Ford Australia's best kept secret
CD player stopped working at 2700km, fixed under warranty.
Rattles from under front passenger seat, after several tries managed to mostly fix by dousing the whole slider mechanism with silicon lubricant.
Clicking noises from drivers seat when taking left hand turns, dealer couldn’t hear it (of course) so have attempted to fix myself, have had some success so far.
Rattles from rear left quarter window, comes and goes.
Car has more rattles and clicks than any car I’ve previously owned including an ’86 Corolla (NZ built, sold with 200,000km), ’90 EA Falcon (NZ built, sold with 224,000km) and a ’93 626 wagon (Japan built, sold with 260,000km). I’m not sure if build quality is the issue (South African built) or if it’s design flaws (blame Germany).
No mechanical issues have surfaced yet. It has a 5 year 100,000km warranty instead of the usual 3 years, Ford were giving away an extra 2 years for free when I bought it.
This is the first passenger diesel that Ford Australia introduced and is currently only available in LX hatch 6 speed manual spec. The LX is the middle of the range model here but the diesel version is badged the TDCi. Costs A$4000 more than the petrol LX. We also have the new Mondeo diesel which uses the same engine but is 6 speed auto only (lift-back or sedan only at the moment).
Mine was the first one the dealer sold (the demo) and has just had it’s first proper service (15,000 km). I thought I would write the review after having it for 9 months and a few thousand km’s, rather than do what some do and write a review after 2 days and 200km.
Without doubt the best parts of the car are the engine and gearbox. The engine’s torque is phenomenal, you can overtake anything in top gear and it just rockets once the turbo’s kicked it. At 110kph it’s only revving at 2000rpm in 6th. The gearbox itself is the best I’ve ever driven, the changes are snick snick smooth, whereas the 6sp gearbox in my work vehicle (’07 Holden 3.6L SV6 Utility) are crunch crunch rough, and it’s also gutless in comparison, most noticeable when passing someone- it needs to be chucked back into 4th to get some decent power. And it drinks like an alcoholic in comparison.
Fuel use has been as Ford claims (5.6L per 100km overall), have had as low as around 4.6L per 100km open road and around 5.8L around town. Diesel was A$1.30 per litre when I bought it in Sep ‘07, is now over A$1.80 per litre in Brisbane.
Handling is excellent, as the Focus is known for. But road noise is quite loud on course chip roads, which the Focus is also known for.
Don’t like the lack of interior lights, only 1 by the mirror and no ignition key light. My 626 had them all over the place. Also not keen on the hard plastics on the doors or the unsupportive seats with no lumbar adjustment or side bolstering(middle spec after all, but still!). The superb handling is wasted on these seats. Would love to get the Recaro seats out of a wrecked XR5 Turbo (aka ST overseas) if I can find some. Don’t like the plastic engine oil dipstick, hope it doesn’t snap off in the engine one day. Am now used to the indicator and wiper controls being reversed compared to cars of RHD origin. Now I sometimes find myself flipping the wipers on the Holden by accident when I’m turning. Don’t like that I have to hit the air recirculate button every time I start it. I prefer to drive without everyone else’s fumes around me.
Love the fact the air-con doesn’t hamper performance at all. Also love that if I’m being tailgated, I just put my foot down and they get a vent load of diesel smoke!
All in all a good little performer, with only the interior noises letting it down so far.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know
Review Date: 4th July, 2008