Well at long last, I have returned to using a Ford Focus. After using a Fiesta Fusion for the last year which my wife and I found annoying; we knew it was time to return to the good times.
After crunching my last Focus which was the only reason we changed it, we bought the Fusion for My wife's ease of a smaller car. The other Focus was an estate but a great car and had I had time I would have repaired it myself with the right tooling.
The Fusion was a let-down with its semi-automatic drive gearbox which appeared temperamental at times when standing at junctions.
But forget about the past, we now have this 1.6LX Auto which I get on better with than the manual gearbox. My racy days of quick change and speeding about have long gone, with more cars and people to consider as well as those with attitude problems, I find a calmer drive is safer as well as more enjoyable.
The Focus is smooth with its computerised automatic gearbox, you hardly know it has changed up so watch out or you could easily be breaking the speed limit. The engine is smooth and quite nippy depending on what you want to get out of a car.
Comfort wise, I feel at home in this with plenty of leg and head room. With my bad back the seats are firm but quite suitable for lengthy journeys.
The boot room is a little limited just a bit more than the Fusion, but you can still get a fair amount of luggage in.
The body styling is sporty with its fast back which appears to have a limited rear view, until you sit in the driver's seat and adjust your position you will see more than you thought. However it is a bit high off the ground and you need a bit of judgement when parking into a limited space when you have a car with a lower bonnet behind you.
I feel that if this is like most of the Fords I have had, I hope I won't have much to complain about.
The Ford Focus LX is a well made, reliable car that is good to drive (although not exactly exciting) that is perfect for anyone who wants a run around car. The car has more appeal to women and offers a good value, cheap to run car.
The interior is quite spacious for the size of the car and offers ample room for familys with enough room for boosters. Also the exterior car is pleasant to look at and has a nice shape, it is a first rate quality little car.
The Ford Focus LX gets good fuel consumption, fairly low insurance, low road tax and depreciation is also not too bad as their is a high demand for these models due to their quality and good reliability.
A perfect car for a run around or second car and for the price a great value, affordable, stylish little car.
Five months previous i purchased my first ford focus. I was a previous ford owner having owned a number of ford fiestas dating back to models from the 1980s, my previous being a 2006 model so i was all ready pretty impressed by the ford name. However since my purchase i have been even more impressed by my 51 plate focus. Its nippy, which in fairness being a diesel engine is quite impressive as often diesel engine cars can take a while to get going, it looks good and is a comfortable drive. It has a rather deceiving amount of boot space which looking at the picture above may be considered small but does carry a suprising amount of storage. On the negative side being a 2001 model i was a little disappointed that it came with a cassette deck as oppose to a cd player, however that is also replaceable and my only criticism which in fairness you must agree is not an essential part of getting you from a to b and therefore a trivial factor.
Well I am certainly impressed by the Ford Focus. Having driven an 'R' reg Ford Fiesta for two years and then spending a few months with a Vauxhall Astra and Vectra, it is a pleasure to drive. It looks good both inside and out, with the inside being quite refrained (no fake look wood trims, etc.) The focus is also quite a nippy little mover, good acceleration and a respectable top speed (always driven within the speed limit of course!!!) The interior feels quite spacious to my previous cars and the ride is comfortable. I have only three small niggles: 1. The Focus is quite noisy compared to other cars when driven at motorway speeds. But you soon get used to this. (I belive this is the same with the Mondeo) 2. If you flash full beam headlights once when your lights are off, you will find that full beam is still on when you next put your headlights on. So you need to try to remember to 'flash' full beam twice. 3. The boot is quite 'compact'. Oh and one more everybody seems to have one, but that's good isn't it?
I've had a new Ford Focus 1.6LX for almost 3 years and 49000 miles. I imported it from http://www.ford-delta.com for a bit under £10,000, including the Reflex and Climate options packs. I went for the 1.6 instead of the 1.8 because it was about £250 cheaper. It's got an aluminium block which means it ends up being about 40kg lighter. This translates into better handling and fuel economy (1.5mpg or so). You lose about a second of the 0-60 time, but you gain in smoothness - the torque curve of the 1.8 has a flat spot about 3500rpm. The 1.6 engine was designed by Yamaha whilst the 1.8 is derived from the old Ford engines (from the Sierra?). The 1.6 revs to 6700rpm which means that third gear takes you to over 90mph, which is fine for overtaking. It can feel a bit slow if you accelerate from 30mph in 4th gear, but at higher revs, its much better. Overtaking is no problem whatsoever. I went for the LX model instead of the Zetec because * I wanted the 5000 model stereo with the controls near the steering wheel (very convenient). * I wanted air conditioning which was standard on the LX and an option on the Zetec. * The LX has steel wheels and 185/65 tyres (which would have been good enough for a hot hatchback 10 years ago). These end up being lighter than the alloy wheels on the Zetec because the tyres are smaller. With the alloy wheels, you can't fit a full-sized spare tyre in the boot. I _hate_ spacesaver spare tyres, and it means you get £50 less tyre for your money. Autocar tested a range of tyres in 1999 using a Focus 1.8 Zetec as the "family car". The Firestone Firehawk 700 tyres fitted to my car didn't do particularly well in the test (see http://www.tyres-online.co.uk/tyretest/autocar.htm). They were rated well for dry handling but worst on test for aquaplaning in a straight line. * The suspension is stiffer on the Zetec than the LX. Personally,
the L X handles perfectly adequately, and stiff suspension just makes the car less comfortable without making it much more fun to drive. Once, on a country lane at night, I found that I had driven over a big hump in the road, which was immediately followed by a corner. The front wheels were still light from going over the bump, but they stayed in contact with the ground enough for me to steer around the bend. With low profile tyres and stiff suspension, I might well have taken off and landed in a ditch. * In What Car, the Zetec and LX models have the same official fuel consumption figures, but the CO2 emissions are 168 for the Zetec instead of 165 for the LX. I suspect that the CO2 emissions like this are proportional to the amount of fuel they use, which means that the bigger Zetec tyres will cost you another £200 over 100,000 miles. On its own it isn't a lot, but overall it means the Zetec has running costs that are about £500 more than the equivalent LX over its lifetime. * I can do without front fog lamps, a shiny dashboard and any of the other Zetec bits and pieces. Some other comments * Its reasonably quick, comfortable, fun and easy to drive. Initially I got about 38mpg, but now after 49,000 miles, the engine has loosened up. If I drive briskly then it still does 38mpg, but cruising at the speed limits on fast A roads and dual carriageways, I get 44mpg. * The heated front windscreen is just _great_ on a frosty morning. It means you don't have to worry about scraping the ice off, or wiping mist off on the inside. Within about 90 seconds of idling, the screen is clear. Also with the heated screen, you get a sunroof, which isn't essential, but is still nice to have on a sunny morning. * Personally, I think the Reflex option pack is well worth having. You get ABS, side air bags and traction control. Not many second hand Focuses have this and the climate pack as well. * The Focus got
a 4* rating in the NCAP tests a couple of years ago. That test was without the side air bags that you get with t he reflex pack, which would have improved the rating a little more. * For extra security, I got a Barrier Deadlock fitted. This locks the gear lever into reverse when you are parked. It basically means that if someone wants to get away with the car, they will have to tow it away. Its unobstrusive, and really quick and convenient to use, unlike locks which fit over the steering wheel. At £220 it wasn't cheap, but I plan to keep the car for a while, and the convenience should pay for itself. Barrier deadlocks are only available for a few vehicles as they have to make sure the bracket fits properly for each new vehicle. They are most common on the Subaru Impreza and Ford Transit Van. This is one big advantage of going for a car sold in large numbers in the UK like a Focus rather than a VW Golf, Skoda Octavia, etc. * The boot isn't big, but it fits a MacLaren umbrella buggy or a big Graco tandem buggy with no problems. We also have a 2 in one buggy from Mamas and Papas which fits OK, although its quite snug with a Sherpa chassis. If you want more boot space, then I would go for the estate. IMHO, the saloon is unspeakably ugly. * I've got a roof box for family holidays. I bought some Thule roof bars for £60. They were an older model which used to cost £120 a couple of years ago. They have the aerodynamic aluminium roof bars. The latest Thule bars have a rapid fit system which is a bit slicker, but they end up costing £90 for the basic set. * Its nice to have 3 proper seat belts in the back seat. * When the RDS traffic news came on the radio a bit loud until I (whisper it quietly) read the fine manual and found how to turn this down. * If you want to upgrade the stereo, then you can plug a Kenwood CD multichanger under the passenger seat. www.incarexpress.co.uk sells th
ese for £180 including an adaptor plug. The standard Ford model is £250. You can also upgrade the front speakers for £50 from In Car Express. See the uk.rec.cars.audio for more discussion about these. * The paint (Radiant Red) is picking up a few stone chips. * In the rear seat, there is headroom for two adults, but not for three - the ones on the edge have to crank their head towards the centre of the car. * You can find out when and where your Ford was built from the VIN number at http://www.capri.lt/ford_vin.htm * Halfords sell a plastic liner for the boot which fits quite neatly. For really dirty stuff I use a bag that I got with a ton of sand from a builders merchant. * The price of some of the accessories came as a bit of a shock. A replacement remote control key is nearly £50. A key with just the immobiliser in it was £18. The car comes with one of each type of key. Some bits of sticky backed plastic for protecting the paint at the bottom of the door were £23. * I got Rapid Fit Ford to do oil changes at 1500 and 5500 miles. The first one cost £14.95 including oil, filter and labour. The second one was £14.95 for oil but they then added some extras to bring the price up to £23. At £15 its a good deal but at £23 its not so hot. See if you can get them to agree to £15 first. * I was told once that a 10,000 service at Rapid Fit costs £80. I then rang up to see if I could book this and was told that they wouldn't do a Rapid Fit service on a car this age. It has to be a £132 one at their normal rates. You get a courtesy car whilst they do this, but I'd still rather pay less money. They did say that the service intervals are now every 12,500 miles instead of 10,000 miles as it said in my handbook. * The outside edge of the rear tyres wears rather quickly - faster than the front tyres. This is a problem that I've seen mentioned by a few people about their Focuses
. I had the tracking checked at a service but apparently its in spec. If you're getting the tracking checked and particularly if you are interested in the alignment of the rear wheels, the places that do it for free don't do nearly so thorough a job as you can get from a place that deals with accident-damaged cars. These take a couple of hours and charge more, but are a lot more accurate. The one reliability problem I've had was where a load of secondary electrical bits and pieces would all stop working at once. The heated windscreen seemed to start the problem. The heated front and rear screens, the rear wash wipe, the interior light and the intermittent wash wipe would all stop working. Sometimes switching the engine off and on again fixed things, but in the end I had to get a timing module replaced. This then fixed things. The earth strap for the heated windscreen was also corroding a bit which might not have helped. Overall I'm pretty happy. I'd buy it again.
The Focus estate is the sort of family motor that's ideal for loading up with Labradors, babies and beachballs. And to look at this lengthened estate somehow appears a cleaner creation than the mismash of intersecting lines covering the hatchback body styles. Or you could just dump the clobber and take it for a proper cross-country blat instead, because the good news is that the estate drives just as well as the hatch. That's in part because sophisticated multi-link rear suspension is retained, with the dampers cranked up to free up more room in the rear. Even the basic 1.6-litre petrol estate revs freely and quietly, with a snappy gearchange, direct steering and a chassis that's always communicative and yet is never less than safe and predictable when pushed. Anti-lock brakes plus electronic brake force distribution system and traction control all help out unobtrusively when required as well. With the back seats folded flat to the floor. a class leading 1,580 litres of space is freed up. The saloon market also shapes up as an impressive bit of kit. Its suspension is exactly the same as you'll find in a Ford hatch, and the driving experience, not surprisingly is identical. Plenty of legroom, while the boot is wide, flat and deep. Again the styling is relieved of some of the overt wackiness of the hatch. Overall, the Focus (hatch, saloon and estate versions) is bold, brilliant and bloody good value - if you can live with the looks. For Against
I have just reached my six month anniversary with my Ford Focus. I write this opinion in celebration for it has been a happy relationship. I was a little worried at the start because I began this affair of the heart while on the rebound from a Nissan Primera. (I still cannot believe how a car can be so spiteful and cause so much pain.) I just didn't want to be hurt again. I was first attracted to my Focus because of her looks. Being an estate she had a fuller figure than most, but she looked so young and pretty with her cute triangles and graceful arcs. As I held her gently by the wheel and gazed upon her instruments, I could see the quality of her design in every line. And as we drove home together I knew that I could rely on her for comfort and sure footed stability, even when the road ahead had many turns and bumps. Perhaps the greatest surprise however has been her reliability. I could have forgiven one so beautiful for letting me down occasionally. But so far she has shown no great desire to return to the garage. Consider my anger therefore when some uncaring oik deliberately pushed a shopping trolley into her side in the Asda car park. I wept at her disfigurement and did not rest until she had been restored to pristine glory. Since then she has repaid my care in full. There have been no histrionics and no breakdowns. Nor is she an expensive car to keep. She has quietly gone about her business in an efficient and refined manner. She can be quite racy when she wants to be, but she never becomes harsh or undisciplined. I know that six months is not a long time for a relationship of any kind. We are still finding out about each other. However, the wounds given to me by the Primera have almost healed and I can say with some sincerity that my new love has been responsible for that. I am sure that we will enjoy a long and happy affair. The only problem we still have to face as a couple is how to deal with the jealou
sy of my wife.
This new car is the most drivable car I have ever owned. Ford it seems have really excelled themselves with this marque, it's roomy, comfortable, had nooks and crannys all over,holds the road like glue and it makes you feel good sitting behind the wheel. I must admit that I went for the estate partly because I don't like the positioning of the rear light cluster on the hatch and I wanted the extra room anyway. My last car was a Mondeo and although I couldn't fault it for reliability, (it never let me down once in 3 years). It wasn't the most comfortable car I've ever driven. In the Focus you are sitting higher and from that position you have a better view of the road. The gear change is typical of Ford who in my opinion make great gear boxes, easy to change and very solid. The engine seems very free revving and eager to please. Some of the nice touches are :- plastic rubbing piece to prevent scratching the rear bumper when loading/unloading the car. Mirrors behind both sun visors, but could do with the passengers side being illuminated and the silly flap removed. Places either side of the gear change for tin/cup. coin tray covered by part of the dashboard. Little things I know but they make the difference. All in all a car thats a joy to drive as well as a joy to own.
Ford's latest family car is very in-Focus indeed! My opinion is based over a very extensive drive over a weekend's car hire. We travelled through all types of road conditions - motorway (straight), town (urban), country (twisty & bumpy) etc. It was a pleasure to drive, very comfortable both as a driver and both rear and front passenger. The layout of the controls were excellent. All the controls were within quick and easy reach, best described as very ergodynamic (whatever that means!). It's handling across town, motorway, country lanes was superb. You could read a paper going through very bumpy country lanes without getting sick - it was that good! The Focus's looks aren't all that special after a while. Fuel consumption wasn't that great and neither was the boot space. It is deemed as a family car. Just hope you have less than 2.5 kids to run around! A normal Focus 1.8 LX just doesn't have the room to handle a family of 2 adults and 2 children plus all their rubbish - which is the biggest let down of all! You wouldn't get a pram in the boot! NO WAY PEDRO! So if you have less than 1 child and don't need a lot of boot space, then this is the car for you! It is a crying shame that Ford could produce such a fine car but seriously mess up on the importance of boot space. If the boot gave a bit more space then we would be down the nearest Ford Dealer and buy one. As it is, we're still looking for the elusive medium family sized car!
Update 28/3/2006: Many years later we have now bought the Ford Focus - 1.8 Zetec S-Reg after my test drive. We are very happy with it. Until you learn that you're expecting a baby and need to buy a rear facing baby seat that will actually fit into the back seats! Nothing fits! The rear seat belts are too short by about 5cms. We are unable to fit the seat in the front due to the airbag. There are no switches to turn the airbag off. My advice if you have a baby and want to drive a ford focus go for the later models as the earlier models (Regs T-V) are incompatible with rear facing baby seats. If any reviewers know of any please email or leave a review.