Used Ford Focus 2018-present review

Category: Family car

Section: Advice for buyers

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Ford Focus interior
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  • Ford Focus
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  • Used Ford Focus 2018 - present
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Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Ford Focus hatchback?

Alloy wheels

ST-Line X and Vignale models have 18in alloy wheels that are more liable to kerb damage, due to having less tyre sidewall. ST-Line X cars get a diamond-cut finish and Vignales a chrome effect that could be more costly to repair than a regular painted finish.


Style and Zetec models miss out on parking sensors, so be on the lookout for dents and scratches to bumpers and bodywork. Make sure the paint finish is uniform; otherwise, it could have been repainted. Check if there's any history of this if you suspect it has.


Listen out for any squeaks and rattles on the test drive and make sure all the electrics work as they should. This Focus is quite a new model, so any example will still be under warranty if you need to get anything sorted. Make sure the plastics aren’t heavily scuffed on door trims.

If you're looking for information on older models, click here for our used reviews of:

Ford Focus 2011-2018

Ford Focus Estate 2011-2018

Ford Focus RS 2016-2018

Ford Focus 2004-2011

Used Ford Focus 2018 - present

What are the most common problems with a used Ford Focus hatchback?

Brake pedal hinge bolt

The brake pedal hinge bolt on early cars built between 19 October 2018 and 8 December 2018 may not be to specification. A lot of the cars affected will have had this recall work carried out before being delivered to their first owners, but check with a Ford dealer before you buy.

Petrol particulate filter

Owners of early cars have noticed a warning message popping up for the particulate filter that’s fitted to 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre petrol engines suggesting that it’s full. This should be fixed with a trip to the dealer to reprogram the parameters of the system.

Child locks

There has been a problem with the assembly of the rear door latch assembly on some cars made between 16 April 2018 and 2 August 2018 that could result in the manual child door locks not working correctly. Speak to a Ford dealer about this, because they'll need to inspect the mechanism and replace it if your car is affected by the recall.

Front suspension

Some of the bolts connecting the front suspension on some models manufactured between 22 September 2018 and 10 November 2018 might not have been tightened correctly at the factory. Speak to a Ford dealer about this, because they'll be able look at your car and check the tightness of the bolts if it's affected by this issue.

Engine wiring loom

There have been two recalls relating to a stud on the gearbox damaging the wiring loom to the engine. The first applies to cars made from 21 March 2018 and 7 March 2019, and the second for those built between 31 July 2019 and 4 March 2020. Any affected car will need to be inspected at a Ford dealership to have modifications carried out and repairs to the loom if any damage is found. 

Power distribution box (fuse box)

A problem has been found with the power distribution box fitted to some examples manufactured from 14-16 October 2019 which could cause a number of electrical gremlins. Find out if your car is affected by this because it'll need to have this box replaced if it is.

Seat belt anchorage bolts

The bolts holding the seat belt mechanism to the car body might not be tight enough on a small number of Focus cars built between 7 May and 30 September 2019. If your Ford is affected, it'll need to go to a dealer to have these tightened down.


Is a used Ford Focus hatchback reliable?

The latest Focus went through some teething troubles last year because it was an all-new model, but things have improved this year to enable it to climb up to 9th place out of 24 in the family car class. Ford generally does okay with most of its models, although the 18th place finish out of 31 manufacturers is a little disappointing.

If you'd like to see the full reliability list, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.

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