2001 Ford Focus Zetec TDDi 1.8 turbo diesel
Astonishing family car value and a great driving experience
Rear seat back catch is temperamental.
Deformed rear tyres causing a droning sound. Went away when replaced, but how did they get like that?
Excellent value for money. £5k for a cutting edge family hatch which, if you believe the reviews, still has no peers when it comes to driver satisfaction. I don't know about that, but it does have a pleasingly "sharp" feel with a great ride, lovely weighty steering and powerful brakes.
The budget wouldn't stretch to one of the excellent TDCi engines, so I had to make do with the old Endura DI unit which has to be the car's biggest weakness. To be fair, the engine actually performs quite well and has a nice, easy going nature to its power delivery. Unfortunately, it's gruff, rumbly and smokes like an old boiler when you accelerate hard.
Economy so far has varied quite drastically. We've seen everything from a very impressive 54 mpg, to a petrol rivalling 36 mpg. Average is around 46 mpg which is a good 10mpg more than you'd ever get from the 1600 petrol version. Running costs generally are low too with original Ford parts prices costing less than my previous Nissan's pattern parts.
Reliability is good so far. The seat catch needs a bit of fiddling to get it to latch after the seats have been folded, and something odd happened to the rear tyres which became "stepped" on their inner edges with a good 4mm of wear left on the remainder. I'm told this is not uncommon on the Focus, and yes the car was HPI'd before I bought it.
I know from friends that Ford dealers are useless, so I do basic servicing myself, and have any additional work carried out by an independent who has been known to our family for years. He does a good job and charges a fair price.
Overall I would say a 4yr old Focus is probably the best age/value/ability combination available in family motoring today. If it continues as it has started, I will be overjoyed.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 23rd May, 2005