2001 Ford Focus SE 2.0 Ztec


Surprisingly reliable, especially for an American car


First, normal maintenance stuff.

Didn't change the timing belt until 194k, and it looked like new. BUY THE TWO SPECIALTY TOOLS for replacing the timing belt. The cam positioning bar, and crank pin alignment tool. Then replacing the timing belt and accompanying parts is super easy.

The car has been loaned to several family members. As a result this car has been wrecked several times. Had to replace driver's side tie rods, wheel bearings, eventually all wheels, numerous sets of brakes, fourth set of front brakes, second rear. Never have had the engine apart or the head off and it just purrs. It is on its third upper engine mount next to the timing belt.

The lower auxiliary driving lights are poorly designed and made, and break easy.

The door locks are junk and I've had to replace them all once and the front passenger door lock twice. Real cheap plastic, and damn near impossible to work on!

The inside fan motor is easy to access thank God, because it's on its third motor. Also it's burned out three fan resistors.

New clutch at 164,000, $650, and a new fuel pump at 215,000, to the sum of $1140, which I thought was absurd!

General Comments:

Ironically the engine is the strongest part of the car. The electrical system is this car's biggest weakness. And an abundance of cheap poorly made plastic parts throughout. Although this was an early model and I understand a lot of the problems were resolved over the years.

I have always been an import car guy and have owned European and Japanese cars, I've owned British (electrical nightmare), German, and a VW Bug (1974) that had it a better defroster and A/C, I'd still be driving it. Datsun (1977, 620 P/U) for 14 years, best car I ever owned, hard to believe what Nissan makes now! Honda, Civic and Accord, what's there to say, they're Hondas! Toyota P/U with 22RE, bullet proof and easy to maintain, and a 98 Dodge Ram 3500 SLT, Dually with Cummins 5.9 12 valve. Bulletproof engine, the truck is a typical American vehicle, an electrical abortion!

My wife bought the Focus prior to our meeting and brought it into the marriage. I would never have bought a Ford, especially in those years. But I have to say any vehicle that will go 200,000 plus miles on the original engine without ever being apart is good solid engineering. Like I said, the engine is the least problematic part of the car. So the 64 dollar question, would I buy it again, yeah I suppose I would. It's stood up to being the first car for two boys, and that says a lot! It's been wrecked, hit by a semi, ran into a parked car, and driven through a garage door (that was down!).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 13th August, 2017

20th Aug 2017, 02:40

Believe it or not, you bought another European car with the Focus.

Imperfect reliability with a excellent chassis - read handling.

Enjoy :)

2001 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0 4 cylinder


If you find one in decent shape, don't think twice


Ignition coil went bad; caused a miss and the check engine light. Was able to hobble it to a mechanic.

Currently, a fan relay or a fuse is not working, so the cooling fan won't turn on at low speeds. It's fine as long as I keep the car moving or if it's cool outside. A simple fix, but symptomatic of the 'electrical gremlins' many other Focus owners note.

General Comments:

The engine revs so easily and there's power in almost any gear at any speed. Of course the tradeoff of this peppy performance is that fuel mileage isn't that good for a car this size. Most comparable Hondas get 5 - 8 MPG better, especially in the city, and I really honestly miss that. It seems jarring to get 22 MPG when poking around town, but no, that's normal. And 30 MPG on the highway isn't bad, just not as good as you'd expect a car of this size to get.

It is comfortable, though. The seats are something you can sit in for hours and feel fine. There's plenty of legroom for the driver (I'm 6'3", and fit in it fine), and even in the backseats, there's room. And a spacious trunk. That's always nice to have.

The sound system is nice, but the speakers could use improvement as well as a new deck (the CD player doesn't like burned CDs, as it was made right before they were big).

The front end suspension is a bit... soft, though. My sister drives a Focus of the same year, and her hubby mentioned that changing the struts helped the handling immensely, and I can see what he means. If you hit a bump on the freeway, the front end feels a bit light as it bounces just a tad too high. It's not unsafe, just a bit unsettling until you get used to it.

The bottom line is that if you find a Focus in good shape (service records and all that jazz) it's worth the money. I lucked out, in that mine was really clean and well-maintained when I bought it, and comes with years of service records. If you're looking at one that's in sort of rough shape, be wary; this isn't a Honda that will take anything you throw at it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2013