Hi there. Looking for a little advice. My wife and I are in the
market for a used vehicle, and one we've come across that we
particularly like is a 2000 Focus SE wagon. It's got about 48k miles
on it, and is nearly spotless inside and out. It's had 2 previous
owners; the last one was an older fellow who had it from 9k miles
onward. He took it in for all the recalls and performed the regular
maintenance like clockwork (oil change every 2500 miles, etc.). He
reportedly never had any problems with the car. I took it out for a
test drive and found nothing wrong; I thought it handled nicely. The
dealer is asking about US$6700 for it. Overall it seems like a pretty
darn good deal. It's even nice to look at.
However... we checked out the Consumer Reports guides and some other
online references, and it seems that the Focus in general, and the
2000 models in particular, lacks reliability. The brakes and some of
the interior hardware (seat mechanisms, seatbelts, etc.) are
reportedly the biggest trouble areas, followed by the electronics and
body integrity (seals, weatherstripping, squeaks, rattles, and so on).
Other cars we've been looking at are a 2002 Mercury Sable with 55k
miles (offering price also around US$6700) and a 1996 Subaru Outback
with 93k miles (~$6300). Haven't gotten to take either of this for a
spin yet, nor do I know much of anything about their histories.
So what do you folks think? Have those of you who own Focuses (esp.
2000 models) found them to be more or less unreliable than other cars?
Does the fact that this particular car has been so well-maintanted
and apparently trouble-free counterbalance the Focus' poor reputation
I'd be grateful for any advice or information.