Apart from being sluggish, the 1.6 Ford Sigma unit is robust and generally trouble-free, as is the 1.8 petrol, which is a Mazda-based engine similar to that used in the MX-5. The 2.0 is another Mazda unit and it’s much quicker and almost as frugal. The five-cylinder petrol units are just as rugged, albeit a bit thirsty. The 1.6 diesel is the FORD/PSA
DV6 16v unit, which has been blighted by turbo and diesel particulate filter (DPF) issues, so is best avoided; the 115bhp 8v version that replaced it with the dry DPF has fewer problems. The larger-capacity 2.0 D3 and D4 five-cylinder diesels are generally bulletproof. However, it’s worth keeping an eye on oil levels on the D5 as a technical service bulletin was issued regarding diesel getting into the sump during DPF regeneration cycles.
Official timing belt intervals vary between 7-12 years or 87,500 to 120,000 miles, but there’s no harm doing it at the lower end of this range.
Transmissions are robust, but it’s best to change the oil on the Aisin Warner auto fitted to the 2.4i, T5, D3/4/5 at 80,000-100,000 miles. Beware the Ford Powershift twin-clutch manual gearbox: if it goes wrong, it can be a nightmare to diagnose and fix.