We have owned this car for 2 years we paid $800 for it and re-built this one a little at a time. Runs great after only an investment of about $2400. Including new clutch, timing belt, tensioner and belt, new cooling system, new tires, valve cover seals, fog lamps, antenna, rear brakes, coil, plugs and wires. This car has been patient and bulletproof as we pieced the money and parts together since we are on a fixed income. I have owned many cars and this is one of the best for an inexpensive reliable vehicle.
The LX package is very basic.. manual windows, locks, mirrors. The interior is pretty good quality other than the layout of the cup holders and location. The SOHC is the most gutless engine but is reasonably reliable so far. Cheap repair costs/parts. 66,000 miles.
I've spent minimum of $1200 per year in repairs. Over 9 years. Stuck with the car because I figured repairs are cheaper than car payments. But I've finally had it. I've replaced the stupid motor mounts three times and all three need to be replaced again. Once a pin fell out of the inside of the steering wheel and it was a $500 fix not including being towed since it was undrivable. Currently none of the lights in the dash work anymore. I've had every knob and switch inside replaced. Trunk button hasn't worked in 8 years and I was told it was electrical and would be a pricey fix. The only good thing about my car (manual transmission) is that it gets good gas mileage. Speaking of the transmission, that had to be replaced last year as well. Why didn't I buy a new car?
Early Ford Focus wagons (2002-2004) are hidden gems. There are well-made, fun to drive, get good gas mileage, and have a huge caring capacity, especially when the backseats are folded down. I've owned mine for seven years and over 100,000 miles. I record every fill up and over that time I've averaged 27 miles per gallon. That includes mostly city driving and also Illinois winter conditions. On road trips I've gotten 30 MPG. I've had almost 20 cars and the Focus wagon, all things considered, has been the best.