7 Worst Ford Focus Years To Avoid

If you’re looking for a solid compact car with an affordable budget, slick design, and smooth experience, Ford Focus is one of the best contenders to go for. While Ford Focus is an exceptional line produced by Ford Motor Company, there are certain model years that should be avoided if you’re about to get you’re looking to buy the compact, C-segment car. 

Various models of the Ford Focus were plagued with diabolical issues that made the car impossible to drive. Many customers have complained about feeling scammed as they didn’t get their money’s worth out of the car. Therefore, we have prepared a handy guide enlisting all the Ford Focus years, which you should avoid at any cost.

7 Ford Focus Years You Should Avoid,

Unfortunately, despite the car’s premium design and budget-friendly price, certain reliability issues can make some Ford Focus models problematic for you. Before making your purchase, you should be aware of the models with a notorious reputation among customers.

Following is the list of the 7 Ford Focus you should avoid due to their performance issues, as reported by the owners of the cars themselves: 

1. 2002 Ford Focus

The first model on our list is the 2002 Ford Focus, one of the most notorious Ford Focus when it comes to the number of customer complaints received. The major problems that people ran into are as follows:

  • Engine failure
  • Transmission system failure due to a low-quality alternator
  • Loud noise from the car’s alternator
  • Ignition issues with the key

People have reported their engine to be blown after only 100,000 miles (around 160,000 km) with the car. Furthermore, the battery issues also dimmed the car lights, making driving unsafe at night. The alternator issues also caused several electrical complications in the car. The 2002 Ford Focus model was a true disaster for the Ford Motor Company. 

2. 2003 Ford Focus

Following the setback of the 2002 model, Ford had a lot on their plate to address in the upcoming 2003 Ford Focus. However, that wasn’t the case, as most of the problems with the previous model persisted in the 2003 model as well. Major complaints received by the customers revolved around the following issues:

  • Engine Failure
  • The Key wouldn’t turn in the ignition
  • Transmission issue due to the alternator
  • Fuel tank heating up due to an outdated cooling system

Instead of resolving the problems from the previous year’s model, the 2003 Ford Focus added several other issues on top of them.

3. 2007 Ford Focus

While the 2007 Ford Focus improved its outlook and exterior design significantly, it still had its problems. At least 2 recalls of the model were reported by CarComplaints, along with hundreds of other complaints. Some of the issues that customers faced with this model are listed below:

  • Engine overheating issue
  • Alternator dying out and affecting electrical components of the car
  • Reduced fuel efficiency
  • Low-quality breaks and tires which tend to wear and tear excessively
  • Handling problems caused by the suspension

Among these several performance issues, the customers were also extremely dissatisfied with the cheap look of the car’s interior with many having reservations about the seat’s comfortability for long drives. 

4. 2008 Ford Focus

The 2008 Ford Focus model comes with its own set of problems. While it garnered far fewer complaints from customers than it’s predecessors, it’s still not a recommended model due to the nature of the problems reported by the customers. Most of the complaints about the 2008 Ford Focus were about the following issues:

  • Engine stalling or jerking
  • The paint of the car’s exterior peeling, chipping, and fading rather easily
  • Windshield wipers jamming or leaving scratches on the windshield
  • Locks and the brake pedals freezing in the cold weather

Tire wear was improved from the previous model, but still remained prevalent in 2008 Ford Focus. Moreover, brake pedals freezing in the cold weather can be disastrous if you’re out for a long ride in winter. Overall, the reliability issues make the 2008 Ford Focus not worth the price.

5. 2012 Ford Focus

When it comes to the number of problems reported by customers, the infamous 2012 Ford Focus model comes to mind, netting more than 4.5k problem reports. The following problems were prevalent in this model as they were faced by most of the customers:

  • Power steering failure while driving
  • Poor transmission system
  • Shudder, shifting, and loud vibration sounds from the car’s alternator
  • Door latches breaking on both driver and passenger’s seat

Aside from these issues, various other problems plagued the 2012 Ford Focus, which included interior Electrical systems, sound system, and horns issues. These problems, along with the frequent transmission system failures, bore a hefty repair cost on the customers.

6. 2013 Ford Focus

Even after producing a dozen models for this car, Ford Motor Company still couldn’t figure out the transmission system failure issues as the 2013 Ford Focus was also haunted by it. It managed to upset thousands of customers who reported the following issues with their brand new Ford Focus: 

  • Transmission system failure
  • Vibration sounds from the engine
  • Jerks while take-off
  • Internal electrical components failure
  • Steering issues

What’s more furious is that almost all of the mentioned problems manifested before the car hit 100,000 miles mark. In fact, for numerous customers, the bulk of problems which include the complete failure of the transmission system of the 2013 Ford Focus, occurred by 45,000 miles.

7. 2014 Ford Focus

To say that 2014 was a catastrophic year for Ford Motor would be an understatement. The launch of the 2014 Ford Focus was a complete disaster, with thousands of customers reporting various issues their car faced within a couple of months. The most prevalent complaints of the 2014 Ford Focus are listed below:

  • Jerking motion during the take-off of the car
  • Doors unlocking automatically while driving at high speeds
  • Excessive engine overheating due to an inferior cooling system
  • Constant transmission issues inherited from previous years

Aside from the issues mentioned above, several customers also reported grinding and vibration noises from the engine bay. Driving this car isn’t safe by any means, as these problems could very easily result in a crash.

Ford Focus Complaints & Problems Summary

To sum it up, the Ford Focus models have been riddled with a number of problems, mainly revolving around their transmission system, cooling system, alternator, and some poor design choices when it comes to brakes, tires, and electrical components.

You can also take a look at the stats that we’ve garnered from CarComplaints and CarProblemZoo. They explain the number of customer complaints and problem reports for the above-mentioned Ford Focus years:

Ford Focus ModelComplaints ReceivedProblems Reported


With this, we conclude our list of the 7 worst Ford Focus Years. As these models are plagued by problems that could result in life-threatening situations, you should definitely look for alternatives, even if you’re getting the car cheaper than the market price. Some of the later Ford Focus models, like 2018 and 2017, managed to solve most of these problems and should definitely be your preference if you select this compact car.






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