A freshening didn't hide the fact this was a nine-year-old design. Once our top-rated small car, this version rated only midpack. It retained some of its agile handling, plus the composed ride and roomy interior. But fit and finish and noise remained weak points. Further, there was no longer a telescoping steering wheel, or assist handles to aid access. Braking distances got longer.

Road Test Results

Performance
Acceleration Acceleration Acceleration tests are conducted on a smooth, flat pavement straightaway at the track. Time, speed, and distance measurements are taken with a precise GPS-based device that’s hooked to a data-logging computer.
0 to 60 mph 0 to 60 mph (sec.) The time in seconds that a vehicle takes to reach 60 mph from a standstill with the engine idling.
Transmission Transmission Transmission performance is determined by shifting smoothness, response, shifter action, and clutch actuation for manual transmissions.
Fuel Economy Fuel Economy We perform our own fuel-economy tests, independent of the government's often-quoted EPA figures and the manufacturers' claims. Using a precise fuel-flow measuring device spliced into the fuel line, we run two separate circuits to represent city and highway consumption.
CR's Overall Mileage CR's Overall Mileage CR's overall mileage is a composite of measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course and highway cruising; and CR's 150-mile test trip of mixed driving, if tested. In recent road tests, we've discontinued the 150-mile trip test.
CR's City Mileage CR's City Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed city course.
CR's Highway Mileage CR's Highway Mileage Measured fuel usage on a prescribed highway cruising.
Annual Fuel Cost Annual Fuel Cost The cost and amount of fuel used in 12,000 miles and is calculated from CR's overall mileage.
Braking Braking The braking rating is a composite of wet and dry stopping distances and pedal feel. Braking distance is from 60 mph, with no wheels locked.
Emergency Handling Emergency Handling Several factors go into the rating, including the avoidance maneuver speed and confidence, as well as how the vehicle behaves when pushed to its limit,
Comfort / Convenience
Ride Ride Our expert judgment of how well the suspension isolates and absorbs road imperfections and how steady it keeps the body on various road surfaces.
Noise Noise Our expert judgment of the vehicle's interior noise level in everyday driving.
Front Seat Comfort Front Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the front seat is for drivers of various heights.
Rear Seat Comfort Rear Seat Comfort Our judgment of how comfortable the rear seat is for two passengers to sit across.
Interior Fit and Finish Interior Fit and Finish An expert evaluation of the interior quality and craftsmanship.
Trunk/Cargo Area Trunk/Cargo Area Our rating is based on the amount of luggage or cargo space that a vehicle has in the trunk or cargo area.

Owner Reports

Worse Better
Reliability History Reliability History The reliability charts are based on responses on hundreds of thousands of vehicles from our latest Annual Auto Survey. Consumer Reports subscribers reported on any serious problems they had with their vehicles during the past 12 months that they considered serious because of cost, failure, safety, or downtime, in any of the trouble spots included in the table below. The results are presented relative to the average model that year. Extra weight is given to the more serious areas such as major engine or transmission problems. Based on this data and further analysis, we predict reliability for the latest year. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
NA
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Reliability Trouble Spots
Engine Major Engine Major Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.
NA
Engine Minor Engine Minor Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.
NA
Engine Cooling Engine Cooling Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.
NA
Transmission Major Transmission Major Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.
NA
Owner Satisfaction Owner Satisfaction To learn about satisfaction, CR has collected survey data from our annual survey on more than half a million vehicles. Our subscribers provide great insights into their satisfaction by answering one simple question: If they had it to do all over again, would they definitely buy or lease the same model? In addition, respondents also rate their cars in six categories: driving experience, comfort, value, styling, audio, and climate systems. N/A indicates that we did not receive a large enough sample size to provide data for a specific year. An X indicates that the vehicle was not manufactured for a specific year.
2000
NA
2001
NA
2002
2003
2004
2005
2006
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
2013
2014
2015
2016
2017
2018
2019
Driving Experience Driving Experience Includes acceleration and handling
Comfort Comfort Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride
Value Value Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?
Styling Styling How it looks inside and out
Safety Equipment
ABS and side air bags available. ESC available 2001-2003, 2009; standard from 2010. Side and head protection air bags standard from 2008.
Road Test

A freshening didn't hide the fact this was a nine-year-old design. Once our top-rated small car, this version rated only midpack. It retained some of its agile handling, plus the composed ride and roomy interior. But fit and finish and noise remained weak points. Further, there was no longer a telescoping steering wheel, or assist handles to aid access. Braking distances got longer. Fuel economy improved, but it was still not great for the class.

Seating
2 front, 3 rear
Drive Wheels
Front
Warranty

In most cases, automotive warranties are based on the vehicle identification number (VIN), and the warranty will be valid regardless of ownership. The dealership can tell you exactly how much warranty is left.

Read more about extended warranties
Body Styles
coupe
sedan
Transmissions Available
  • 5-speed Manual
  • 4-speed Automatic
Engines Available
  • 2-liter 4 (132 hp)
  • 2-liter 4 (140 hp)

Owner Reported Trouble Spots

The Reliability score is based on our latest subscriber survey of 2009 Ford Focus owners. The owner comments describe problems respondents experienced with this vehicle.

Body Integrity

Squeaks, rattles, wind noises, loose or cracked seals and/or weather-stripping, air and water leaks.

What Owners Say

Seals and/or weather-stripping

"The seals on all the rear passenger windows leaked in water and had to be replaced"

Scott S., MO (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Squeaks or rattles

"loose bolt"

Scott S., MO (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"I will have to go under the car to find rattle/rattles"

Alan A., MI (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"NOISY SUSPENSION COMPONENT"

Klaus D., MI (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"It has an annoying high pitched squeak that we cannot find the source for"

George K., IA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"makes noises and rattles while driving"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Noise in front end, maybe struts. Brakes squeak"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Continuous squeak from front driver's side"

Anonymous, AB (2009 Ford Focus SES 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"the dashboard around the speedo squeeks the window pillar squeeks and the back wheels wells or shocks squeek"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Focus SES 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"once the car had around 100,000 miles on it, things stated loosening up and making noises"

Robert T., NH (2009 Ford Focus SES 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"When accelerating, there is a loud rattling sound"

Judy W., AR (2009 Ford Focus SES 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The wind noise from the front (mostly driver's side) is more than you hear in the back seat or passenger side front. No apparent reason for it worse there (window appears tight)"

Anonymous, GA (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Suspension

Shocks or struts, ball joints, tie rods, wheel bearings, alignment, steering linkage (includes rack and pinion), power steering (pumps and hoses, leaks), wheel balance, springs or torsion bars, bushings, electronic or air suspension.

What Owners Say

"Factory standard struts had to be replaced at 75,000 miles"

Anonymous, MO (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Leaking shock left rear"

Ralph M., NJ (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Snapping sound during left steering input has been heard for many years. Attempts to locate source of noise unsuccessful until discovery recently that noise is coming from driver side tie rod joint in steering rack"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tie rods

"The tie rods ends began to rattle. Pins were replaced. Problem cured. We also replaced a motor mount because the engine was vibrating"

Bob H., MO (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Tire wear is uneven

"Ford Focus models through 2011 have a badly designed rear steering geometry, causing accelerated wear in the inside of the rear tires. On this car, the original rear tires wore out in 15,000 miles. Adjustable rear control arms are available on the af"

Skylar C., CA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"due to a rough winter and pot holes and tire wear it needed an alignment. that corrected the problem"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Wheel bearings

"Bought the car used from the dealership. Immediately noticed a light grinding noise sounding like from the front wheels. Dealer evasive. Took it to an independant, thinking it was worn brake linings. The independant said it was the wheel bearings"

Anonymous, MO (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Left front wheel bearing failed. New bearing 90 dollars non Ford. I installed it myself"

Pervie M., CA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"noisy - replaced now much less noise"

Anonymous, OH (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The alignment was not manufactured correctly. An alignment kit had to be added to the car to align the car correctly so the tires would wear evenly"

Brigitte S., ID (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Brakes

Antilock system (ABS), parking brake, master cylinder, calipers, rotors, pulsation or vibration, squeaking, brake failure or wear.

What Owners Say

Master cylinder

"The cylinder was leaking oil and the brakes were not working. Upon repeated repair the brakes are still not working well"

Anonymous, IL (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Trip to California and it was noted that the brakes weren't working very well plus squeaking"

Sharon C., MN (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"expected wear - not an issue with me"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Rotors were seized on and broke when trying to remove"

Eric S., NB (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Parking brake

"The handle on the parking brake has to be pulled very hard and far to engage"

Anonymous, IL (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"front rotors pitted and worn. Needed to be replaced"

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Terrible squealing noise enough so others would notice and wonder why we didn't get it fixed"

Sharon C., MN (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Calipers

"Had to replace them"

Anonymous, WI (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Climate System

Blower (fan) motor, A/C compressor, condenser, evaporator, heater system, automatic climate control, refrigerant leakage, electrical failure.

What Owners Say

Electrical failure

"wiring for blower switch shorted out and burned preventing blower from working"

Anonymous, ME (2009 Ford Focus SES 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"The evaporator stopped working and it took some time to obtain an accurate diagnosis. The fix is nearly $1000 and requires removal of the dash, so it will remain unUSble"

Greg S., WA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Evaportor failed, resulting in no cooling"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Slight crack, leaking coolant, have not decided to repair as yet since it is quite costly $800 give-or-take"

Anonymous, NH (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"AC is not ice cold. We needed to add coolant"

George K., IA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Failed to cool"

Anonymous, FL (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"It seems every Spring, I have to recharge my refrigerant in the AC system. Mechanics say they find no leaks, but it has to be re-charged every Spring. Runs about $100 each time"

Timothy F., PA (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Major

Transmission rebuild or replacement, torque converter, clutch replacement.

What Owners Say

Clutch replacement

"broken pedal return spring developed into a worn clutch rotor which required replacement"

Glen S., NT (2009 Ford Focus S 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Transmission rebuild or replacement

"Transmission had a total failure and had to be replaced with a used part. Cost was about $1,400.00"

Gregory L., NY (2009 Ford Focus)

"Transmission began leaking heavily from where it attaches to engine block, while driving. Was advised that complete replacement of the transmission was the safest and most economical route due to the area of problem"

Melinda M., NJ (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Transmission failed and replaced"

Anonymous, NJ (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Electric System

Alternator, starter, hybrid battery and related systems, regular battery, battery cables, engine harness, coil, ignition switch, electronic ignition, distributor or rotor failure, spark plugs and wires failure.

What Owners Say

Alarm or security system (excluding aftermarket systems)

"If the driver's door is open, it dings, unless I hit a sweet spot on the steering wheel. I have been told the problem is in the steering column"

Anonymous, NE (2009 Ford Focus SES 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Tail light bulbs"

Anonymous, ID (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Tire pressure monitor light comes on occasionally, randomly, when tire pressure is actually correct"

Anonymous, NM (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Paint/Trim

Paint (fading, chalking, cracking, or peeling), loose interior and exterior trim or moldings, rust.

What Owners Say

Loose interior trim or moldings

"molding and trim near the floor and side mirror inside molding came off a little after purchase"

Anonymous, GA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"I have had several ford focuses. The paint always peals behind front wheel wells and in front of rear wheel wells, below doors"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"Serious rust has developed around the driver side mirror. I'm keeping it sanded and sealed but it keeps reappearing. Ford has refused to do anything about it in the past"

Anonymous, ON (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Power Equipment

Cruise control, clock, warning lights, body control module, keyless entry, wiper motor or washer, tire pressure monitor, interior or exterior lights, horn, gauges, 12V power plug, remote engine start, alarm or security system

What Owners Say

Alternator

"Alternator broke while on vacation and and to be replaced, cost $100 even with the certified warranty"

Anonymous, MI (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Coil

"Had to replace 2 of the 4 coils within 3 weeks of each other"

Terry C., ON (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Body Hardware

Power or manual windows, locks and latches, tailgate, hatch or trunk, doors or sliding doors, mirrors, seat controls, safety belts, sunroof, convertible top.

What Owners Say

Glass defects

"Windshield cracked starting at bottom edge and slowly advancing in a curve over one foot long. This started on a cold winter night while in garage"

F H., MI (2009 Ford Focus Unsure 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

"the windshield glass seems to break very easy. I have had to replace the windshield 3 times in less than 4 months"

Anonymous, PA (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

In-car Electronics

CD or DVD players, radio, speakers, GPS, communication system (e.g., OnStar), display screen freezes or goes blank, phone pairing (e.g. Bluetooth), voice control commands, steering wheel controls, portable music device interface (e.g., iPod/MP3 player), backup or other camera/sensors.

What Owners Say

CD player

"Cannot get the CD's to eject for the 6-disc player"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)
Speakers

"the right front speaker is scratchy and low on power"

Anonymous, TX (2009 Ford Focus SEL 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Minor

Accessory belts and pulleys, engine computer, engine mounts, engine knock or ping, oil leaks.

What Owners Say

Engine mounts

"Engine vibration at idle in gear has been excessive for many years. Passenger-side engine mount was replaced a couple years ago but little help. Now, drive-side mount has been replaced and vibration is gone"

Anonymous, CA (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Engine Cooling

Radiator, cooling fan, antifreeze leaks, water pump, thermostat, overheating.

What Owners Say

Antifreeze leaks

"had to replace a simple coolant hose clamp that failed which allowed all the coolant to drain and the car had to be towed to the dealer"

Terry C., ON (2009 Ford Focus SE 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Transmission Minor

Gear selector or linkage, leaks, transmission computer, transmission sensor or solenoid, clutch adjustment, rough shifting, slipping transmission.

What Owners Say

"They had to replace the gas pedal. It was a sensor problem"

Anonymous, IN (2009 Ford Focus SES 2.0-L 4 Cyl)

Exhaust

Muffler, pipes, catalytic converter, exhaust manifold, leaks.

Fuel System

Check engine light, sensors (includes O2 or oxygen sensor), emission control devices (includes EGR), engine computer, engine computer, fuel cap, fuel gauge/sender, fuel injection system, fuel pump, fuel leaks, stalling or hesitation.

Drive System

Driveshaft or axle, CV joint, differential, transfer case, 4WD/AWD components, driveline vibration, traction control, electronic stability control (ESC), electrical failure.

Engine Major

Engine rebuild or replacement, cylinder head, head gasket, turbo or supercharger, timing chain or timing belt.

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