Why Is the Ford Focus So Cheap?

The Ford Focus is a compact car loved by many. It is one of the few Ford franchises that have been around for a long time. From Europe to Asia and North America, the Focus is one of the best-selling car series from the Ford brand. Perhaps it is due to its sporty steering, generous cargo space, exemplary handling, reliability, or the fact that it’s available in both hatchback and estate forms. Besides its good looks, comfy interior, and excellent build quality, one thing about the Ford Focus is that it is very cheap. So, why is the Ford Focus so cheap?

For starters, the Ford Focus has a long history of transmission-related problems, especially in the automatic versions. This widely reported issue has reduced the value of the car significantly. The vehicle also uses dated technology, and its interior quality isn’t so excellent compared to what other cars of its nature bring to the table. Numerous owners have complained of excess vibration, shuddering, grinding noises, and other problems. The company did not address these issues, so the price of the car kept on depreciating.

It’s as though the cost outweighs the benefits, so despite the good qualities found in the Ford Focus, these issues and problems are the main reason why its market value is so low. Hence, while analyzing the affordability of the Ford Focus is cheap, we’ll have to review the issues it has.

Reasons Why The Ford Focus Is So Cheap 

Nature of The Brand

The Ford brand is well known for producing average-cost cars. Their cars are fairly affordable compared to other brands like Mercedes and Audi. So, ideally, the Ford company shouldn’t sell a mid-range car like the Focus at a high price.

Another reason for the low cost of ford cars is that there is a low demand for Ford cars. There is an even lower demand for the Ford Focus, as its reputation hasn’t been excellent over the years. Considering the low demand, car dealers are left with no choice other than to sell it off low. 

Poor Driving Experience

If you’ve ever driven a Ford Focus, you’ll find that the complaints about their driving experience are genuine. It is common to experience excessive vibration and grinding noises while driving. 

This can be an unpleasant experience that no driver would like to have. Little wonder why cars like the Audi A8 and Lexus GS get lots of buyers despite their high price tags. The quiet driving experience is valued a lot and is proven by customers’ purchase behaviors.

The affordability of the Ford Focus is the only thing that compensates for the vibrations, shuddering, and grinding noises users face while driving. 

Transmission Problems

If you compare various Ford Focus models (from 2012 upwards), you’ll find that this is the major fault reported in Focus vehicles. Several users have complained that the transmission is so weak and vulnerable that anyone purchasing this car will likely spend up to 2 times the purchase price correcting transmission issues. 

This transmission problem is so severe that some folks now believe that the main reason why Ford made the Focus so cheap is due to its terrible engineering. However, the situation seems to be much worse in the automatic versions of this vehicle; so much that some dealers advise an intending buyer to go for the manual transmission version or a different model entirely. 

Low-Quality Interior

Compared to cars like the Toyota Avalon, the Ford Focus falls short. The design does not really change in the generations and models. The company mostly adds a few features or new technology that wasn’t in previous models. 

Even some interior issues like ignition key problems and steering problems noticed in older models were still present in the newer ones. 

This phenomenon has made Focus customers/buyers lose interest because they feel the company doesn’t bother to address some of these minor issues. Hence, dealers have no choice but to sell this car cheaply. 

Few Rivals and Dated Technology

Tough competition is a gamechanger in any market. However, in the case of the Ford Focus rivals, we mention cars like Mazda 3, Volkswagen Golf, Seat Leon, Audi A3 Sportback, and Kia Ceed. These cars are not very different from the Focus and are hardly superior to it. They all possess dated technology that users may not find enticing. 

The Ford Focus and most of its rivals have similar interior designs, similar features, and similar price tags as well. With such poor competition, it’s no wonder why the Focus has remained cheap and affordable despite subsequent models being released.

Common Problems With The Ford Focus

Despite its low price, some concerns have been noticed, making people refuse to buy the Focus. In case you were wondering what exactly is wrong with a Ford Focus and what other users have encountered while using these vehicles, here are some of them:

Clutch Problems

The clutch in a car provides the connection between the engine and transmission. It is never a pleasant experience when something goes wrong with a car’s clutch. Ever since Ford launched the dual-clutch transmission on the Focus models, there have been a series of reported challenges. 

Some drivers have complained of having experienced a slipping clutch, while others experienced jerky shifting. The clutch accounts for most of the transmission problems reported from Ford Focus vehicles’ users. 

Engine Stall and Vibrations

Many users of Ford Focus vehicles have claimed to experience stalling on their car engines. 

There was a time the problem was so severe that Ford had to call back nearly 1.5 million Focus vehicles in America because their engines had a habit of stalling without warning. 

The engine stalling was caused by a fuel system problem (a defective valve) that stops the flow of air into the engine. 

Several owners and drivers have also complained of noticing excessive engine vibrations in their Focus vehicles. This is another thing that contributes to the poor driving experience you’ll get from a Ford Focus. And these vibrations are mostly noticed when the transmission is engaged in reverse. Analysis has revealed that this problem usually occurs when a stone or other foreign material is in the engine. Nonetheless, the resulting noise is always unbearable, and it’s a limitation that puts the Ford Focus at a disadvantage compared to its counterparts. 

Steering and Pre-ignition Problems

The electric power steering of the Ford Focus, especially its 2012 model, has been reported to get faulty easily and sometimes fail unexpectedly at both high and low speeds. When these reports became too many, Ford recalled all its Focus vehicles to fix the issue. 

Furthermore, the Focus has also been known to exhibit low-speed pre-ignition.  When low-speed pre-ignition occurs, it damages pistons or connecting rods. With issues like these, one may realize that getting a Ford Focus may be cheap, but perhaps keeping it in optimum condition for a long time may not be so cheap after all. 

Is the Ford Focus A Good Car?

The Ford Focus is a good car, as it matches its rivals in most features like interior quality, cabin space, and technology. Despite the occasional complaints from users, it is reliable. In a recent Whatcar reliability survey, the petrol-powered Ford Focus came out 17th out of 31. In terms of rating, its reliability scores 4.0 out of 5.0.

The latest 2019 Ford Focus is an excellent example. The 2019 Ford Focus is quite impressive yet maintains its predecessors’ affordable prices. This model comes with recent technology, and some of its features include:

  • Remote access capabilities
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Live traffic updates and streaming capabilities
  • Ford Pass technology

Overall, it’s a fun family car, and its affordability does make up for any of its flaws. 

Do Ford Focus Cars Last Long?

As with all cars, the lifespan of a Focus will depend on how well you can handle or maintain it. With regular maintenance, this car can give off about 200,000 miles to 400,000 miles drive in its lifetime.

Is the Ford Focus spacious?

Well, yes and no. There’s lots of space in the front seats, which are also well-cushioned and provide good comfort for long trips. However, there is limited legroom in the rear seats. 

One look at the available space at the rear seats, and you’ll know they don’t suit long trips.


Based on the many letdowns of the Ford Focus, one may ask, is the Ford Focus a good buy?

Well, yes, if you desire an affordable car with a durable body and reasonably good features.

  1. Great cornering ability, thank you four-wheel drive
  2. Comfortable seats
  3. Soundly-built engines
  4. Technology that beats most rivals

The latest model of the Focus comes in a beautiful design with mouthwatering features and is sure to be free of most of the problems found in earlier models. No car is perfect, so when you consider the Ford Focus, remember its durability, reliability, and of course, its cost.

Related: What are the best Ford Thunderbirds?

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