2003 Ford Focus Ambiente+ HGV 1.6 Zetec petrol


Surprisingly drivable family car


Speedometer intermittently stopped working, fixed under dealer's second-hand car guarantee.

General Comments:

Comfortable, economical, and practical estate car, which surprises me with its drivability. The independent rear suspension makes it feel almost like a rear-wheel-drive car. The steering is fantastically responsive, and the gear change is crisp and feels good.

The interior, with its lack of right angles, is very easy on the eye, and the controls are well laid out.

The only downside with the 1.6 engine is that, on the motorway, at 110 kph, it's up around 3000 rpm in fifth gear. I'd like a "motorway" gear. Still, averaging 0.75 liters per 10 km, it's very cheap to run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2008

1999 Ford Focus Station Wagon (Trend) 2.0


Reliable, great loading capacity and engine, value for money if you can live with smaller hick-ups


Fuel gauge (intermittently) indicated empty tank when filled full. Started at 70000km.

"Noise/bounce" reaction from the pedal stand when operated - again not all the time. Found out too late that it was a known Ford Focus problem that if reported within first year it would have been a good-will repair - so I had to live with it. It would seem the sheet metal in the shaft fitting was too "wobbly" and would sometimes make a "pop" sound - very much like the sound/vibration when you press the surface of an empty cola bottle which is screwed tight and it gives in under the pressure you apply - irritating! (Anyone else out there who had the same issue? - please comment if that is the case)

Ford replaced rear right door after 80000 km when rust appeared a lower portion. No questions asked at no cost - positive good will! Would have done so up until 12 years of age!?!

Driver seat heating failed at 50000km and outside 3 year warranty.

Rear seat safety belt would not release when seat folded down - the result was that seat could not be flipped up without completely removing the seat belt lower fix point - very annoying (took time & special tools to do on your own too) and so I always as of then has to extend belt and clip it on before folding - that way I would have belt "to spare" when it was time to tilt up.

General Comments:

Very good handling on the road and easy to drive - my wife loved it for that reason.

The Trend model in Sweden is/was the 130BHP version and the power was just right for that car.

Extremely good load capacity (station wagon) for a mid-size car. We have two children and luggage/trolleys was never a problem. Focus is Volvo class in this respect!

Fuel consumption always on the mark and acceptable.

Brakes not as crisp/sensitive as one would like.

Heating in winter not adequate - at least not for the station wagon and I agree with other comments that mist on inside of screen was a problem on and off.

Never serviced a single time - did oil changes myself every 2nd year.

Anti-spin control (brakes and motor control) up to scratch and worked well in our winter climate.

Traded it in recently and was given good money - new car being a Nissan X-trail.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th September, 2006