1999 Ford Focus Ghia 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Nearly... but not quite.


Minor electrical faults.

General Comments:

It handles well and this model is quick off of a standing start.

However, it seems to have been down tuned and I keep looking for a sixth gear. At 135 brake horse power I would not expect it to struggle up hills.

The clutch biting point is too high which makes it uncomfortable to drive in town traffic as you can't rest your heel on the floor.

I worry about its stability on taking corners and roundabouts quickly.

The seats need to be more bucket shaped to hold the driver in more.

Heated front screen is an absolute godsend!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th January, 2002

17th Aug 2005, 16:26

If you wanted confident cornering and better supporting seats you should have got the Zetec ESP instead of the Ghia.

Zetec - Sports Suspension, Bucket seats (cornering ++, road bumps -)

Zetec ESP - Cornering +++++!!!

Ghia - Soft Suspension, Grandad seats (cornering -, road bumps ++)

That said, all the Focii are brilliant handling cars compared to others in the class.

1999 Ford Focus Zetec 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Excellent packaging for a combination of runabout and sporty pretensions


Tinkling noise from the driver's door - fixed under warranty.

Noisy air vent motor - fixed under warranty.

Recall for a replacement oil filler cap.

Recall for a replacement alternator.

Annoying thump from the rear suspension - never been diagnosed.

Annoyingly the gear knob spring holding the gear stick between 3rd and 4th gears in neutral has gone so the gear stick flops around a bit.

General Comments:

Excellent road manners. This car can be pushed as hard as you like. The more you push it the more it responds. Ride can be a bit fidgety at low speed, probably because of the Zetec suspension settings.

Good performance off the mark although the high torque peak of 4,500 rpm means the mid range is not as sprightly as I would like. Gearing a little too long means that motorway drives leave me searching for 4th gear if I drop below 60.

Insurance dirt cheap at group 6.

An average of 31mpg is not brilliant, probably because I drive with gusto.

First set of tyres lasted 24,000 and I'm sure less eager drivers would get 30,000 out of a set.

Excellent ergonomics. I recommend getting the air con and ABS options, otherwise the standard kit is a bit of a let down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th August, 2001

2nd Sep 2001, 10:24

I have the gearbox spring problem too. The car has gone back to the dealer twice and they can't find anything wrong with it! Have you had any luck with yours?

27th May 2003, 02:51

I have had exactly the same problem with my gearstick. I bought the necessary spring from Ford for under £3.00 but now I've got the hassle of trying to fit it myself! Well, I wasn't going to pay Ford's labour rates for them to fit it! Anyone got any advice on fitting these things??

27th May 2003, 02:58

I have experienced the thump in the rear suspension also, usually going round a right hand corner on an uneven surface. I've had a new shock absorber fitted in the back and all bushings checked and still cannot diagnose the problem.

1999 Ford Focus Ghia 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


An excellent all round performer


After 82000 miles together I can report that the car has been very reliable with only slight niggles to report.

The petrol gauge doesn't always register on very cold mornings.

The rear number plate lamps seem to be very prone to internal corrosion and have been replaced three times.

The front end does seem suffer from a lot of stone chips.

The traction control is a real nuisance when trying to make fast getaways.

General Comments:

The car is surprisingly quick for a 1.6. On a quiet stretch of continental motorway it managed to reach (and maintain) 127mph with three adults, two children and a boot full of luggage. This is well in excess of Fords quoted top speed.

Economy is very good with over 40mpg easily attainable on motorway journeys.

Handling is excellent.

Braking (with ABS) is also excellent.

Tyre wear has been low. It is only just on its third set of front tyres.

The air conditioning seems to take very little power from the engine.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th July, 2001