I loved this car for the first couple years. Fun to drive, zippy, good handling, looks good, has great features (even if a bit wonky sometimes), very practical for gas mileage and storage. I have the manual 5 speed, no problems there. BUT - just after the warranty expired I've had problem after problem with the steering and suspension. I've taken it in something like 6 or 7 times in the past 2 years, spent maybe $6000 on non-maintenance related fixes. Tie-rod replacement - both sides busted and repaired separately. Bushings in the suspension replaced. Electronic power steering crapped out and had to replace the whole steering column. Alignment issues leading to tire issues, brakes wear quickly. It's become a money pit even after paying it off. Wish I could recommend it, but it's simply NOT RELIABLE. It's an economy car that is frustratingly expensive to upkeep.
I made the mistake of not reading any reviews before buying this car and let me tell you it has been hell. I bought my 2013 Ford Focus SE pre-owned from the dealership and within the first year of owning it I brought it back about 4 time because of TRANSMISSION PROBLEMS. They have recalls on this vehicles transmission and NONE of them fix the problem. Every time you accelerate from a stop the entire car stutters/jumps/throws you forward. It never gets better, only gets worse. Last time I brought the car in, the dealership told me there is nothing more they can do that’s “just how the car shifts gears.” It is a very annoying problem, and it is VERY NOTICABLE. Save yourself the trouble with this car.
Fun to drive! The manual transmission has been smooth. Have heard horror stories about the automatic from other owners. Sync voice system sometimes requires repeating commands. Gas mileage is very good (33mpg combined), considering that I'm not a mellow driver. If I babied it, could easily get near 40mpg. Body, interior and leather look like new after 60k miles. I have had NO unexpected repairs at all, just the normal tire and oil changes. Would easily buy again.
2013 Ford Focus Titanium 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6AM)
Leave it to Ford to get almost everything right about an affordable hatchback and then blow it with this god-awful transmission. The car handles like a dream, outstanding fuel economy (sometimes over 40mpg on the highway), room for days with the hatch and was pretty top-of-the-line tech when I bought it back in '13. Downsides are the car is slow off the line (but has a little go after 3500 rpm), transmission needs a new clutch every 10-15K and the leg room could be better. If you hunt around in the aftermarket, find a cheap 2012-13 because Ford extended the transmission warranty out to 100K on those (but not the 2014 and after).