2001 Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Very reliable and surprisingly nice to drive


Erratic idle speed; fixed by replacing worn out part for about £120.

Rear windscreen wiper stopped working; fixed easily.

The car never broke down.

General Comments:

I had my Focus for about a year and a half, when it was 10-11 years old. To date it has been the most reliable car I have ever owned.

Needless to say there are thousands of them all over the UK - the downside of this is simply that you're driving a fairly 'ordinary' - some may even say boring - car. The good news is that driving it is not so boring. The Focus was surprisingly good to drive. It's no sports car, but it felt solid, and was responsive and comfortable. A confident cruiser on the motorway, and easy to drive around town. In terms of fuel, it was economical enough, but not outstanding.

The QuickClear windscreen is fantastic in the winter - just make sure it works before you buy. I did wonder how much a replacement windscreen would cost given the heating elements required in it.

There's simply so much choice if you're buying a Focus - you may as well take your time and ensure you get a good one. Mine had been well looked after, but having lived in town it had a few minor scrapes and scratches on the bodywork. These didn't bother me, and meant I got the car at a good price. As far as I can tell, find a well looked after example and you should have a reliable car that's easy and cheap to run.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 21st April, 2014

2001 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0 4 cylinder from North America


If you find one in decent shape, don't think twice


Ignition coil went bad; caused a miss and the check engine light. Was able to hobble it to a mechanic.

Currently, a fan relay or a fuse is not working, so the cooling fan won't turn on at low speeds. It's fine as long as I keep the car moving or if it's cool outside. A simple fix, but symptomatic of the 'electrical gremlins' many other Focus owners note.

General Comments:

The engine revs so easily and there's power in almost any gear at any speed. Of course the tradeoff of this peppy performance is that fuel mileage isn't that good for a car this size. Most comparable Hondas get 5 - 8 MPG better, especially in the city, and I really honestly miss that. It seems jarring to get 22 MPG when poking around town, but no, that's normal. And 30 MPG on the highway isn't bad, just not as good as you'd expect a car of this size to get.

It is comfortable, though. The seats are something you can sit in for hours and feel fine. There's plenty of legroom for the driver (I'm 6'3", and fit in it fine), and even in the backseats, there's room. And a spacious trunk. That's always nice to have.

The sound system is nice, but the speakers could use improvement as well as a new deck (the CD player doesn't like burned CDs, as it was made right before they were big).

The front end suspension is a bit... soft, though. My sister drives a Focus of the same year, and her hubby mentioned that changing the struts helped the handling immensely, and I can see what he means. If you hit a bump on the freeway, the front end feels a bit light as it bounces just a tad too high. It's not unsafe, just a bit unsettling until you get used to it.

The bottom line is that if you find a Focus in good shape (service records and all that jazz) it's worth the money. I lucked out, in that mine was really clean and well-maintained when I bought it, and comes with years of service records. If you're looking at one that's in sort of rough shape, be wary; this isn't a Honda that will take anything you throw at it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th January, 2013