What should I look for in a used Ford Focus hatchback?
With so many examples of the Focus to choose from, it’s more important than ever to remember the basic used car checks, such as looking for a full service history, verifying the mileage with a history check and looking for repaired accident damage.
If you’re considering a car with the Powershift automatic gearbox, ensure it shifts gears smoothly with no juddering when you pull away or come to a stop. Look too for evidence that the gearbox fluids have been changed every third service, both to maintain correct operation and to benefit from any warranty protection or potential goodwill on Ford’s part should you encounter a problem.
What are the most common problems with a used Ford Focus hatchback?
Cars built between 2012 and early 2013 with the 1.0-litre Ecoboost have been known to leak coolant, which can ultimately lead to engine failure. Ford has since modified and retrofitted a new hose to affected cars as part of a scheduled service, but it remains good practice to let this engine idle for 15 or 20sec after a long run to help the turbocharger cool down before switching off. A Ford dealer should be able to check to tell you if the new ‘Degas’ hose has been fitted - if not and the engine fails you could face a four-figure repair bill.
Cars with a manual gearbox have also been prone to clutch problems, so check the gears engage cleanly and there’s no slip from the clutch.
In 2015 Ford discontinued the dry-clutch version of the Powershift gearbox as featured on lower-powered models and in its place offered a six-speed wet-clutch system on the diesel and 1.6-litre petrol models, or a six-speed torque convertor on for the 1.0-litre and 1.5-litre Ecoboost.
Is a used Ford Focus hatchback reliable?
According to our most recent What Car? Reliability Survey, a Focus powered by petrol is more reliable than one fitted with a diesel engine. A petrol Focus finished in eighth place in the family car class of 27, while a diesel is down in 23rd. Ford, as a brand, finished in 18th place out of 31 manufacturers.
If you would like to see the full reliability survey, head to the What Car? Reliability Survey pages for more information.