Ford Focus (2008 - 2011)
Last updated 2 February 2014
Powershift transmission failure on 2009/59 Volvo V50 2.0D at 54,500 miles. (Same drivetrain as Focus Powershift.) Last serviced by independent at 49k miles. Transmission fluid and microfilter had not...
The 2008 facelift Ford Focus may be a common sight on our roads and was the default choice for many company car drivers, but there's a very good reason for it. It's a genuinely great hatchback that excels in nearly every area. And that's no mean feat when the competition includes the the Volkswagen Golf and Honda Civic.
Technically the 2008 Ford Focus isn't really new, it's a revised version of the second generation Focus, introduced in 2004 with most of the faults of that model corrected. The basic structure has been left along, so it retains the superb handling and comfort of before, along with the five-star Euro NCAP crash safety rating.
But the outside was sharpened up while the interior got a major revamp with improved quality, better soundproofing and a neater design. As before, there's plenty of room for four adults while the layout of the buttons and controls is very user-friendly. Usefully, ESP stability control was also made standard on every 2008 Focus and there were more variations than ever.
Aside from the high performance Focus RS and Focus ST models, it's the super efficient Focus ECOnetic 90 with Start-Stop that grabbed the headlines thanks to economy of 74.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 99g/km that means it still qualifies for free annual VED.
There's no doubt that the 2008-2011 Focus was better than ever before, with a high quality feel, great handling, a comfortable ride and a wide range of engines. But there was one big drawback - the list price. High list prices made the Ford Focus a relatively expensive car and the entry-level models cost more than the cheapest Audi A3 and BMW 1 Series (not that quality was any lower than the Audi or the BMW). Unfortunately, because of the Ford badge, the 2008-2011 Focus was only ever a senible buy for private motorists if it could be obtained at discounts approaching those achieved by fleet buyers.