2002 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0 DOHC 16v ZTEC from North America


A good choice for commuting, but not longer distances


My wife, the primary driver, has remarked that the Focus had been running rough in the 40mph to 50mph range for the past couple of weeks. Finally the (yellow) engine warning light on the dash came on. The on-board computer codes defined the problem as a defective vacuum sensor. The problem was diagnosed and fixed while I waited the next day.

When the Focus was in for the defective sensor, the service manager noticed that the trim on the trunk lid was starting to rust. This week the Focus is in the body shop because the color coat of the paint on the trunk lid has been affected by the chrome trim.

General Comments:

Our extended family has been purchasing Ford products on A Plan for over 20 years. Most of the Ford products my wife and I have owned have been ordered from the factory, so we have driven what we wanted to drive, option-wise.

I have a bad back. If Ford extended the plastic of the center console so that the driver's right knee had something to lean against, this would make for a much more pleasant driving experience.

Again, because of my bad back, the seat bottom needs to be adjustable. I need to be able to raise the front edge of the seat up and the back edge of the seat down. This helps to take the body's weight off of the spine. The addition of a lumbar adjustment would also be appreciated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th April, 2004

2002 Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A bit common, but a class act



General Comments:

I wasn't sure about the Focus first of all because everyone seems to have them. That said now I have one I can see why. First class handling and ride, superb seats and refinement.

Only gripe is the standard Continental Eco-Contact tyres seem to crack.

Overall I would recommend anyone who wants a car of this size just goes to their Ford Dealer rather than waste other dealers time my looking at their cars. Renault, Peugeot, Rover sorry, but the Focus is top dog.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th March, 2004

2002 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0 Zetec from North America


A car with luxury, style, and no endurance


Shortly after buying the car (around 1,000 miles) the suspension went out and the whole car groaned with every sudden move.

After around 25,000 miles the Drive-train grew corrupt and the shifter refused to work.

Around 30,000 miles the electrical system went out and all electronics went crazy.

General Comments:

Ford may be known for reputation and quality, but in the case of the Focus ZX3, they could have put a little more emphasis into the durability of the vehicle.

I will give them credit for ride and comfort, just so long as you drive like an old lady.

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

Review Date: 11th March, 2004

2002 Ford Focus Chic (Special Edition) 1.6 from UK and Ireland


A reliable and quick bargain car


So far nothing has gone wrong with the car other than the relay for the rear windscreen wiper, which is hopefully being sorted next weekend.

General Comments:

This has to be the best car I've owned so far. Its extremely comfortable, owing to it's heated leather seats and the wonderful driving position.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th March, 2004

2002 Ford Focus ZTS 1.6 Ztec from North America


Not reliable vehicle


My vehicle experienced an oil leak for an unknown reason at 23,000 while I was driving home from work on a very busy highway.

Because no warning lights illuminated, the vehicle lost all engine oil.

The engine seized causing the vehicle to lose power.

Manufactures warranty was not honored for new engine by dealer.

General Comments:

Vehicle is unreliable when it is needed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 26th February, 2004

2002 Ford Focus LX TDdi Estate 1.8 turbo diesel 90PS from UK and Ireland


Does everything either well or superbly - a cracker


Auxiliary belt squeals for a minute or so after a cold start (worn belt - will be sorted at the next service).

Blown brakelight bulb.

General Comments:

The Focus needs no praising from me in light of the rave reviews it has had from every magazine on the planet, but suffice to say they are all right. Even in "boring" TD estate form, it handles superbly, steers with feel and accuracy that some sports cars would kill for, and performs more than adequately.

The old 90PS TDdi lump is getting on a bit now, and it is a bit gruffer than the modern common-rail units, but you really can't argue with what it does. Boost comes in at just 1500 RPM, and the wave of torque (200 Nm of the stuff) shoves the car hard right through to 4750, 250 RPM into the redline incidentally. This is a huge useable rev range for a turbodiesel powerplant, and means the Focus is rarely found wanting for power in real road situations. I've driven a 1.6 petrol version of the same car which is said to develop 100PS, but the diesel variant would leave it for dead.

Onto the more boring aspects - the load bay with the seats down is vast, and the car copes well when laden. On a recent run to the dump one Sunday, it swallowed a lounge and dining room carpet, complete with underlay and six large binliners full of rubbish in one go with room to spare, and the fuel economy refuses to drop below 45 mpg whatever it is used for, and however it is driven. With a light right foot, 50 mpg is easily achievable.

Being a later model mine has the revised grille with the projector style headlamps. Finished in Panther Black metallic and with the optional 15" alloys, it's quite a looker as estate cars go. Inside, it's comfortable, and the funky looking dash has the usual excellent Ford control layout with everything in a logical place. Well made too - nearly 60,000 miles and it doesn't squeak or rattle, and cleans up as new.

So to summarise it's a good looking, practical, reliable and comfortable car with decent performance and superb economy. Where it scores over it's rivals is that it can still entertain when the roads and the mood dictate. Having driven a 306 for two years, this was an essential requirement, and although the Focus isn't quite as agile, it is a lot more driver focused (no pun intended) than any current rival. I recommend the car to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2004

12th Jul 2004, 09:09

Update on review above:

The car has now just clicked over 70,000 miles and continues to provide good driver satisfaction. A blot on the copybook has arrived however in the shape of what sounds like a noisy rear hub bearing. A droning sound appears from the rear of the car at around 40-50 mph and then comes back over 70 mph (where it sounds more like a humming noise).

The dealer has fobbed me off twice saying they can't find a fault with it, and it's now got to the point where passengers are noticing it and commenting. Whatever it is, it doesn't seem to be affecting the drive in any way, but it's clear something is amiss. As I spend a lot of time on the motorway at 70-80 mph, the last thing I need is the bearing to seize or break up. Dealer couldn't really care less, just re-iterating "We've looked at it and can't find anything wrong". Ford are making their best cars ever right now, and cars which truly are capable of embarassing more "prestige" brands, but they are still suffering at the hands of "couldn't care less" dealers. It's irritating to say the least, especially as my car's on a (non-Ford) lease deal with full maintenance cover, so if they wanted to do £1,000 worth of work on it, I'd sign the paperwork without quibbling. Even so, they aren't interested.

Other than that, it's all as before, except I've improved my best fuel return - 53 mpg (600 mile range) on the last tankful! Bearing/dealer experience is taking the shine off the car though. Becoming disappointing.