I bought this car second hand (it's a 2001 "Y" reg) in February 2009; it is now April 2010 and I'm still in love with it! Why do I love this car? The car cost me £2,600 - for a car worth about £20,000 new (and it only had 60,000 miles on the clock - for an eight year old car was good). It is quicker than you would expect (130 bhp, 125 mph limit - per manual), but if you don't have a heavy right foot you can expect 40 mpg. It has good cockpit space; four adults will sit comfortably, plus a good sized boot. The handling of the Focus is very good; if you push it too far the ESP can jump in to correct you, for going round roundabouts and such it is planted to the road. Because it is a Ford, parts are reasonably priced (although, as yet, I've not had to replace anything). It is surprising how quiet this car is, even at high speeds there is very little noise (unless rev are above 5k - but then you want the roar!). The Focus is a handsome car and regardless of what your friends have, it will be up there with them.
What made me buy this car? I was looking for something that was reasonably quick, had good fuel economy, reasonable to insure, service, etc. etc. In otherwords, the unachievable utopian car. After much research I ended up with a 3-door Focus 2.0 ESP (ESP is the Electronic Stability Programme - essentially anti-slip!) - Pound for pound it's a real bargain. OK, so it's not the quickest car around, but it can shift and is not afraid to be revved up to the redline. It's a good road holder , especially when the tyres are warmed up a little (else, unless you have the ESP on, a dash light let you know there's a tyre slipping somewhere), but for some reason despite my best efforts to drive it hard, is phenominally good on fuel economy. Inside, the cabin space is exception - lots of headroom - even for us tall people and legroom allround - 5 adults in the car no problem. The boot space isn't excessively large but will cover the majority of general needs for a small family. The trim is a pretty standard fare - nothing to offend. The seats are comfortable - they're not sports seats so when you corner hard you do notice it! The car also sports twin airbags. As for the spec, I would have liked a cd autochanger, but have to make do with the single cd player. Air-con is welcome in the hot weather, usual electrics pack is again, pretty much as expected. The ESP function is welcome during snowy/icy weather - it controls the power to each individual wheel, so has help out once or twice when things have been dicey! After doing 38k miles, nothing severe to report with the car; Regular servicing is always recommended for any car, although the focus servicing interval is recommended at every 12months - I'm used to every 6 with my previous renaults - the brake/clutch hydraulic cable went on my Focus - i've put it down to one of those things. The only modification i've made is to replace the standard air filter with a k&n one (not the full race, but the direct replacement). Adds a little more performance to the engine but doesn't affect the insurance. Result! I used to have a megane williams coupe and as comparison the car is just off the mark but is still a good performer. Who would I recommend this car to? Someone who is looking for an affordable car with a good specification, reasonably lively performance, good fuel economy and insurance / running costs. It would serve equally well as a family car or for a single person. The only negative I can see is that they're too popular!
I bought my 2.0i ESP Focus Zetec in October and it really is the best thing that I have ever driven!! My last car was a 1.3 and I wanted something with a bit more wellie to get me to work each day ( a 70 mile roundtrip). Believe it or not a horse ran into my last car on the way from work!! The journey to work is over the Brecon Beacons mountain range and is often foggy, snowing, raining heavily and very windy. I opted for the 3dr Hatchback Focus as I liked the appearance of it and it always gets good reviews. I went down to the local dealer CEM Days in Neath and took one for a test drive- I had to have it!! I chose panther black and in total the car came to £15,500 less £1,500 cashback and £1k discount bringing it to £13k. I went for black because the exterior trim is black regardless of paint colour so the black paint obviously goes well with the trim. Standard features include ESP (electronic stability programme) which when turned on constantly monitors the car speed and road via sensors on the vehicle, it will then adjust the power output to individual wheels so that you do not lose control. Also as standard was a CD player(not an autochanger which is my only niggle), air con, 17" alloys, heated windscreen, power steering and ABS. I have done 8,800 miles since October and really cannot fault the car. ESP has saved my life a few times during some pretty hairy moments of madness on top of the beacons- a light starts flashing when it kicks in!!! The car is now covered by the new Ford 3 year warranty and the first free service was 1,500 miles and the next is not until 12,000 miles. I often get "boy racers" trying it on as it looks like a pretty ordinary focus on the outside except for the 17"alloys- however they usually cannot believe their eyes when it leaves them for dust!!!