Very reliable & very good on gas I always said I hated this car b/c I didn't like the look of the hatchback, but it never gave me any problems. I commuted to work 4hrs a day for over a year and never once had any issues. Was recently in a very bad car accident where I was hit at full highway speed by a Chevy Silverado (that's a big truck compared to my little hatchback), my car was totaled, but I lived. I would have to say they are built very well. As much as I hated the look of this car, I might have to buy another b/c I know they're safe.
I bought my 2001 focus off a small used dealer for a great price with 75000 miles on the car. I didn't know much about it when I purchased it, but once I saw it, I knew it was for me. I travel a lot for my job. I needed a dependable fuel efficient car. What I didn't know is that I found the most reliable car I've ever owned. I put 100000 miles on the car since then and only replaced the tires. The tires do wear faster then other vehicles but a small price to pay for no major repairs! I love my car.
Suprisingly safe, it made it threw a collision with a Nissan Altima and i suffered no damage. Wish I could say the same for the counter... All controls are self explanitory and easy to use.
Cup holders able to hold the big 32 ouncers on the passenger side! Thats it!
Since my wife and I have had this car, we've had several issues with it. Ford's build quality is poor. We've had issues with the air conditioner leaking, after its rained the back of the car has had large amounts of water in it, the ignition where you put the key in broke and had to be replaced, the plastic (let me reinforce plastic) thermostat housing unit was leaking coolant, also the hoses aren't sufficient enough to carry the coolant since they eventually balloon up, the car jerks when you back up, etc. The radio always shut off and you have to push in the radio/cd area to turn it back on. Other than maintenance issues, the car is pretty comfortable inside and is fun to drive.
Just sold my ZX3 after 7 years, 170,000 miles. Fun, fun car to ride; however, it has truly been unreliable pretty much from day one. Calipers, fuel pump, catalatyic converter, wheel bearings; $500 dollar repairs 5 months in a row; escape a few months and starts all over again; finally sold. When running (second to none) on fun factor but not without cost.
High commanding driving position (visibility); smooth 5-speed manual transmission, yes something reliable (the engine Z-tech) and great stereo system. Oh incredible handling too! Again fun car (just not reliable).
Ford improving the overall quality of motorcraft parts and doing something about reliability issues!