2006 Ford Focus SE 2.0 from North America

Summary:

My compact, reliable American friend

Faults:

Clutch master cylinder.

Motor mount.

A/C compressor.

Broken spark plug.

Distributor.

Horn.

Door rattle.

General Comments:

The most reliable car I have ever owned. Well-made, solid, dependable, comfortable, well-thought out and put-together, good build quality, good sound system, the closest thing to an American-made Japanese car without being one.

Only normal wear and tear replacements.

Nice ride, decent handling, no rattles (after fixing the one in the door). It's my friend. Ford got something right with this one.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 9th January, 2017

2006 Ford Focus ZX4 SES 2.0L 4 cylinder from North America

Summary:

Fun to drive

Faults:

Starter motor at 95,000 miles.

A rattle in the door (if I knew what it was, I would have fixed it already...)

General Comments:

In terms of an economy car that's fun to drive, the manual transmission Focus is a 10. It's the most fun you can have with less than 200HP. It has more than enough power to zip in and out of traffic, and has a small turning radius, making it a good car for driving in the city.

However, the fun and power is offset by the fact that it only gets 25 MPG in the city. It also chews up brakes and tires faster than most cars.

The heater is insanely good, and the A/C blows cold, which is really important in Salt Lake City, where we have 95 degree days in the summer, all the way down to 0 in the winter.

Speaking of winter, that's the one place this car falls short for me; it's not good in the snow. Even with the manual transmission, without snow tires you are going to be sliding all over the place.

Overall, I still love this car, and I'm not going to get rid of it any time soon.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th December, 2014

2006 Ford Focus ST 2.3 from North America

Summary:

Performance, reliability, good looks and great value all rolled into one

Faults:

Leaking steering rack replaced at about 160,000 km.

Exhaust flex pipe section replaced at 185,000 km.

Radio antenna snapped off at 190,000 km.

Usual peeling paint at rocker panels near wheel wells started at about 120,000 km.

General Comments:

Possibly one of the most under-rated and overlooked vehicles Ford has produced.

Exceptional combination of sharp handling and a quiet, compliant ride.

Fully equipped out of the box, with comfortable (leather) seating; it's easy to find your perfect position with the tilt-telescope wheel.

Excellent power, with sub-8 second 0-60 capability and gobs of torque throughout the range. Fuel consumption is reasonable, not great, but good enough considering the performance.

Because there are zillions of Focus on the road, most people don't give them a second glance, however if you really study them, they are very handsomely styled in comparison to other machines in the class, especially the lifeless lumps called Civic or Corolla. However the interior design, although functional, is uninteresting, with hard plastics on the dash and plain black throughout the cabin.

Worst design flaw: on mine, the exhaust flex pipe section is an integral part of the exhaust manifold rather than being a separate bolt-on component like normal vehicles. Ford wanted almost $2000 for a complete exhaust manifold, and an aftermarket unit is approx $800, both parts-only. Found a shop willing to cut the flex off the end of the manifold and weld a new flex onto it. My wife's '06 2.0 has a separate bolt-on flex, so perhaps the engineers woke up at some point after mine went out the door.

Base of antenna mast is made of what looks like cheap white metal, and snapped off both cars within weeks of each other while cleaning snow off the roofs. Easy enough to replace, but a needless expense and nuisance had Ford sourced better quality parts.

All in all, this has been the most enjoyable overall package I've owned (over 25 cars), and I will seek out another when this one fades away. It presents a value proposition that's hard to surpass.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 22nd April, 2014