2006 Ford Focus Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2006 Ford Focus Hatchback

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Ford Focus Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 136 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2006 Ford Focus

  • The 2006 Ford Focus is a wonderful small car that's fun to drive, fuel efficient, and offered in such a wide variety of configurations it would be hard not to find one that suits your needs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Fun-loving character, forgiving ride quality, responsive steering, comfortable seats, simple controls, wide selection of body configurations and features.

  • Cons

    Sloppy build quality, mismatched interior plastics, inadequate storage and cupholders, no rear head restraints, 2.3-liter engine limited to ST sedan.

  • What's New for 2006

    For 2006, an MP3-compatible CD player is standard on all models, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls are included with CD changer-equipped systems. A new Street Appearance package includes unique fascias, a spoiler and a bright-finish exhaust tip.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Ford focus superstar

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Focus ZX3 SES 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I purchased my '06 Focus new. Wanted Grey, hatchback, Stick, shopped around and got a 3 door SES with leather moon roof and winter package for $14000. I have had ZERO problems with it for 26000 miles, service has been excellent from dealer (even replaced a wheel with a good used one for free when I kerbed mine). The car is fun to drive, very reliable (Consumer reports rates it with Civic and Corolla), looks good and I have had a very stress free ownership. The Original Pirelli P6's (unusual size205/50 ZR16) weren't great and had lots of road noise. I changed all 4 due to a sidewall puncture @ 24K miles for BF Goodrich G-Force Sport which are much quieter and have much better dry traction

F for ford and rear

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Focus ZX3 SES 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Rear brake squeal is a major problem with these Ford Focus for a number of model years and Ford refuses to fix or acknowlege the issue except for a few. We bought 3 of these and have the same problem on all. After about 2 years the rear brake squeal is so loud it is deafening. The dealship has not been able to fix the problem and we have spent a lot of money on them. Ford tells us we are just out of luck. Buyer beware.

Pretty good buy

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Focus ZX3 SES 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I like my Focus Hatchback. It's compact, so it's great for fitting in small places and such. However, I keep hearing a noise associated with the brake/transmission that I can't figure out. I took it in to the dealership and they fixed another noise (which was the backseat latch needing oil). This other noise worries me, though. Otherwise, I cannot complain. The A/C's great. The sound's pretty nice and I like the speaker set up. And, it drives smoothly. I would recommend it for a first time car-buyer.

So far so good

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Focus ZX3 SES 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have had my car for a little over a year now. I must say that I love this car. It really is too bad that Ford is doing away with the hatchback! My only single complaint is the fuel economy. I do mostly spirited highway driving and I average about 24 mpg. I realize the EPA sets these numbers so it's really not their fault. I would recommend this car to anyone.

Solid car that holds it

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Focus ZX3 SES 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I looked at all the favorites from Toyota, Honda, Mazda etc. and found that this little car was the best deal for the money. There is no way the other manufactures could compete with the price considering all that comes on this vehicle (SES), not to mention Ford rebates and incentives. This car is fun to drive, handles good, accelerates on a dime, and is good for long commutes. I am discouraged about the insurance though, a little high because of a high symbol rating. Will be interested to see how good the gas mileage really is. Overall though I like this car. Good buy.

Best car out (for the

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Vehicle: 2006 Ford Focus ZX3 SES 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I picked this up as a commuter car to make the 140 mile round trip commute to school. It's got plenty of power, and is responsive. It rolls down the highway smooth as silk at 75-80 miles an hour. I got the cold weather package (heated seats and side mirrors), Sony audiophile package and all the goodies that come with the SES trim. For the money, this car can not be beat. Comfortable, stylish and plenty of pep from the 2L engine. No other entry level car competes with the Focus.

Full 2006 Ford Focus Review

What's New for 2006

For 2006, an MP3-compatible CD player is standard on all models, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls are included with CD changer-equipped systems. A new Street Appearance package includes unique fascias, a spoiler and a bright-finish exhaust tip.


"Smart design and spirited driving" were the guiding forces behind the development of the Ford Focus. Available as a sedan, hatchback or wagon, Ford's compact car debuted in 2000 with "New Edge" styling, a roomy interior and excellent road manners. Although the car was plagued with recalls in its first couple of years, most of the nagging repair issues have been ironed out.

Designed as a "world car" that appeals to drivers in countries around the globe, the Ford Focus has a little bit of everything. Unlike many compact cars, it doesn't feel cheap from behind the wheel as there's plenty of road feel through its sharp steering and tight suspension. The standard four-cylinder engine also feels more powerful than its numbers would suggest, a trait that makes the Focus a great car for stop-and-go city driving. The Focus impressively earned Edmunds' Most Wanted awards in 2000, 2001, 2002 and 2003.

With four distinct body styles, the 2006 Ford Focus has a configuration to fit just about any buyer's needs. The three-door ZX3 is a sporty, fun-to-drive hatchback that has more room than you might expect. For easier access to the rear seats, there's also a five-door hatch called the ZX5. Traditional sedan and wagon models are also available for maximum passenger and cargo space. Ford's designers did some work on the interior for 2005, replacing the car's quirky angular dash with a more refined, symmetrical layout. The current look is less likely to turn off buyers with conservative tastes, but it's the same old Focus, which means easy-to-read instrumentation and simple controls. Unfortunately, materials quality is still mediocre and there are so many different grain patterns it looks like the place was furnished piecemeal. Build quality hasn't improved, either.

In spite of these faults, the low-entry price of the Focus, combined with its balanced handling dynamics and functional design, makes it an economy car worth considering. It may not have the refinement that some economy car buyers are looking for, but for those who want an inexpensive car that doesn't look or drive like every other economy car on the road, the 2006 Ford Focus is a worthwhile alternative.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

Ford offers the Focus in four body styles: a three-door ZX3 hatchback, a five-door ZX5 hatchback, a ZX4 sedan and a ZXW wagon. The hatchbacks and sedan come in three basic trim levels -- S, SE and SES -- while the wagon is available in SE and SES trims only. Additionally, an ST sedan is available for buyers seeking a sportier Focus. The S includes basics like an MP3-compatible CD player, 15-inch steel wheels and black exterior trim. The SE adds power windows, locks and mirrors; keyless entry; air conditioning; and a center armrest. The uplevel SES includes 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, body-color exterior trim, cruise control, tachometer and a tilt/telescoping steering wheel. The top-line ST sedan adds four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and traction control, a performance-tuned suspension, sport seats and distinctive trim inside and out. Options include a sunroof, an in-dash CD changer and leather upholstery.

Powertrains and Performance

The standard drivetrain in the 2006 Ford Focus is a refined 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated for 136 hp (130 in California emissions states). The ST sedan features a 2.3-liter four good for 151 hp. A five-speed manual transmission is standard across the line, and a four-speed automatic is optional on all but the base S ZX3 hatchback and the ST sedan. Fuel economy is slightly above average for this class, as both engines have EPA mileage ratings in the mid-to-upper 20s for city driving and mid-30s for highway travel.


All models come with three-point belts in all five seating positions. Optional safety equipment includes front-seat side airbags, antilock brakes and traction control (standard on the ST). In NHTSA crash testing, the sedan, wagon and ZX5 hatchback earned a perfect five stars for driver protection and four stars for the front passenger; the ZX3 hatch earned four stars in both categories. In frontal-offset testing conducted by the IIHS, the Ford Focus earned a "Good" score, the highest possible. Neither NHTSA nor the IIHS has tested a Focus with side airbags: Without the bags, the government gives it four stars for front-occupant safety in side impacts and three stars for the rear, while the IIHS rates it "Poor" for side impacts.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Ford Focus is roomy for its class, offering generous accommodations for its front and rear passengers, even in three-door ZX3 models. Focus seats are chair-height and padded to the point you'd think the seams would burst from all the stuffing. The control layout is simple, but materials quality is unimpressive. Sound quality from the stock audio systems is surprisingly good, and downright exceptional with the optional Audiophile system.

Driving Impressions

Regardless of trim, the 2006 Ford Focus offers a smooth ride and above-average handling. Although the four-wheel fully independent suspension allows for noticeable body roll while cornering, the Focus stays planted and inspires confidence. The steering system is surprisingly quick and responsive, always providing plenty of feedback from the road surface.

Talk About The 2006 Focus

Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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