I bought this car with 12,000 miles on it in 2006. I now have 205,000 miles and have had no major mechanical issues! I did re do shocks and struts a couple times and I did replace the tie rod ends and axle shafts. (Michigan winters are hard on any car). Other than that the trans and engine are solid. Shifts great, no leaks, drives very well. My only complaint is the road noise and interior started vibrating at around 150000 miles. But it is an inexpensive car and I plan on driving for 3 more years. You can't go wrong with a focus for the money.
Base model crank windows no power locks car was bought new with 20 miles on it and has been driven on an hour and a half commute to work each way for the past 12 years. Car has 271k original clutch, starter, water pump, alternator, motor has never been opened for repairs. Royal purple oil its whole life and it still doesnt burn any. Has gotten brakes, struts, and an axle seal. Great car interior is junk but it was 12k new so of course it is
I bought this car in 2007 with 30k miles, and had to replace transmission before it hit 70k; set me back about $1200. Previous reviews about the interior being especially noisy are accurate. Gas mileage is lower than what I expected. A lot of minor things go wrong with this car. The vent selector switch broke, so it is stuck on blowing air on my feet. I have yet to get this fixed, so I am uncertain what it will cost. Armrest was also flimsy and broke within 6 months. It also takes a very long time to warm up during the winter, and will sometimes have issues starting cold. It will always eventually start, but not without some hassle. Not terrible, but buy something better if you have the $$.
I bought the car used. The battery light came on intermittently. The dome lights and signals would go on for no reason in the middle of the night. I went through 3 batteries in less than 5 years. The electrical issues became worse as time progressed. It was determined that the "cluster" was bad. There was an unidentifiable drain on the battery that got to the point that a brand new battery was burnt out in a matter of months. When a new battery was installed, the car was dead the next morning. Getting rid of the ghost in the electrical system would be a costly repair -- more than the car is worth. My mechanic found that these cars are notorious for electrical/cluster problems.
Bought this car because my family has always bought Fords, and I have been impressed with it 4 years later. It's a dream for maintenance. I've NEVER had to had anything major done to it, just the oil and filters changed. I rallied the crap out of it too and nothing has happened. I hadn't gotten a wheel alignment since I bought the thing and just recently got one (yeah, been kinda broke lol) and it was BARELY out of alignment. Doing home maintenance on it is so easy a caveman can do it. The Hatchback gives plenty of room. All in all a very sporty car. HIGHLY recommend.