19 Best & Worst Ford Focus Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Ford Focus was produced for the 2000 to 2018 model years and is still one of the most recognizable compact cars ever made.

Praised for its stylish looks, spry handling and comfort levels the Focus was once one of the strongest competitors in the segment.

JD Power has provided the Ford Focus with above-average ratings. In 2018, this vehicle received a consumer score of 77 out of 100, with good individual ratings for “resale” and “dealership experience,” securing ratings of 78 and 79 (out of 100), respectively.

Continue reading to learn more about the Ford Focus, as well as the best and worst years to look out for…

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Ford Focus Are:

The best Ford Focus model years based on online reviews and ratings are 2018, 2017, 2011, 2010 and from 2004 to 2009. The worst years of the Focus based on the number of problems encountered are the 2012 – 2016 models and the models years from 2000 to 2003.

What Are The Best Years For The Ford Focus?

Ford has produced a lot of great Focuses in the model’s long lifespan.

Listed below are those that deserve to be regarded as the cream of the crop…

2018 Ford Focus

The 2018 Ford Focus is the most reliable and most appealing iteration in our opinion. It builds on the features and assets of previous models while also not suffering from the widespread PowerShift transmission problems that plagued earlier models.

If you want the latest model, then the 2018 Ford Focus is what you should go for. 

The 2018 Ford Focus scored good scores of 3.5 (out of 5.0) and 77 (out of 100) on Edmunds and JD Power, respectively.

Over at Edmunds, this vehicle owner chose the Focus and explains why he gave it perfect ratings:

“Our 2018 Focus SE hatchback has 29,000 miles on it and has been trouble-free. The automatic DTC transmission operates flawlessly and the mpg varies from 36 to 40. We have no issues with our Focus and are pleased we purchased it… we rate it a 5 (highest) in all categories.”

2017 Ford Focus

The 2017 Ford Focus is one of the younger entries and is touted as one of the greatest editions for its sporty driving mechanics, up-to-date interior accessories, and an overall comfortable ride – not to mention its lack of transmission problems that were well known on 2012-2016 models. 

Although you won’t find a brand new 2017 Focus there are plenty in the used car market that will still be in great condition.

The 2017 Ford Focus captured a below-average rating of 2.9 (out of 5.0) on Edmunds, but bounced back with a good rating of 76 out of 100 over at JD Power. 

Over at Edmunds, this owner had a quick take on the value that the Ford Focus can provide:

“Great little car for the money.   I currently have 24000 miles on my ruby red SEL hatchback and I am  very happy so far…”

2011 Ford Focus

The 2011 Ford Focus boasts high safety scores, good cargo space (for its vehicle segment), and good infotainment features (during its time). 

If your budget is a bit limited but you would still like to stay relatively updated in terms of electronics and engine technology, then the 2011 Ford Focus is a good candidate. 

The 2011 Ford Focus had tremendous scores across the board. On Edmunds, it was given a 4.5 (out of 5.0). Over at Kelley Blue Book, it scored a slightly higher 4.6 (out of 5.0). JD Power gave the model year a 79 (out of 100).

On Kelley Blue Book, one owner had an interesting take on how the Focus could be great for younger drivers:

“Good starter car for a teenager to drive, it’s not too big nor too small and has good visibility… Personally, I love this car for myself”

Over at Edmunds, this Focus owner talked about how the compact car holds up in bad weather:

“This is a great economy car. It does a lot of things well and is very easy to drive. With Traction Control and Anti-Skid, we’ve never had problems getting around in bad weather…”

2010 Ford Focus

The 2010 Ford Focus stands out as it was the first model to be produced under the third generation. Much like the models directly before this, the 2010 Focus did not disappoint in terms of value-for-money, engine performance, and practicality.

If you have a good eye for quality used vehicles in the second-hand market, then you may be able to find a great 2010 Focus model at a reasonable price, ideally you’ll want to try and find one with less than 150,000 miles that’s not had too many previous owners.

The 2010 Ford Focus, much like its 2011 counterpart, obtained great scores from all three reputable car review sites. Edmunds gave it a 4.4 (out of 5.0). Kelley Blue Book provided a rating of 4.6 (out of 5.0). JD Power awarded this model year an 81 (out of 100).

On Kelley Blue Book, one owner provided a great American review of the Focus:

“If you are looking for a reliable, economical car that will last, the 2010 Focus is your choice. Because of the American fascination with Asian Sedans, this great Ford Compact has a low market value but is an amazing option to own…”

Over at Edmunds, this owner goes against the mainstream grain and talks about his admiration for his 2010 Ford Focus:

“I know car magazines love to hate this car but I don’t get it. Bought my ’10 in ’11 as a cheap gas saver and I’ve been very happy with it…”

2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, and 2009 Ford Focus

This batch of Ford Focus models are one of the earliest (and therefore oldest) iterations of the iconic Ford Focus franchise. Although they may not be as technologically sound as their successors, these models are still good picks in terms of handling, steering and reliability.

We would not recommend looking for this model year if you are inexperienced in the used car market. However, if you find a good deal at a reasonable mileage count, then perhaps you could risk the purchase (just make sure to consult with experts first).

There are insufficient consumer ratings for this batch of model years on JD Power, but it is important to note that each model in this group was given great scores on Edmunds and Kelley Blue Book. The 2008 and 2009 model years secured a 4.6 (out of 5.0) on Kelley Blue Book. Over at Edmunds, the 2004, 2005, and 2008 model years acquired a 4.5 (out of 5.0).

One Focus owner calls his Focus the “most reliable vehicle” and more below:

“Very few repairs and very good fuel mileage. Rattles a lot now, but was much quieter before it reached 250,000. miles (mostly highway driving). Later models had transmission problems. Don’t know why Ford didn’t continue producing and improving the models”

Over at Edmunds, this compact car owner provided an objective review of the Ford Focus:

“I love it, great car. Great gas mileage and fun to drive. However, your back will bother you on long road trips.”

Consumer Scores For Best Ford Focus Years

Below is a table that presents all the consumer ratings of the best Ford Focus model years from reputable vehicle websites:

Model YearEdmunds’ Consumer RatingKelley Blue Book’s Consumer RatingJD Power’s Consumer Rating
2018 Ford Focus3.5 / 5.0NA77 / 100
2017 Ford Focus2.9 / 5.0NA76 / 100
2011 Ford Focus4.5 / 5.04.6 / 5.079 / 100
2010 Ford Focus4.4 / 5.04.6 / 5.081 / 100
2009 Ford Focus4.4 / 5.04.6 / 5.079 / 100
2008 Ford Focus4.6 / 5.04.6 / 5.079 / 100
2007 Ford Focus4.3 / 5.04.1 / 5.077 / 100
2006 Ford Focus4.4 / 5.04.1 / 5.0NA
2005 Ford Focus4.6 / 5.04.1 / 5.0NA
2004 Ford Focus4.6 / 5.04.1 / 5.0NA

Related: 7 Most Common Ford Focus Problems (Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Ford Focus?

The Ford Focus has also been subject to a lot of criticism online and offline due to its myriad problems or defects. The models listed below are the versions of the vehicle that you have to avoid.

2016 Ford Focus

“Beware of the clunker,” states CarComplaints.com when it comes to the 2016 model year, this model was well known for its transmission problems.

CarProblemZoo.com listed a total of 376 problems for the powertrain alone.

The 2016 Focus had a total of 55 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 909 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2016 Ford Focus are the following:

  • Engine failure
  • Transmission problems
  • Power steering failure
  • Slipping

2015 Ford Focus

2015 was another bad year for the Focus, it was plagued by transmission problems. Owners often complained the vehicle would shudder and jerk – this was due to the problematic PowerShift transmission.

The 2015 Focus had a total of 113 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 886 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2015 Ford Focus are the following:

  • Shuddering
  • Transmission issues
  • Premature clutch wear
  • Power steering failure

2014 Ford Focus

The 2014 Focus was one of the most problematic years ever made and was plagued by transmission troubles.

According to CarProblemZoo.com, the most common problem is related to powertrain issues, while the second most common aspect is related to engine and engine cooling. 

The 2014 Focus had a total of 482 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 2,956 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2014 Ford Focus are the following:

  • Bad hesitation/jerking when starting from a stop motion
  • Grinding noise
  • Transmission issues
  • Shudders and jerking

2013 Ford Focus

Another Focus worth steering clear of was the 2013 iteration – again plagued by transmission problems.

All the leading issues of this model year happen (on average) before hitting the 100,000-mile mark.

The 2013 Focus had a total of 501 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 2,610 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2013 Ford Focus are the following:

  • Jerks, hesitates when you take off
  • Transmission failure
  • Electric power steering fails completely

2012 Ford Focus

Securing the “avoid like the plague” sticker on CarComplaints.com, the 2012 Ford Focus is a very problematic model year, experiencing several issues with the powertrain, steering, and engine systems.

The 2012 Focus had a total of 787 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 4,515 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2012 Ford Focus are the following:

  • Power steering failure
  • Multiple shifting problems
  • Shudder and vibration sounds on takeoff
  • Transmission failure

2001, 2002, and 2003 Ford Focus

These three notorious model years secured both the “beware of the clunker” and “avoid like the plague” badges over at CarComplaints.com. CarProblemZoo.com indicates “key won’t turn in the ignition” as the most common issue across all three model years. 

The 2001, 2002, and 2003 Focus model years had a total of 1,413 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 3,791 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2001, 2002, and 2003 Ford Focus models are the following:

  • Key won’t turn in the ignition
  • Transmission failure
  • Engine failure

2000 Ford Focus

A blown engine is no joke, and for the 2000 model year, it can happen as early as 100,000 miles (on average), with an average cost to repair of $2,200.

The 2000 Focus had a total of 556 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 3,712 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

The main problems of the 2000 Ford Focus are the following:

  • Blown engine
  • Key won’t turn in the ignition
  • Transmission failure

Related: 6 Best & Worst Ford C-Max Years (With Facts & Stats)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

There are several Ford Focus model years, both old and new, that have received numerous complaints through the years. Listed below are complaints and problems listed for each model year: 

Model YearComplaints (CarComplaints.com)Problems (CarProblemZoo.com)
2018 Ford Focus21367
2017 Ford Focus41551
2016 Ford Focus55909
2015 Ford Focus113886
2014 Ford Focus4822,956
2013 Ford Focus5012,610
2012 Ford Focus7874,515
2011 Ford Focus55138
2010 Ford Focus137370
2009 Ford Focus111291
2008 Ford Focus193303
2007 Ford Focus251477
2006 Ford Focus127239
2005 Ford Focus177501
2004 Ford Focus172406
2003 Ford Focus5881,015
2002 Ford Focus408957
2001 Ford Focus4171,819
2000 Ford Focus5563,712

What Problems Do Ford Focuses Have?

Based on the information we have gathered online, here are the most common issues that you may encounter with a Ford Focus:

  • Bad hesitation/jerking when starting from a stop position
  • Shuddering
  • Powertrain issues
  • Electrical system issues
  • Engine and engine cooling problems

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Ford Focus?

Despite its problems, the Ford Focus is still a good choice in the compact car segment, ranking third overall, scoring 8.6 out of 10.

However, there are also a lot of great alternatives which are listed below:

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Kia Soul8.8$16,923 – $23,560City: 24 – 26 /Highway: 30 – 31
Chevrolet Cruze8.7$16,090 – $20,981City: 27 – 31 / Highway: 37 – 52
Ford Focus8.6$16,179 – $41,353City: 19 – 30 /
Highway: 26 – 40
Kia Forte8.5$16,663 – $23,839City: 23 – 29 /Highway: 29 – 37
Volkswagen GTI8.5$25,355 – $30,626City: 24 – 25 /Highway: 32 – 33
Honda Civic8.4$21,599 – $38,688City: 22 – 32 /Highway: 28 – 42
Hyundai Ioniq8.4$21,401 – $26,003City: 55 – 57 /Highway: 54 – 59
Mazda38.4$19,599 – $23,246City: 25 – 28 /Highway: 34 – 38
Hyundai Elantra8.2$17,265 – $22,431City: 22 – 32 /Highway: 29 – 40
Volkswagen Golf8.2$20,646 – $37,426City: 21 – 25 /Highway: 29 – 34
Chevrolet Volt8.1$27,106 – $29,122City: 43 /Highway: 42
Toyota Corolla8.1$20,625 – $23,253City: 27 – 30 /Highway: 35 – 40
Subaru Impreza7.9$19,837 – $24,862City: 22 – 28 /Highway: 30 – 38
Subaru WRX7.9$28,396 – $43,309City: 16 – 21 /Highway: 22 – 27
Volkswagen Jetta7.5$18,281 – $24,560City: 24 – 28 /Highway: 33 – 40
Nissan Sentra7.4$17,066 – $22,681City: 25 – 29 /Highway: 30 – 37
Toyota Corolla iM7.4$21,581 – $21,728City: 27 – 28 /Highway: 35 – 36
Source: cars.usnews.com

Related: Ford Focus Tune-Up & Maintenance Costs (Complete Guide)









  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...