Version Focus – Could You Save Money Choosing Wisely?


As I’ve mentioned before, this is not the first Mk1 Focus I bought. It’s actually the third one. Before you all accuse me of having no imagination, there are good reasons for this. The reasons mostly relate to expensive faults with the first two. In addition, I wasn’t in a financial position to fix these faults. Although all the Focus’ were equal, the current one has been more equal than the others in my view. Let’s have a focus on the version of the car we buy.

(Before we get into the details, don’t forget our 10% Referral Refund Scheme, for anyone who sends a customer to Motorkwirks Finder and Consultancy Services. Could you be the next to benefit?)

The ‘luxury’ Ghia version what…..

The first two were 2.0 Zetecs. These are relatively sought after (by Mk1 Focus standards) as they come with a strong engine, larger wheels, and a firm ride. Just what we’re after in a warm hatch. Couple this to the fact that the Focus handles very well in any guise, and we can see why this proved to be a hit. And also why it’s relatively hard to find at the moment. You’ll have an easier time finding an ST170, which was actually meant to be the warm hatch version. It was very good to drive, but didn’t feel that much faster than the standard 2.0. Not to my bottom anyway, and insurance on that car seems to be disproportionately high. No doubt it will still be a collectors item, if not on the same level as the top banana RS.

There was a 3 year gap between me selling the second zetec and buying my current ghia version. The ghia version doesn’t have the sporty suspension of the zetec, and it comes with smaller 15″ wheels. To most people, this simply does not matter. What little we lose in the handling area, we gain on the equipment and daily comfort. This version is more suited to long distance work. I class this as very important, given the length of my current commute.

I’m at a point now where I appreciate everyday comfort more than occasional blasts. The Ghia can manage both, and there have been many occasions where I have surprised a few sports cars with the cornering speeds this car can achieve. This car is not boring to drive, even in Ghia trim.

The main advantage of the ghia for me is in its equipment levels. My version comes with comfy seats, and climate controlled air-condition. This differs from normal air conditioning because one can set the desired temperature inside the car. I recognise that most cars these days have this, but for me it’s made travel much more pleasant. The electric seat, four electric windows and mirrors all help as well. The trip computer is a big deal for me, especially when it comes to monitoring fuel economy. Again this is now commonplace, but I appreciate this on a 17 year old Ford. How priorities change as one gets older.

The smaller width and diameter tyres help to cushion the ride, making the car feel more sophisticated. The scuff plates are a nice touch too. In future I may change the seats for the optional leather ones, and some versions even come with cruise control. I feel quite satisfied getting into a plush car that you can buy and run on such a small budget. Feel free to let me know of any luxury bargains you have had, and can recommend.

Fat tyres for a soft ride. Very bottom friendly….

The version of the car we buy can therefore make a huge difference to how life is on a daily basis. If we don’t mind the car riding firmly but our passengers are always complaining, that is not going to aid the living experience. This links back to my car buyers guides for both new and used variants. In my case, the use for the focus has not changed. I am equally interested in mpg and mph, although I still enjoy the occasional fast drive. Fortunately the two don’t have to be completely mutually exclusive.

Which version of your car do you have? What did you consider when deciding? Does ultimate handling matter more than daily comfort? Feel free to let me know below. Your input could help someone make a good decision, and ultimately save them money, both short and long term. Join the family and comment on your experiences. Thanks for reading!

What are your thoughts?