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For the past three weeks I have been using my fathers spare car as my other half has been using mine and this means I have spent two weeks driving around in a Ford Focus Estate, it has a 1.8l diesel engine which means I find it a rather sluggish vehicle to drive. It is an 03 plate so it does not have some of the mod cons that I'm used to with my own car, in particular there is no docking port for my ipod so it is back to digging out my old CD's so that I have something to listen to, the stereo is ok but a little dated as it does not even have a CD changer available.
There are a few positives with this car, first off it has been a preety faithful servant to my father, it has over 140k miles on the clock and has never had any major repairs (touch wood that continues) and it has been a very reliable car, the only expenditure is replacing worn out parts or as part of a service. The other big plus that I have found is that it has a pretty good amount of storage area in the boot and the rear seats fold forward to create extra space, the inside is rather scruffy now as my father uses the car as his second vehicle now and more like a van to transport things he buys at car boot sales to sell at auction or other car boots as part of his retirement income. I have been impressed with how much baby equipment and shopping the boot can handle.
In terms of driving I would describe it as a functional car rather than one that is exciting and enjoyable to drive, it is a steady vehicle that is smooth on the motorway and also on country roads. The one big downside for me is the length when it comes to parking as it has no parking sensors and also it is quite hard to judge where the rear of the car is, I do find visibility a bit of an issue sometimes and it does have a couple of blind spots no matter how you adjust the mirrors.
I'm not sure what the servicing or insurance costs are like however it is pretty good on fuel as I have only had to top it off the once in the three weeks that I have had it and I have done a couple of trips to Oxford and trips to Manchester and London so it has been around a bit in that time.
As a reliable functional car then the Focus is a pretty good car however it lacks any real personality to make it a car I would want to purchase and I will be happy to get my own car back next week.
The new model Focus Estate 1.8 TDCI Style is my company car. As a travelling telecoms engineer I needed something with plenty of space that was capable of taking a load of burly engineers plus equipment on some countrywide treks. My company naturally wanted something reasonably priced, with cheap servicing and fuel costs. I'd imagine they also got quite a good discount on the £19,500 list price when they bought quite a few of these.
There's probably a litre value assigned to the boot capacity, but let's face it, no one really know what that means so I'll tell you that I can get in four large metal tool boxes, as well as computer diagnostic equipment, and all my rigging gear in the boot and still have room for an overnight case if needed. I can put the seats forward if needs be, but never had to resort to this just yet. The focus estate definitely ticks the box for haulage space.
Having covered about eighteen thousand miles so far, I have had no cause to complain about comfort or ride quality. The interior is spacious and well finished, with silver inserts on the wheel and dash really adding to the quality design. The built in CD/Stereo looks great and performs well, and has a stalk on the wheel to control it, meaning I don't have to take my eyes off the road. Handling is sharp and responsive, and whilst most of my driving is done on the motorway, the Focus can be fun to drive on a good series of bends. I suppose that can't be said of a lot of estate cars.
In the year I've had it she hasn't been off the road once, and although my company insist on six monthly checkups, our garage man states she hasn't needed a part yet. Then again most new cars should see their first year in without too much trauma. If anything changes and the chassis snaps I'll certainly keep you updated.
Whilst I don't worry too much about fuel efficiency, as it isn't my fuel, I achieve in and around 46mpg. This is a little lower than the manufacturer quoted value of 53 but I'll put that down to the fact that she is often fully loaded, and most of the time pushes the edge of the permitted speed limits. Again, although not my problem the tax disc is just £110 for the year. One thing that does affect me however is the Company Car tax, and this costs me £52 from my salary every month. Still works out as a very cheap car, just not free anymore! Taxes, eh?
One issue I will take with the Focus is the power output. Reasonable enough with just me on board, it reacts well when I drop the foot and accelerates quickly. 0-60 in the quoted time of 10 seconds is probably right. However, once loaded, and some passengers added, it becomes painfully slow. We all expect some dip in performance when cars are loaded, but this is the most marked difference i have ever noted. 0-60 is a long wait when she's loaded, and I often have to drive a gear to low to retain any acceleration ability, and this is undoubtedly effecting fuel performance too. A 2.0litre TDCI or some sport version would probably solve this problem, but I'm told we won't be upgrading anytime soon. Totally unrelated to the fact that our buying department don't actually test drive these things of course!
All in all I am never going to complain when I get a car for £50 a month and to be fair the Focus Estate is stylish and elegant, and retains a lot of the clear crispness of the hatchback model, just a shame about the lack of pulling power once fully laden.
I purchased a Focus Estate TDi to improve my fuel consumption when i changed jobs to one some distance away, and it turned out to be a very good choice.
Mine was a W plate in navy blue, and when all washed and polished looked very nice, alot more so that the old style estates we used to see so many of - this one managed to retain the nice smooth lines of the origional Focus.
The spec - as usual with Ford i foudn the spec to be decent if not outstanding like the few Citroens ive owned, but certainly good enough to be happy with. The seats were always comfy, even on long journeys, and the velour material seemed to retain colour, shape and cleanliness well. The placement of controls and gearstick was excellent and nothing ever seemed to be awkward, always a good start!
The estate boot was wonderful for my dog and it was so easy to get him in and out that he loved it, and the quite cheap dog guard fitted this car better than most! When not transporting the dog, the boot met many needs as it is huge and easy to access!
The drive was always very nice, a smooth and rather quiet diesel engine that was a clear improvement on older ford engines. It never seemed to struggle with any types of driving or hills, and seemed comfortable always.
Fuel consumption was very good - not as the book states but then what car is! I used to get a good 500 miles to the tank if i was careful with my acceleration.
Overall i have no real critism of this car, it was one of the nicer models ive owned and i would very happily buy when again
My 2000 (not £) ford focus estate in green. While it isn't exactly the bees knees of the car world, it does do its job as a family car. I take full advantage of its spacious design to take the kids down to Wales; complete with a tent, a dog and a few weeks worth of clothes.
With its 55mpg fuel consumption, it doesn't drain you pocket too much, and with its 1.8 turbo injector you can also get some pretty quick acceleration. After having it for two and a half years, not much work has been required to be honest, just the usual wear and tear items needing replacing. The same with any car i suppose.
Even for the cheap price, you get a good, fairly modern looking car, and the 2000 model includes air con, CD player and ABS. It is also a very reliable car, and has never broken down on me. I personaly wanted an up to date sterio and paid a fair bit of cash for it to be able to play mp3 tracks, yet there was nothing wrong with the defualt one. I am just a little bit picky thats all.
So, if you are looking for a cheap, spacious, fuel efficient car with a few extra's, then this car is right for you.
I bought a 5 year old Focus last year and on the whole it has been very good and is a nice drive. The boot space is a great size and ideal for my extending family!
Since buying the car I have had to spend a fair amount on things getting fixed. However, it had done 100,000 miles when I bought it so it is always to be expected when a car has done such high mileage. Firstly the clutch master clinder needed replacing for a cost of £115 (Ford stock these on the shelf and are a common fault with these cars). Next, I had to get the pulley assembly replaced and because that wasn't working properly it had damaged the alternator! The pulley assembly is also something that Ford stock and is another common problem. The assembly and alternator cost £500 all in all (non Ford garage). I now need to get the fuel rail sensor replaced which is £140 + fitting from Ford (again they stock it and is another common problem!!!).
You'll probably be wondering why I haven't given this car a 1/5 by now, but I think that things like this go wrong with every single car on the market and I'm just hoping that I have now replaced ALL the common problem parts on the car!
Fuel economy is excellent (50mpg + on duel carriageway type driving). It drops a little when in traffic as with all cars.
I have the Zetec 98bhp version. It is quick off the mark, but not lightening quick. Its a family car though so I don't do much drag racing around town! It does 0-60mph in just over 11 seconds which is very good I think.
One annoying thing about it is the headrests at the back. I often use the car to take garden rubbish to the tip and I want to use the full boot. In order to put the seats down, you have to take off the headrests which I always find very annoying as its never an easy thing to do for some reason. Would be far better if you could just fold them down.
Cheap tax - £120 (dropping to £110 from next year). I enjoy driving this car very much and I think it looks quite nice for an estate.