 cyl. engine (my last was a '91 Escort with 88hp), then you should def. check out the Focus.

    But as and avid Focus fan, I would also urge you to check out the other top compacts out there (Civic, Protege, Sentra, Corolla, even the Elantra). I did, and the Focus best matched what I was looking for. Good luck!
  • I just bought a new 2002 Focus SE Sedan with Comfort Group, Zetec engine, and moonroof in French Blue! It is sooo pretty. I can't wait to take it out this weekend.

    Interestingly, there was a little note from the factory saying that my car had been randomly selected at the factory to be road tested after assembly and that 57 miles had been put on during that testing.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Yes, I did know that JD is based actual owners experience. (I aoplogize that i did not explain this better in my original message) But I don't consideer JD Power as accurate because it only represents the first 90 days of ownership. If it were rating computers or some other gadget, then I would consider it legitimate and appropriate for all the press that this survey receives. As you well know cars are just a little more involved then computers. Rotors can warp after only 12,000 miles, transmissions can go within 36,000 miles, buttons can break off within a year, A/C units can break (if you buy the car in the winter time, you may not notice the A/C doesn't work until late Spring), plus a whole host of things can go wrong AFTER the initial 90 days. To me and most individual, long term reliabilty is much more accurate and applicable to our lifestyles.

    Also their survey typically only takes into account 60,000 owners. Spread that 60,000 responses over the number of manufacturers and model cars that are available (and the fact I took 4 years of math in college), JD does not represent an accurate way of rating the cars. And if people would read the fine print, they would realize this. Sort of like the Motor Trend "of the Year" awards. (How they picked the GMC Envoy as SUV of the Year is beyond me? lately they have been predetermining the winners of their comparisons and the numbers don't support their findings.)

    CR receives close to 500,000 surveys EACH YEAR plus they do extensive testing with one of the best, most respected engineering staffs in the world. (Check their creditials in the magazine if you don't believe me) The biggest complaint about CR that I can think of is they are too practical in their analysis of cars. They are down on SUV's. And that is where you as a consumer have to be able to read their reports and analyse how this car fits your needs. Don't let CR, JD, Motor Trend or any other magazine decide what car you should buy. These are only information sources to be use in the fashion you need them.
  • x100x100 Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Focus SE (automatic with Zetec engine), and so far the experience has been negative. I got it last June and have put on 22,000 miles on it. So far, in addition to the recalls, I have had to replace the brake pads (after 18,000 miles), fix the power window (after 19,000 miles) and the ignition (after 22,000 miles). The power window took three trips to the dealership because various parts have to be ordered, and is still not fixed (waiting for another part but hopeful that it will be done tomorrow). The car also started to rattle when driven on secondary roads that are less even than major freeways. The ratio reception for AM stations is poor. Someone in the dealership commented that the materials used for Focus are not of high quality.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    Sorry about your problems with your Focus. As far as the radio reception, you may want to check the NHTSA web site ( I thought they had a TSB (technical Service Bulletin) fixing the radio reception. check it out.

    I guess it's time to schedule my 6th visit (in 14 months of ownership)...

  • JD Powers survey on initial quality only focuses (no pun intended) on the first few months of ownership it is true, but JD Powers also has surveys for when cars are older.
  • fdthirdfdthird Posts: 352
    As someone who has owned cars for over 33 years, I'd like to make one comment on recalls.

    It wasn't that long ago that when a new car developed a problem once it was on the road it was the owners problem. I know that having to take the car back can be a pain in the back side, but at least in this day and age the car companies take more responsibility. I've owned Fords, Mercurys, and Toyotas in the past that had many design defects that were my problem. In the "old days" we really had no recourse but to pay to get it fixed as well as we could.

    Yes, it would be great if they could build the cars right the first time, but at least we are not alone in the process of getting the cars fixed. To me, that is a huge advantage over the way it was not that long ago.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    Yes, but still that is not excuse for lousy initial quality and reliability. Ford has had more than their fair share of embarrasing recalls, quality glitches and failed product launches.

    Enough is enough.
  • dtownfbdtownfb Posts: 2,918
    I know about JD Powers other surveys. but I believe the survey you are referencing had 111,000 respondents which is a good sampling but not near as good as the 500,000 that consumer Reports gets. Plus its not the durability and reliabilty survey that gets all the press, it's the Initial Quality one tha everyone raves about. I'm not saying that Consumers is the bible regarding automobile reliability but it is a much better resources then JD Powers.
  • I don't think that Consumer Reports isn't recommending the Focus due to the recalls. I think they aren't recommending because it has below average reliability.

    Recalls and reliability might be connected, but they are not the same thing.
  • regfootballregfootball Posts: 2,166
    Did a 40,000 mile long term test on a Focus wagon and had no problems....they said the car was very reliable.
  • teoteo Posts: 2,508
    So did Martha Stewart
  • Virtually any car maker can produce some cars that (individually) may be reliable.

    In other words, just because the Car And Driver Focus was reliable doesn't mean they are all reliable.

    On the flip side, just because your friend's Focus is really unreliable doesn't mean one you buy will be the same.
  • But the thing is that with a car that a multitude of others have found to be of low quality and unreliable, the chances of you getting one like that are increased.
  • message would be, buy boring because it's safe. I wish Toyota or Honda made something exciting and fun to drive in the class of the Focus, but they don't. The Civic, Corolla (especially) and Echo are not relatively fun drives. Some of us just can't drive appliances without getting bored out of our minds. Not saying it's wrong for people to buy point A to B cars, just that there are other people out there who will not.
  • I found the Focus SE (with the 130hp and manual transmission) to be a sedate and slow ride. This was another reason I did not buy it.

    In other words, you are totally wrong in what my message is.
  • heh heh. Slow, sure I'll agree with that. It's as slow as the competition. Handling though, it's only rival is the Protege. The Focus and the Protege are a lot more fun than the other rivals out there. The Sentra would be next in line I guess.

    I get what your message is, just that the "reliable" manufacturers right now are putting out sleeping aids on wheels.
  • When you aren't going in a straight line. One of the car mags did a test of the Focus and found that it could do the slalom faster than a Corvette ZR1.

    If you are looking for acceleration, there is a rapidly growing aftermarket for it. It doesn't come close to matching the previous generation Civic, but since the current Civic is a step backward in its aftermarket-friendliness, the Focus isn't that far behind. Don't want to risk your warranty? Head to the dealer and flip through the Ford Racing Catalog... Quite a few go-fast parts available for the Focus, including a supercharger.

    Also, consider the styling. Love it or hate it, you have to admit that it is bold. The CD player in mine also outshines the stock stereos in the competition (Mazda MP3 is the exception). Want in on a secret? Take the 6-disc in dash changer out of the Escape, put it in the Focus and suddenly new features appear (like speed-sensitive volume).
  • Well the stock CD player already has speed sensitive volume. And rather than get the 6-disc changer out of the Escape. Go to Visteon (The Ford spinoff that makes the stock radios for the Focus and Escape) and you can buy a MP3/CD player that fits the stock focus opening.
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