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Ford Focus (1998 - 2004)

5
reviewed by John F on 29 April 2021
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 20 January 2020
2
reviewed by Anonymous on 24 October 2019
3
reviewed by Anonymous on 14 April 2019
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 26 March 2019
5
reviewed by edward denby on 20 April 2018
4
reviewed by Anonymous on 19 August 2017
5
reviewed by Anonymous on 14 July 2016
4
reviewed by Mickireland on 11 July 2015
5
reviewed by rabbithutch on 29 September 2013
5
reviewed by quattro_tdi on 29 June 2013
5
reviewed by MKate on 15 April 2013
5
reviewed by ahenry on 2 June 2012
5
reviewed by toscano on 30 May 2012
5
reviewed by Laytown on 18 March 2012
5
reviewed by cyclops69 on 12 September 2011
5
reviewed by Robert in Portugal on 10 June 2011
4

1.8 TDCi Zetec

reviewed by BenG on 31 March 2011
4
Overall rating
5
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
4
Running costs
5
Cost of maintenance and repairs
1
Experience at the garage or specialist
5
How practical it is
4
How you rate the manufacturer
3
Overall reliability

Cheap to run, good to drive and practical

Bought car secondhand at 3 years old and 29k miles. Now 8 years old and at 60k miles. Replaced a Mazda 323F 1.8 petrol hatch. The Focus handles well but the ride is slightly hard, at least in Zetec spec., with the heavy diesel engine up front.

The engine is fairly refined for a diesel of its age but it's still possible to tell it's not a petrol engine, particularly at lower speeds. The performance is good but as standard the car needs a heavy right foot to trigger enough turbo boost to accelerate quickly. Remapping considerably improved the part-throttle response, making the car more pleasant to drive, and has increased economy slightly (2-3mpg).

Gearing is reasonably high with 70mph at ~2300rpm in 5th, giving 52-55pg at 70-75mph on longer trips, but first gear is very low and quick change-up to second is required when pulling away. Car is quite easy to stall when pulling away, due to 'programmed' stall at low engine revs to protect dual-mass flywheel, requiring care with the clutch, which is quite sharp.

Refinement is slightly lacking with a fair amount of wind and road noise, the latter particularly bad when the parcel shelf is removed and the rear seats lowered. Lots of space for luggage and passengers - I'm 6ft5. Insurance cheap at Group 6 (in old system of 20 groups).

Niggling faults with the car included failed driver's door handle (fixed under warranty), failed stereo which ate my CD, sagging tailgate struts and failed instrument binnacle - subsidised Ford repair for £100 as this is a common problem on 2002/3 cars.

Personally, I prefer the internal and external styling of the Mark 1 Focus to the later versions, which look dull and are heavier. The TDCI engine has to be the pick of the Mk1 engines for performance and economy, compared to the slightly lame petrol engines and poor fuel economy of the latter in 1.8 and 2.0 capacities.

Local Ford dealer was useless and tried to hand back car with faults clearly not fixed.

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5
reviewed by Difference Engine on 20 February 2011
4
reviewed by F-Focus on 5 December 2010
4
reviewed by Robbie M on 3 June 2010

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Just reviewed...

5
submitted by Anonymous
3
submitted by Anonymous