Thursday, February 7, 2013

Used Car Review - Ford Focus (2005-2012)

It is American in the name, but Myk Belmonte dishes out why isn't American at all. The answer lies throughout the article.

2005-2012 Ford Focus

The Ford marque has a strong presence in the continent named Europe. In fact, there are some instances that the rest of the world receives what the European gets, as opposed with the North American exclusive models. With that description in mind, the Ford Focus is one vehicle that fits in the bill, especially that what is sold in North American Ford dealers are way different (way too) than the one sold for consumers in other countries.

This generation of the Focus (the Mk2) had its worldwide debut at the Paris Motor Show last September 23, 2004. Codenamed C307, this vehicle also utilizes Ford's C1 platform that is also shared with the Volvo S40, V50, and C70, the Ford C-MAX, and our featured vehicle last Monday, the Mazda 3. It is available in three and five door hatchback, four door saloon, five door estate, and two door coupe body configurations. This generation was available brand new until 2010 (while some countries have this for a little longer), with the Mk3 Focus being launched the year after.

Replacing the popular Laser lineup (this includes the Lynx, basically a Ford Laser), the Focus arrived in our soil in 2005. Prior to that year, the Focus was an export only vehicle to other nations, now production had been shared for local and export markets. With numerous engine changes and a minor model change in late 2008, the Focus bowed out in 2012, as well as local production for Ford, to make way for the Mk3 Focus later that year.

Value and Costs
Wishing for a European car with European car driving characteristics at low prices? Well, the used car Gods answered your wish with the Focus costing P260,000-P580,000 at second hand prices. A good thing is that, you have a wide range of engines and body configurations to choose from, and some units have the remainder of their basic warranty. For peace of mind, try scouting for a 2010 and recent model to get the chunk of the warranty.

Maintaining one wouldn't cost you an arm and a leg. Thanks to being locally assembled, parts are easy to acquire. However, make sure that you maintain the Powershift transmission well to avoid self suicide, and ensure that you fill up the CRDi models with the right amount of oil and fuel from clean gasoline stations.

Exterior and Interior
Glancing or staring at one, you'll say that the Focus looks conservative, which is a compliment to itself and those who want a low profile life, consider this vehicle. Let's describe each body style, the sedan aims to be luxurious but dull and plain looking, while the hatchback is more on the sporty side. Fact: the Focus shares the same design motif with the same period Mondeo and Fiesta.

Still separated at birth, the sedan and hatchback have different interior treatment, while the Germanic feel is still there. The sedan carries a beige/black interior with some dash of wood, leather and matte aluminum which has the color silver. If you're planning to get the base 1.6 Trend, the interior loses the chrome and wood and gets away with a black/beige color scheme. Black is the theme for the hatchback, with the interior gives lots of it, and some aluminum bits to brighten up the interior.

One good thing about the Focus is the wide range of engine choices available to the buyer. The first engine that is available from 2005-2007 in the entry level 1.6 Trend is the Zetec 1,596cc that carries 104hp at 6,000rpm and 145Nm at 4,000rpm. The other gasoline powerplants that remained throughout production life are the Duratec 1,798cc that has 123hp at 6,000rpm and 165Nm at 4,000rpm and still from the Duratec family, a 1,999cc which carries 143hp at 6,000rpm and 185Nm at 4,500rpm. For the lone diesel model, the main engine is a Duratorq 1,997cc with 134hp at 4,000rpm and 320Nm at 2,000rpm that can be boosted to 340Nm with the same revs. Both the 1.6 and 1.8 engines are decent movers, while the 2.0 gasoline has improved off-the-line power than the movers that are 200cc to 400cc less. The diesel engine is the one to have, especially that it will push you back to your seat but you need to travel more often to recoup the fuel savings as it is expensive to maintain.

Driving Impressions
For sure, this car is heavy, but it is comfortable to ride in. To compare the Focus with its platform-mates, if the Mazda 3 is the go-cart, while the Volvo S40 is the cruiser, the Ford smacks in the middle of the two. Forget about the heavy weight, it can take on corners with grace and confidence. With that in mind, you can enjoy the thrill of the drive (although not Mazda 3 levels) while your passengers can enjoy the ride without being thrown upon.

Balancing both what the driver wants and the passenger wants is one difficult task. But the Mk2 Ford Focus accomplishes this job by providing great handling and a magic carpet like ride. The diesel proposition is one offer not to resist, especially that the current model does not have one.

The Good:
  • Wide array of body styles and engines
  • Chassis willing to play
  • Responsive handling
The Bad:
  • Cabin ain't roomy
  • Plasticky interior
  • Not traffic friendly diesel MT variant
The Pick: Diesel variants for long trips, 1.6 for daily driving

Engines: 1,596cc Zetec, 1,798cc Duratec, and 1,999cc Duratec I4 gasoline. 1,997cc Duratorq I4 diesel
Power: 104hp @ 6,000rpm  (1.6), 123hp @ 6,000rpm (1.8), 143hp @ 6,000rpm (2.0 gasoline), 134hp @ 4,000rpm (2.0 diesel)
Torque: 145Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.6), 165Nm @ 4,000rpm (1.8), 185Nm @ 4,500rpm (2.0 gasoline), 320Nm @ 2,000rpm (2.0 diesel), 340Nm @ 2,000rpm (2.0 diesel with overboost)
Fuel Consumption: 7-12km/L (city), 9-13km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual (1.6 and 1.8), 6-speed manual (2.0 diesel) 4-speed automatic (1.6, 1.8, and 2.0 gas), 6-speed Powershift (2.0 diesel)
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear control blade strut

Price (New): P799,000-P1,195,000 (range from 2005-2012, encompasses all variants)
Price (Now): P260,000-P580,000
Rivals: Honda Civic, Mazda 3, Mitsubishi Lancer, Nissan Sentra, Toyota Corolla Altis, Chevrolet Optra, Chevrolet Cruze
On Sale: 2005-2012


Ford Libis - (02) 637-2044
Ford EDSA - (02) 744-2222
Ford Quezon Avenue - (02) 361-9503

Photos from Myk Belmonte


  1. re:FORD FOCUS 1.8 Hatchback. Does this mean Engine assembly for both 2006 and 2008 models have the same engine? valves, engine block?

    1. Good morning sir! The engines for 2006 and 2008 are different since 2006 hatch models are 2.0 while 2008 can be had in 1.8 and 2.0 models.

      For more info check this link,_Europe)

      Thank you

    2. Thank u sir. The reason I'm askingis that i have a focus 2008 w/ 1.8 engine. The thing is i unfortunately got into a transaction not knowing that the engine block has a crack on it. since there was a cover matting underneath & my mechanic didnt notice it. to get a cheaper engine block. i found a 2006 1.8 model as replacement. would u know if they have difference. appreciate your inputs sir.

  2. 2006 1.8l duratec and 2008 1.8l duratec are the same.