Used Ford Focus 1998 - 2004 review

Category: Family car

Section: Advice for buyers

Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)
  • Ford Focus (98 - 04)

Advice for buyers

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

Compared to the current family hatchback offerings, the original Ford Focus is a relatively simple car, meaning there’s less to go wrong.

Any recall work should have been done by now. So, buy on condition and service history: if it looks like it’s been cherished then it probably has been. Ask for its service book, and check that it’s fully stamped up.

Electronic items are prone to failing, so don’t ignore any warning lights. Water ingress in the head and tail lights is also common and can lead to blown bulbs.

Quickclear windscreen elements are known to fail, so put an ice scraper in the glovebox for the winter.

Is a used Ford Focus hatchback reliable?

No less so than most cars of this age and price point. Usefully, there are many hundreds of thousands of them around, and pretty much every garage will be knowledgeable about them.

They’re relatively simple to work on, too, while good parts supply, both new and used, means you shouldn’t ever have trouble getting service items.