My wife and I have a 2001 SE Wagon with the 2.0 Zetec engine. In the two
years we have owned it, the Focus has served us reliably. We special
ordered our wagon with the manual transmission and that makes it a lot of
fun for me to drive, the wife doesn't like the manual so much.
- The gas mileage is great. Power is ample, even with a canoe loaded on
- Best bang for the buck for a wagon in its class, although the Suzuki is
worth looking into from what I have heard.
- Handles very well, even when avoiding road objects at 100kph which we
unfortunately had to experience.
- Lots of cargo room in the wagon.
- The seats are very poor, they hurt my back on extended trips. We will
probably replace them when our finances improve.
- The air conditioning can be a bit smelly when you initially turn it
- Low end torque leaves a bit to be desired.
Minor problems so far. A couple of engine sensors died making the car feel
like it was missing and hesitating. Both times the dealer fixed it up under
warranty no problems. At two years old we are happy with our purchase and
unless there is a time bomb somewhere in the vehicle, we will continue to be
happy for then next six or so. We feel we got our moneys worth.
Try and get the Zetec, the SPI will probably dissapoint you and may be the
source of many of the issues that are out there. Had we not wanted a wagon,
in all honesty we would have looked at a Honda Civic.
As far as reliability goes, it depends on the individual vehicle.
There may be 5 hondas on the lot. 1 will be trouble free for years. 3 may
have minor problems, and yes, 1 may be a lemon. If you get that one lemon,
I like my SE Sedan because it's just great, and made in the USA. I can get
parts for it too. Got a good dealer too. Price was right.
The Honda and Toyota dealers wanted me to think it was a priviledge to just
look at their cars, and then pay top price. No thanks. Just wait until
the first good repair bill for a Japanese car comes.
Two points I can address maybe...as far as the A/C being smelly you can either
use Frigi-fresh from the dealer or use Lysol in the fresh air intake right in
front of the driver side - on the outside...there's open spaces there...you
should have your A/C running normally when you do that - then turn off the
engine for a while.
As far as the seats have you tried to adjust them ??? I've put mine all the
way up and down...and tried different settings and think they're OK now - but
it did take a while...the seats in the ZX5 are much more supportive though than
my wagon was.
Have fun... Linda
I have a 2001 Zetec hatchback (3dr, 2.0i) and IMHO it's a great car.
I believe the suspension on this model is slightly stiffer than standard and
it handles really well, plus it has traction control and ESP. Also, it has
more supportive seats than the base models which I find really comfortable.
One thing that really impressed me though was the amount of rear seat
headroom; I am 6'2" and with the driver's seat set in the position I have it
for driving, I can comfortably sit in the back of the car.
My only gripe is that the fuel economy is not great - I only get around 32
miles to the gallon (UK gallon), but then that's probably due to my driving
style. By comparison, my 2.0 Sierra with 135000 miles on the clock would
Overall, I'm very happy with my Focus, which I have now had for two years
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