2002 Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 from UK and Ireland


For it's money, one hell of a car!


The Car has stalled on me twice for no reason, both times at busy roundabouts.

Also when I come to a junction at night when I have the lights on they get rather dull and the car feels like it is going to stall again. It certainly has a fault with idling.

There is a small rattle coming from somewhere in the back, but nothing serious.

General Comments:

After hearing and reading all the good comments on the Focus I decided to get one.

So far so very, very good, this car is superb! Everything that has been said about it is spot on. Every time I drive it and come to my destination I just want to jump back in a drive it again it is that enjoyable!

First off I have the 1.6 Zetec engine that gives out about 100 bhp which gets you from 0 to 60 in about 10 seconds. The engine is smooth and once it hits 3500 rpm it fly's. If you do want to overtake it is best not to try it in a high gear as it does struggle, but once you put it down to 3rd it is off and you forgive it straight away.

The handling is also great as in the Zetec models you get sports suspension which keeps the car from rolling to much allowing you to take corners effortlessly. If you do mis-judge a long corner and go round to fast as I did at 110 mph (whoops!) it will hold enough to get you round safely. This just added to my fondness of the handling as it gives you reassurance that if you do make a mistake the car will help as much as it can.

On the braking front I am disappointed the it does not have discs all round. It does brake well though, no problems there, but I think all new reasonable spec cars should have disc's instead of drum breaks on the rear.

To me a new car should have a nice up to date looking interior and the Focus in my opinion has it. The panels may well be plastic, but the silver parts on the dials, gear knob and door trim make it look more appealing.

The seats in the Zetec are sports seats which keep you in the once place very well even going round the twistiest back roads. Together a comfortable driving position and smooth ride make driving in the Focus very comfortable.

To say I like the focus would be an understatement, because I love this car!

To anyone who is thinking of buying a Ford Focus Zetec I hope this review will help you make the best choice. Go ahead and buy one as it has certainly lived up to my expectations even though I have only had it a month.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 5th December, 2002

2002 Ford Focus GLX 1.6 from Israel


Great comfort



General Comments:

It is the best car that I have driven.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th November, 2002

2002 Ford Focus zetec 2.0 2.0 petrol from UK and Ireland


Yes, it is as good as everyone says it is!


Nothing has gone wrong as such, although the interior suffers from 3 intermittent, but infuriating rattles which the dealers have had absolutely no success with. It will rattle and vibrate all the way to the dealer's and then as soon as the dealer drives the car it is tight as a drum!. Sod's law I suppose, but rattles irritate me intensely and they really put me off the car. The driver's seat is starting to weaken in the frame because it now continually groans and creaks.

The dealers though, have so far treated me and my car like dirt and have been successful in solving none of my problems. What is far worse though, is the fact that one dealer has damaged my car and has refused to pay for (or even go halves on) the repair. They are slovenly, rude, inefficient and they never do what you ask them to, it really is enough to put me off buying another ford ever again.

General Comments:

I am very picky when it comes to problems with my cars and although I have a few quality and many dealer issues with the car I have to give credit where it is due.

This is, quite simply, the best hatchback in the world, and it took me a few months to come to terms with how competent this car is. I love the way the 3 door looks with the 16 inch alloys, the panel fit is great and the paint finish is flawless. Rattles aside the interior is a great place to be, the plastics are nice to the touch and the design is modern, attractive and a great example of near perfect ergonomics. The rotary dials have a lovely rubberized finish and a nicely damped action, the 6 cd stereo is easy to use and sounds awesome, the sports seats are very supportive and there is masses of room. The 2.0 comes loaded with equipment and how I managed to get through life without a heated front windscreen, I will never know!.

Chassis wise this car has brought a new benchmark to the family car class. The way the car manages to handle so precisely whilst maintaining such a supple, smooth ride is probably the car's biggest surprise. At all times it manages to feel bigger and more expensive than it really is, as it oils its way down the road with an overall feeling of well damped precision and refinement. Get to the twisties and the Focus is brilliant fun and I have managed to carry unprintable speeds through roundabouts and corners. The steering feel and weighting is just right and coupled to a smoothly weighted gear change it is a pleasure to drive this car hard.

The engine isn't the best, but it is quiet when cruising and enthusiastic when gunned. I can't complain with 28 mpg overall (which includes lots of town work) and it moves really well when you get it past 4000 rpm. However it is sluggish in the higher gears and you find yourself having to drop a cog or two to get the requisite amount of shove.

To be honest, after test driving an ST170, I can't say there was much difference in the performance. If anything, the ST is even more of a thrash box and I found it very languid below 5000 rpm. The slightly stiffer suspension made the handling a tad sharper, but the ride suffers a little because of this. Although the ST looks fab, I couldn't justify the additional 2 grand to buy it and the additional £700 to insure it for what amounts to a few tenths lead in the dash to 60 mph, in a chassis that isn't as well rounded as th standard 2.0.

Overall though, what I like best about this car is the fact that I got a brand new one in metallic for 10 grand on the staff discount scheme.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th November, 2002

17th Oct 2003, 06:00

The ST170 is streets ahead of the 2.0 litre in every respect.

24th Oct 2003, 05:01

On what criteria is the ST170 " streets ahead " over the 2.0?

It is no more refined, it isn't as economical, it doesn't ride as well, it doesn't have anymore equipment (in fact it has less, no heated front screen). They have the same stereos, the same amount safety equipment and similar sports seats (admittedly the ST's are half leather). The only objective differences I can think of (excluding looks as it is a subjective measurement) is the moderately sharper handling (all they have done is increase spring rates by 10%, lower by 15 mm and revalve the steering) and the slight performance improvement above 60 mph. Yes, it may have another 40 bhp, but it is hampered by the stratospheric gearing, 2nd will run to 70 mph and 3rd nearly 100!!!. Consequently, it barely pulls ahead in the lower gears (if you don't believe me, check the magazine roadtests) and is frustratingly sluggish until you get past 5000 rpm.

On top of that, insurance is nearly twice as high (group 15 plays group 8) and it costs another £2500.