I bought this Focus because it was affordable and was known for being reliable. So far my experience with the car has been good. I've owned it for about a year and a half and so far have changed the notoriously bad motor mounts and sway bar links. Other repairs that will be needed in the future are the control arms due to the bushings going bad. Car only has 65,000 miles on it and basic parts are starting to wear. Otherwise, it has been fairly cheap to maintain and reliable.
Purchased my 2008 focus SE last summer. It has been so great! 40 miles to the gallon is a plus. It is actually my 2nd focus my first being a 2000. I put 200k on my 2000 and so far 20k on my 2008. Defiantly a HUGE step up. Way better horse power and very peppy style. I would not be afraid to drive either of them across the country tomorrow. Best compact car on the market. Never had a problem with any of my focus's. In a few more years I will be looking forward to buying a next generation focus
These model Focus tend to have some vibrations you can feel at stops but it's a cheap commuter so you can't be too picky. I've had mine for just over a year (bought used in 2015 21500 miles) and it's been perfect for going back and forth to work in but big enough to move people if need be. I read a two star review saying a new front hub/bearing is only sold with the axle for $800 or something like that, complete [non-permissible content removed] that is, New hub/bearing is $50 off rockauto.
I had a 2008, and 2010 and a 2012 Focus thus far (as of this writing), and I think the 2008 and 2010 are the best of them all.
It's not the sportiest car out there, and the dash in the 2008-2011 models looks a little dated) but they are reliable, get good gas mileage, and are safe cars (found out in my 2010 unfortunately).
Sync is easier to use in this area (2008-11) than in newer version of the Focus.
The 2008-2011 is a good move in the right direction for Ford, especially with the previous generations (2000-04 especially) having issues.
I had no problems with either the 2008 or 2010, and I put about 40k on both.