The ztec is a great little engine. my car has 162000 miles (260000km). originally paid 16280 ttl included. i've been through two sets of all weather tires and two sets of winter tires (pass driving is much easier with snow tires). I've replace the brakes twice, one set of struts, timing belt replaced (yes, it is a necessary maintenance item at about 100K. two sets of spark plugs, an EGR valve and an O2 sensor and tie rod ends thanks to the crappy seattle roads. Oil changes every 5000 miles and transmission oil changed every 30K miles. I just replace the batter for the second time in 15 years. It's been a super inexpensive car to own. and I rely on it for 350 mile trips on a regular basis.
If you find a well maintained 2000-2004 SW with a ztec engine, it should be a fine car to own and drive.
My focus has been going strong for 184k miles, which probably isn't the norm. It idles rough from an unbalanced engine. The power locks and a/c don't work. The headlights are easily scratched and get really dim. The hatch doesn't hold open in the cold. I've had to replace the ignition ($300) struts ($400) ball joints ($500) and vacuum hose ($80) in the 60k miles I have owned it.
I bought the car with 60,000 miles on it. I have got to admit now that I was down in the dumps when I bought that Ford nightmare. The next day as I was driving to work the Ford nightmare had a fuel pump problem, and then the timing belt literally exploded and then oil leak and then fuel leak and then the AC broke down and then the water pump broke down and then the back power windows broke down and the car stereo broke down -- I had to hit it hard with my fist for it to function several times and then the Ford nightmare is a noise box and then and then and then. How many times did I say "and then" - I have lost count. Mayday Mayday Mayday DO NOT EVER BUY a FORD EVER Please...
When looking for a small wagon I had certain criteria. I needed something that would fit my family of people and pets. The Focus is economical, stylish, and fun to drive. It truly is the vehicle for me and others who are looking for a small wagon...whose numbers are dwindling.
I really want to love this car. It has not left me stranded yet. But since I purchased it with 90K 2 years ago, I have put in nearly $4000 in repairs. None to my negligence. So buyer beware. The first year of the Focus is the most problematic. I will say that it has plenty of power and features for a small car. The wagon has tons of space as well.