Offered in two body styles, hatchback and sedan, the Ford Focus US production run lasted from 2000 to 2018.
The Ford Focus is popular for its combination of sporty handling with safety, style, and rider comfort. But what really matters to buyers is the longevity of this model. Are they even reliable?
Let’s find out.
How long does a Ford Focus last?
Based on customer reports, the Ford Focus can last up to 200,000 to 250,000 miles. If you drive 15,000 miles per year, you will get between 13 to 16 years of service life from the average Ford Focus car.
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How Many Miles Can You Expect from A Ford Focus?
Before coming up with an average lifespan for the Ford Focus, we analyzed reports from various forums dedicated to the Ford Focus.
In these reports, we found many owners with 200,000 to 250,000 miles on their cars and counting.
With proper maintenance, your Ford Focus should be able to reach or even cross the 250,000-mile mark easily. However, the important thing is for you to maintain it well.
Oil and fluid changes, filter replacements, and other routine maintenance activities should be taken seriously.
Driving habits will also determine if your Ford Focus will stay in top form till it reaches 250,000 miles.
Aggressive riding will increase rate of wear and tear on vehicle components and reduce the car’s lifespan greatly. Also, make sure to read our list of problems across the Ford Focus models.
How Soon Should You Expect Rust On a Ford Focus?
From our research, rust appears to be a common issue on the Ford Focus models. Depending on several factors, the first 3 to 5 years are a prime time for rust to appear on your vehicle.
Some owners reported finding rust on their Focus model much later, in which case they had to fix the problem themselves.
This is because the warranty protection covering rust expires after five years in most cases.
A common rust-prone area on the Ford Focus is the wheel arch area. A handful of Focus owners reported seeing rust on the rear wheel arches and sometimes, the front wheel arches.
This particular rust issue is caused by stone chips stripping away the paint and exposing the metal to water. Inevitably, this will speed up corrosion on these parts and cause them to rust.
Another place where Focus owners have found rust is the door area. In particular, two owners on a Ford Focus forum we came across reported getting rust on the inside of the rear passenger door.
In both cases, the car was under warranty and Ford fixed the rust problem before it spread.
Other places known to rust on Ford Focus models include:
- Hood area
- Rear screen/tailgate
- Roof area
- Fenders and rocker panels
How Long Do Ford Focus Last Compared to Similar Vehicles?
Compared to competitors, the Ford Focus enjoys just above average longevity. However, the Ford Focus is a bit expensive compared to the competition.
Let’s check the comparisons below:
Ford Focus vs. Toyota Corolla
In terms of service life, the Toyota Corolla beats the Ford Focus. The Toyota Corolla can last up to 300,000 miles or more. In comparison, the highest mileage we got for the Ford Focus was around 250,000 miles.
The difference between these models becomes more apparent when you consider maintenance costs.
While the Toyota Corolla has a $362 annual maintenance cost, the Ford Focus costs $569 to service per year.
Ford Focus vs. Honda Civic
The Ford Focus cannot stand up to the Honda Civic in terms of longevity. With proper maintenance, the Honda Civic will last up to 300,000 miles or more.
This is over 50,000 miles higher than the highest number of miles you will get from a Ford Focus car.
To keep a vehicle running for a long time, you need to repair and service it regularly.
Servicing the Honda will cost you less yearly compared to the Ford Focus. Per RepairPal estimates, annual servicing cost on the Honda Civic is $368. This is almost $200 lesser than the Ford’s annual maintenance cost.
Ford Focus vs. Hyundai Elantra
The Ford Focus will last you about the same time as the average Hyundai Elantra. From our research, the Hyundai Elantra can last up to 250,000 miles with proper maintenance, same as the Ford Focus.
However, the Hyundai Elantra has a higher reliability rating, as well as lower maintenance costs than the Ford Focus.
According to RepairPal, servicing costs on the Elantra add up to $452 annually, about $117 lesser than the Focus.
Also, the Hyundai Elantra has a 4.5 Reliability Rating and ranks 8/36 on RepairPal’s compact-car reliability rankings. The Ford Focus has a 4.0 reliability rating and places 27/36 on the same rankings.
Ford Focus vs. Chevrolet Cruze
From our research, we can safely say the Ford Focus will outlast the average Chevrolet Cruze. While most Chevrolet Cruze models typically last up to 200,000 miles, the Ford Focus can last up to 250,000 miles.
Moreover, both models are nearly tied in terms of maintenance costs and reliability ratings.
The Chevrolet Cruze’s annual servicing cost of $545 is only $24 more than that of the Ford Focus. Likewise, the Cruze has a 4.0 Reliability Rating as the Ford Focus, and ranks 26th compared to the Focus’ 27th position.
How Reliable Is a Ford Focus?
The Ford Focus model’s reliability performance straddles the line between average and below average.
While it has above-average reliability scores from both J.D Power and RepairPal, it fares badly, especially compared to rivals.
For example, RepairPal ranks the Ford Focus 27th out of 36 cars in the compact car segment in terms of reliability.
Competing models such as the Hyundai Elantra, Chevrolet Cruze, and Toyota Corolla have better reliability ratings.
In addition, the rate of severe repairs on the Ford Focus is higher than on most compact cars.
Around 12% of problems on the Ford Focus are severe, which is higher than the average for compact cars (11%). This is telling of the poor reliability of the Ford Focus models.
The Best and Worst Years For Ford Focus
According to CarComplaints, the 2014 model year is the worst on record for the Ford Focus.
Majority of the complaints about this model year revolve around faulty transmission issues.
Notably, many owners experienced bad hesitation and jerking when starting the car from a stationary position.
More surprising is the fact that the models facing this problem were low-mileage models, with the average mileage being 15,000 miles.
This means the problem isn’t the result of a worn transmission component and is likely because of a mechanical defect.
Other transmission issues reported during this year include:
- Shudder in transmission
- Slipping transmission
- Transmission failure
- Grinding noise
- Car hesitates and stalls
Meanwhile, the 2019 model year is the best one for the Ford Focus so far.
This year, which marks the last year for the Ford Focus (in the US), had little or no complaints from owners.
What About Recalls for These Models?
During its 19-year production run in the United States, the Ford Focus was involved in 38 recalls.
With 18 recalls, the 2000 Ford Focus is the most recalled model to date. Conversely, the 2009-2011 era was trouble-free for the Ford Focus with no recalls recorded.
Below is a list showing the number of recalls for each model year of the Ford Focus:
- 2000: 18 recalls
- 2001: 14 recalls
- 2002: 8 recalls
- 2003: 7 recalls
- 2004: 6 recalls
- 2005: 5 recalls
- 2006: 2 recalls
- 2007: 2 recalls
- 2008: 2 recalls
- 2009: 0 recalls
- 2010: 0 recalls
- 2011: 0 recalls
- 2012: 5 recalls
- 2013: 8 recalls
- 2014: 8 recalls
- 2015: 5 recalls
- 2016: 5 recalls
- 2017: 4 recalls
- 2018: 2 recalls
Ford Focus Model Year List
Here are the model years for the Ford Focus:
- 2000 Ford Focus
- 2001 Ford Focus
- 2002 Ford Focus
- 2003 Ford Focus
- 2004 Ford Focus
- 2005 Ford Focus
- 2006 Ford Focus
- 2007 Ford Focus
- 2008 Ford Focus
- 2009 Ford Focus
- 2010 Ford Focus
- 2011 Ford Focus
- 2012 Ford Focus
- 2013 Ford Focus
- 2014 Ford Focus
- 2015 Ford Focus
- 2016 Ford Focus
- 2017 Ford Focus
- 2018 Ford Focus
Are Ford Focus Expensive to Maintain?
Maintenance on your Ford Focus will set you back around $569 annually. That is higher than the average for compact cars ($526). The Ford Focus model’s maintenance costs also dwarf that of rivals, including the Toyota Corolla ($362) and Honda Civic ($368).
Additionally, the Ford Focus has a higher-than-average rate of serious problems compared to compact cars in general.
The average for severe repairs on the Ford Focus is 13% compared to 11% for compact cars. This means increased ownership costs as severe repairs often cost three times the average repair.
How Long Do the Brakes Last?
Brake pads on the Ford Focus should last anywhere between 30,000 to 60,000 miles. Brake rotors, on the other hand, can last up to 70,000 miles. You will need to inspect both pads and rotors periodically, say 15,000 miles.
How Long Do the Focus Batteries Last?
The batteries on the Ford Focus models can last up to 80,000 miles or more with proper maintenance.
In particular, if you take care of the batteries well, you can get up to 100,000 miles from them before they need replacement.
How Long Do the Tires Last?
Depending on the brand in question, stock tires can last up to 60,000 miles or more.
However, we advise that you rotate your tires and inspect them at intervals as specified in the owner’s manual.
How Long Do Spark Plugs Last?
The average lifespan for spark plugs on the Ford Focus is 70,000 to 100,000 miles, but this may vary depending on several factors.
What About Insurance Costs?
Annual insurance costs for the Ford Focus add up to $1,236, which translates to $103 per month.
Tips to Prolong the Life of Your Ford Focus
Here are tips to extend the service life of your Ford Focus:
- Avoid driving aggressively
- Make regular maintenance a top priority
- Avoid using fake or cheap spare parts
- Allow only trained technicians to repair your car