Ford Duratec/DuratecHE engines are basing on Mazda L-series engines, which probably designed late 1990/early 2000 and widely used in Mazda, Ford and Volvo models.
So, maybe not surprising, that Duratec(HE) engines are quite reliable and not so fuel economic - "old" design without "desperate" tricks for improving fuel economy or emission figures.
Also not having experience with 1.6 nor 1.8 HE, but having 2.0 HE (with 5-speed manual) Focus Tourer/Estate (mk2.5; my 2008) bout 13 months.
Total mileage round 124000 km (~77000 miles), which I drove 12000 km (~7400 miles).
One service during my era - no need to add oil between services (oil change interval 10 tkm /~6.2 kmiles).
Yes, Duratec engines have chains, but only one row ones (even my old Alfa Romeo 75 2.0 TS having two row chains).
I'm not afraid of belt engines (owned several ones), but last time I's looking for estate with chain engine, reasonable mileage and as few computers as possible.
Ended up to Focus Estate (2.0 HE), cause Focus with 1.8 petrol engine is quite rare in Finland, Mondeo Estates with reasonable mileages were too expensive and GM-Holden chain engines having serious issues.
- Enough power and torque for Focus Estate (at least 2.0 DuratecHE; curb weight 1284 kg / GVWR 1895 kg)
- Chain engine (though one row chains)
- Basic engine w/o special economy/emission tricks
- There should be one more gear (6th) - quite high rpm with 5th gear in motorway speeds - 100 km/h (62 mph) or 120 km/h (bit over 74 mph)
- Bad fuel economy - (basing on car's computer) town/city: 9.5...10 l/100km (29.7...28.2 mpg) in Summer and 10...11 l/100km (28.2...25.7 mpg) in Winter. Motorway 8...9 l/100km (35.3...31.3 mpg) in Summer. Below 8 l/100km (35.3 mpg or better) possible to attain by driving on roadway max 80 km/h (50 mph) in Summer time.
- Right side front wheel bearing start to make mean sound (round 114 tkm / bit over 70 kmiles) and front bearings changed to both sides - no other extra fix so far (and bit off--topic for DuratecHE discussion)