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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

Diesel 1.8 Estate a/c

reviewed by Robert in Portugal on 10 June 2011
5
Overall rating
5
How it drives
4
Fuel economy
4
Running costs
3
Cost of maintenance and repairs
1
Experience at the garage or specialist
5
How practical it is
5
How you rate the manufacturer
4
Overall reliability

A trusty servant: excellent people-carrier and load carrier, but beware the air-conditioning.

This is a left-hand-drive model which we use in Portugal. It was bought s/h from The Left-hand-drive Place in Basingstoke, who were extremely helpful in helping us to export the car to our new 'place in the sun' where the importation rules are very strict. It showed 132,000 km (about 100,000 miles), and the car was originally from Germany.

It has carried five adults on two-hour journeys without complaint from those in the back, together with a everyone's overnight luggage and a violin case. My impression is that the rear reat leg-room is slightly better than that in the Mark II and Mark III focuses, because of slightly less bulky front seats. Load carrying is brilliant because of the excellent so-simple way in which the rear seats fold and leave a long, wide completely flat floor area (though you do have to pull off the head-rests first), with a level loading platform at the tail-gate. An ideal IKEA-Wagon.

The only think it does badly is de-misting in warm but wet or damp conditions. I regret that we do not have the 'Quick-Clear' front heated windscreen. Why have Ford almost stopped specifying this on later models: is it because cars with working air-con also de-mist properly? (See below). I would also regret that we do not have climate-control because of big local micro-climate differences.

I have now completed 232,000 km. We live near a second-level Ford service agent and have tried to have all appropriate services carried out including belt-changes.

The clutch was replaced early on during our ownership. We had to have the starter motor replaced in the second winter (I thought it was just a flat battery at first).

The windcreen wipers blew a fuse more than once at high motoway speeds in a cross-wind: I now carry spare fuses and something to pull fuses out with! Dipped beam headlights fail about once a year.

Once I drove slightly too fast over our fierce local speed-hump, and chipped the very bottom end of the catalytic converter. The garage told me that I needed a whole new one, and their price (given to me on a scrap of paper) was £450 plus VAT. (I have converted our € prices to £ )

My on-going problem has been with the Air-Conditioning unit. I now realise that it has never worked properly, even after twice re-gassing. And we do need it here as it is hot in Lisbon traffic jams ! I am told the 'Air-Conditioning Clutch' has failed, which is a component within the 'Air-Conditioning Compressor. After telling me that a repair would cost £300 to 400, I was informed orally, when I later authorised the work, that their price for the Compressor was actually £1,150 plus VAT. Obviously I refused to go ahead without further investigation. I have been shopping around extensively, and find that the official Ford price (given to me by a Main Dealer) is about £900, while a Lisbon specialist in air-con is quoting £850 including fitting. I have also located at least one source for the components from a UK supplier for under £400 including carriage, so am now thinking to go down that road.

The non-metallic paint (a bright blue) has lasted very well and was excellently refreshed here and there by a local car-painting business.

Now I am in a great quandary. Our local Ford garage (see above) has offered a seemingly huge trade-in allowance against a reasonable 2006 'Ghia' [so-called] Mark II diesel estate. I have tried out the Mark II car, and I think that our Mark I is actually a nicer vehicle for the reasons given above. However, the number of our grandchildren has rapidly multiplied and so , in conclusion, I think that our next car may be the budget priced Dacia Logan 7-seat MCV which is not sold in the UK

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4
reviewed by BenG on 31 March 2011
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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5
submitted by Anonymous
3
submitted by Anonymous