Compact car; Built in USA
  • 2-door hatchback
  • 4-door hatchback
  • 4-door sedan
  • 4-door wagon
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $4,000 – $7,500*


2006 Ford Focus


2006 Ford Focus


2006 Ford Focus


2006 Ford Focus

Pros:
  • Cargo room (hatchback)
  • Fuel economy
  • Steering/handling
Cons:
  • Acceleration
  • Cargo room (sedan)
  • Noise
  • Rear-seat room and comfort

Focus is fun to drive in any form, but especially in enthusiast-oriented ST trim. Though it’s not as refined as a Volkswagen Jetta or as outright sporty as Mazda 3, Focus measures up well overall, and has been very competitively priced. An array of body styles and useful options (if installed) can enhance its appeal. Still, it’s an aging design that makes do with head-protecting front side airbags rather than the curtain airbags that have become the norm on newer compacts.

Overview

Ford’s smallest car was revamped for 2005, getting more power and revised styling, inside and out. A front-wheel-drive compact, Focus came as a two-door hatchback called the ZX3, and with four doors as the ZX4 sedan, ZX5 hatchback, and ZXW wagon.

All models had a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, except for the ZX4 ST version of the sedan, which used a 2.3-liter four-cylinder. The 2.3-liter delivered 151 horsepower, versus 145 in 2004 models. Others were rated 136 horsepower, up from 110 or 130 (depending on model) in 2004. The ZX4 ST replaced the sporty SVT hatchbacks and came with sport suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and mandatory manual transmission. The 2.0-liter engine could work with either a manual or automatic transmission.

Wheel diameters were 16 inches for SES and ZX4 ST versions, but 15 inches elsewhere. Antilock braking was standard on the ZX4 ST, but optional otherwise. The ZX4 ST also came with traction control, which was optional on SE and SES trim levels.

Head-and-torso front side airbags were optional on all models. Available features included a sunroof, leather upholstery, and heated front seats. Standard on all were a height-adjustable driver’s seat, and split folding rear seatbacks. Rivals included the Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, and Mazda 3.

Yearly Updates

2006 Focus
A Street Appearance Package became available for 2006, aimed at young “tuner” performance enthusiasts. A rear spoiler and modified front/rear fascias were finished in body color, complemented by fog lights and a chrome exhaust tip. Otherwise, changes were minor for the 2006 model year.
2007 Focus
Ford’s smallest car was largely unchanged for 2007.

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

All Focus models used a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, except for the ZX4 ST version of the sedan, which held a 2.3-liter four-cylinder that generated 15 more horsepower. Only a five-speed manual transmission could be installed in the ZX4 ST, but others could have an optional four-speed automatic.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.0/121
Engine HP 136
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 133
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
27/37
27/34
dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 2.3/138
Engine HP 151
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 154
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual

22/32

Road Test

Acceleration ranks as modest. The ZX4 ST’s 2.3-liter has adequate low-rpm power, with immediate throttle response. The standard 2.0-liter engine offers only adequate power for highway merging or ascending long grades. An automatic transmission dulls off-the-line snap, but Ford’s manual transmission has smooth clutch and shifter action.

Fuel economy is a bonus. A Focus ZX4 ST, with its larger engine, averaged 20.5 mpg in exclusively city driving.

Ride comfort depends on the model. The ST’s sport suspension yields a firm but impressively compliant ride. Other models are somewhat softer than the ST, with less thumping over bumps, as in many European cars. However, they also feel less stable at highway speeds.

An ST offers communicative steering, with good grip and well-controlled body lean in fast turns. Braking is strong and stable. Other models, with their softer suspensions, are a shade less agile.

Don’t expect silent running. An ST exhibits little road rumble, but tires slap intrusively over sharp ridges and its sporty exhaust note gets loud under acceleration. All models exhibit noticeable wind rush around front side windows.

Redesigned for 2005, the well-arranged dashboard is more conventional in layout, and retains fine functionality. Gauges are easy to read. Controls fall readily to hand and are mostly intuitive. Cabin materials and workmanship are good in this price segment.

Front seats are comfortable and supportive. Comfortably upright seating on chairlike cushions is accompanied by outstanding headroom. Leg space is fine for this class. ST and SES trim levels have a tilt/telescoping steering wheel for an extra measure of driver comfort. Large door openings assist entry/exit. Focus provides better rear head and legroom than most compacts, though the sunroof’s housing reduces headspace. Two-door models have difficult rear-seat entry/exit. It’s easier on four-door models, though their rear doors should really open wider.

Sedan trunk lids use space-saving strut-type hinges that don’t intrude into the luggage area. All body types, wagons and hatchbacks in particular, have generous cargo holds with low liftovers, though the available premium stereo subwoofer eats up trunk space. Standard split folding rear seatbacks are a welcome feature for versatility. Abundant and useful interior storage space includes a six-CD holder in the dashboard, plus a roof console in non-sunroof models.

Ratings

Model Tested: Ford Focus ZX3 SES w/auto.

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 3
30%
Fuel Economy - 6
60%
Ride Quality - 6
60%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 4
40%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Front - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Rear - 3
30%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 53

Specifications

2-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.9 168.5 66.7 56.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
39.7 14.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 38.5 40.7 37.6
4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.9 168.5 66.7 56.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
39.7 14.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 38.5 40.7 37.6
4-door sedan
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.9 175.2 66.7 56.9
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
14.8 14.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 38.4 40.7 37.6
4-door wagon
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.9 178.4 66.7 56.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
73.1 14.0 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
39.1 39.8 40.7 37.6
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2006 2-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 4
80%
Front Passenger Injury - 4
80%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Rear Passenger Injury - 4
80%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

Air conditioner
Description: The air conditioning may quit working due to low refrigerant levels caused by leaking compressor shaft seal. (2005-07)
Brakes
Description: The brakes may require extra effort when the engine is first started at altitudes above 5,000 ft. due to lack of sufficient vacuum to the booster requiring a revised brake booster/air cleaner aspirator hose assembly. (2005-07)
Brakes
Description: The rear drum brakes may squeal when applied and revised brake shoes are available. (2005-06)
Clutch
Description: Downshifting into low (1st.) gear at speeds above 15 mph may cause the clutch disc to break apart, even if the clutch is not subsequently engaged, requiring revised clutch disc and pressure plate. (2005-07)
Clutch
Description: The clutch may not disengage due to leaking slave cylinder which must be replaced along with the clutch disc and pressure plate. (2006-07)

Recall History

2005
Description: On four- and five-door cars in certain states, a build-up of corrosion at rear door latch can cause binding that makes it difficult to open or close the door, which may not latch properly.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.