2002 Ford Focus ZTS from North America


I would not buy it, I'm not buying anymore Fords because of this car


The car is small, but not entirely cramped.

The back and trunk of the car are very high compared to the rest of the car, and this makes looking out the back window a little difficult; it's do-able, but not for smaller people.

The car will leak. There is a problem with something under the cowl by the wiper blades, and rain water drips through into the passenger seat floor.

I've had the car for almost a month, the car is 6 years old, and the back passenger side door is jammed. The automatic locks don't unlock and it can't be done manually. It's a real pain for the people in the back.

General Comments:

The car doesn't accelerate very well, but can go fast.

Good steering.

I'm not a fan of the brakes, I feel they're too stiff and I have to actually put some force into braking.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 4th October, 2008

2002 Ford Focus ZTS 2.0 Zetec from North America


Excellent car for $15K


Brake master cylinder replaced at 60,000 miles.

Valve cover gasket replaced at 80,000 miles.

General Comments:

This car is probably the best example of a compromise between cost, comfort, ergonomics, safety, handling, fuel economy, and performance.

It is fun to drive -- you really feel one with the car. It's not fast, but you always feel in control.

The wind and road noise gets tiresome.

AdvanceTrac is great!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 25th April, 2008

2002 Ford Focus ST170 2.0 from Norway


Great handling and a 'jack of all trades'


Rattle in exhaust system lid/cover.

Some engine power hesitation just above idle.

Central lock require several attempt to lock properly (backdoor switch lock/unlocks).

General Comments:

I bought this car as a semi-performance car with practical transportation functions. It met my expectations.

Engine: The engine needs some rpm to wake up. Below 3500rpm it's like any odd car, but from 3500rpm to 7000+ it awakens and it has a very good push and torque control. 2nd gear brings you to 110kph+. Not the quickest performance compact car, but the engine has a nice character.

Handling: Very responsive and tight handling. Like any front wheel driven car it under steers. The behind can be provoked to come out through down-throttle/braking, and then you need a low gear to fade out the rotation. Engine power is sufficient for this on 3rd gear, say 140kpm (dry and fairly warm asphalt). The dampers could have been stiffener (noticed on Norwegian bumpy roads). Overall, I would say the car is very quick on snaky roads, compared to any front wheeler.

Comfort; not the quietest car around, but I think it's OK for kind of vehicle (tire noise is quite noticeable). Overall comfort is fairly good (nice seats).

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th March, 2008

2002 Ford Focus Zetec 1.8 16v from UK and Ireland


I would recommend this car to anyone


Relay switch for driver's electric window failed when just out of warranty.

Bonnet catch replaced at last service.

General Comments:

Having had a cheap small car (Fiat Punto) as my first car, for my second car I wanted something much more sophisticated with better performance, comfort and handling. I have not been disappointed.

1. Driving experience - the feel of the controls is still the best of any car I've ever driven. The feedback through the steering is brilliant - on an icy or slippery road you can feel the loss of grip straight away, unlike in most cars. The gear change has a solid, mechanical feel, while the brakes, like the steering, have just enough and not too much power assistance.

2. Performance - with the 1.8 litre engine this is not a fast car, but it is perfectly adequate. The engine pulls smoothly from idle up to the rev limit at about 6,500. I've also driven the 1.6, which in comparison felt more lethargic up to about 3,500 revs when it suddenly comes alive. I've read that the 1.6 is just as quick (if not quicker) in a 0-60 test, which I can believe, but generally I would prefer the 1.8.

3. Economy - average about 35mpg, from 32/33 commuting up to 37/38 on longer runs.

4. Ride/handling - this car has a good compromise between the two - the ride is good on faster roads and is OK even on bad roads. It turns in well and always feel stable and well-damped. I've also driven the 3-door Focus Zetec, which in comparison is much more firmly-sprung - great to drive on winding roads with flatter cornering and much sharper turn in, but the pay-off is that the ride can be jarring on fast roads, and also (unlike the 5-door) the car gets unsettled by mid-corner bumps on motorway slip roads and the like.

5. Refinement/comfort - on the motorway the engine is audible and there is some road and wind noise but not too much. Although the dashboard looks cheap, it is perfectly solid and does not squeak or rattle. On bumpy roads there are noticeably more creaks and groans from the 5-door bodyshell, which obviously does not have quite the same structural rigidity as the 3-door (which is also much better looking though obviously less practical). This must be another reason Ford gave the 3-door Zetec its more "sporting" suspension settings. I think the front seats are great - in the Zetec they're more heavily bolstered than in the other models which I much prefer.

6. Equipment - this is the Zetec, which as well as the better front seats, also has 15" alloys. Another reason to recommend the Zetec is that the plastic trim on the dash and doors is a nice silver-effect, and not the awful fake wood-effect found on the Ghia. Surprisingly, standard equipment for this model didn't include air con, ABS or even a CD player. My car has the optional climate pack including air con and Ford's "quickclear" heated windscreen, which seems to divide opinions. Personally I think it works well and is worth having - perhaps if you wear glasses then the heating wires in the windscreen are more of an issue.

When I bought the car I made the dealer change the standard radio/cassette player for a Ford CD unit. It's brilliant - sounds as good as the hi-fi in my living room and better than in any other car I've ever driven.

7. Reliability/running costs - in 4 years of owning this car I'm pleased to say that very little has gone wrong (as above). Except for petrol consumption, the running costs are lower than my old Punto, which I believe is due to the Focus being considerably better engineered and built. Being a Ford, spare parts (when needed) are cheap too. I'm planning on keeping it until it's done at least 100,000 miles and best of all I still enjoy every time I drive it.

This car has its flaws, but they are all minor, whereas its strengths are substantial and enduring.

I would recommend it to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th March, 2008