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Focus known for fun-to-drive dynamics

Available from 2008 to 2011, the last-generation Ford Focus was available exclusively in coupe and sedan body styles.

Available from 2008 to 2011, the last-generation Ford Focus was available exclusively in coupe and sedan body styles.

All models got a two-litre, 140-horsepower four-cylinder engine with a five-speed stick as standard, and a four-speed automatic as an option.

Trim levels included S, SE, SEL and SES from econo-box to loaded, and feature content included heated seating, Ford Sync, alloy wheels, mood lighting, cruise control, Bluetooth, power accessories, remote access and a self-dimming rearview mirror.

What Owners Like

It seems Ford nailed this generation of Focus where interior dimensions, overall size, value for the money and exterior styling were concerned.

Generous headroom, the Sync connectivity system, a fun-to-drive character and generous trunk space were often praised by owners.

What they dislike

Many owners wish for more pizzazz in the Focus’s rear styling, as well as some extra power for passing and merging.

Other Focus drivers wish for a higher-quality interior feel, and complain of an abundance of ‘filler’ buttons that take the place of un-fitted options.

A few reports of rougher-than-expected ride quality round out the list of owner-stated complaints.

Common issues

Be sure to have any used Focus you’re considering checked over for abnormal suspension and tire wear, noting that rattling, popping or clunking sounds from the front end could indicate a problem.

Ensure the doors seal tightly and aren’t in need of adjustment, and be sure the vehicle’s wheel alignment is within spec, too. Unevenly-worn tires can be a warning sign of an alignment problem.

On SYNC-equipped models, shoppers are advised to confirm functionality with their wireless device, as well as proper operation from the steering-wheel mounted SYNC controls.

Some owners have reported problems with the automatic transmission, ranging from fluid leaks to hard shifting to in-warranty transmission replacement. This doesn’t seem to be a widespread problem, but shift quality should be noted, and the unit should be checked by a Ford mechanic. Stick with the five-speed manual transmission where possible.

Verdict

A used Focus looks like a fairly reliable used-car buy, especially with the five-speed manual.

Shoppers after a good overall deal on a machine that’s enjoyed for fun-to-drive dynamics and generous interior space should include it on their list of prospective test-drives.

Check out Justin’s video car reviews online at youtube.com/mr2pritch.

 
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