Rationale Focus – Why Buy One of These? Should You?


If you’ve be kind enough to read a few of the excellent (if I may say so myself) articles on this site, you may have noticed something. I’m quite keen on the Ford Focus. I’m certainly more keen on this one than I was on my first two versions, but why did I even buy one initially? And why have I ended up with three of them. Let me explain my rationale for the focus.

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I am quite keen on these things, but what's the rationale....focus?
I am quite keen on these things, but what’s the rationale?

Reasons for Focus as first car
I recall when Ford launched the first Mk1 Focus way back in 1998. Against the old ford escort it felt like it had come from a new universe! I somehow knew I was going to end up with one. My family have always ended up with Fords. My Dad had a Sierra, an Escort and currently has a Mondeo. The sister has a StreetKa. And I have a Focus. Quite the family tree. but what led me to this car initially?

Simplicity of ownership was the reason for going with this type of car. Nobody has ever struggled to find a Ford dealership. There are about 3 within short driving distance from me (and therefore, about 100,000 other people too). Fords do not have a reputation for absolute reliability but as they are so familiar to most garages, keeping them going is rarely a problem. You need to be pretty unlucky if there are many expensive fixes to be performed.

The reason I went a Focus 2.0 Zetec as my first car? This version of the Focus is a great car. I was a young 23 year old at the time, and wanted a car that was quick enough but not too expensive to insure and wouldn’t land me in a tree. The 2.0 engine in that focus is powerful enough for the situations that most people will find themselves in, and it’s quite flexible too. The car itself looked good, with its 16 inch wheels and relatively wide tyres. It drove very well too.

The dealer had priced the car well, and it was easy to drive. Obviously I couldn’t afford a new one, so a used one had to do. At the time of purchasing, the 2.0 version was the only one that came as standard with ABS and traction control. as we know from the active safety post, these are two pieces of tech that have really proved helpful, and not just to me.

Reasons for Focus as current car
After the first Focus, I had a BMW 320i, the E36 version. I loved it, but I did spend an awful lot of money keeping it going. About £3000 in fact, which is a lot when I only paid £800 for the car! After two years of constant fiddling, I swapped it for a MK1 Focus, a 2.0 Zetec 3 door. I had wanted this version for ages, but the car blew a spark plug in traffic and I couldn’t afford to fix it at the time. I only had the car for a few months. A real shame, and had circumstances been different, I would have kept it. But it had to go. I took a break from buying cars and borrowed my dad’s Mondeo for a couple of years. Dads are useful like that.

In early 2015, I decided I was ready to buy my own car again, and having buried my head in the internet, I decided to go for an old BMW 318i E46. It was perfect for me, not too quick, cheap to insure and run, yet still good to drive. I got to the dealership and the dealer said that he didn’t want to sell me the car. He showed it to me and explained that he didn’t feel it was in good enough condition to sell at the time.

Familiarity breed relaxation.... that's my rationale focus anyway
Familiarity breed relaxation….

I appreciated the honesty, as I don’t always get that from dealers. He seemed like quite a good guy and I wanted to buy a car that day, so I looked round his stock. I admit that this is not the right way of playing the game, but guess what car I found? A MK1 Ford Focus Ghia 2.0. Much like the one that’s all over this site. How convenient, and the rest as they say, is history.

Why more should buy one (and why more are)
This is the perfect sort of car for most people. Focus’ these days drive well enough to entertain drivers when they’re alone, but are spacious enough to handle a family and shopping. They, and hatchbacks like these, can be fast enough to excite most, but not so outlandish that they attract the wrong sort of attention. They offer trouble-free motoring and a stress-free price (assuming you haggle). That’s why they continue to sell well. It’s also why if anyone was just after a generic car to handle anything, I would point them in this direction.

Do you have any interesting car buying stories? What sort of cars do you default towards? Join the family, join the conversation and comment if you wish. Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts?