1998 Ford Focus 1.8L petrol from Germany


Reliable friend in all sorts of situations


Rear passenger electric window motor broke one week after purchase. Got fixed within warranty.

Boot lid does not always close properly, need to insert key and turn lock again, not really a fault, but gets annoying.

General Comments:

For this sort of money, you get more car and quality than from any other car company.

Especially, the heated windshield makes winters a lot more bearable, its comfortable for the driver, a bit tight on the rest of the car.

This car is most reliable, there are a few minor glitches and squeaks, but nothing that would stop you going from A to B.

The only fault that bothers me the most is the fuel consumption; it's got the same 1.8L engine as the Mondeo, but the fuel tank is only 55L (20L less than Mondeo), so visiting gas stations is a rather common procedure.

Also the fuel consumption in the city, at 10L/100km, and about 8/100 on the highway, is way too much for a small hatchback like a Focus.

I've been thinking to buy a smaller car for that reason, yet after reading the reviews, most cars, even German makes, have such repulsive reviews, that I'm more than sure I will be keeping that baby for a few more years.

Definitely a good purchase, and a reliable friend.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th February, 2011

1998 Ford Focus LX 1.8 zetec from UK and Ireland


I'm not surprised it's the UK's most popular car


I've only owned the car a month and can report few problems.

After being stung before, I got an RAC check (something that I would definatly recommend). It showed that the car was fine apart from a faulty fuel gauge (£170), an exhaust bracket (£10) and worn brake discs.

I know several other people with Foci and they have had a reasonably trouble free time.

General Comments:

The styling is still cutting edge, despite seeing them at every turn.

The 1.8 zetec isn't a super-quick engine, but it's pretty economical and it's very smooth with very few flat spots in the rev range.

My main complaint with the Focus is the seats, which give me chronic backache as they've got no lumbar support.

The Focus is great fun to drive with amazing handling considering it's a front wheel drive runabout.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th July, 2002

1998 Ford Focus Trend 2.0 Gasoline from Belgium


A sporty yet practical and reliable compact


So far nothing has gone wrong with the car other than some minor broken plastic parts. These include such things as the ring around the hatch lock, the wheel center covers (on mag wheels), and the gear shift knob decoration plate (a week after a new knob was installed).

Periodic maintenance has been needed, such as spark plugs (virtually gone @ 65KKm), front and rear brakes, etc; but nothing unexpected.

Parts availability (without having to order and wait) here in Belgium is surprisingly bad. The main after-market shop, Auto 5, doesn't even seem to be aware that the Focus exists. They didn't have wipers, brake rotors, oil filters, spark plugs, or air filters for this car. The dealer had brake rotors, but had to order pads. This is surprising to me because there are a LOT of Focuses (Foci?) on the road here.

General Comments:

The power of the 2.0L Zetec engine is quite good, though it doesn't feel quite like the advertised 135HP.

The handling is nice and predictable, with a bit of understeer, and not much torque steer. It feels very comfortable, even at 180KPh on the autobahn.

The shifting of the manual transmission is good, but the clutch has a very short area of action (from engaged to disengaged). This takes some getting used to.

The "split folding" rear seats are a disappointment. It seems like this design was not completely thought out before it went into production. The seat backs are split 60/40, but the seat bottom, which must be lifted to fold down the seats, is not split; so only folding one seat isn't really an option. Also, the headrests must be removed to fold the seats, but their support rods are so long that they can only be removed while the seats are halfway folded forward; otherwise they hit the ceiling.

AC and heat are good, and the car warms up quite quickly.

The front window defrost (wires in the glass) is awesome. This should be standard equipment on every car!

The four wheel disc brakes, with ABS, are excellent for the class of car.

The factory CD sound system (not changer) is pretty good. The only annoyance is that the unit must be turned on before a CD can be inserted or ejected.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th April, 2002