Don't let them sensitive import guys get you down. Ford focus is a great car. I'm not sure where it ranks, but its in the top ten of the most reliable cars. I wish I could go back and buy a Focus instead of that crappy Mazda we bought! We're already having a lot of trouble with the transmission and it has less than 40000 miles. My brother-in-law's Honda Accord has been in the shop numerous times and it has less miles than my Mazda. I know Ford has had its problems in the past like the Escort, but cars like the Focus is digging them of the hole. Look out Toyota!
UPDATE!!-By original poster. Well, I have had my ST almost a year now and only have 3,700 miles. This is more my pleasure car. It is currently back at the shop as the driver door had become misalligned. When I went to go pick it up from the "professional body shop," I noticed the back door was hanging out almost a quarter inch over the body. It looked like it was not closed all the way. I walked away without the car for now. Also, it was just in the shop because the a/c went out. When the compressor would kick on, it would make a high pitch whining sound and the air would not blow cold at all. Oh yeah... that crappy 6 disk changer. It pops cd's out all the time saying "bad disk." Then I put it back in and it works fine. It finally completely jammed itself the other day and everytime I would start the car, it would click rapidly and loudly for about 60 seconds. I am not overly impressed with the build quality and now fully understand why Ford and other US auto manufacturers are losing so much money. My brother still has his Mazda 3 (which he bought just days before I bought the Focus) and aside from regular oil changes, has had not one problem. If you have the extra couple of thousand, go Mazda. This will probably be the last Ford car I buy. I am not sure the low initial price is worth the hassle of so many little nagging problems.
To everyone who thinks that Fords are so bad, but think that Mazdas are so good, or if you are thinking that Mazdas are bad and that Fords are the best, do your research. Mazda is owned by Ford. Look it up at Ford.com. The Focus is on the same platform as the Mazda 3. The old Focus was on the same platform as the Mazda Protege. Which in fact are all incredible machines.
This is the original poster. To the person who posted above... I am not saying Ford is crap or Mazda is great etc. I know ford has a large stake in Mazda... and Volvo, Jaguar. However, the Mazda3 is based on the Volvo S40 frame (So is the European Focus) and is totally different suspension. The Focus ST suspension is the same as the past SVT suspension. The American Focus is made at a plant in Puebla Mexico and the Mazdas are imported from, and made in, Japan. The build quality difference is very noticeable. Also, even though it is basically the same engine block, the head is different. Mazda has a system similar to "vtec" which changes the rate of the cams for more power, that is why the Mazda has slightly more horsepower and the Focus has more torque. I have owned Fords all my life and when I said I would never buy a Ford car again.. I meant the Fords made in Mexico. A Ford mechanic I know recently told me the Focus is meant to do one thing, roll of the assembly line quickly so dealers can lure in many people with a good car at a very low price. That is not a bad thing, but quality does suffer.
Sure thing above poster guy. Well, after 9k miles, I finally traded this crap box in. Yes, you guest it, I am the original poster. I began having trouble getting the doors aligned from the beginning and after trip after trip to the dealership, and them scratching my car trying to fix it, I had had enough. I kept this car garaged, waxed and put about 6k miles A YEAR on it and the pos was starting to fall apart. Squeaks, rattles, CD player problems and random on and off wind noised through various door seals. No, the car was never in an accident as I bought it brand new. I thought about trying my states lemon law process, but realized if I could'nt get it, my car was losing amazing amounts of value. So I took a huge hit and went and bought a (2007) VW Rabbit 4 door. What a HUGE difference. It might not be as quick of the line as the ST Focus, but it rides like a BMW and everything from the factory was perfect. I am now done with Ford and never going back. They build cut rate cars and the dealer I bought it from (Heller Ford Escondido) was completely incompetent. Good luck.
I am glad to hear you are OK. That sounds like a crazy accident. I love my new Rabbit much more than the Focus (I am the Original poster). It drives like a BMW, just not as fast and the amount of features you get for the money can't be beat. As far as rust goes, I think you might be looking at the Rabbits built in the 80's...yes they were junk when they started building them in the US. The new generation of VW's have proved to be reliable and really safe. The fit and finish of my Rabbit compared to my (old) focus is lightyears ahead. Everything is perfect right from the dealership.