Picked up a new 1.6 Focus from Belgium June 1999, for my wife. The next week I took delivery of a Lexus 200. Over the next three years, the Lexus had had 2 new drivers seats, an intermittent brake problem, after I was nearly in a major smash, everything, bar the pipe work was changed. Service on the Lexus was dreadful. On the 10,000 mile service they adjusted the 4 wheel alignment (because of uneven tyre ware and at a cost to me of £100.00). Early the next morning in the dash down the A1, I lost control of the car on the bend just above the Hatfield tunnel. Fortunately the road is very wide there and there was space to recover. Changed Lexus, Focus running beautifully took it to Edinburgh. What a lovely car to drive, it really sits securely on the road and holds a secure line through bends and corners. Top of the range Primera followed the Lexus and now a Jaguar. The Focus is still a smashing car to drive. I live in the west coast of Scotland now (no more A1 & M25 & M4, I feel deprived!!!). Last week I took the nearly 7 year old Focus (58,000 miles) to Glasgow and back 300 miles. It is still a lovely car to drive; it is still one of the fastest cars point to point on the winding roads up here.
The car is still original in everything bar the tyres. In 40 years of motoring I have never had another car that with over 50,000 miles driven, over nearly 7 years, still have the original battery, exhaust, disc pads and all suspension parts. The car still feels tight, is completely rattle free, and came through its third MOT last month require a brake light bulb. A truly great car I would recommend to anyone.
A point to ponder, with all the trouble I had with that Lexus, I was never sent a JD survey form to fill out. So I was never allowed to publicly express my feeling of my 2 years with my new car. Could this survey be selective?
I am a courier in Canada and have driven the car ever since it's introduction in North America in 2000. I drove the Escort before the Focus. The Escort was a good car, but a can-on-wheels compared to the Focus. The Focus seems underpowered with the standard engine, but has good torque at take-offs. It drives very well and is very stable.
The Focus is driven hard in my job. I drive about 75000kms a year. In general it has been a reliable car given the nature of my work. Mind you, my company recycles the cars at 150 000 kms for reliabilities sake. It is not to say that they were problematic. My company insists on a manufacturers warranty because of the nature of the business.
I agree the 2000 versions had several problems, like, slipping transmissions, cheap interior material, cheap wheel well plastic, ignition key problems, and the common brake rotors lasting only 25000kms, but most of these were overcome in the later years.
Other than that most of the cars we returned after the lease felt and drove just as well as when new.
I have a 2000 Focus with 169,000 and it still runs very solid. I have had to do the usual maintenance, but that's about it. I plan on driving it a long time and I am shopping for another one. I am amazed at how well the little thing handles on the road. It's super on gas too. Cheers.