Hi there woody,
welcome to the forum.
Regards the choice between the 100PS and the 115PS TiVCT, if both are equal in all respects as to condition, then I'd obviously choose the later. But that said, I have a 55 plate 100PS engined car with 44K on the clock and it is a good car. Had it three years and plan to keep it another two at least. Plan being to trade it in for an estate version of the Mk3 Focus 1.0 125bhp Eco boost. Obviously if the next two or three years prove that it stacks up reliability wise, and proves to be as good as the pro reviews say it is. Why the estate route? Well the only bad point mentioned in the pro reviews I have read is the disappointing boot space compared to the Mk2/2.5 versions of the hatchback. Plus I think the estate is a better looker than the hatchback, and the wife said the additional 20cm in length would not be a problem to her
I also had a Mk1 Focus and while it was a great car [a mould breaker] the Mk2 is a better car, though body wise compared to the Mk1it is a tad boring visually on the front end. Hence Ford brought out the Mk2.5 version, which apart from adding ESP as standard was the same car as the Mk2 engineering wise, but with a more visually appealing exterior.
Sorry I digress........... something I tend to do on occasion.
Anyway back on topic:
What to look out for, well the car your looking at is like mine an early build of the Mk2, and I found it to have two build faults:
1. The potential to rust on the bottom of the front wheel arches, and the leading edge of the sills where they meet the front wheel arches. In later builds Ford introduced added protection in these areas.
2. Water in the spark plug wells, again this was remedied by fitting revised washer jets on later builds.The fault being poorly fitting grommets that sit between the washer jets and the bonnet, unfortunately they cannot be bought separately.
Now I have done threads on both "Fixes" [see my sig below] which if like me you do yourself, are dirt cheap to remedy.
At seven years old, I just had it in for it's MOT yesterday, as per usual it sailed through. My mechanic asked me if I wanted to sell it as he had a customer looking for a clean reliable Focus, and as he said mine certainly fits the bill in all aspects..................so if you pick a good one you will be well suited.