The original Focus was nimble and fun to drive, with quick and communicative steering and a comfortable ride.
It had lots of interior room and easy access, but performance and fuel economy were only average.
Body styles included a sedan, a roomy wagon, and a hatchback.
A sporty, crisp-handling SVT performance-oriented hatchback was offered from 2002 to 2004.
Without its optional side airbags, the Focus received a Poor in the IIHS side-crash test, so you'll want to avoid models without them.
After the model year 2008 revision, handling isn't as crisp, interior quality dropped off and the cabin got noisier.
On the plus side though, a coupe version arrived in 2008.