Used Ford Focus 1998 - 2004 review

Our recommendations

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

Our recommendations

Which used Ford Focus hatchback should I buy?

The 1.4-litre petrol model will be adequate if you’re not intent on any out of town journeys, but the 98bhp 1.6 and 113bhp 1.8 are better all-rounders.

The early TDdi diesel used an old engine, and its 88bhp output made it fairly pedestrian performance-wise; the later 1.8 TDCi upped the output to either 98bhp or 113bhp.

The massive range of trim options can be bewildering; LX, Zetec and Ghia versions all come with useful equipment, while CL, Flight and Studio cars are best avoided.

Plenty of special editions were offered, including Silver, Millennium, MP3, Elle, Chic, Ebony, Ink, Black and more besides, but none are worth paying any extra for.

The standalone ST170 is an enjoyable, rev-happy warm hatch, while the 215bhp RS is a specialist model for those wanting hardcore thrills – and it's priced accordingly. Indeed, it’s an appreciating classic, with the very best examples costing more than £20,000; it was priced at £19,995 when new.

Our favourite used Ford Focus: 1.6 Zetec