2006 Ford Focus ZX4 SE 2.0 DOHC Duratec 4 cylinder. from North America


A fabulous car with enough frills to thrill


After having the car for less than a month, I had to take it back to the dealership because the parking brake wasn't working. The dealership adjusted the parking brake, as well as manually adjusting the rear brakes. About a month later, it had to go back for the exact same issue. That time they found that the parking brake cable was wrapped around the exhaust system. How that can happen is beyond me, but the dealership rectified the issue, and there hasn't been a problem since.

A few other things include an engine knock that the dealership will not address, as my bumper to bumper warranty is up and all that's left is the powertrain warranty. The guy at the dealership said that I should just wait for the engine to just blow up, then they'll fix it.

The CD player will spit out a brand new, just out of the plastic wrap CD and say "Bad Disc" on the display, and the fuel economy is nowhere near as good as I was told.

General Comments:

Overall, this has been a good car. When I first purchased it, I was driving roughly 100 miles a day, 5 days a week, and the car proved to be up to the task. I've purchased the car exactly one year, and seven days ago and have put just under 30,000 miles on it. I plan to put at least that many more on before I trade it in.

The stereo, despite the occasional issue with the CD player, is fairly good - though I wish it had the steering column controls.

The seats are fairly comfortable for long distance driving, and the climate controls are easily accessible.

The original tires lasted me to 54,000 miles, and I have upgraded to a set of H speed Yokohama's.

The A/C works wonderfully, as does the heater. I love that the drivers seat adjusts up and down, as well as forward and backwards, as I'm 5'10" and my partner is 6'3".

This is our second Focus, as we also have a 2005 Focus ZX4 SE with all the same options. I would recommend this car to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th February, 2008

2006 Ford Focus SE 2.0L Duratec from North America


Good value


Front brakes pads wore out unusually early at approx 20000KM. After reading on the Internet about this issue (we usually get ~50000km out of brake pads), I decided to put higher quality Wagner brake pads. Time will tell if they will hold up, or if there's a design issue.

FYI this was the easiest brake job I've ever done; really straightforward. Kudos to Ford on a simple design.

General Comments:

We bought this car for the price. It was a leftover from the last year, and we got employee pricing + 0% financing. It was a few thousands cheaper than a smaller subcompact like a Accent or Yaris.

The car drives nicely. Steering is tight and precise. Engine is smooth and flexible. Clutch is light and intuitive. The suspension is honestly the best I've ever owned; it's comfortable and sporty, a perfect compromise. The front seats are very comfortable as well.

A/C, heat and defrost are powerful and this is a typical strength in American cars.

Now the 'bad':

- The interior finish feels cheap and the ergonomics aren't great, especially the cupholders.

- The shifter is notchy and squeaks on ours, though I've driven other Focus without this issue.

- Fuel mileage is nowhere near advertised; we get approx 8L/100KM highway and 10.5 city. Not horrible by any means, but 2L/100KM more than Civic / Corolla.

- Road and wind noise is loud on the highway.

- Car is quick around city, but loses steam at higher speeds. Lacks low end torque to pass in 5th. I had a hard time maintaining momentum while climbing hills in the Laurentians. My VW with similar power does much better in the hills and at higher speeds.

Final thoughts;

The car isn't perfect, but it's a great value for what we paid. I expect it to age well as it seems like a simple, straightforward design. It's in the 6th year of production on this platform, and most of the bugs have been worked out by now.

I'm impressed enough with the car that I might get a second Focus, probably a used ZTW wagon, as a second vehicle. The poor resale makes them a good buy when used. This is also a double edged sword; if you buy new, plan on keeping it a long time as resale is abysmal.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th February, 2008

17th Feb 2008, 08:04

I currently own a Chevrolet Cobalt and am considering trading it for a Ford Focus. (I purchased the Cobalt for price - it was thousands less than the imports.) It's unfortunate that the best of these two cars couldn't be combined in one.

I find one of the Cobalt's strong suits is its surprising quietness and composure at highway speed. It also has good passing power for a compact car. The automatic shifts seamlessly. Fuel efficiency with the automatic is good in the pure city loop - approximately 9.2 L/100 km in the winter, 8.3 L/100 km summer - and very good on the highway -approximately 6.2 L/100 km.

Its weaknesses, however, appear to be the Focus' strengths. The Cobalt's steering is lacking in precision, its suspension is a little harsh over high frequency bumps, and its seats could be more comfortable.

Would you consider the Focus to be tossable in the corners?