Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Focus Sedan



  • Zip2 said it well. The quality of my 2001 ZTS gives me confidence that reliability is not going to be horrible. But if it is your number one priority the Asian makes are your best bet.

    If you are very practical minded, check out crash test results from Europe. The Focus did very well. The test is much tougher than in the U.S. After seeing what was left of a 2000 Honda Civic, I won't mind a couple of trips to the service center.
  • For those of you looking at buying an economy car or just have nothing else better to do, I just happened across something that Edmunds has written about the economy sedans. They pitted nine of the small cars against each other and ranked them based on a number of different categories and subsequently ranked them. It was an interesting read. I would be curious to see what some of you have to say about it. The one that surprised me the most was the low ranking of the Toyota Corolla. Anyway, for those of you too lazy to find it for yourself (I would be in that category), here is the link:

    By the way, If you are a Protege owner, you don't want to go there -- The Focus beat the Protege.
  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I rented a Focus LX on Friday and drove it a little distance. It had crappy power (but I expected that with the 110-hp engine) but everything else was okay on it. But I did not like the seatback comfort though. It seemed like it was bulging in all the wrong places.

    Anyway, I had driven it 51 miles when I hit a bump and the back end of the car felt like it was hopping around or something. It made the car feel like it was going sideways, and it wasn't even windy outside then.

    I took the car back to Enterprise and told them my situation. They replaced it with a Chevy Malibu and that was that.

    I did like driving the Focus though. It was a nice ride. I think I would have liked an SE Sport model better for its power and features though.
  • I would give the Focus another year or two just to be safe. It usually takes Ford 2-3 years to learn how to build a car after manufacturing has started. I would say it would be a safe bet at the 02 model year.

    I'd say you will see credible consumer publications recommending it again at that point. It really is a nice automobile. It just that it's a Ford.

  • hotx3hotx3 Posts: 71
    Piglover and Chase7,
    THe oil filter (at least on the base engine) is behind the block and almost impossible to get off unless the car is on a rack. Figure on taking it to a shop.
    I noticed the blind spot just this morning. I'm told it goes along with the padded pillars mandated for crash protection.
    I drive a '00 LX and the only thing that's actually broken is the clutch spring. It rides great and has enough pep once you learn to spool it up a little. The doors squeak and a gasket popped off the rear door (easily fixed but annoying), so Ford had a few things to improve, but it is a great car to drive, and roomy besides. The engines are held over from the Escort, so there should be fewer problems there. I say, whatever you buy, enjoy it and let the dealer fix the snags.
    Re mileage, I get 30 mpg (mixed driving) all the time, but people I've talked to at the pump get the 24/30 spread with the auto/DOHC engine.
    ('00 LX, 8months, 8700 miles)
  • All of you, thanks for your valuable input. I'm definitely going with the Focus 2001. It sounds like we are a match. Now, the car salesman.....
  • No question in my mind on that one. IT IS NOT. With just over a year of ownership on mine and about 9000 miles, I have gone through several ABS brake sensors, a new transmission (auto), replaced the driver inside door handle and power actuater, problems with rear seat hinges, seat fabric, passenger door handle sticking, recalls, poor fuel economy just to name a few of the reasons my can has made 15 trips to the dealership.
    But I have only one of several million cars. On the other hand, Comsumer Report just gave it a worse than average rating on reliability in their 2001 book. I think that data is far more telling on the future of the FOcus.

    I for one will buy the extended warranty before my three years are up or sell the car prior to the warranty running out.
  • Your experience hit upon some issues that a few owners have mentioned with the Focus.

    Some say that seats are very uncomfortable in the sedan over long stretches. I personally don't have this problem, but perhaps that's cuz I'm a little fella (5'6").

    Also, about the car feeling like it was going sideways; my only real issue with the way the Focus drives is the large amount of rear suspension travel. If your rental car was out of alignment (and I've come across more than a few like that) then this agravates the problem further. My wheels were out of alignment when I got it from the dealership - I had splash guards installed at the dealer and the the wheels ended up out of alignment - and, with NYC's bumpy roads, I had a similar experience to what you describe. Once I got the wheels aligned, though, the car drove great.

  • lgblgb Posts: 30
    My only real complaint. If you are going to use a Focus for long-distance commutes, rent one from Hertz for a long test drive ! P>S I'm a shortie too!
  • Then again, I shop in the Behemoth section of the store. In fact, there were only two things I didn't like about the two Foci I sampled:

    1) They smelled funny (a Ford preservative?), though obviously the scent wouldn't persist. (The older of the two had 500 miles on it.)

    2) No way to get both CD and cassette into the dash.

    Maybe I would have thought differently had I taken one up to Bangor for the week, but this is an awfully small list of gripes, especially considering how much I complain about everything else. :)
  • Two nights ago my radio just quit on me. Driving home from work it just cut out on the highway. What is going on at Ford? This adds to the growing list of issues affecting my Focus. Almost all of the things hkoenen2 and hottx3 cite are affecting my car. Has anyone heard a thumping noise come into the car from the rear axle? It seems to originate from the rear left axle. I just paid off the loan for this car. I love the way it drives and the ride is superb, but I have a feeling the car will fall apart. I was not surprised by Consumer Reports findings. Given the chance to do it again, I would not have bought the car. My dealer still has to perform one more recall fix and replace my trunk assembly.
  • I specified Goodyear tires on the contract when I ordered my 2000 ZTS as I have had good experience with the brand over the years. (Don't ask me about the Firestone 500's that I had in the 1970s!) Unfortunately, last week I punctured the tire due to a road condition, and had to purchase a new tire from the local Goodyear dealer. Since I was currently just under 10K miles, I still qualified for their service contract. At $7/tire, it's a bargain as it would have covered the cost of replacement, and it includes rotations every 6K miles and flat repair. If you are currently running Goodyears on your Focus, and are at <10K miles, I would recommend going to your dealer for this cheap contract.
    BTW, your radio may not be working if you accidently released the front plate of the tuner section. Snap it back in place and the radio may work again!
  • I had a little fuse problem the other night, for some mysterious reason ( I have a feeling it's because of the Aftermarket alarm)the headlight fuse went out. SO I looked around the fuse box for a less important 7.5 amp fuse to substitute with since it was nighttime, and ended up up using the one for the Radios power. Even though i removed this fuse, The radio still turned on (because of the 1 hr power on feature) but I had to press the power button, it wouldn't turn on with the ignition. I really don't know if this means anything to anybody , but its an experience I had.
  • Thanks for feedback about my previous mileage question.

    I also had reliability questions, having suffered with a first year '86 Taurus (anyone interested in this sure-to-be valuable future antique?), but I was won over by the Focus' tight ride and sharp look.

    I've only just passed 3000K, so I'll catch all the possible recalls at the 5000K servicing, but no problems so far. My kids like the soft, wood-like turn signal sound, which somewhat off-sets the startling auto lock noise. And the first time the seatbelt alarm I thought the Enterprise was going down in flames.

    Of course, the real test is how well it keeps starting and running, and what kind of shape it's in in three years.

    Best to all.
  • tu4tu4 Posts: 4
    I have a pretty low garage door and the motor of the door only makes it even lower, so when I drive in or out of the garage the antenna would be bent completely forward for a few seconds every time. So after maybe 20 times of this abuse, it snapped few days ago. The funny thing is I have no problem listening to the radio at all although I really liked the look of the antenna, similar to that of the VW new Beetles. And since I do need to park in the garage during winter, I see no point to get it fix soon. But I can't help to wish that the antenna's length is controllable like a lot of cars.

    My 2001 ZTS has just reached 1000 miles in a month with no problem except this which is really my fault.
  • I too was the unfortunate owner of a 1986 Taurus. One problem after another, from the hubcaps always coming off to the body rust to a defective heater core to a leaking trunk. The thing was literally junk by 1995. I hope no one has the same luck with the Focus. My ZX3 is perfect so far (knock on wood).
  • After only a few miles shy of 30000 in one year, my Focus is no longer mine. I traded it in on a Nissan at a huge depreciation. Never again will I buy another Ford. I wish the rest of you luck with your Focus.
  • The Focus is holding it's resale better than the Ecorts and Contours did. I checked on used 2000 models and there are not as many former "rentals" of Foci as the other cars.

    Also, the old Escort 91-99, were not as bad as they are made to be. In my family there are 4 of them and they run fine. One lasted 110 K and only the alternator died at 90K
  • First things first. Economics says that ANY car depreciates the most in its first year. However, I want to deal with the reason that you lost so much on your trade in paul. First, when you sign your name to the title, you don't even have to drive that car a mile and it is considered used. Any car automatically depreciates a significant amount when switching from new to used, regardless of how old a car is. It is common sense. Next, 30,000 miles is an inordinate amount of miles on a one year old car. I believe that banks and dealers expect to see about 15,000 a year, and anything over that is penalized. Thirdly, you used your focus as a trade-in. A dealer is not going to give you what the car is worth. If they did, they would be stupid. Economics 101 says, buy low, sell high. They don't give retail value, they give wholesale value. Huge difference. Any car (including foreign) when put in those circumstances (getting wholesale, high miles and only one year old)is going to show a big depreciation. It is common sense. The true test of resale is not one year after a car is made. That is absurd. Resale value is calculated over a number of years. Hence, I can't make the prediction that the Focus will hold its resale any greater or less than any other car one year out. It is ridiculous to try to postulate such a thing. I hate to say it Paul, but I think the reason you took such a big hit is because you made a very economically unwise decision. Maybe you hated the car that much. Who knows. What I do know is you can't blame the car for that. NO car is going to hold the same value or even close when put in that situation.

    Frankly, I am getting sick of this buy foreign or you are stupid mantra. Yeah Yeah, I know it has never been said in those exact words, but that is the prevailing thought for a few of you and it is annoying me to no end. We are told that foreign has a better build quality than the Focus. I have found that the Focus cuts fewer corners than the foreign cars do. Better stereos, better interior quality, and so on. Than there is the better re-sale. It is way to early to tell that. Better long-term reliability. Last I checked long term meant long term. That is over a length of time. Not just one year. All this foreign is better is carry over from 10-15 years ago when foreign was undeniably better than the American makes. However, the gap has been closed with a number of different models.

    I can almost hear the click of keyboards in response. "AHA, that proves it. You admit that American makes were inferior to foreign in the past. See...even you admit it." Back to Economics. Economics says that if there are two equally priced products that are similar in market appeal and one is inferior to the other, the inferior one will not sell. The maker of that inferior product has two choices. Improve their product in order to make it competitive or go out of business. Last I checked, the Ford Focus was outselling all the foreign makes. Well, I guess there can only be a few smart people.
  • I live near Chicago where, today we have blizzard-like conditions. I am so proud of my Focus. It didn't slide once, and the ABS is great. I have no regrets about buying this car.
  • When I bought my Focus, my fiance's father did all the negotiations. I knew I got a good deal, but according to Edmunds and Kelleys blue book my car is worth over $1,000 MORE than what I paid for it. My car has 8,000 miles on it.
  • I am curious, what is your car and features and what did you pay for it. Sounds like you got a great deal.
  • I love my ford focus. I just bought it after test driving a elantra. What a difference!! The enterior was cheap in the elantra. Once I test drove the focus I fell in love with it. My Focus is the LX 2001 sedan base model w/ac & automatic driving.It has a lot of space inside and has a quiet ride. I just love it!
  • I forgot to tell you that it snowed here in Boston, and the car handled the snow great! and I don't have ABS breaks.
  • rea98drea98d Posts: 982
    "stay with Honda, Mazda, Toyota, Subaru or Nissan in the small budget car class!"

    Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Mazda is a Ford ;-)
  • hotx3hotx3 Posts: 71
    I am puzzled by those few individuals who don't own Fords but keep visiting this site with very general, highly negative comments. Why do you waste everybody's time? I've owned plenty of Fords, and none fell apart after 35K miles (though I had an '82 that was no prize after 60K). I've asked about things that are less than perfect on the Focus - to get more out of the car. Intelligent people don't select their cars based on anecdotes or unsubstantiated generalities. All you accomplish with your posts is to make us wonder what your problem is.
  • Just as a "touche", I'm sure that there have been plenty of problems with foreign cars... for instance, I know when I was doing research for my girlfriend on cars, I came across QUITE a number of earlier complaints about the Mazda Protege... suddenly losing complete power in the middle of driving it... and this was a common complaint made by several people over there. Hmmmmm, maybe all cars/models/manufacturers aren't perfect? Hot damn, what a novel idea!! :)

    2000 ZTS, 15500 miles since March, still going strong.
  • My Ford Rangers were the most reliable vehicles that I have ever owned, so I put my faith in Ford when I bought the Focus. After exhaustive research and numerous test drives, I was very pleased with the Focus. That is, until it started to fall apart at 22000 miles. Then, I felt severely let down by Ford.

    Financially, I did not like the idea of taking a huge hit on depreciation, by far the worst first year depreciation of the last ten new cars that I have owned. But to continue to own this piece of junk such that I don't lose money on the first year of depreciation is similar to holding onto a stock that is slowly going down the drain. It is economically stupid to "wait for it to get better". I won't lie to myself. I put my faith in Ford and was let down in the worst way. They may have gotten my money this time, but never again!

    Also, trying to sell the Focus to a private buyer instead of trading it in was out of the question, as used Foci are sitting all over dealer lots and are not moving. I seized the opportunity for the best possible trade-in when the car decided to start behaving itself again. I knew this would not last for long, so I capitalized on this rare opportunity while I still had the chance. Yet somehow, the cuteness factor is keeping the prices high for brand new Foci, with minimal rebates and incentives (compared to the competition). If people continue to buy these cars, Ford will keep laughing all the way to the bank. Just don't say I didn't warn you! And if your Focus is still behaving itself, just hang in there. I have complete confidence that this good behavior won't last much longer!
  • diana13

    If you weren't sliding how do you know the ABS is great? ABS only comes into play when you are sliding and one wheel stops spinning on the snow,ice,oil.. etc.

    I seem to recall reading a report a while back saying that ABS brakes actually cause more accidents because people drive harder and think they won't slide during braking because of the ABS. This causes them to drive more aggressively and faster than conditions allow and more accidents are the results. The conclusion of the article was you should drive your car like it did not have ABS and if you hear the ABS come on you are to fast for conditions.
  • hotx3hotx3 Posts: 71
    We share the road with people who do crazy things when they get behind someone driving slow enough that they'll never skid. Give me the ABS, traction control, whatever else helps control the car. People learn what's safe - hopefully before they hit something.
    In snow - I was too lazy to shovel the drive this AM. My car plowed through 10+ inches of light fluffy stuff in our driveway on the Firestones (that some tire buff say are flaky in snow). Don't try this without a shovel in the trunk!
    No problem at all with the rest of the drive on icy streets. '00 LX w/ ABS
Sign In or Register to comment.