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

2006 Ford Focus LX 1.6 petrol from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Good

Faults:

The car wouldn't start one day coming out of a shopping centre in Galway; had to feed my 1 month old baby in the back seat whilst I waited for the AA man to come.

My Focus is black and the colour is fading really quickly, and there's no sun in Ireland to make it fade!!

General Comments:

Very good car overall.

Not much power compared to my old car. Had to change because I was having children.

The Focus was more expensive than its rivals (Seat Leon, Citroen C4, Peugeot 308), but it's worth it.

Resale value is very, very good!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 8th March, 2014

2006 Ford Focus Trend 1.6 from Norway

Summary:

Very reliable, but somewhat basic

Faults:

Really, nothing.

Not joking, the only things I've replaced are a couple of light bulbs. The engine is however sweating some oil from around of the base of the dip stick, but not much. Haven't bothered to do anything about it, and the dealer didn't bother to do anything about it either.

General Comments:

Some negatives: Pretty slow with its base 1.6L engine and "old style" 4 speed auto (no DSG, exactly) but that's as expected. Also a lot of tyre noise, unfortunately. I'd give it a 10/10 for running costs, but it's somewhat thirsty considering its engine size.

Positives: 100% reliable and starts even without a hesitation at -27 deg below freezing, and it's fault free. Good heating system, but the A/C is not very efficient if the car has been left out in the sun. And at 6 years, the paint work is almost as good as when it left the factory. No rust whatsoever. Also, the interior keeps up really well, and the car feels very tight and rattle free. Drives very well, and is spacious enough for 2 adults and 2 children, including luggage.

I know it's not exactly a high mileage car, being basically used as a "grocery getter", but still very clean for its age.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 17th September, 2012