I am the original author. Both cases are true. My friend has a 2000 Focus ZX3 with 85,000 miles, and the difference in design is night and day. It appears quality has improved, but I would hope so with 65,000 less miles on a car that is also 11 years newer. My father's Camry has a terrible driving position, finicky pedals that no Toyota technician can fix, and gets terrible mileage (18 MPG city and in the mid 20s on the highway - terrible for a car rated at 22/32).
I am the original poster. The Focus is up to 21,200 miles. The original factory tires (Hankook P195/60/R15) are bald and need to be replaced any day now.
Even with the colder and wetter weather in western Pennsylvania due to Hurricane Sandy, the Focus is still maintaining gas mileage figures of 26 in the city and 34 on the highway. I even hit a rabbit tonight at 40 miles per hour, and no problems.
What an example of wonderful engineering! I'm looking forward to reaching 200,000 miles, and I'm 10.6% of the way there!
I am the original poster. Old man winter is here in full swing in Western Pennsylvania.
The Focus is ready to go with brand new tires. I was trying to prolong the life of the old tires, but after sliding into a snowdrift and getting stuck in Erie, PA (not even a scratch on the car, and the alignment was unaltered from the incident), it was time to give in. 22,850 miles on the original set of tires is not wonderful by any means, but I'll take it.
In PA, we only have three months where we see measurable snow (December, January, and February, sometimes with the front part of March). The roads are clear most of the time, but you definitely need to exercise caution those eight or ten days of the year that the roads are covered. I ADORE my Focus, but on those eight or ten days, I wish I had gotten the Escape (since the Focus cannot handle much more than three inches of snow with all-season tires).
When the technician put my Focus on the alignment rack, he told me that if he did not know what the mileage or year of the car was, he would think it was brand new.
Gas mileage has dropped a little bit to a consistent 24-26 MPG in the city (have only tried highway once; still at 35). This is, however, burning excess gas at idle with the factory remote start.
The Focus will hit 23,000 this week. It is still tighter than many of my friends' newer vehicles. It still looks brand new inside, outside, and underneath. I still love my car, and would recommend it to those who actually understand winter driving!
Fords seldom require alignments. I hit a curb head-on, dodging a careless driver in my Mustang, so hard that the impact knocked my sunglasses off. I took it to have it checked out and the alignment was perfect. I also clipped a curb in a parking lot with my Fusion hard enough to blow out a tire. Again, no alignment problems. I have never had to have an alignment on any domestic vehicle, including several that were driven over 200,000 miles.
ORIGINAL REVIEWER HERE.
It has been nearly four months since my last update. I have brought the mileage of the Focus up to about 26,600.
City gas mileage has returned to 28 MPG, which is superb. Of course, when you drive in the city with the windows down or A/C on, you subtract from the gas mileage. I've since disciplined myself to get down to one layer of clothing and drive with only the fan on to obtain better mileage (I can deal with the heat; it doesn't bother me). On only one highway run, the Focus got 33 MPG. I can't provide much info for highway gas mileage; my primary commute is roughly 90% city, 10% highway. When you only drive 35-40 miles a day (on average), that isn't a whole lot to measure highway fuel mileage on. As Pennsylvania warms up, the mileage will hopefully continue to improve.
The car is still as tight as it was the day I brought it home other than that rattle in the passenger pillar when it is cold (but if my body was made of plastic, I'm sure I'd rattle under 30 degrees, too). After three PA winters, there are no signs of rust anywhere. I plan to go to Ziebart sometime this summer or fall to have the Focus undercoated.
There is NO play in the steering wheel at all. The body still looks brand new, other than a few ordinary parking lot dings and light scratches that only I would notice. So far I have had to replace the left-hand license plate bulb. That's it.
I'm 19; I hope to have this car until I'm 30. It just might make it.
Thanks for the updates OP, I look forward to hearing more about this little machine before I take the plunge and purchase one.
Do yourself a favor when you "take the plunge and purchase one" and buy a 2012 or newer model -- totally redesigned and all around a much better vehicle.
I am the original author of the review.
The Focus turned over 30,000 miles yesterday. Everything still works as it should. Everything seems to be holding up well.
Current mileage: 30,031
I am the original author of the review and it's time for the quarterly update.
The Focus is now up to 33,500 miles, and I really have nothing new to report. Winter is here in Pennsylvania (we had our first dusting of snow yesterday), and I have not yet seen a drop in gas mileage. The "new car novelty" never wore off!
I am the original reviewer here for a quarterly update. The Focus is now up to 36,818 miles. The gas mileage has dropped a little bit from 28 to an average 26 (city), and that's with the extra idling with the remote start.
The Focus is actually pretty decent in the snow with all-season tires. It takes some common sense, patience, and a light right foot, and this car doesn't do too badly at all in the Pittsburgh snow.
I don't see it written anywhere, but my power front passenger window has been slow since I've owned the car. I'm not too worried about it; it has never given me any problems.
With virtually nothing to report, I really had no reason to write this comment. I'm still glad to say that I drive Ford, and based on my experience up to this point, I'd recommend this car to anyone in a heartbeat.
I am the original reviewer. I don't usually post updates between my quarterly insight unless I have particularly good or particularly bad news. Tonight, the news is good.
I had the pleasure of driving my Focus 400+ miles today from Cranberry Township, PA to Columbus, OH and back. Each trip took more than 3 hours, and I made it in one shot each time (no stretching, no bathroom breaks, etc.). Upon getting out the first time, I did not feel too stiff. Once I stretched one time, I was fine. The second time, I emerged with only a sore butt.
On to fuel economy. The first leg was 215 miles and I used 6.243 gallons of gas, although this was with some speeds in excess of 75 MPH and some driving around the city of Columbus. The second leg was 201.3 miles and I used 4.896 gallons of gas. The first leg was 34.3 MPG, and the second leg was 41.1 MPG for a grand average of 37.3 MPG. The second leg was done generally between 65-68 MPH. (Please note: I go click-to-click when filling the Focus.)
The Focus still handles expansion joints and surface changes like any new car would. It brakes well, has some pep, lots of room for a compact, and has incredibly bright high-beam headlights (which, miraculously, shine without oncoming drivers flashing at me).
The current mileage is 38,145. I have no buyer's remorse; and I'd do it all over again.