19 Best And Worst Ford Focus Years (With Examples)

ford focus

As a former mechanic and car enthusiast, I’ve had the privilege of testing a plethora of vehicles over the years. The Ford Focus, in particular, has always piqued my interest due to its popularity and diverse range of models.

Today, I’ll get you into the best and worst years of the Ford Focus, drawing from my personal experiences and extensive research. Let’s get started!

The Ford Focus, produced from 2000 to 2018, has been a top choice for many first-time car buyers. Its affordability, combined with its fun-to-drive nature, has made it a favorite.

However, like any car, it has had its ups and downs. Let’s explore the best and worst years of the Ford Focus.

Worst Ford Focus Years


2016 Ford Focus

The 2016 Ford Focus, despite its modern appeal, has been plagued with numerous issues.

This model has been notorious for engine failure, transmission problems, power steering failure, and slipping issues.

A significant number of complaints have been documented, with CarComplaints.com even warning potential buyers to “Beware of the clunker.” Notably, there were 376 issues related solely to the powertrain.

Common Problems:

    • Engine failure
    • Transmission problems
    • Power steering failure


Power steering Failure

The 2003 model of the Ford Focus has been a source of frustration for many consumers.

This model year faced issues that Ford struggled to resolve, earning it the “Beware of the clunker” badge. The primary source of failure was the alternator.

Additionally, there were numerous reports of problems with the car’s exterior and interior, including issues with the ignition key.

Common Problems:

    • Engine failure
    • Transmission problems
    • The key won’t turn in the ignition


The 2002 Ford Focus model year was another challenging period for Ford.

This model faced a barrage of customer complaints, especially regarding engine failures. Alternator problems also led to transmission issues. Carcomplaints.com even suggested avoiding this model year.

Common Problems:

    • Engine failure
    • Problems in shifting
    • The key won’t turn in the ignition


2000 Ford Focus Rear Wheel

Being the debut year for the Ford Focus in the U.S., the 2000 model had its fair share of teething problems.

This year faced multiple recalls, including issues with the rear wheel hub, ignition switch, and fuel delivery module. Many owners reported problems with the car stalling unexpectedly.

Common Problems:

    • Rear wheel hub issues
    • Ignition switch malfunctions
    • Unexpected stalling


Following its debut year, the 2001 Ford Focus unfortunately didn’t fare much better.

This model year was plagued with electrical problems, particularly with the alternator. Additionally, there were numerous complaints about the ignition key getting stuck.

Common Problems:

    • Electrical issues
    • Alternator malfunctions
    • Ignition key problems


The 2014 model year was a challenging one for the Ford Focus.

This year was particularly known for its transmission issues. Many owners reported shuddering and jerking when accelerating. Additionally, there were complaints about the infotainment system being glitchy.

Common Problems:

    • Transmission shuddering
    • Jerking when accelerating
    • Glitchy infotainment system


Ford Focus - 2011-Battery

The 2011 Ford Focus had its fair share of problems.

This model year was plagued with electrical problems, with many owners reporting issues with the car’s battery dying prematurely. There were also complaints about the car’s brakes being less responsive.

Common Problems:

    • Electrical issues
    • Premature battery death
    • Unresponsive brakes


2007 Ford Focus Suspension

The 2007 model year was not one of Ford’s best.

Owners frequently reported issues with the car’s suspension and wheel bearings. There were also numerous complaints about the interior, with many finding the seats uncomfortable.

Common Problems:

    • Suspension issues
    • Faulty wheel bearings
    • Uncomfortable seats

Best Ford Focus Years

2017 Ford Focus

Ford Focus 2017

The 2017 Ford Focus stands out as one of the best years for this model.

Known for its sporty driving mechanisms, modern interior accessories, and overall comfortable ride, the 2017 model has been a favorite among many. Experts at Edmunds have praised its quiet cabin, responsive steering, and advanced technology features.


    • Sporty driving mechanisms
    • Modern interior accessories
    • Quiet cabin and responsive steering

2004 Ford Focus

2004 Ford Focus

The 2004 Ford Focus set a gold standard in its time.

This model was lauded for its intelligent ergonomics, spacious interior, engaging driving personality, and precise steering. Edmunds experts described it as a fantastic car that’s enjoyable to drive and offers a range of trim levels to suit various needs.


    • Intelligent ergonomics
    • Engaging driving personality
    • Precise steering

2005 Ford Focus

The 2005 Ford Focus underwent a subtle redesign, making it more mature and understated.

This model year was among the best in terms of compact cars. It boasted snappy handling, sporty i4 engines, and a wide range of body options, making it a favorite among many.


    • Subtle redesign
    • Snappy handling
    • Wide range of body options


The 2006 Ford Focus marked a significant improvement from its predecessors.

This model year was praised for its reliable performance and improved fuel efficiency. The zippy handling and comfortable interior also made it a favorite among daily commuters.


    • Reliable performance
    • Improved fuel efficiency
    • Zippy handling and comfortable interior


The 2018 model was the last production year for the Ford Focus in the U.S., and it went out on a high note.

This year introduced advanced safety features, including lane-keeping assist and adaptive cruise control. The infotainment system was also updated, offering a more user-friendly experience.


    • Advanced safety features
    • Updated infotainment system
    • Smooth and responsive drive


2009 Ford Focus

The 2009 Ford Focus RS stands out as a performance-oriented variant of the Focus.

This model was lauded for its powerful turbocharged engine, sporty handling, and distinctive design. Car enthusiasts praised its thrilling driving experience and impressive acceleration.


    • Turbocharged engine
    • Sporty handling
    • Distinctive design


The 2013 Ford Focus ST was a beacon of performance in the Focus lineup.

With its turbocharged engine, sport-tuned suspension, and aggressive styling, the Focus ST was a hit among car enthusiasts. It offered a perfect blend of daily usability and spirited performance.


    • Turbocharged performance
    • Sport-tuned suspension
    • Aggressive styling


2016 Ford Focus RS

The 2016 Ford Focus RS took performance to the next level.

This all-wheel-drive hot hatch was equipped with a powerful 2.3-liter turbocharged engine, producing 350 horsepower. Its drift mode and launch control features made it a favorite among car enthusiasts.


    • All-wheel drive
    • 2.3-liter turbocharged engine with 350 HP
    • Drift mode and launch control

The Middle Ground: Not the Best, Not the Worst


The 2010 Ford Focus sits comfortably in the middle ground. It wasn’t the best year for the Focus, but it wasn’t the worst either.

This model year saw a decent performance in terms of reliability. While it didn’t have the advanced tech features of the later models, it was still a solid choice for those looking for a budget-friendly compact car. Some minor issues were reported, but they were not as severe as the problematic years.

Notable Features:

    • Reliable performance
    • Budget-friendly
    • Minor issues compared to problematic years


The 2008 Ford Focus underwent a significant redesign, which was met with mixed reviews.

This model year introduced a new exterior design and improved interior quality. However, some enthusiasts felt that the redesign took away from the sporty nature of the Focus. The 2008 model also faced some complaints regarding its braking system.

Notable Features:

    • Significant redesign
    • Improved interior quality
    • Issues with the braking system


2012 Ford Focus

The 2012 Ford Focus was a step up from its predecessors in terms of technology and design.

This model year saw the introduction of the Ford Sync system, which allowed for better connectivity and infotainment options. However, there were some transmission issues reported, especially with the automatic models.

Notable Features:

    • Introduction of Ford Sync system
    • Better connectivity and infotainment
    • Transmission issues in automatic models

The Legacy of the Ford Focus

Evolution Over the Years

The Ford Focus has seen a remarkable evolution since its inception.

From its early days as a simple compact car to its later years as a tech-savvy vehicle, the Focus has always been at the forefront of innovation. Its journey reflects Ford’s commitment to adaptability and consumer needs.

Key Points:

    • Transition from a basic car to a tech-savvy vehicle
    • Reflects Ford’s adaptability
    • Always in line with consumer needs

The Ford Focus in Popular Culture

 Beyond its mechanical aspects, the Ford Focus has made a significant mark in popular culture.

The Focus has been featured in various movies, TV shows, and even video games. Its popularity can be attributed to its sleek design and the brand’s marketing strategies.

Key Points:

    • Featured in movies, TV shows, and video games
    • Sleek design appeals to a broad audience
    • Effective marketing strategies by Ford

The Future 

 As we look ahead, the Ford Focus’s legacy is set to continue.

While the production of the Focus has ceased in some regions, its impact on the automotive world is undeniable. There are rumors of potential electric or hybrid versions, indicating that the Focus might adapt to the changing times.

Key Points:

    • Ceased production in some regions
    • Lasting impact on the automotive world
    • Potential for electric or hybrid versions in the future

What Are The Common Problems Of Ford Focus?

From what we’ve learned online, here are the most common problems you might have with a Ford Focus:

  • Poor stuttering or jerking
  • Shuddering
  • Door latch failure
  • Engine problems
  • Transmission failure
  • Problems with the electricity
  • EPAS failure
  • Problems with the engine and how it cools


Is the Ford Focus a Reliable Vehicle?

The Ford Focus stands as a dependable and sturdy car, which, when maintained well, can reach up to 200,000 miles.

The years 2009, 2010, and 2011 are notably the most reliable Focus models to invest in. They offer competitive fuel efficiency, boasting an EPA rating of 30 mpg in urban settings and 40 mpg on highways.

How Does the Ford Focus Perform in Snowy Conditions?

Generally, the Ford Focus is perceived to handle snowy conditions well, though performance can vary based on the specific model year. Its front-wheel-drive configuration offers an edge in snowy terrains.

For optimal performance in snow, it’s advisable to equip the car with appropriate tires, ideally snow tires, or at a minimum, all-season tires.

What’s the Expected Lifespan of a Ford Focus?

Typically, a Ford Focus can clock anywhere between 200,000 to 250,000 kilometers in its lifetime. If one were to average 15,000 kilometers annually, a Ford Focus should serve reliably for approximately 13 to 16 years.

Ford Focus or Ford Fiesta: Which Should You Opt For?

For those who frequently embark on extended journeys or need extra space for passengers and cargo, the Focus is a more fitting choice. It offers all the amenities of the Fiesta but in a more spacious format.

On the other hand, the Fiesta, due to its compact size, is more wallet-friendly. For instance, the starting price for a 2018 Fiesta is around $15,000, whereas a 2018 Focus begins at $19,000.

What Are Some Comparable Alternatives to the Ford Focus?

While the Ford Focus is a commendable vehicle, there are several worthy competitors in the market:

  • Chevrolet Cruze
  • Kia Soul
  • Kia Forte
  • Volkswagen Golf
  • Honda Civic
  • Vauxhall Astra
  • Peugeot 308

Final Thoughts

Armed with this comprehensive overview of the Ford Focus’s highs and lows across different model years, making an informed choice becomes simpler.

In a segment where models like the 2000 and 2014 faced significant challenges, the 2011 Ford Focus emerges as a top contender, renowned for its longevity, commendable safety features, and a plethora of amenities that ensure a pleasant driving experience.

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