Have had car since new, few problems. Nice roads manners and driveability for compact car. Would not have a problem buying another. Needs a little more horse power, 50 more would be good. :) I thought the ZX3 design was cutting edge in 2001, now all manufacturers have one that looks like the ZX3. Average 21-22 mpg city, 28-29 highway.
If I were out for a new car, I would buy it again. Very good car in any sense. Had just a few glitches in these five years. The original Goodyear Eagle RS tires provided a smooth ride but started to slid and hydroplane too soon. The new TOYO tires make the Focus a beast with gentle heart.
Great car, but watch out for the brakes especially the front brake pads that go quickly. Also the radio tend to be cheap. My wife and I both own 2001 Focus cars and have found that they both experience the same troubles at almost the same exact time. I have enjoyed this car, but hate the dealership and the service they provide.
I bought a 2001 Ford Focus in 2003 after hitting 185k on my Escort. I thought it was a cute car with great gas mileage (which was important because I commuted 1 1/2 hrs to graduate school everyday). The brake pads and rotors had to be replaced 3 times (I'm not a fast driver, I've only replaced the brakes once in my '99 Subaru). A spring in the front rusted out and for some reason wasn't included in the recall. The trunk latch was recalled, but no Ford dealer has the part. To make matters worse, the car all of a sudden started stalling and slipping gears. Now it wont go up hills (great to have in New England!) or accelerate. The car is useless for city driving. This car is a LEMON!
Sleek design, visually appealing.
Transmission / brakes are in need of serious overhauling. Ford needs to recall this car completely and reimburse consumers. Don't waste your money!