Launched in 2004, but not available until 2005, Ford entered into the second generation of the Focus after huge successes and acclaim from the MkI. The new look MkII is curvier, sleeker, chunkier and altogether more pleasing to the eye than its predecessor.
The new Focus was given a stiffer body, but due to the successes of the MkI the MkII Focus held onto the same suspension. Funnily enough the new Focus gained weight, which isn’t always the way in which manufacturers go. They increased the wheelbase and the Focus became longer, wider and taller than the MkI. What did they do with all of this extra space? Well, they gave it to you, the consumer, the interior became roomier, and the literage in the boot increased and all of a sudden you could hold your head that little bit higher with more headroom on offer.
Feedback which I am receiving on the Focus is that the majority of models have good fuel economy and of course if you go down the diesel route you can expect to get a high mpg or L/100km reading and this is good news for your wallet. The other good news is that this seems to be a reasonably safe car having received a 5 star Ncap rating.
In 2008 the MkII was given a facelift, the bonnet got more lines, new headlights donned the front and the door and side mouldings were removed and a good looking car became better looking.
Before its facelift some owners complained of wind noise coming into the car, this of course is not a major problem but can be irritating for when you’re listening to the radio or for when you’re on Bluetooth. Personally I have an issue (especially pre-facelift) with the general interior quality, there is a lot of plastic in there, so be prepared not to be dazzled by this almost boring interior. When the MkII got its facelift Ford tried to hide this cheapness by adding more satin finishes, sadly however this wasn’t enough. A good thing though is that there are very few rattles to be heard in this interior.
Drivers have complained about rust problems, especially around the wheel arches of the Focus, if you’re considering a purchase check around and under the wheel arches, you’re looking for signs of rust or differences in paint or texture, another warning sign is blistering.
Thankfully the majority of problems I have encountered with the focus have been quiet small and irritating rather than major engine problems, for example, when raining open the boot slowly as it has a tendency to let the water gush down.
Other than niggly bits I haven’t come across an enormous amount of problems with the Focus, and I would have to say that it appears to be a reliable car. If you don’t think the Focus is for you why not look at other cars in its class like the VW Golf, the Mazda3 or even the Renault Megane?
Daragh Ó Tuama