There are four generations of the Focus. The first is atrocious, the third comes complete with a rubbish transmission from factory and the fourth is so new we are holding our breath to see how average it truly can be. Time will tell. The second generation is the model we are reviewing here. The year models that this covers is from 2004 – 2011. Why is this the only decent Focus ever made? The answer, its mostly a Mazda. The running gear including engine, suspension, brakes and transmission are all directly lifted from a Mazda 3. Parts that come from this car all have the branding for both Ford and Mazda on them.
The Mazda 3 is our number one recommendation for our clients on secondhand vehicles that are worth getting involved in. You can have a read of that review by clicking the link below.
Mazda 3 Review
This model Ford Focus is almost the same as the Mazda 3. As such the common issues also plague these Fords.
Front Shocks are common for leaking, hidden behind a rubber dust boot but after a while the oil leaks out all over the strut.
Common for lower control arm bushes, these are the rear most bush in the front lower control arm. This is a bush that requires the complete lower arm to be replaced.
Drivers side engine mount failure. The mount is hydqrolicly filled. When it fails it leaks fluid all over the chassis. Aftermarket options are rubber and not hydraulically filled. These inferior rubber mounts can cause vibrations through the car. If this mount needs replacing, be sure to use a genuine mount. The pricing is almost identical.
New to the Ford that the Mazdas do not have is a common fault in the rear tail lights globe holders, the are common for breaking requiring complete new globe holders.
Inner CV joints are known to develop a wobble sensation while accelerating the vehicle. Again genuine is the only way to rectify this. Aftermarket options are a gamble for rectifying this fault. The bad news is, each shaft can be around $800 each.
Drivability the Ford is a little average, it features a lot of the similar cheap plastic that we have seen across the whole Ford range of vehicles, opening bonnets with keys behind the front badge and other daft design flaws make it a stiff and uncomfortable vehicle to drive. The cars are middle of the range in our opinion. Not a complete waste of time like other models of the Focus but there are much better alternatives available. For the same money you could be in a Corolla a Civic or a Mazda 3. We advise looking at these alternatives before committing to buying a Ford Focus.