The Ford Focus is a popular compact car that has been on the market since 1998.
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Over the years, the Focus has undergone several changes and updates, making it a reliable and affordable choice for many consumers.
In this article, we will take a closer look at the best and worst Ford Focus years to help you make an informed decision if you’re considering purchasing a used or new Ford Focus.
The Best and Worst Years for Ford Focus Are:
Based on consumer satisfaction reviews and reliability scores, the best model years for the Ford Focus are 2004-2009, 2010, 2011, and 2018. These model years receive high marks for their reliability and fuel efficiency. Alternatively, the 2001-2003, 2012, and 2013 models should be avoided.
What Ford Focus Years Are the Most Reliable?
Purchasing a reliable vehicle is crucial because it ensures that the car will perform as expected and avoid unexpected repairs or maintenance expenses.
According to J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study, there are significant variations between vehicle makes and model years in reliability.
The Ford Focus is generally considered a reliable vehicle. One reason for Ford Focus’s reputation as a reliable car is its relatively simple design, which means fewer parts that can go wrong.
Let’s take a closer at some of the best and most reliable years for the Ford Focus.
2018 Ford Focus
The 2018 Ford Focus has been well-received by both consumers and industry experts.
According to J.D. Power, this model year received a score of 4 out of 5 for reliability, which is above average for the compact car class.
Consumer Reports also gave the 2018 Focus a reliability score of 4 out of 5, noting that it had fewer reported problems than previous model years.
In addition to its strong reliability scores, the 2018 Focus has also received high marks from consumers.
According to Edmunds, the 2018 Focus has an overall consumer rating of 4.1 out of 5. This rating is based on reviews from real-world car owners who have driven the 2018 Focus and shared their experiences.
One of the things that consumers love about the 2018 Focus is its handling and driving experience.
Many reviewers praise the car’s sporty feel and responsive steering. Additionally, the 2018 Focus has a comfortable, well-designed interior, supportive seats, and easy-to-use technology features.
Another aspect of the 2018 Focus that consumers appreciate is its fuel economy.
The base model of the 2018 Focus has an EPA rating of 30 mpg in combined city/highway driving, which is on par with other compact cars in its class.
Overall, the 2018 Ford Focus has proven to be a reliable and satisfying choice for many car buyers. Its strong reliability scores and high consumer satisfaction rates make it a compelling option for anyone in the market for a compact car.
2011 Ford Focus
The 2011 Ford Focus is a model year that has also gained a reputation for being reliable and satisfying to drive.
According to consumer reviews and industry experts, the 2011 Focus boasts impressive reliability scores and high consumer satisfaction rates.
J.D. Power gave the 2011 Ford Focus a reliability score of 4.5 out of 5, which is well above average for its class.
Subsequently, Consumer Reports gave the 2011 Focus an overall score of 77 out of 100, citing its good fuel economy, comfortable ride, and reliability.
One of the things that consumers love about the 2011 Ford Focus is its handling.
Edmunds noted that the Focus has “responsive handling that inspires confidence,” making it a fun car to drive.
Another thing that consumers appreciate is its fuel efficiency. The 2011 Focus gets an EPA-estimated 25 mpg in the city and 35 mpg on the highway, making it an economical choice for those looking to save on gas.
In addition to its driving dynamics and fuel efficiency, the 2011 Ford Focus also has a comfortable and spacious interior.
Consumer Reports praised the Focus for its comfortable seats, well-designed dashboard, and ample cargo space. The car also has a reputation for being quiet on the highway, making it a good choice for long trips.
The high consumer satisfaction rates and impressive reliability scores make the Focus a great choice for anyone looking for a reliable yet comfortable vehicle.
2010 Ford Focus
The 2010 Ford Focus is another model year that stands out for its impressive reliability scores and high consumer satisfaction rates.
According to websites like Edmunds, J.D. Power, and Consumer Reports, this compact car is a solid choice for drivers seeking a reliable and affordable vehicle.
Consumer Reports gave the 2010 Ford Focus an overall reliability rating of four out of five, with high scores in areas such as:
The car also earned a five out of five rating for owner satisfaction, indicating that drivers are very happy with their purchase.
One of the things that consumers love about the 2010 Ford Focus is its fuel efficiency.
With an EPA-estimated 24 city/35 highway miles per gallon, this car is a great choice for those prioritizing fuel economy.
Additionally, the car’s handling and driving dynamics are praised for their nimbleness and agility.
Another aspect consumers appreciate about the 2010 Ford Focus is its spacious interior, which offers plenty of headroom and legroom for the front and rear passengers.
The car also has a large trunk, making it a practical choice for those who need to transport groceries, luggage, or other cargo.
All in all, the 2010 Ford Focus is a reliable and affordable choice for those seeking a compact car.
With high scores for reliability and owner satisfaction, and praise for its fuel efficiency, handling, and spacious interior, it’s no wonder that this model year continues to be a popular choice among drivers.
2004 – 2009 Ford Focus
Consumers particularly love the 2004-2009 Ford Focus for its fuel efficiency, affordability, and practicality.
These model years are known for their excellent handling and comfortable ride, making any one of them a great choice for commuting or longer road trips.
Based on data collected by Edmunds, J.D. Power, and Consumer Reports, this model year has proven to be a reliable and long-lasting vehicle.
According to J.D. Power, the 2007 and 2009 Ford Focus received a perfect score of five out of five for predicted reliability, while the 2008 model received a score of four out of five.
In Consumer Reports’ annual reliability survey, the 2004-2009 Ford Focus model years have all received an above-average rating, with few reported problems.
Although the 2004-2009 Ford Focus models may lack some of the technology and features found in newer vehicles, their reliability and durability make them a more dependable choice for those in the market for a used car.
Although they may not be as technologically advanced as their predecessors, these vehicles are still strong choices in terms of handling, steering, and reliability.
What Ford Focus Years Should You Avoid?
Over the years, the Focus has had its fair share of issues and recalls, and some model years have been more problematic than others.
Therefore, when it comes to buying a used Ford Focus, there are specific model years that you might want to steer clear of.
Below we examine the least reliable model year for Ford’s Focus.
2013 Ford Focus
The 2013 Ford Focus has received poor reliability ratings from various sources, including Consumer Reports. This model year has faced multiple issues and recalls, causing frustration for many consumers.
According to Consumer Reports, the 2013 Ford Focus received a reliability rating of just one out of five, indicating a high likelihood of problems.
In J.D. Power’s Vehicle Dependability Study, the 2013 Ford Focus ranked 28th out of 32 vehicles in its class.
One of the biggest issues with the 2013 Ford Focus is the dual-clutch automatic transmission.
Many owners reported jerky shifting, hesitation, and shuddering. This transmission issue led to a class-action lawsuit against Ford, and the company was forced to extend the warranty on the transmission.
In addition to the transmission problems, the 2013 Ford Focus also had issues with the steering system. Some owners reported a loss of power steering – which is a major safety issue. This issue led to a recall in 2015, affecting over 300,000 vehicles.
As a result, the 2013 Ford Focus may not be the best choice for those in the market for a used car.
2012 Ford Focus
The 2012 Ford Focus is another model year notorious for its poor reliability ratings and numerous vehicle problems.
According to Consumer Reports, this model year received a reliability rating of just one out of five, indicating significant issues reported by owners.
Consumers who owned the 2012 Ford Focus reported a wide range of problems, including issues with:
- The transmission
- Fuel system
- Electrical system
In particular, the transmission, like the 2013 model, was a significant problem, with many owners experiencing shuddering, slipping, and even complete failure.
Recalls were also common for the 2012 Ford Focus.
In 2014, over 150,000 vehicles were recalled due to a problem with the wiring harness that could cause the engine to stall or not start. Additionally, in 2018, over 1.4 million vehicles were recalled due to a problem with the transmission control module software that could cause the car to shift into first gear suddenly.
While the car offered a sporty ride and good fuel efficiency, its poor reliability ratings and problems made it a less-than-desirable option for many consumers.
2001-2003 Ford Focus
According to Consumer Reports, the 2001-2003 Focus had below-average reliability ratings and scored poorly in their annual car reliability surveys.
J.D. Power also gave these model years a low rating for dependability.
These model years struggled to shake off several problems consumers were unlucky enough to experience. Most notability, these issues include:
- Transmission problem
- Electrical issues
- Engine performance
In addition to these issues, the 2001-2003 Ford Focus was subject to several recalls.
The 2001-2002 model years were also subject to a recall for a problem with the headlight switch that could result in a fire.
While some owners enjoyed the car’s fuel efficiency and handling, many were frustrated with the frequent breakdowns and repairs required.
What Are Some Typical Problems With the Ford Focus Models?
First: Check our full list of problems with the Ford Focus models.
The Ford Focus has been popular among car enthusiasts for many years. While it has undergone many changes over the years, like any other car, it has its challenges.
Some of the typical problems with the Ford Focus models include:
- Engine misfire
- Engine cutting out
- Airbag problems
- Brake hose issues
- Alternator issues
- Overheating control module
- Power steering problems
Please also read our article explaining why the Ford Focus is so expensive.
Go Back: See best and worst years for all ford models.
ⓘ The information in this article is based on data from National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) recall reports, consumer complaints submitted to the NHTSA, reliability ratings from J.D. Power, auto review and rating sites such as Edmunds, specialist forums, etc. We analyzed this data to provide insights into the best and worst years for these vehicle models.