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skylover
Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum. I've been reading about the ford focus and have done a load of research today in prep for going out and doing some test drives. I am a woman who, while being quite practical and not totally naive when it comes to cars, I'm not a mechanic and so don't know all there is to know about cars.

My partner had a Ford Focus (not sure what year, but it may have been a 2003 model) he is no longer with us and the car has long gone so I can't refer to either of them. I have decided on buying a Ford Focus as they are a popular car on the market and I know the car, having driven my partner's car a few times in the past.

I would be very grateful for any advice you can pass on. I'll tell you all what I think I have found out so far.. feel free to chip in and correct me if I'm wrong with any of my assumptions and impart any wisdom.

I have my heart set on the following spec:

[b]Hatchback, 5 door, petrol, manual, not older than 8 years between 50,000 and 70,000 miles. Budget of up to 4,000[/b].


The AA website mentioned what to look for on a car to prevent buying one that has been clocked (calculate around 10,000 miles per year and ask if it is very low, smooth steering wheels and pedals, screws having been tampered with on the dashboard).

From what I've found, there are four different types of Ford Focus: Ghia, Edge, Flight, Zetec and then it all gets a bit fuzzy after 2004. The Zetec looks like the slightly "souped up" model and the Flight comes across as the cheapest.

Is there anything else that you can add that will help me in equipping myself for a visit to the forecourt?

Any and all help is appreciated.

Thanks!

SL
artscot79
[quote name='skylover' date='17 April 2010 - 03:49 PM' timestamp='1271515154' post='78140']
Hi everyone. I'm new to this forum. I've been reading about the ford focus and have done a load of research today in prep for going out and doing some test drives. I am a woman who, while being quite practical and not totally naive when it comes to cars, I'm not a mechanic and so don't know all there is to know about cars.

My partner had a Ford Focus (not sure what year, but it may have been a 2003 model) he is no longer with us and the car has long gone so I can't refer to either of them. I have decided on buying a Ford Focus as they are a popular car on the market and I know the car, having driven my partner's car a few times in the past.

I would be very grateful for any advice you can pass on. I'll tell you all what I think I have found out so far.. feel free to chip in and correct me if I'm wrong with any of my assumptions and impart any wisdom.

I have my heart set on the following spec:

[b]Hatchback, 5 door, petrol, manual, not older than 8 years between 50,000 and 70,000 miles. Budget of up to 4,000[/b].


The AA website mentioned what to look for on a car to prevent buying one that has been clocked (calculate around 10,000 miles per year and ask if it is very low, smooth steering wheels and pedals, screws having been tampered with on the dashboard).

From what I've found, there are four different types of Ford Focus: Ghia, Edge, Flight, Zetec and then it all gets a bit fuzzy after 2004. The Zetec looks like the slightly "souped up" model and the Flight comes across as the cheapest.

Is there anything else that you can add that will help me in equipping myself for a visit to the forecourt?

Any and all help is appreciated.

Thanks!

SL
[/quote]

the best advice is buy from a ford centre they are a bit more expensive but they have been checked out and approved also they will come with a warranty thats the most important part buy with a warranty with youre budget you can get cracking cars as for the models you get what you pay for ideally youll want a 1.6 litre zetec or the edge i would avoid the ghia far too many gizmos to go wrong and they usually do you get a slightly stiffer suspension with the zetec and electrics etc the edge is pretty similar in spec these are the two to go for the base models come with a lot of kit missing zetec/edge gives you youre airbags and abs etc as for the car main thing to check is the service history it should be up to date with all the paint stamps done the timing belt can need done anywhere between 60k-100k so if this has been done already thats a bonus if not expect to pay ford 220 quid including vat parts and labour to have it done check for rust start the car from cold the reason i say buy ford approved is these checks have been done and the car usually comes with service and warranty check the rear bushes dont need done if in doubt take someone with you who has a fair idea of wht to look for the service history and paint stamps are very important if it has only one or neither avoid it as if you get rust and theres no paint stamps ford will not help you
skylover
Hi there, thanks very much, that's all useful stuff.
artscot79
[quote name='skylover' date='17 April 2010 - 04:42 PM' timestamp='1271518355' post='78147']
Hi there, thanks very much, that's all useful stuff.
[/quote]


like i say approved cars are a bit dearer but they come with peace of mind second hand garages are cheaper but you dont get much with them other than a basic warranty at least approved you know that any faults will be fixed if they existed you know the cars been checked out and you can ask them to put it on a ramp so the underside can be looked at and im assuming youre wanting to buy a good car and not have the worry that what you bought could be a lemon and require hundreds of pounds of work and with approved you know that what youre being sold has been thorougly checked out dont look like you dont know what youre talking about and dont be afraid to ask questions take a good slow look around the outside pay attention to the front and rear arches for chips or rust spots cracks or chips in the windscreen inside the car look at the condition and then ask to check the windows and all other electrics then ask the seller if the rear bushes have been done or will be needing done they will tell you the timing belt is 100k or 10 years however tell him youre aware of them failing earlier than the specified time check all the lights and look for tears rips in seats there will be plenty to look at so keep youre cool and dont get too excited when you see one you like and haggle even if its to get a free service or money off anything a tank of fuel etc they need youre cash if youre paying cash make them aware you want to purchase the car in cash they like to hear those words and are more likely to haggle
ford focus edge
Rust seems to be the killer on the focus mine is a 2004 04 plate and the rear arch was just starting to rust so i got to it quickly before it could spread this seemed to stop it fast enough for me to be happy with but if you spot one thats just starting to go either get them to sort it out as part of the deal or run very far and fast that choice is upto you.

The edge and the zetec are the ones id go to have a look at also the lx is well equipt and an equally good car the other two are the sporty alternatives though where as the lx is the more squidgey car. One thing i think is a must have though and will help with resale is on the zetec model make sure it has the "climate pack" on which means you get A/C and a heated front screen, on the edge you get A/C as standard and the heated screen is the option which very few (but mine does :D have) but the edge has a rear spoiler and larger alloys so its the more attractive looking model but the zetec is cheaper. You can see where this is going ...

Engine size wise the 1.6 is more than enough in the little focus me being a "boy racer" even i find the 1.6 ample to really annoy my friends and rack up a few points in the process, tax on the 1.6 for a year is 150 and with the mods on my car im getting about 32.6 mpg give or take a few. The 1.8 is the other option which is slightly faster as youd expect and i think its around the 190 per year bracket on tax and the mpg will be around the 35 mark because it requires less stick to get the car around than the 1.6.

Models id recommend:
[list]

[*]1.6 zetec 5dr (02-05 plates)
[*]1.6 edge 5dr (53-05 plates only)
[*]1.8 lx 5dr (02-05 plates)
[/list]
You can get facelift (indicators in light clusters not bumper) mk1 focus's on 51 plates also but these are few and far between

The usual advisoraies still apply full service history etc dont buy from pokey garages or driveways if u can help it etc ...

Mike


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