When it comes to the best selling cars in the UK, the Ford Focus is right up there. Indeed, as the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders were doing their sums for the first quarter of this year they found that the Focus was in at number two. Having sold a not insubstantial 27,000+ what that means on the used market is that there are lots around to choose from.
We certainly can’t go wrong with a Focus, it’s been the best go to family hatch that any idiot could go and buy without any worry whatsoever. That pretty much makes it the perfect used car buy. Buyers must be careful around the 1990s ones that are just a few hundred pounds and past their best.
There are some oddites around as not every Focus was a hatchback, there are good old fashioned saloons too and a 2.0 litre Ghia saloon is actually quite smart, well equipped and spacious, as well as being cheap because no one wants to buy a small saloon anymore.
The default Focus used choice is a 1.6 Zetec, which has a perky and reasonably economical petrol engine. There does seem to be a lot of surface rust on models from the 2000s, which may not be serious, but still be careful. Spend more and you will get a 2004 1.6 Edge which is a well-equipped three door with alloys and air conditioning and still looks super. The 2005 revamp was a bit more of a blunt instrument to look at, but actually it is better than ever in practical terms. There are some big mile 2006s around very cheaply. Look out for a 2006 1.6 Sport that looks as good as new, or a more insurance friendly 1.6 LX, or a Zetec Climate from 2007.
There are of course diesels in general and the Econetic models in particular. With £4000 to spend you will get 71mpg, £20 tax and a fairly high mileage 1.6TDCi. Actually, allow yourself an extra £400-£500 and it will be a tidy 2009 with just under 100K miles. Even better, spend £3500 and get a 2006 1.8 TDCi.
The estate version is very underrated but hugely practical and makes a great family load lugger or workhorse for your business.