When I was 16 my parents gave me a 2002 Focus Wagon SE they had since brand new at 154k miles. Me being dumb at the time and still in Highschool, I beat the living hell out of it on the back roads like nobody would believe and it just kept going and going. Timing belt finally went and then the motor was toast. That's the only major problem with these cars if you have the 2.0 DOHC engine, you HAVE to replace the timing belt every 70k miles. 4 1/2 years later I'm a mechanic and happend to come across another 02 Focus again for a price I couldn't pass up. With 192k miles this car runs / drives so smooth and quiet I couldn't believe it. Just replaced the timing belt today for peace of mind.
Bought it several years ago with about 100K on it. Now pushing 200K. It did break a timing belt which cost me some but that was because the previous owner never had it replaced which I didn't know. Doesn't hold freon but neither does my wife's 5 year old Sienna so that is about 50 bucks a year to recharge. It is a very serviceable car that gets me places and is OK to drive. Looking into buying a newer model.
I bought my wagon 5-speed with 120K miles on it and it did not have much care before I owned. I drive about 25K a year. I had to put some decent money in it but I bought if far below bluebook. With all that said- I love this car. It is GREAT mileage. I get 29.5 in town and 34-36 on the hyway. I keep it in tiptop shape- but it is fun to drive, rides very well, and can carry about anything. The only thing I don't like is the seats are not as comfortable as I would like. I would buy this car again and I am considering buying a 2nd for a spare. I put alot of miles on a car and I have been very happy with my wagon. It looks good- however, I have jacked it out a bit.
2002, only 56,000 miles, very well maintained & garaged. I drove 150 freeway miles, filled the tank, and while crossing an intersection toward the freeway on ramp, the tank fell down and one side was dragging on the ground. Could have been fatal; pretty scary. Luckily some angel mechanics spent 2 hours, jacked up the tank and re-secured it. The front bolt came out, and they said it appeared it was bolted into the wrong hole to begin with; one with no threads! And Consumer Reports rates this car - year and model as one of the most unreliable of all.
Ok. When we bought the focus it was the bomb. Beautiful leather seats. Great technology and cargo space and quality. Mines a automatic it never got 30 miles to gallon more like 27 highway. Also luved the beautiful french blue metallic color. As someone else said it is like a mini-minvan. I think the tires do wear out fast. I had numerous problems with the alternator. Mainly because people were putting in the wrong alternator I think for SE version not the ZTW version. Only get your alternator done at FORD never go to firestone for anything! I have 134k on it and lots of things are starting to brake. And I can't find genuine replacement parts thru ford for quite a few things.