2006 Ford Focus ZX4 SE 2.0 liter 4 cylinder from North America


Great car, but I'll never buy another one


Within a week of purchasing this car, the parking brake stopped working and the ECM had to be reprogrammed. Another two months went by, and the parking brake stopped working again. This time, I took it to a different Ford dealership. They discovered that the parking brake cable was catching on the exhaust heat shield. I have also replaced all four stock Goodyear tires with Toyo Z800 Ultras. The original tires on this car are horrible and I had the tread on two seperate after 20,000 miles.

General Comments:

I like the handling of the car. It turns on a dime. The car handles well on the freeway and accelarates quickly. I drive roughly 100 miles a day and I thank god that this car has cruise control. I only have the SE model and the stereo works fairly well. I also have the alloy wheels and body side moldings. The AC works fairly well, but can actually be too cold sometimes.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 25th June, 2007

14th Mar 2008, 13:46

To the above post, probably because of the parking brake issue. That seems dangerous if you have to park on steep inclines. If it's a manual transmission, a good working parking brake is mandatory, otherwise you'll see your car rolling down the hill in no time.

13th Mar 2009, 04:58

As grandpa taught me,...you turn your front tire into the curb when parking downhill,...and away from the curb when parking up hill... old Pittsburgh driving trick (who needs a parking brake!!

13th Mar 2009, 16:42

Indeed and you can also leave it in 1st gear.

6th May 2015, 04:11

That's not a Pittsburgh trick; it's basic common sense.

2006 Ford Focus LX TDCi 1.6 TDCI 110 (Euro III) from UK and Ireland


A five-star sequel to a ground-breaking original


Nothing as yet, touch wood.

General Comments:

I had a mk1 Focus 1.6 petrol, and when it came to replacing it, I looked at all the £9,000 options - a Clio III dCi, a 207 petrol, an Astra petrol and a Citroen C4 HDi. All were a maximum of a year old, none new.

The C4 was good-looking, but I couldn't get used to all the displays, and the gearchange was long, and notchy. Despite having the same engine as this Focus it's performance felt slower due to the vastly inferior gearchange.

Outside, it's not particularly striking, but in the colour I have (Jeans blue) it does look classy and solid. The colour is also no longer produced, meaning it won't become as common as my silver Focus did.

Inside the Focus is conventional, and this, for me, was an advantage. Plastics are a bit cheap looking on the lower areas, but the most annoying gripe about the interior is the handbrake/cupholder area. Bottles get in the way of changing gear, and the handbrake is on the passenger side and not within comfortable reach. The Clio had the best driving position of all cars, and the classiest interior.

What Clio doesn't have is space: the Focus has it in spades, everywhere. Nearly as big as the Mondeo in the back and the boot isn't small. LX isn't as well equipped as most, but it has the basics and the seats are a vast improvement over the old one. Though I note the omission of alloys and the heated front screen I had on my previous Focus LX. The radio is an improvement, however.

So why do I rate the car so highly? You can't underestimate the drive. The gearchange is an improvement on the old Focus, as is the ride. It handles with less roll, and although they've not cured the road noise (read roar on old concrete m-ways) they have sealed out wind noise, and most of the diesel engine noise, especially at motorway speeds. But make no mistake, the engine is a revelation. It's a Peugeot-Citroen unit, and I've never driven (Mondeo TDCi included) such a refined, and driveable (revvy, powerful and economical) engine. The Mondeo is that bit noiser in my opinion and less economical, but only similarly performing. IT's also well-geared in the Focus.

The Clio was similar in all the above respects, regarding it's drive, though it rolled more noticeably, it's let down by steering which neglects to tell you what the front tyres are doing, and it's here the Focus capitalised. It's steering is second-to-none, as for a diesel hatchback, I couldn't find any better all-rounder.

Think of it as Star Wars, the first was flashy, and magnificent, and the second though not as ground-breaking, moved everything on that bit more.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th April, 2007

10th Aug 2009, 02:59

My Golf Mk 5 has the handbrake set for LHD cars too. A real inconvenience especially in city traffic where you're forever apologising to your passenger for nudging them when applying the handbrake. Why can't manufacturers just put the handbrake in the centre if they're going to sell their cars in RHD markets?