Is the Ford Focus 1.6 TDCI diesel a reliable, trouble-free car?

I am considering buying a nearly new Ford Focus 1.6 TDCI. From all reports this would appear to be a very good car, but I am 70 years old and would prefer trouble-free motoring, and I am concerned about comments in your column about diesel engines. I do about 15,000 miles a year; a mixture of some short journeys with longer motorway trips to Cornwall. Do you think I would be better to buy a petrol-engine model?

Asked on 28 April 2012 by GB, Ross on Wye

Answered by Honest John
There have been a lot of problems with 2004-2008 Focus 1.6 TDCIs: DPFs, DMFs and turbos, all adding up to far more pain than the fuel economy gain. I'd look at an economical and practical petrol car such as a Honda Jazz 1.4 manual. Unlike the Focus, it's also built in Britain.
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