I have been driving my 2004 1.6 petrol for 12 months. It's going in for its MOT tomorrow and I expect it to pass. I have had absolutely no problems with the car, and I mean absolutely no problems. Before I bought the car from a dealer I telephoned the previous owner. Again absolutely no problems since new, and, since I have the service history and all invoices, I have confirmation of its reliability. It's all very dull and boring, I'm afraid. The problem about engines cutting out seems to be relevant only to early diesel models, and has never applied to petrol duratec engines, which have proved to be reliable and have been fitted to millions of cars worldwide to date.
I liked the car when I bought it and I still do. It's no rocket ship, but it's comfortable and reasonably quiet, and the driving position, steering, breaks and all of the other important stuff is just about spot on. You might find it a touch underpowered if you are really loaded up, but the engine is very flexible, which makes up for its shortcomings in this respect.
As Patriot says, a few people are very unlucky. We all know that there are 'dog-day' cars out there, and some of us have bought one at some point, but there is no reason to suppose that yours is one of them. Happy drives [img]smileys/smiley4.gif[/img].