I bought my 03 Ford Focus LX used at 35000 mi. Drove great for first year. Soon after, alternator died (after draining 2 batteries), brakes CONSTANTLY squealed (even after replacing rotors), a pipe to the engine RUSTED OFF (luckily a friend could replace it for me), tail lights died a lot, ridiculous rattle/vibration in the dash that would go away if you hit the dashboard, trunk would not latch since the last few months. I was in a wreck a month ago that totaled the car at 141,000 mi. I walked away without a scratch, so I guess the car was pretty durable. Wouldn't purchase another one though, I'm looking for a Toyota Camry or Nissan Altima now.
Hmm. Repairs were easy to do, even hobby mechanics could easily do my repairs. The car was pretty durable. I've rear-ended a couple of ppl and then was in a head on collision with absolutely no injuries.
Give the car some frills and make it more reliable. Put some quality into it! The interior is very very cheap, but it works. Make a car that doesn't slowly fall apart after the first 60,000 miles.
Bought this car at 40k miles and got rid of it at 64k. We had the key problem where the ignition locks up; we just never took the key out, always left it in the car to avoid getting stranded. Couldn't put chains on it. Trunk wouldn't shut properly. Gas mileage steadily declined despite regular oil changes and check ups. After reading all the reviews about the car crapping out around 60k, we just wanted to be rid of it.
My dad originally bought this car for me for my first car. I will say that for a first time driver, it is decent. Very easy to drive. For the few years I owned it, I never had any mechanical problems with it. The 4cyl. engine, in my opinion, is way too small. Awful pickup on the highway. It is very low to the ground and had a tendency to bottom out. Also, not really good in the snow. Decent MPG though. I ended up trading it in for a 07 Jeep Liberty, which I love and would recommend to someone over the Focus.
Ignition replaced 3 times. Exhaust pipe that connects to engine replaced twice. Mechanic said it will have to be replaced again and again because it is a known defect. Brakes replaced too many times. Now engine rattles. My mother has the same car. Same problems. It has been in fender benders twice and a guy driving a stolen truck ran in to the front end and no dents! The other cars had the damage. That is one great thing about the car. There is not a lot of room in the back seat.
Seems to be safe when hit by other cars.
Ignitions, brakes, exhaust tube They might have already made the improvements in the newer models.