2001 Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland


Like a faithful old horse, it may not be noticed, but is always there for me


Coughing during acceleration; fixed with the simple application of new HT leads.

Erratic idle speed was caused by a pipe that needed replacing on the engine. Sorry for being so fantastically non-technical, I can't remember what it was.

The engine seems to be using noticeably more oil, although there are no obvious leaks. A quick internet search revealed that this is not uncommon with the petrol Zetec Focus. I'll keep an eye on it for now.

Pound for pound, this is easily the most reliable car I've owned.

General Comments:

After ten years and 80,000 miles or so, I first met my Focus as it sat still proudly gleaming in its Pacific Green on a less-than-reputable used car lot in deepest Surrey.

'Full service history' quickly turned into 'lost service history', followed by 'no service history'. But despite a shaky start with the dealer, there were no such shaky starts with the car itself.

I was after a sensible balance of practicality, reliability and financial economy - but still a nice drive. I decided the little green Zetec was the right companion for some new adventures.

Luckily for me, adventures only come when required, as my car favours road-trips over and above trips into the parts bin and local garages. Aside from the few things listed above, none of which prevented me driving the car as normal, it hasn't missed a beat.

Seats are blackly sensible in appearance, but are comfortable. The dash is easier to use than its higgledy-piggledy appearance may suggest. There's enough power, and Zetec is entirely happy cruising round the M25 or sitting in a traffic jam. A commanding driving position gives a comfortable level of visibility, and helps keep me relaxed and assured, whether parking or changing lanes at speed.

The body bears the scars of a life in London - some pretty nasty scratches, curbed alloys, a random greasy handprint that is impossible to remove and a ruined boot lock, where my Focus must have proudly defeated a bungling burglar attempting to access it. Luckily you can still open the boot remotely from the dash.

At ten years old it was cheap to buy, and being a Ford I assume it's comparatively easy and cheap to fix if it goes wrong. Easy to drive, easy to run, and I expect easy to sell when the time comes.

Being such a best-selling car, there are plenty of them around, which ironically could be seen as the biggest drawback - you're never going to be seen as an individual from a motoring perspective. Individuality is a good thing, but perhaps not as good as passing another MoT with no extra costs to bear. I expect opinions differ, and yours may tell you whether or not a relatively sensible car such as a Focus is right for you.

My advice to anyone thinking of buying a Focus is simply to take advantage of the large numbers of cars available. I'm sure there are bad cars out there as well, as with any - and I've been fortunate. So take the time to make sure you choose one of the good ones from the wide choice available.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 3rd November, 2012

2001 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0 Zetec from North America


Pretty car, great gas, a NIGHTMARE to OWN!!


Everything, and I mean everything.

The car stalled / hesitates whenever it feels like it. Some days are good, and others are horrid and a nightmare.

Mechanics can't figure it out; anytime the car starts to act up, I've got to sit (at least a half hour) wherever I am, and let the car cool (not overheating), but some wire / sensor is obviously acting up, and once it sits, it fires up like nothing is wrong until you stop again, and then it's a repeat performance as stated above.

I've drove this vehicle for less than 200 000km, and it's been an absolute nightmare; this is the ZX3 model.

I've replaced fuel pump / fuel filter for $1100 bucks.

I've replaced entire PCV system, hose, elbow and valve.

I've replaced EGR valve and hoses.

Replaced plugs and wires.

Cleaned the throttle body, and the mass air flow sensor.

Hood latch sticks and has to be opened / closed with a screwdriver.

Driver's seat has worn out.

Clutch is notchy / shifting is shifty at best.

New front brake rotors / pads and calipers.

New front tires and new rear tires.

New brake lines.

New fuel lines.

Battery light comes on and flickers out.

Crank position sensor.

Coolant position sensor.

New battery and terminals.

I don't even remember everything else; I'm exhausted just typing this out, and thinking about it.

General Comments:

When the car works well, it works well, but it's when it doesn't work that is the real nightmare.

The car handles very well, stops well, accelerates decent, and gets great gas mileage.

The cabin has a great design and feels spacious inside.

The hatch is awesome; incredible amount of room.

However, for the above "good points", the "bad is just not worth it", and the Zetec has many known issues that basically seem to be uncorrectable.

It seems that when you replace 1 part, something else goes wrong, and after you fix that, then you are back to fixing the first part that you replaced 2 months ago.

Ford had a great idea of a car here, and everything could have been great, however, with all of these issues, and who knows what else that hasn't been diagnosed, it's just not worth it.

I wouldn't buy this car again, and I doubt I'd buy anything else that is "Ford related".

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 25th June, 2012

1st Jul 2012, 18:34

So you're complaining about a vehicle that has well-over 200,000 KM and over 11 years of service under the belt, about it stalling? What do you expect? These sort of things happen in a used car.

25th Dec 2014, 13:41

At 121,000 miles some of the electronic sensors are going to wear, but from your description, it needs a good cleaning of the mass flow air sensor; the previous owner probably never changed the air filter on it. Inexpensive high mileage cars aren't going to get the same care as other vehicles, and buying a used car will mean you need to do repairs and care for it, unlike a new or low mileage car.

12th Nov 2016, 00:08

I fully agree with the reviewer. I have owned multiple cars having more than twice his amount of km with far less problems, even cars with the original engine and transmission with 800 thousand km on the clock (!!!).

I dare you to find a Focus with that mileage.