Re: 2002 Focus GARBAGE
My wife owned a Nissan 200SX, it was too small for me to drive and she loved it. However, it was expensive to maintain even as a daily driver. With fuel and parts the cost per mile was equal to that of my '00 Durango with the 5.9L engine!
My '99 Taurus has had no major problems except just recently the alternator bit the dust, but with 183,000kms on the clock, not to mention countless hours of idling in the winter months it doesn't surprise me one bit. If you want to waste your money paying a premium for an import, so be it. There's a Toyota plant (Cambridge, ON) that's a twenty minute drive from my residence and even that said, they're still way overpriced when compared to a domestic vehicle with similar equipment.
Don't forget, Toyota had the most engine problems up until a few years ago, most were sludge related. VW/Audi came in second followed by a couple European manufacturers. No domestics were on the top ten list except Chrysler when they had problems with one engine (2.7L) in their '00-02 vehicles. Toyota had known sludge problems for well over a decade with the 2.2L being the most problematic.
From one brand to another there isn't much difference. What matters is personal preference. If you sleep better at night owing an import, then buy one. I sleep at night knowing that I got a great deal on all my vehicles. I looked at an Accord V6 back in 1999 but I ended up buying a '99 Taurus instead as it was $8K less, offered a larger trunk, more room and better highway manners due to the greater base weight. It nets averages 10L/100km in mixed driving. The only thing I found the Accord had that the Taurus didn't was a slight advantage in performance and handling. For that reason I gained in all other areas and saved $8K in the process.
If your Focus is giving you problems did you get the maintenance history from the previous owner? Did you make sure all recalls have been taken care of? Most people buy a vehicle and only fix problems as they arise and spend double the money than if they had performed regular maintenance. Most compact or even subcompact cars for that matter aren't the best taken care of. They're bought to be economical. If you can save money by going 10K on an oil change without the engine falling apart, that's what they'll do. You have to consider and test everything when purchasing a used vehicle. Myself and others do feel your pain as we believe everything should work 100% all the time, however that's not always the case with a man-made machine.
'00 Durango R/T 360ci 290hp (modded); 138,500m
'06 Pontiac G6 GT 3.5L 220hp; 44,000m
'12 Chrysler 200 Limited 3.6L 283hp; 13,000m
'99 Taurus 3.0L 2V Vulcan 145hp; 154,300m - Traded
Amsoil in all vehicles!