Ford Focus III, one of the most controversial cars of our times, a car that dilutes the line between myth and reality. But is it worth buying a Ford Focus III? Find out in today’s article.

We’ve already talked about the Ford Focus II, which was a decent car. Halfway between the cheapness and practicality of the Opel Astra and the guaranteed quality and snobbery of the VW Golf, the Ford Focus II went down in the annals history (haha, annals) as a fair car. In fact, I recommended it as one of the best used cars today’s money can buy.

Has the Ford Focus III managed to follow in the footsteps of the Ford Focus II?

Unlike Focus II and even Focus I which were tailored for the European market, Ford Focus III was the first victim of the retrograde mentality of Ford, retrogrades who wanted to build the “universal car”.

It’s easy to see why such a concept is doomed to failure. You can’t make a standard car for all continents and all peoples, because people are different and subsequently the car culture is different. But no, Ford thought of making the same cars everywhere, in their vast intelligence and greater laziness than the waiting time at the gas station toilet when you can no longer hold it and see that person in the bathroom stays occupied for an eternity. You know, that moment when you tighten your legs and think “what the hell is he doing in the bathroom?”.

What’s new with the Ford Focus III?

  • Just like at an all-you-can-eat-buffett or at the funeral, I’ll start with the best. The design is radical and far beyond the conservative Golf VI or Golf VII. By far the most aggressive aspect of all hatchbacks of it’s time.
  • No more semi-independent suspension as standard for all models. Chances are however that if you’re in the market for a basic Focus, then you’re probably the kind of person who doesn’t even know what that independent suspension is or does. So you go for the classic suspension and save some money. This allowed the mechanical porridge called Ford Focus III to have a very competitive price.
  • Launched in 2011, when CDs were already reserved only for barbecue parties in the woods, the Ford Focus III comes with Bluetooth and a SD reader. I will ask you to keep in mind the part with the CDs.

Ford Focus III Engines


  • 1.0 EcoBoost of 100 and 125 horsepower – This engine singlehandedly ruined the image of Ford. A David who overthrew a Goliath. An engine that racked up in fines for Ford of over $ 300 million (or Sir Beckham’s earnings in a week). The problem was that in the first models the coolant pipe cracked and lost fluids faster than someone who just got out of the pub after having a few too many. The coolant tank was filled with coolant but also with air, and the sensor was placed inside the tank. The sensor does not detect coolant losses due to the coolant pipe sucking up on air and throwing off the sensor. Thus the engine ran without coolant and ended up melting. The issue got solved eventually by a new type of pipe, but it is essential to ask if the replacement has been done.
  • 1.6 Duratec of 85, 105 and 125 horsepower  – If you don’t want to have issues with the turbo, then you have the last naturally aspirated petrol from Ford, here in 3 flavors. Launched in 1995 and retired in 2015 by 1.5 EcoBoost, this antique engine has earned it’s retirement days.
  • 1.5 EcoBoost of 150 and 182 horsepower – After solving the famous 1.0 EcoBoost issues and after the public calmed down and the world put down the axes and forks, Ford launches the fantastic 1.5 EcoBoost. At the moment there are no serious issues reported, but it is also a very new engine.
  • 2.0 EcoBoost of 250 horsepower – An engine so rarely found on the Ford Focus III that it makes little sense to even mention it. It will however leave your pants brown every time you floor it.


  • 1.6 TDCi of 95, 105 and 115 horsepower – Same old PSA engine, with minimal improvements. The serious issue of the turbos that were getting even more wasted than the average pub-crawling gentlement on a Saturday night, were mostly solved. Instead, pay attention to the fact that the Ford Focus III was used extensively as a fleet car, using this very 1.6 diesel. On the one hand it proves that the engine is good enough for the fleet buyer, on the other hand most of them have billions of kms on each wheel. Beware of white Focuses with 1.6 tdci engine. Most likely they hosted the bottoms of an entire sales department for atleast 5 years.
  • 2.0 TDCi of 115, 140 and 163 horsepower – A rather rare engine, which is usually found on the Ford Mondeo, the 2.0 diesel proved to be decent, especially in the 140 horsepower version. Like its younger brother, this French engine has demonstrated its fleet engine skills.

Ford Focus III General Issues

  • Remember that part about the CD player? Apparently the CD player tends to heat up quickly and I don’t mean the atmosphere created by Joji’s music, I mean it’s literally heating up. That’s why it’s best to use Bluetooth or SD cards instead.
  • Like the previous version, the rubber seals are made out of chewing gum bought from the bottom shelf of a supermarket. More specific, you could find yourself that it’s raining in the car. Especially bad for station wagon variants, where it rains through the boot. Always check the spare wheel and if it’s rusty, you have a problem.
  • The 1.0 EcoBoost was just one of the serious issues of the Ford Focus III. The second major issue was the clutch, where the hydraulic cylinder of the clutch is found sitting on the same sofa as the turbos of the 1.6 HDI engines. There are many reported cases of clutches dropped at 30,000km. The big issue here however is that all Ford Focus III models are affected, not just the 1.0 EcoBoost.
  • If we keep talking about clutches of dubious quality, then we should also talk about automatic gearboxes that are also full of issues. Most likely this is why models with such a transmission are very rare.
  • Interior space is much smaller than the previous generation. However, you will always be slim fit with an impressive body because all the money you would have spent on fast food and restaurants you will spend instead on clutches and turbos.

Ford Focus III Verdict

Ford Focus III started out badly and ended well. I have no other expression at hand that would better capture the essence of this car.

Personally, I would go for the 1.6 naturally aspirated petrol version, linked to a manual gearbox. That way you can have a car that is somewhat reliable but still looks modern. Because the Ford Focus III was a beautiful car, where age won’t show for centuries to come. Yes, it was not a revolution for the car world. Yes, it did not bring glory to the “One Ford” plan, it did not become the universal car. But it has become a car that any young family should take into consideration.