I can't believe how the same car's quality can vary between two markets. In the UK, independent surveys put the Focus ahead of all its non Japanese rivals (including the Germans) for reliability, owner satisfaction and quality. Certainly my experience bears this out - my UK 2002 LX model did 99,000 miles in three years with just one minor fault (at 80,000 miles, (a UKP 15 part, under warranty, and fixed first time by the dealer). Sure the dash plastics are a bit cheap and it's not the last word in luxury, but you absolutely cannot question the engineering integrity on the UK models. They're great cars.
A relative of mine spent 30% more on a Golf at the same time I bought this and her car has done 60,000 miles, broken down twice and had nearly UKP1,000 worth of warranty work in the same period. Oddly though, the Golf would sell for UKP2,500 more even with the same mileage. Strange thing, the car market.
"The rear window lock switch by the driver doesn't allow the rear windows to work from the back doors."
That is the whole point of the window lock button- so little kids in the back can't open the windows.
Yep, the Ford Focus is a convoluted piece of crap. It has the lamest designed and most complex, yet the worst electrical systems on the face of the planet. Heck, you'd be better off in a Lada! At least you can fix those.
The good old Blue Oval. At least they've circled the problem.
"slight ticking or tapping in the engine that sounds like a lifter or oil flow problem"
I have the same in my engine, and I've heard other Focus engines with the same ticking. It's "supposed" to be that way. They simply are a little bit noisy. They simply are not that refined. You have to remember that these are ancient constructions. The CVH based engines located in early model Focus appeared first in 1980! The Zetec based ones is based on a construction that came in 1992.
But I've never heard that there is any reliability problems in any of these. But you can't say that Ford is in the forefront of engine technology. They've added modern day fuel injection, but besides that this is old technology.
The Focus is a bad car, don't make a mistake about that. It's a cheap, entry-level budget vehicle on par with a Corolla, Civic etc.
But if you honestly think you'd have been better off with Kia, then you have never driven one. For Kia, transmission failures and blown headgaskets are just a "regular occurrence" among other problems. It will cost you more to repair your Kia over three years than it would for a BMW over ten years!
And the Corolla -- brakes and steering can fail at any moment, and the gas pedal can get stuck. If none of that happens, they might be better. But chances are, by the time the car gets to higher miles, the computer malfunctions and the car accelerates and... you've probably seen what happens when cars drive over cliffs in the movies.
Believe me, this is not a luxury car. Or even an upscale car, or even an average car. It is just an entry level budget economy car. Every corner that could be cut in cars in this class have been cut. If tires wear unevenly, that's quite a small problem to have, and for that you pay for cars in this class, the manufacturers could care less.
To be completely honest, it sounds like you have had a great experience with this car for what it is, but are just expecting a whole lot more. Don't mistake it for something that it's not.
To the reviewer: What is actually wrong with your car since you are so unhappy with it? All I can read is that the CD changer doesn't work properly and some of the details on the car are a little bit on the flimsy side, but besides that, it works OK?
"The Focus is a bad car, don't make a mistake about that. It's a cheap, entry-level budget vehicle on par with a Corolla, Civic etc."
It is bad, however it is on par with its competition. I can only guess you have never driven one of these cars right? In actuality, the Focus is a nice little car that does what it is intended to do. Get you around on less gas. It has adequate power, and if you get into the SES or SEL option packages, it offers plenty of extras and even a refined suspension that is not just a gimmick. I have driven both an SE and and SEL that were the same year and same mileage on them, and the SEL handles way better and is much smoother.
Overall, the Focus isn't the little junkbox everyone makes it out to be. The last few years really saw an increase in quality on them. Now the new design will really up the ante against the competition.
I had a 1999 Ford Focus ZTec from new, as my company vehicle.
In 3 years I put well over 145k on the clock and the only problem I ever had was front anti-roll bar bushes failing twice.
This being a company vehicle, I thrashed the hell out of it for the entire 3 years I had it and it never had any electrical or mechanical issues at all.
I would happily buy a Focus with a good service history from a reputable shop.
I've been a big fan of Focus since owning a bright yellow 2001 ZX-3. It was fun, fast and never had a single problem. Over the years they have only gotten better. The new 2012 Focus is awesome, although Ford has shot itself in the foot by grossly over-gimmicking and over-pricing it. I tried out both a Focus and a Fiesta for a good friend who is wanting a car to replace his unreliable 2-year-old Toyota. I liked both cars, but found both a bit cramped inside, and definitely too pricey for a basic compact car. I'm steering my friend to the Hyundai Elantra or 2012 Accent as an alternative. They are both getting rave reviews and top rankings in comparison tests.