Thoughtful and large interior, smooth ride, sharp steering, good selection of body configurations and features.
Lots of suspension movement, not enough low-end grunt, polarizing styling.
The 2001 Ford Focus is one of the best small cars your money can buy, if the styling and the seat comfort suits you.
"Smart design and spirited driving" were the guiding forces behind the development of the Focus. Targeted to be the new volume leader in Ford sales worldwide, the Focus is a highly evolved compact car with "New Edge" styling, a roomy interior, and excellent road manners.
Ford offers the Focus in three body styles: a three-door hatchback, a sedan and a wagon. The sedan can be ordered in one of three trim levels, starting with the base LX model and going up to the mid-level SE and highline ZTS trim. Wagons are available in SE trim only.
One of the key design elements for the Focus is its intelligent use of space. Ford boasts that the car's overall design started on the inside to provide additional cabin space and comfort. The goal was to have the Focus comfortably accommodate humans ranging from a 4-foot-10-inch female weighing 95 pounds to a 6-foot-4-inch male weighing 240 pounds.
Besides providing more space and comfort for passengers, the interior also features thoughtful ergonomics. Controls are large and easy to find. Since most people adjust the radio more than the climate system, the radio head unit is placed above the climate controls.
The interior itself is attractive, and contains styling elements from both the Escort ZX2 and Mercury Cougar. All Focus seats can be adjusted in height, though some of our editors dislike the seating position, saying it is too "chairlike." A tilt/telescopic steering wheel is optional.
For safety, the Focus utilizes an optimized body structure, standard driver and passenger airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiting retractors, and optional side airbags. A three-point safety belt for the center rear seat is standard, as are child-safety-seat anchor points. NHTSA crash test scores are very good for this segment.
The base drivetrain for LX models is a 2.0-liter, 110-horsepower engine and five-speed manual transmission. This same drivetrain is standard in SE sedans, but ZTS sedans, along with SE wagons and the ZX3 coupe, get a more powerful 130-horsepower, 2.0-liter Zetec engine as standard equipment. The Zetec makes 130 pound-feet of torque at an easily accessible 4,250 rpm. Both engines provide adequate power, though the Zetec engine is the clear choice for enthusiasts.
Enthusiasts should also enjoy Focus' ride quality and handling ability. A fully independent multilink suspension has been adopted for the rear. Body roll is noticeable while cornering, but the Focus stays planted and inspires confidence. The steering system is surprisingly quick, fluid and responsive.
Ford is serious about retaining its share of the worldwide subcompact market. The Focus reflects not only the company's dedication to this goal, but also its ability to make solid, practical transportation for the 21st century.
Raising the bar for compact vehicles, Ford is offering its stability system -- called AdvanceTrac -- on ZTS Sedans and ZX3 Hatchbacks. Ford has also made previously optional features standard equipment. Highlights include a driver armrest on every model except LX and power windows on SE Sedans and Wagons. SE Wagons also get the Zetec engine as standard and can be ordered with a manual transmission. A new manual moonroof is offered on the ZX3 and new 16-inch wheels are standard on ZTS Sedans and optional on ZX3 Coupes.
Read what other owners think about the Used 2001 Ford Focus.
Yes I have 242,000 miles on my '01 Wagon. I have had to replace my share of tires and brakes due to the 600+ miles I drive a week.
In the 5 years I have owned the car, which I purchased used with 66,000 miles it, I haven't had a repair bill over $360. And that was for the water pump and the timing belt at 215,000 miles.
My sercet, is to change the oil every 3,000 miles. Do not wait the 3 months if you are driving like I do.
4.5 out of 5 stars
SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)
I purchased my '01 Focus Wagon SE from a dealership in 2011 with ~190,000 mi on it for $2850. It has been almost 2 years now and this car has given me almost no grief.
The A/C went out once (A/C is a luxury anyways, who cares?), front coil springs had to be replaced, and the muffler hit the ground once while going over a speed bump (temporarily fixed it with shoelaces, haha)
All in all, great performance; great value!
1.88 out of 5 stars
Bad and Worse
SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
Basically purchased it used for $3200, 20k miles later, after regular oil changes and sensible driving habits. It dropped the #4 valve seat effectively destroying the head and piston below the valve. This was the 2.0 SPI a.k.a split port engine.
Do not buy a 01 Focus if the 8th VIN digit is a letter P without signed documented proof from the dealer that the valve seats have been replaced with the improved design period!!
Ford should have seriously recalled this vehicle from the start. The only good thing that came out of this is, that I purchased a Toyota Yaris after this heap blew up.
If Ford gave me a shiny new Focus, Id sell it and get another Toyota right there on the lot.
5 out of 5 stars
My ZX3 is a great vehicle
ZX3 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this vehicle new in 2001 (Focus ZX3 hatchback; 5-speed manual with no air conditioning or electric windows).
This is the best car I've ever owned.
We now have over 225,000 miles on the car with little maintenance.
By keeping up on the oil changes/tune-up's, we've had no major issues other than changing out the ignition once while it was still under warranty.
Great mpg (30-40 avg overall); I mostly drive freeway.
We're considering buying a 2013 as a replacement vehicle for our 2000 Focus SE sedan (bought it used; automatic w/electric everything; it has too many issues now at 180,000 mi).
The ZX3 is a wonderful car.
I would recommend the version I purchased.
It's a keeper!
The Used 2001 Ford Focus is offered in the following submodels: Focus Hatchback, Focus Sedan, Focus Wagon. Available styles include SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), ZX3 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M), LX 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), ZTS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), Street 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M), SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A), and Street 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A).
Pre-owned Ford Focus models are available with a 2.0 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 130 hp, depending on engine type.
The Used 2001 Ford Focus comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
The Used 2001 Ford Focus comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a Used 2001 Ford Focus?
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Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you
that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make
higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand,
can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a
new car every three years or so.