Requiring a ford Focus... - frazerjp
Hi all,
For future requirments im now looking for a Ford Focus as friends & relatives as well as HJ himself recommends.
Im looking at the Mk1 version my budget is between £4-5k, preferably a 3-door hatchback.
The thing that bugs me which engine size to have, im edging for the 1.6 zetec engine as for economy & lower tax. Can anyone tell me of their experiences with Focus' & their engines, which is the best one to go for?
Its not what you drive, its how you drive it! :-)
Requiring a ford Focus... - AlastairW
Depends what sort of driving you do Frazer. I went for the 1.8 because I like a car to accelerate rather than 'gather pace'. The economy aint great (see threads passim), but I don't do many miles so that isnt a problem to me. Similarly the extra cost of insurance wasn't noticeable due to my age.
That said, colleagues that have the 1.6 really like it.
Requiring a ford Focus... - Blue {P}
My gran has a 1.6 Focus and it's fine, nice and quick and fairly economical (32mpg when I thrashed it for a fortnight to try and makeup for it's usual diet of short trips)

I've had a 1.8 Focus once as a demo for over a week, IMO it was barely faster than the 1.6 around the doors, yet it returned MUCH worse mpg, somewhere around 26mpg seems accurate, most 1.6 models get about 25mpg with mixed driving. I should also point out that I wasn't thrashing the 1.8 as I wasn't trying to give it an Italian Tune ;-)

Go for the 1.6 mate IMO.

Requiring a ford Focus... - Blue {P}
Oops, that should read most 1.6 models get around ***35mpg***, not 25mpg!
Requiring a ford Focus... - DP
Haven't driven the 1.8 although many of the magazines seem to recommend it as the one to go for. Have had a 1.6 in Zetec trim on a short term rental (while waiting for my LX TDDi company car to turn up) and I liked it a lot. Refined, reasonably peppy and did mid 30's mpg despite being driven pretty hard. The TDDi's are quite cheap on the used market (everyone wants the TDCi or a Golf diesel), and in fairness they are a bit gruff sounding, but go perfectly well enough for day to day use and return high 40's mpg.

Having had the LX and the Zetec, I would always pick the latter if possible. The "sports suspension" gives sharper handling, but still a decent ride, and the seats are much more supportive. The seats in the LX are dreadful in my opinion and were my main criticism of the one I had.

I put 98,000 miles on my 02 plate TDDI LX in three years. It had 9 services and only one unscheduled replacement part - a new auxiliary belt tensioner to cure an irritating squeak. Other than (and bulbs and tyres) it just ran like clockwork between services, and at the end it still drove like pretty much new with no play in the steering or gear linkage. Best bit was it probably went through auction for about £4k and would have made someone a brilliant car.

Unless you really don't want a diesel, check out the TDDI for sheer value. Otherwise, the 1.6 is a good choice.

Requiring a ford Focus... - Waino
SWMBO's 52 reg Focus Chic 1.6 (slightly tarted-up Zetec) has averaged 37mph over 2 years of mixed short/long journeys. It's a pleasure to drive - only 'complaint' is that it's a bit noisy - I think road/tyre noise. The engine is very quiet.
Requiring a ford Focus... - cheddar
I have driven many Foci, the 1.4 and 1.6 are very sweet and free reving though need to be reved to get going where as the 1.8 and 2.0 a gruffer though more gutsy, I would go for a 2.0, in day to day driving it's economy would be compare well with a 1.6 because it has to work harder, also they 2.0s are better equipped in other areas, rear discs, traction control etc.

Unless of course you want a diesel where the TDCi 115 is the one to go for, this engine has been reintroduced in the new Focus and although it is a relatively elderly mechanical design it has state-of-the-art CR injection and electronic control and is sweet, punchy and free revving and compares well with any newer diesel engine.
Requiring a ford Focus... - bathtub tom
I had a TDDI Cl. Economy up to 60 MPG (40 around town). Fantastic 'grunt' from the torque, very useful for overtaking. It had to go because I couldn't get a rellie's wheelchair in the back without damaging the heating elements on the rear window (the rear seat squab wasn't split, and the drivers seat had to be moved forward with it lifted. So two occupants, with short driver with seat folded, or tow wheelchair behind).
Then the injection pump went at 40K (£1300)!
Requiring a ford Focus... - y2k+4
I own the 1.6. The 1.4 is simply too underpowered in the Focus (quite how Ford justify fitting essentially the same engine in the new, heavier Focus, I'll never know). I tried a 1.8, and whilst it is faster, I don't really think it's more fun. It feels slightly heavier in the nose in corners (barely, could've been the car, but both were LX's) and it doesn't rev so quickly - which for me detracts from the fun, though it is noticeably torquier - but then I like changing gear. The wonderful gearchange in both is absent from the 2.0 which is a Mondeo-sourced one, not as sweet from what I found, bit notchy.

The diesel TDCi is amazing, when you consider the economy you can easily forgive it the again, slight heaviness to the nose, and the diesel-noise (which is surprisingly well insulated). The TDdi is much, much less fun to drive, though I do believe it is more economical, and has less to go wrong.

I personally, made my decision, and insurance and economy came into play, though it should be noted VW and Vauxhall models (1.6's anyway, friends) are definately more economical in the fuel department, much closer to their 'official' figure - as said above I think by Blue, don't expect anything near to those figures from a Focus.

If you go for a Zetec, I would ensure you get one with the climate pack - the a/c of my LX broke down and I really, really, missed it - the Focus is a bit of a greenhouse. The seats in the Zetec were far too hard for me - numb bum syndrome set in during my driving lessons, so I would personally go for an LX or a Ghia. I think 03 models had ABS fitted as standard, so it's worth looking out for. Mileage's arent' really a problem.
Requiring a ford Focus... - DP
Unless of course you want a diesel where the TDCi 115
is the one to go for, this engine has been reintroduced
in the new Focus and although it is a relatively elderly
mechanical design it has state-of-the-art CR injection and electronic control and
is sweet, punchy and free revving and compares well with any
newer diesel engine.

I agree, but I would have thought a TDCi would be beyond the 4-5k budget.

Requiring a ford Focus... - Snakey
I ran a 1999 1.8 Focus for a few years and was generally pleased with it. Good all rounder for everyday commute and motorway miles. Averaged around 33mpg with normal driving.

Few niggles were squeaky back brakes,leak through pollen filter and occasional bizarre behaviour from the dashboard instruments on startup. Only replaced the battery and gearbox speed sensor in three years apart from normal service items.

Ironically, I now have a 2002 model and I think the pre-2002 models were a lot better built!
Requiring a ford Focus... - Pugugly {P}
Car Magazine has a feature in second hand Focuii this month. Once you've waded through a gaggle of Supercars they celebrate this month. This rather useful article recommends a MK1 113bhp 1.8 Zetec engined on a 51 plate for 3.7k - Peky, frugal and as nippy as a hot hatch at half the running costs.
Requiring a ford Focus... - frazerjp
To update my preferences: i'll be doing about 7-8k miles a year which is i didn't mention diesel, but i will be doing the occasional long trip up & down the country, so a 1.4 was out of mind as i didn't think it'll be up to the motorway when needed, as i've read the 1.6 sounds good enough to me! ;-)
Its not what you drive, its how you drive it! :-)

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