Ford Focus (2008 – 2011) Review

Ford Focus (2008 – 2011) At A Glance


+Much improved 2004 Focus. Great to drive. Comfortable and well laid-out interior. Wide range of engines. Low emission ECOnetic versions offer 55mpg +.

-Other hatchbacks offer more bootspace and rear passenger room.

Insurance Groups are between 10–19
On average it achieves 84% of the official MPG figure

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.

Ford Focus 2008 facelift Range Road Test

2008 Ford Focus Econetic 3,000 mile Test

2008 Ford Focus Econetic 6,000 mile Test

Real MPG average for a Ford Focus (2008 – 2011)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

23–68 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

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Ask Honest John

Should I replace the cambelt on a low mileage Ford Focus or sell it?

"My wife's late 2008 Ford Focus 1.6 Titanium has just 31k on the clock. It has a full service history but has not had the cambelt (and the associated pumps etc) replaced. It's a hi-spec model with satnav and other extras but is the CVT model and attracts the higher road tax. I've been quoted around £700 to change the cam belt and make other mechanical repairs. Is it worth making these repairs considering the age of the car and its unattractive road tax? "
There are two factors to consider in this situation. On the one hand, you have a car with exceptionally low mileage, high specification and a full service history, which as an ownership prospect is ideal as it has the potential to last for many more years. However, you also mention that its age and road tax are downsides. If the cost of VED is the most important factor then we would suggest changing the car for something else, but finding a car with a similar mileage and condition will likely cost several thousand pounds more than the selling price of the Focus. Alternatively you can pay the cost of repairs to keep a car you know well on the road.
Answered by David Ross

How much will it cost to replace my Ford Focus' heater matrix?

"How much would it cost to replace a heater matrix for a Ford Focus 2011 model? "
This is a difficult job. The replacement heater matrix will cost around £200. But the labour will be lengthy (as it's a tricky task) which means you'll be looking at £600+.
Answered by Dan Powell

How do I reject an unsafe car?

"My son wishes to claim a full refund on his second-hand 2010 Ford Focus. The car cuts out and is unsafe to drive the 35 miles back to the dealer. How should he proceed? "
The answer to this question will depend on how long your son has owned the car. If he's had it less than 30 days then he is entitled to return it for a full refund. However, if he's had it for longer than 30 days then the dealer is entitled to be given the opportunity to puts these problems right. If they are unable to repair the car then your son will then be entitled to reject the vehicle. For your son's consumer rights, see: Regards, Dan
Answered by Dan Powell

Where can I get a radio code for my Ford Focus?

"Can you tell me where I can get the radio code for my 2010 model Ford Focus?"
Yes, you can get Ford radio codes here:
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

What does a Ford Focus (2008 – 2011) cost?