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Ford Focus

(1998 - 2004)  Rating

Ford Focus

The Ford Focus set the standard for ride and handling when launched

Engine Engine power Fuel consumption Fuel type 0-100 (0-60) Top speed
1.8 DI 75 hp 5.1 l/100km Diesel 14.7 s 168 km/h
1.4 i 16V 75 hp 6.7 l/100km Petrol 14.1 s 171 km/h
1.8 Turbo DI 90 hp 5.1 l/100km Diesel 12.4 s 184 km/h
1.6 i Duratec 8V 98 hp 7 l/100km Petrol 12.8 s 180 km/h
1.6 i 16V 100 hp 7 l/100km Petrol 11.2 s 185 km/h
1.8 TDCi 115 hp 5.4 l/100km Diesel 10.8 s 196 km/h
1.8 16V 115 hp 7.6 l/100km Petrol 10.2 s 198 km/h
2.0 i 16V 131 hp 8.7 l/100km Petrol 9.2 s 201 km/h
2.0 i 16V ST170 172 hp 8.7 l/100km Petrol 7.5 s 220 km/h
2.0 i 16V RS 215 hp 10.1 l/100km Petrol 6.7 s 232 km/h

Body type Hatchback
Number of doors 3/5
Number of seats 5
Engine position Front
Driven wheels Front
Length 4 152 mm
Width 1 698 mm
Height 1 430 mm
Wheelbase 2 615 mm
Ground clearance 170 mm
Weight (normal) 1 068 kg
Weight (max) 1 570 kg
Boot space (min) 350 l
Boot space (max) 1 210 l
Fuel capacity 55 l


   The Ford Focus was in production since 1998. It is available as a hatchback, sedan or station wagon.

   There is a wide choice of engines for this car, ranging from underpowered 1.4-liter petrol, to the hottest 2.0-liter RS performance model. The 1.6-liter unit delivers enough power to keep up with the traffic, but the star buy is the 1.8-liter turbodiesel, which has the best blend of acceleration, refinement and economy.

   The Ford Focus has a comfortable ride and a tuned chassis for better body control. It is hugely enjoyable car to drive especially at the motorway pace. For a couple of years it was the best-driving small hatch, but was surpassed by newer rivals.

   Most of the engines, including the diesels are smooth and inaudible, while wind and road noises are far lower than average.

   The Ford Focus is competitively priced, although the diesel models are pricey. It's maintenance is cheap, while running costs are not higher than average. Mechanical components are reliable. It's residual values are also respectable.

   The Focus is a well-built car, but trim and assembly standards are only average and can't match it's German rivals. Trim materials also lack quality. However all switches and buttons are logically positioned. There is also plenty of storage space around the driver.

   Driver's seat and the steering wheel have both way adjustments. Rear visibility is slightly limited by a thick rear pillars though.

   The Ford Focus is not the most spacious car in it's class, but it suits most of the needs well. It can take five adults with ease, but for longer trips better use it as a four-seater. The boot is average, but well shaped.

   On the standard safety list there are twin front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes. Traction control is standard on the higher-spec models, although full anti-skid system comes at a price. Security equipment is good, except the entry-level models, that had no deadlocks at all.

   All models are fitted with front electric windows as standard. Upgrading to Zetec will add alloy wheels while LX (except the 1.4-liter model) and Ghia versions come with air-conditioning.

   Production of the Ford Focus ended in 2004, as it was replaced by the Ford Focus II.


   Advantages: Set the standard for ride and handling when launched and it's still hugely impressive today.

   Disadvantages: Some will find ride a little jiggly around town. Many rivals have more safety gear.

   Verdict: Plenty of space, well build and great to drive. 

   Also consider: Toyota Corolla, VW Golf.


Video of the Ford Focus
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Ford Focus

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

Ford Focus

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