Let the buyer beware ...
By DW on
2001 Ford Focus ZX3 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I initially didn't like the looks of this car, but I wanted a hatchback and it was surprisingly peppy and fun to drive, so I took a chance and threw my money down ... and AWAY! What a mistake. Mechanical problems too numerous to list stranded me over and over, and Ford's service department kept the car for WEEKS every painful time I had to tow it in. The interior is an ergonomic nightmare, ruining a long trip by saddling the driver and passengers with endless back pain (and I'm in my 20's!). Horribly unreliable compared to other cars in it's class, this car is not an alternative to Honda or Toyota ... it's not even close. Pay a little - and get a LOT more - elsewhere.
Fun to drive ... when it runs. Nice pep and acceptable MPG.
Unreliable engine and powertrain. Ford's service dept may honor your warranty, but it'll take weeks. Certainly not a car for the arthritic ... or those who may suffer from stress-related breakdowns!