Alternatives

Used Ford Focus 1998 - 2004 review

(1998 - 2004)
Ford Focus (98 - 04)
Review continues below...

What alternatives should I consider to a used Ford Focus hatchback?

The Focus and VW Golf have long been protagonists, with the Ford unquestionably the sharper drive and better equipped as standard, but trailing the Volkswagen on badge appeal and build quality.

The Vauxhall Astra will do everything the Ford Focus does, only with a little less verve, while looking a lot dowdier. It’ll be as cheap to buy and run, though, and the interior should wear a bit better than the Ford's.

Nissan’s Almera might lack the good looks of its Ford Focus rival, but it’s more engaging to drive than its amorphous lines would lead you to believe, and should better the Ford for reliability.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here

 

open the gallery9 Images

Verdict

The original Ford Focus was a clean sheet design and it shows: it's an excellent buy, assuming you can still find a good one.

  • Excellent to drive
  • Distinctive looks
  • Plenty of interior space
  • Very affordable to buy and run
  • Interior looks dated
  • Lacks the VW Golf’s badge cachet
  • Many have fallen into disrepair