The second-generation is a Ford Focus medium-sized family car has been amongst the UK’s best-selling cars since it was introduced in 2004.

A wide variety of engines and equipment levels are available and the sheer number Ford sold means finding a good one with the specification you want should be easy.

• Econetic models can return more than 70mpg
• Well built and superb to drive
• Handsome and practical
• Lots of main dealers means servicing is easy
• Three and five door hatchbacks available
• Four-door saloon, estate and Coupe-Convertible (called the Focus CC) available

Ford Focus (2004-2010)Find a used Ford Focus for sale

Price range: £3,500 – £18,000

Pros

• Wide range of engine and trim levels
• Fun to drive
• Cheap to buy and run
• Excellent build quality
• Economical diesel engines
• Spacious cabin
• Plenty of choice on the market

Cons

• Too much of a common sight for some
• A firm ride means bumps can be felt in the cabin at low speeds
• New Focus’ shed a huge amount of their value over the first few months

Who’s it good for?

• Families
• Couples
• Driving enthusiasts
• Environmentally-conscious motorists
• Cost-conscious motorists

Full gallery: Ford Focus (2004-present) used car guide

Ford Focus gallery

Model highlights

Best for fuel costs – The Focus 1.6 TDCi Econetic with start/stop can cover more than 74mpg

Best value – The 115bhp 1.6 petrol engine offers good fuel economy without the bigger price tag a diesel brings. Zetec models come with all the equipment most buyers want, but it sports suspension may be too uncomfortable for some

Most reliable – Although the diesel engines are pretty robust, there are fewer reported faults with the petrol engines

Fastest – The Focus RS is a bona fide performance car, and the Focus ST isn’t far behind

Best for families – The estate version offers a huge boot with good access to load luggage

Best for short distances – The 115bhp 1.6-litre petrol engine is more than adequate for urban journeys

Best for long distances – The 2-litre diesel engines offer plenty of power at motorway speeds, but are still capable of returning more than 50mpg

Engine overview

Petrol engines:

• 1.4 (80bhp/42.8mpg) – Wheezy at motorway speeds; 1.6-litre engines are the better choice
• 1.6 (100bhp/42.2mpg) – Good around town and capable of long, comfortable journeys
• 1.6 (115bhp/44.1mpg) – Excellent all-rounder
• 1.8 (125bhp/40.3mpg) – More power doesn’t translate as better performance over the 1.6
• 1.8 FFV (125bhp/40.4mpg) – As above, but can run on petrol and bio-ethanol fuel
• 2.0 (145bhp/35.3mpg) – Drinks fuel, drivers needing the performance should choose a diesel
• 2.5 (225bhp/30.4mpg) – Superb, powerful but thirsty engine fitted to the ST performance car
• 2.5 (305bhp/30.1mpg) – More power and more thirst with the sublime RS performance model

Diesel engine:

• 1.6 TDCI (90bhp/60.1mpg) – Performance is adequate, but the higher-powered 1.6 TDCI is better
• 1.6 TDCI (110bhp/58.9mpg) – Good performance and fuel economy
• 1.8 TDCI (115bhp/54.3mpg) – Good for frequent motorway journeys
• 2.0 TDCI (136bhp/51.4mpg) – Excellent performer, but the 1.8 TDCI is enough for most

Buyer’s checks

These are common problems with the 2004-2010 Ford Focus you should be aware of before you inspect the car.

• The rear wheel arches are prone to rust – later models had a plastic strip fitted to reduce the risk

• Take care when checking the oil as the 1.6 TDCI’s dipstick can break

• Make sure you’re happy with the amount of support the front seats offer – some find them uncomfortable

• Rubber seals around the windows and boot can leak, so check for moisture inside the car

For more general information, visit Inspecting a Used Car

Recalls

Occasionally car makers may recall certain models if manufacturing faults or defects could give rise to a serious problem.

Owners will be contacted to have the work completed free-of-charge, but used car buyers should always check the work has been carried out by contacting the local main dealer.

11/04/2005    Fuel return pipe leak
18/08/2005    Wiper motor may fail and overheat
05/07/2006    Engine may fail
05/12/2007    In low ambient temperature hard brake pedal may occur
07/12/2007    Roll over protection may fail (Focus CC only)
21/02/2008    Electronic cooling fan control module may overheat
15/04/2008    Rear hub bolt may become loose
29/07/2008    Failure of power steering hose could result in an engine bay fire
08/04/2009    Risk of fire
21/05/2009    Hard brake pedal may occur during engine warm up
21/09/2009    Risk of fire
28/04/2010    Possibility of fire

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Safety

The 2004-2010 Ford Focus scored very highly in the EuroNCAP crash tests.

• Adult occupant protection: 5/5
• Child occupant protection: 4/5
• Pedestrian protection 2/4

Safety equipment highlights:

• Anti-lock brakes (ABS)
• Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD)
• Driver airbag
• Front passenger airbag
• Front side airbags

Running costs

Model: 1.6 Zetec 3-door
• Fuel economy: 42.2mpg
• CO2 emissions: 161g/km
• Insurance group ratings: 10E

Model: 1.8 Ghia 5-door
• Fuel economy: 54.3mpg
• CO2 emissions: 137g/km
• Insurance group ratings: 19E

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Rivals

Audi A3
Honda Civic
Renault Megane
Vauxhall Astra
Volkswagen Golf