2006 Ford Focus SE ZX4 2.0 from North America


Decent cheap car, with annoying minor issues that keep on coming


- A/C not working; fixed prior to buying.

- A/C repair failed; took it back and got it fixed for free.

- Rear door locks stopped working. During a cold winter in Montreal, both back door electronic locks failed, leaving the door locks jammed into the unlock position. Went to the dealer on the bumper to bumper extended warranty, to be told the latches were the problem, and that those aren't covered, and cost 255$ each as a dealer only piece. Left without them.

- All electric door locks stopped working. While the shop was looking to find the problem with the rear doors, they broke something in the wiring, and all the doors stopped working. Went back to dealer and they opened the doors, took both latches out, and left them in a cleaning solution for a few hours, as they were jammed with dirt. Installed them back, and they worked again. They also fixed what they broke. Had to complain to the salesman for them to do all this.

- Front ball joint (normal maintenance).

- Front driver's door handle stopped working. Both front door handles started to be extremely hard to open. On one day, the driver's handle stopped working. Brought it to a shop, which let me bring my own piece, since I had them at a third of part shop price. Turned out the handle was fine, but an extremely cheap plastic piece inside the door broke in half. Again, dealer only piece, total fix cost 350$. That piece is so cheap, you gotta be smooth on your handles, and I'm not rough at all; I took great care of the car.

- Front driver's handle barely opens again. Soon after the fix, the same problem started with my handle, took it to a friend's shop and he managed to fix by shooting some grease, never had issues since.

- Very annoying noise coming from the back wheel. Nobody was able to find the source until it went to my friend's shop. Turned out to be a bushing attached to the rear suspension tab; metal is rubbing and making that squealing noise. The whole thing needs to be replaced as the bushing comes attached to it. A 360$ ish job with labor; have not done it yet, since it's not really dangerous, just annoying, and money is lacking since I'm in college.

- Back lock failed again. After a while, it started to work again on its own.

- Other back lock failed again, still not working.

- Both front door U like connectors that attach themselves to the car anchor to close the door, keep jamming in a closed door position in cold weather, resulting in an open door that cannot be closed.. Real fun. Have to take a screw driver and make that U spin to the open door position, and keep one in the car during -30C days.

General Comments:

Good side:

Handling is good, feels solid.

Suspension is pretty soft, considering Quebec road conditions and holes everywhere.

A/C takes time to kick in, but gets very cold.

Heating is good.

Seat and overall comfort is really good. Cars usually bring me lower back pain very quickly due to injury, and this one doesn't.

Good engine, trouble free so far. The 2.0 gives a good start.

Audio system is pretty good for the price of the car, no problem with it.

Huge trunk for its class.

Decent leg and head room in the front and back, but our baby seat cannot be installed on the suggested rear facing angle.

Seats fold down for extra space.

Heated seats and mirrors, and they're good and fast.

Bad side:

As others have stated, the engine really lacks power for getting onto the highway, hill climbing and passing; lots of noise and no acceleration in those situations.

Interior is really cheap materials and poor build quality.

The dash is a dust magnet.

Brakes are squealing, even after new brakes were installed.

Radio antenna is in a weird position on the roof; will break easily with ice, mine did.

Everything is optional, lots of them are poorly equipped. Mine has heated seats/mirrors but no power windows... What?

No ABS or anti-lock system, no traction system; winter driving even in winter tires will make the tail of this car slip at every stop in a snow storm and on ice. Be prepared to buy very good quality winter tires to compensate for this.

Rear visibility is not the best in class for parking.


Decent car for the price, soft ride, comfortable

Lack of safety systems, poor build quality, cheap materials.

Will get you around 20-25 mpg city, 30ish highway. Don't expect much more than 23-25 combined or 11L / 100km; so so for a 4cyl.

So many problems with doors, handles and latches shouldn't be happening on a 4 year old car when I bought it with only 60k km on it. Maybe I'm the only case, if not, maybe it's a design issue. Check the door electric system before buying.

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

Review Date: 9th February, 2012

2006 Ford Focus ST 2.3L Duratec from North America


A sports sedan for an economy-car price


Backup lights cut out.

Rattling in glove box area.

General Comments:

Volkswagon GTI. Subaru WRX. Mazdaspeed 3.

These are all great small performance cars. But they are, it should be noted, not great economy cars. The GTI is unreliable and expensive to repair. The WRX uses a lot of gas. The Mazdaspeed 3 is known for engine failures.

This is where the Ford Focus ST comes in. The Focus ST is not in the same league of those vehicles. Its engine kicks out 151hp and a 154ft/lb of torque. It is a good engine, with lots of pull, but the Focus ST will still get its doors blown off by most V6 family sedans.

But that doesn't mean the Focus ST isn't a series driver's car. The Focus ST is only available with a manual. It has a decent gearbox and an amazing exhaust note. The steering is brilliant. It may not go as quickly as a GTI, but stick it into a corner and it keeps up just as well. This is not only because of the steering, but also because it is much lighter than the previously mentioned cars, and you'll feel that when you get into the twisty stuff.

What makes the Focus ST unique, however, is that it is very cheap to run. Its gas mileage is on par with economy cars, parts are cheap, reliability is good. Plus, thanks to Ford's less than stellar resale value, a Focus ST can be purchased used for less than $7k without much trouble. And that's including heated leather seats, enhanced sound system, sunroof, and etc.

The only downside is that, well, it's a Focus. It is a good looking car in blue or red, but even so it is not a "cool" car in most peoples eyes, so don't expect anyone to be jealous over your new ride. The interior quality is also lacking, at least in comparison to a GTI or Mazdaspeed3. There are a few squeaks and rattling and some panels are not aligned as well as they should be.

Overall I am very happy with this car. If I was made of money I'd rather have a GTI for its enhanced practically, better looks, and extremely torquey engine, but I'd be afraid it would turn into a money pit. The Ford Focus ST is perfect for those who want a car that hands exceptionally but don't want to spend a lot or worry about long-term reliability.

This is also a good car for newbie piston-heads, as it drives extremely well, but doesn't have so much power that you end up putting yourself in a ditch.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th September, 2009

14th Feb 2010, 01:38

This is the original author.

I have put about 8000 miles on the car in the last year. Besides a cracked rear tail light, which is letting condensation form, I don't have anything wrong to report mechanically.

I am still very happy with the car. As I mentioned in my review, this car is just going to be a Focus, and sometimes I find myself wanting something "cooler" like a GTI or WRX. But I went and drove a WRX, and came back from it thinking that it really wasn't that much better than my car.

Faster? Sure. More fun to drive? Not really. And when you consider that the WRX would cost 10 grand more to buy (comparable years and mileage), it just doesn't make sense. If I want to go faster, I'll just throw a limited slip and a turbo on my ST. That would cost me about 4 grand, and would put me on par with the WRX.

I might end up trading the Focus in on a Fiesta, because I love small cars. The Focus is honestly on the large side of what I normally like to drive. But I'll have to wait and see how the Fiesta feels on the test drive.

5th Mar 2010, 18:54

The problem with this article (survey) is you're putting the ST in the wrong class. The Focus, no matter what model (excluding http://www.netcarshow.com/ford/2006-focus_st/02.htm), belongs with the Mazda3 (not Speed3), Subaru Impreza (not WRX), and the non-GTI model Golf. The cars you're comparing the ST to are out of its class, not even considering price.

25th Jul 2010, 01:18

It is true that the Focus ST isn't in the same class as the GTI or the WRX. It is very comparable to the standard Mazda 3, but I think it feels a little sharper and a little quicker.

It is definitely better than the standard VW Golf, if for no other reason than the fact that the base 5 cylinder sounds like a lawn mower engine.