2002 Ford Focus Zetec 1.8 TDDi turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


A fast, reliable, economical and fun to drive diesel


Rear tyres went out of shape before they wore out. Replaced at 30k due to vibration and noise. Replacements are just starting to go the same way 20k later.

The odd bulb here and there.

Otherwise fault free.

General Comments:

The sports suspension in Zetec trim is well worth seeking out. The standard LX and Ghia models are good, but the Zetec is that bit sharper and the body control is better.

I work for a car leasing company and so get to drive all manner of cars. The Focus 1 still stands out for "just so" dynamics and feel, and I would argue in pure driving terms is actually nicer than the new model. Certainly it feels set up more for fun than refinement or safety - probably the last car in this class ever to be able to claim that.

I've pepped up the old 90PS 1.8 Endura Di engine with a Bluefin re-map. It now sports 127 bhp and 285Nm of torque with a dyno print out to prove it. It's still a bit down on power compared to the latest VAG engines, but the car is 150-200kg lighter than a Golf 4/5 or Focus 2 so performance stands comparison with these much more expensive cars. On that note, my Focus cost half as much to buy on the used market as a similarly aged Golf TDI, even with the cost of the re-map factored in. I wanted a TDCi really, but a chipped TDDi gives more power for a lot less outlay.

The assembly quality is excellent with tight panel gaps, deep, lustrous paint and a generally taut feel to the whole car even after nearly 50,000 miles. The interior plastics are cheap looking though, and I've marked it down on comfort because the seats are pretty naff. The driving position itself is excellent however.

With the re-map done 10,000 miles ago, the engine hasn't missed a beat and has only needed one oil top up between changes as ever. It returns 46 mpg average which is the same as it did pre-mod. The car is well out of warranty now anyhow, so gets serviced outside the dealer network. Interestingly, when I did take the car in for its last dealer service they said nothing about the re-map despite claiming to have road tested the vehicle. I can reverse the re-map at home in about 2 minutes if I need to anyhow.

Overall, a great car. The standard engine is dull, but if you can afford the TDCi or a good re-map, it's unbeatable for the money. Better still you have a really nice choice from about £4k upwards - knackered old shed money in Golf TDI terms.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th May, 2005

19th May 2005, 02:30

You cannot have that torque. It's a mistake or, if they sold you that, they are also...I can't say on this site.

19th May 2005, 19:25

That torque figure is spot on. In fact it's slightly less than the Bluefin graph shows from the Focus they tested with the unit installed.

I have a TDDi Focus, and will be getting the Bluefin soon, as I've heard great things about them. The TDDi Focus responds better than most cars to the Bluefin, although even standard, I find it's a great engine; maybe not a TDCi, but still quite nippy with loads of torque. Remember these engines still have a direct injection 16v turbocharged intercooled engine, and it' no surprise to me that the Bluefin chip lets the true power of the engine out to play.

2002 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0 from North America


A car that you could lose somebody in


The brakes have worn out twice due to my job as a paper carrier and how I drive the car, door sealer is torn on passenger side from locking my keys in the car and AAA opening it.

General Comments:

This car is amazing it hasn't died yet I routinely go near 100mph I put 3000 super hard miles on it. I completely flooded the engine going 40mph. I've gotten the car airborne a few times. The only real fault is that the engines real power kicks in at about 3000rpms, but find a road that is hilly and has sharpe curves and take it at about 15 over the speed limit and the car doesn't make a noise except it has a little, but slightly noticeable body roll, but I discovered that on a curvy road going 80 in a 30. A true rally car that only shows what its made of on a race track and not on the strip. Cruises well. If you even what more thrills get the SVT version at your local used car lot because Ford doesn't make it anymore citing it "cost" to much.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 10th April, 2005

25th Apr 2005, 20:26

This man speaks the truth.

25th Apr 2005, 23:43

I put 40 000 not 3000

clerical error.

30th Apr 2005, 20:22

The Ford Focus is quite slow.

7th Oct 2005, 22:00

The Focus has only 130 hp. Weak handling.

2nd Apr 2007, 13:51

Wow, sounds almost like you want to destroy it...