2006 Ford Focus ZX3 SE 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I have only had the Focus for 1 month and 1000 miles, so my experience is still limited. I can't speak to its long term durability. However, I can say that the car drives and handles very securely. The 2.0 engine and 5 speed transmission make for relatively fun driving. Acceleration is more than adequate, braking is excellent with good feel, and it is quiet for this class. I bought the car because of the low price and hatchback. It replaced a Honda coupe that was not nearly as practical. Overall, I am more and more pleased with the car as time passes. It seems Ford made some decent upgrades for the 2005-plus models. This car has been around so long it seems to rely on low price to sell.
Good base MP3 CD stereo, high driving position, practical hatchback, ABS/side air bags/alloy wheels/tilt/cruise/fog lights were very inexpensive options compared to the competition's prices. The (new to the Focus) Mazda designed engine is quick, revs easy, and sounds decent.
I think the quality of the interior plastics could be much better. I would like a "dead pedal" to rest my left foot on. Rear head restraints, satellite radio option, and cabin filtration are absent also.