2002 Ford Focus Zetec 2.0 petrol from Australia and New Zealand


Great handling, reliable, and easy to live with long term


Dash faulty when the car was 7 years old.

Had a problem with the auto at 5 years old, fixed by dealer; I think it was just low on fluid.

Driver's window motor went dead when the car was 10 years old.

Power steering pump replaced when 10 years old.

Radio power button has become temperamental lately, but the radio still sounds fantastic!

General Comments:

Great car, best I've ever owned, or driven in. The standouts with this car are the handling, steering and brake feel, and the general feeling of solidity. The car still feels new at 13 years. Exterior styling has aged gracefully I think; interior, not so much. It just doesn't look very mature. Cabin plastics are just OK, but you don't care, as you are having so much fun driving the car!

It is true though that the 2.0 Zetec engine is not a great engine. Power is satisfactory, but it would be nice to have a bit more power, or even better, torque. The auto is OK, but shifts too early for my taste. It doesn't hunt gears too much, but hey, a manual would be better in my opinion, and would suit the character of the car much more.

I bought this car when it was 4 years old, and not long after buying it I had a problem where it wouldn't shift out of 1st or 2nd gear. Great dealer service from my Ford dealer; after that no problems since.

Problems with the power steering pump are known with Foci made between certain dates, and I had mine replaced when the car was about 10 years old. I think that considering the car is almost 13 years old now, it has been exceptionally reliable, comfortable and economical to run.

Three minor repairs in that time prove the Focus is pretty economical and easy to live with. I'm glad I bought my Focus, rather than the Corolla I was thinking of. It is sheer engineering excellence, and just as reliable too. Even a typical Toyota will have a few little issues over the years too.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th June, 2015

23rd May 2017, 23:12

I'm the original reviewer, back after two years. The car is still going OK; did have a problem with the auto transmission last year (a band broke), but it didn't cost too much to fix.

The car has reached about 180,000km now, mostly short trips though, and so has had a pretty hard life. I'm still happy with the car and still like it, however I am planning to replace it within the next year or so.

The car still has a lot of original parts (radiator, muffler/exhaust system, water pump, suspension/steering/coils etc, CV joints/ball joints, hoses), but realistically at this age this can't last much longer!

I'm also finally bored with the car; a lot has happened technologically since the Ford Focus Mk1 was designed (20 years ago!). The car has no stability control and just two airbags. The handling and safety of the car was far ahead of the pack two decades ago, but of course now seems a little old fashioned. Am looking to replace the Focus with a new Hyundai Accent, which will be more about getting from A to B safely.

2nd Apr 2018, 17:50

I am the original reviewer, back in 2018. Finally sold the Focus a few months ago, very happy with almost 11 years of good reliable service. Have downsized to a Holden Spark. It’s interesting that the Spark feels faster with a 1.4 engine than the Focus did with a 2.0. I never felt the Focus engine was very powerful or torquey, always running out of power on slight inclines on the highway or when overtaking... actually that didn’t happen often! The car was getting a little tired at 15 years of age and almost 190,000 km. Engine, although gutless, had superb durability, consumed no oil and would likely last just about forever (some have gone over 400,000 km).

3rd Apr 2018, 13:26

Thanks for the updates. The reason the 2.0 felt slow was probably because it was an automatic. I had a petrol 1.8 and 2.0 Zetec Ford Mondeo with manual transmission, and they were not the fastest cars in the world, but could move if they needed to.

I agree with your review though - the old Zetec engine was a great one; both of mine did well over 100,000, still using no oil or coolant, going strong. Do the timing belt and oil changes on this engine and you are OK for high mileage.

8th Apr 2018, 09:36

I agree that the 4 speed auto wasn't the greatest match for the detection engine. I will, in fact never buy a 4 speed auto again!

2002 Ford Focus SE 2.4 I-4 from North America




1. Ignition lock cylinder jammed and needed to be replaced.

2. Ignition coil replaced.

3. Air conditioning had a major leak and did not work.

4. Exhaust manifold to exhaust pipe gasket replaced.

5. Parking brake did not work and required the brake drums to be replaced.

6. License plate light connections corroded and lights went out. Needed to replace sockets (I got a ticket for this).

7. Window lift mechanism broke and window fell down into the door.

8. Throttle cable broke (cable that connects the pedal to the butterfly valve) and was replaced.

9. Side view mirrors are plastic and cheap. I had them broken off twice and replaced.

10. Radio died; replaced with an aftermarket radio.

11. Numerous other problems (I cannot remember them all).

General Comments:

This car is junk and a reliability nightmare!

The only thing good was the MPG (22 city/32 highway).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th April, 2014