Having had this car for a couple of months, I have been impressed by what it has to offer.
The handling is excellent, with light and precise steering. With the Zetec spec suspension, there is little body roll but the pay off is a fidgety ride at low speeds - not helped by the poor UK roads.
At speed and on smooth roads, the ride is smooth and refined and there is little engine noise unless worked hard.
For normal everyday use, the performance of the 1.6 will fit most criteria. Everything feels well screwed together and controls are placed well. Space is adequate for 4 adults, a push for 5.
Now the downsides. The interior is a little tacky and lacks the class of a Golf. The Golf has more "perceived quality", with blue lights and damped handles, whereas the Focus interior is functional but not desirable. Equipment levels are average, a Zetec should be specified with a climate pack (air con, quickclear windscreen, e/h mirrors). I drive a '53 plate so it lacks side airbags (intro in 04), which is disappointing.
But overall, the car as a package is superb. It blends practicality, economy and drivability in an inexpensive fashion. Choose the age and specification carefully and you'll have a very good car.
I have owned this car for two years and covered 21k in it and have only had general wear and tear expense and I drive the car fairly hard.
I think Ford have finally got it right with the original Focus and hope they don't mess up a very good and versatile car with the so-called new Focus.
Anyone thinking about buying a used small/medium sized car check out the Focus first, I'm sure you will be surprised.
HAVE HAD 115HP TDCI FOR TWO YEARS NOW AND ITS BEGGING TO LACK POWER. CANT FAULT THE CAR IT'S THE DEALER THAT LETS IT DOWN!
Coming from a diesel car to this is like, giving a boy the keys to a sweet shop.
The handling of the car is very sure and responsive, a pleasure to go round couners. The noise of the exhaust is not realy noticeable when you keep the revs low but when the car is being driven hard it is enough to put a smile on your face as it turns into a little roar.
The interior is limited in the fact that there is not much space to put items. A small front locker thin storage in the doors and two rubber cup holders infront of the gear stick. The dash and the leather trim look very good and the seats are very comfortable. At night the dash has a nice green glow.
OK you don't get as good fuel economy from the car as a deisel but it's worth every extra penny and, the longer the journey, the better it is.
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