I bought this car used a year and a half ago, because I was going through a divorce and need something that wasn't a gas guzzler and compact. Since the purchase it has needed a new transmission, a new fly wheel and I just replaced the starter. When I bought it the back passenger side strut was already squeaking (and still does). Luckily the transmission and fly wheel were covered by the warranty. However, it cost me $460 to replace the starter. I know there is up keep in buying a car but geez...
Use better parts and be more careful in assembling...
Owning Toyotas, I wasn't sure about this Ford, but this one comes from the European Ford lineage. Decent acceleration and above average gas mileage, about 27-28 mpg combined driving. Interior is comfortable, but still too much plastic. The engine is a bit noisy compared to a Corolla, but I'm really surprised how reliable it has been after 30k miles. I'd wish all Ford products would be like this Focus.
Have a Focus S Sedan (auto, a/c) since early 2006. Car is lots of fun to drive due to great handling and responsive engine. Had it at the dealership once for squeaking noise (parking brake cables), which got fixed on warranty. Fuel economy is bad for a car this size (approx. 60% city/40% hwy in New England: get 19-20 mpg in winter, 22-24 mpg in summer). Car is starting to rust now (many small spots doors, door frames).
Steering and ride exceptional for a compact car. One of the most fun to drive cars in its class. Gas mileage about 33 mpg. Overall one of the best compacts available. Drive one and you will see what I mean.
Very fun to drive and priced right. Overall quality good for price paid. I got mine for $11999.00.
Just bought the Focus Saturday and am impressed with it. The pick up for a small four cylinder is decent. The feel of the car is solid, the ride a little like a buckboard, but all small cars are like that. The car responded great when merging on the highway. Was surprised at the quality feel and no noise, no rattling from an engine that I thought would be straining.
Gas mileage is good. The engine, I believe is Mazda's and is solid. The MP3 player let's you carry all the variety you would want.
The "European" antenna hits on the garage door, but doesn't break, it's bendable. They should have an antenna that doesn't get in the way. The radio has a feature that lowers the radio volume as you slow down. This can be turned off, but who would want it adjusted? The mute button useful.