I noticed after receiving the car that the sun roof wind deflector had a broken finger that allowed it to vibrate and make a lot of sound. It was replaced under warranty.
One rear wheel bearing was replaced at 56000 km after causing noise. It was covered by the warranty.
At 59000 km some rust appeared under the chrome trim on the hatchback. It was covered under warranty. I think it may be a known problem with the Focus because the dealer reinstalled the trim with some foam strips underneath to stop rubbing.
At 65000 km the turn signals stopped returning automatically. The dealer repaired the problem at no cost. There is a service bulletin about this problem.
I had problems starting the car in the winter of 2005, but the problem was just rust on some relay contacts.
I planned to buy an Acura EL (Honda Civic), but was intimidated by rude dealers and heavy price tags for high mileage cars. I just stopped at Ford to look at the Focus, but found one with luxury level equipment, but in warranty at a couple thousand less than older Acuras!
I find that the Focus handles and rides better than the 2001-2005 Civic. In fact, the Focus would out handle my '95 del Sol, which is supposed to be a sports car. Despite the great handling, the suspension is supple enough to deliver a smooth ride worthy of a larger car.
The engine produces great torque, perfect for the stop and go of Montreal traffic. However, it is slightly rougher than a Honda, and consumes much more gas.
There are occasional rattles in the interior. However, the fit and finish of mine is high.
I know that my list of things that have gone wrong with the car is long, but it has yet to leave me stranded. The problems are also made easier in that they were all covered by the dealer. Lastly, my dealer has been friendly and efficient.