2000 Ford Focus SE 2.0 DOHC from North America


Best car buy I've ever made


The ignition locked up twice and the fuel pump failed twice. Every other failure was due to age, wear (timing belt, alternator, motor mounts, serpentine belt, idler pulley) or driver error (bouncing over jeep trails, which broke 4 window motors).

General Comments:

Most reliable vehicle I've owned in 62 years of driving. Parts and tires are relatively inexpensive, and the owner can do much of the necessary service. Being a small car, there is more road noise with the Focus, and it doesn't absorb the shock of bumps well, but those are the trade-offs for good handling and good gas mileage. I may have to paint the hood soon, but the rest of the car looks great, without ever seeing a drop of polish or wax.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st January, 2019

2000 Ford Focus Ghia TDDI 1.8 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


It didn't win the award for the best car of the past 25 years for nothing!


Front coil snapped.

Central locking not working on front passenger door.

Out of shape tyres due to cheap tyres...

Fan belt squeals in the cold (very common).

General Comments:

I wrote off my previous Focus after somebody pulled out on me, so needed another car quickly.

I went to the local car auctions and took a risk picking this car up for £282 with no MOT or history. Oh boy am I glad I took that risk. It's a metallic blue Ghia saloon, which I'm told is very rare to come with the diesel engine. Some people don't like the saloon; I have grown to like it. It's powered by Ford's old but well proven 1.8 litre turbo diesel engine. This engine is the older direct injection unit, and while it's not as refined or powerful as the newer common rail units, it's much less problematic. They are not trouble free however, as they still suffer with fuel pump failures, but this is much cheaper to put right if it does happen.

Being the Ghia, mine has electric windows, part leather seats, CD auto changer, A/C, heated front and rear screens, electric seats etc. However amazingly this model didn't come with alloys as standard. I have since fitted some Zetec alloys to it, which in my opinion suit the saloon better than the hatch.

This car is now 15 years old, but it still drives like a much newer and younger car, and amazingly this example is rust free save for 2 small scabs near the chrome strip on the tailgate. It drives beautifully and gives a consistent 45-50 MPG no matter how it's driven. There's a reason the mk1 Focus won the award for the best car of the past 25 years; it's because it's bloody good!

The only major issue I have had in the 6 months of owning it is a snapped coil spring thanks to our appalling roads.

I intend on keeping it until it dies, and considering my friend has an LX estate with the same engine that's just hit 200k miles, I'd say it's got a while yet.

The best car Ford have built, fact...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2015

8th Jan 2016, 23:32

I suspect you are right about older Fords - I had a C-Max Diesel from 2012-15 (see the review on here) and that was a proper dog. Fuel filters lasted only 10k miles (service intervals 12.5k miles - handy) gearbox went, electrical gremlins - 3 years of dross.

The more mechanical nature of the older car is more the level Ford operate at, hence your superb example.

I note that for some on here the Focus experience is underwhelming - you have to understand what the recently departed Escort and contemporary Astra, Rover (remember them?) 200, Nissan etc drove like and the Focus was a revelation. Anybody stepping from a newer car back into yours would not be overly impressed because the original Focus dragged all the other manufacturers up to their level in the ride/handling stakes that were previously Peugeot's domain.

If not the best, then surely one of the most influential cars of its time?

16th Jan 2016, 00:02

OP here.

I agree with the comment about the newer stuff. If your C Max was a diesel, then it would have been fitted with a Peugeot/Citroen engine as Ford are in alliance with them. Fords now suffer with the usual DPF problems and dual mass flywheel failures. I previously owned a 2007 Focus, and while it was more refined and generally better put together, it lacked the pin sharp handling and driver feedback the mk1 gives. Also my mk2 Focus was a 1.6 Sport petrol, and my mk1 is the older 90 BHP direct diesel, yet because it weighs less, it feels quicker than the mk2.

I agree with the comment about it setting new standards; I used to own a mk3 Astra, and whilst it was phenomenally reliable, it was very dull to drive. Read the article on Whatcar about the mk1 Focus.