We bought this car as students, and chose the wagon because we took lots of road trips and camped a lot. The car is very roomy for cargo storage, and the roof rack has come in handy more than once. The ergonomics of the dash and radio are great, the fuel economy is good. Our issues with the car have really been in the quality of the build rather than in its design. Front springs broke at 50K, one spark plug stopped firing at 30K (covered by warranty), we've gone through three sets of tires despite regular alignment and rotations, brakes are small and wear away quickly, and rear license plate light fell out at about 22K miles. Rear window no longer goes up if it gets put down.
This is the best car I've bought so far. Besides the fact that it's very fun to drive, it handles the road very well and has tons of storage space. I have made many trips to Ikea and have fit very large boxes in my car, while other people next to me in pick-up trucks had a hard time fitting smaller boxes in their trucks. It's great on gas (about 30 miles average, more on the freeway) and has plenty of horsepower. I would recommend this car to anybody who likes the convenience of a wagon and the sportiness of the Focus.
Tons of storage space, fun to drive, sporty, plenty of horsepower
Better manufacturer brakes, which don't last too long. I got premium brakes at PepBoys later, and they work just fine.
2002 Ford Focus Wagon ZTW 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
Engine wire pulled loose while driving; car stopped running and had to be towed. Engine sensor broke; car would not run over 30 m.p.h. Tires worn out after 25,000 miles; over $120 each to replace (Ford used a non-standard size). Rear brake pads worn out after 30,000 miles. While replacing pads, discovered bearing hub cap was never installed on one side. Tailgate won't stay open. CD player ate CDs and then stopped working (twice). Screws to open CD player require a special tool to remove. Ignition switch broke at 30,000 miles - key would not turn, could not start- drive car. Ford refused to pay for fix, despite dozens of owners reporting similar problems on websites.
Handles very well. Lots of headroom.
Use better quality parts, and take more care when putting them together.
The Focus wagon is great if you don't use it to haul stuff. I keep the rear seats folded down and carry approximately 500 pounds of tools and parts. The camber for the rear tires is non-adjustable. The rear tires will cup out in 8000 miles. Fords excuse is to rotate the tires every 2,500 miles. I installed modified rear end bolts that allows adjustment of camber. Rear tires now get 25,000 miles. Only get 25 MPG highway. Car handles like a boat.
I bought this car to be able to transport me and my bicycles around on for low cost (gas, insurance, etc). This has fit the bill better than any other. I can fit two bikes in the back with the seats down by making a fork mount, which completely suits my life style. No other wagon would have the headroom to allow the seats to clear.
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