2003 Ford Focus Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Ford Focus Hatchback

We didn't find any results. You can try changing your zip code, or check another model year.

We found matches for you!

Ford Focus Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 130 hp @ 5300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/29 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2003 Ford Focus

  • The 2003 Ford Focus is a wonderful small car that's fun to drive, frugal with fuel and offered in such a wide variety of configurations it would be hard not to find one that suits your needs.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Thoughtful ergonomics, large interior, smooth ride, sharp steering, impressive selection of body configurations and features.

  • Cons

    Seats aren't comfortable for everyone, below-average reliability.

  • What's New for 2003

    Minor changes are in store for the 2003 Ford Focus. Two new trim levels increase the breadth of prices for Ford's economy car; a base trim for the three door hatchback renders air conditioning optional and only comes with a manual transmission. For the five door hatchback, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, front reading lights and a center console are available when you step up to the comfort trim level from the base level. Heated front seats are a new option, as is a traction control and ABS package. New colors for the exterior brighten up the color palette, and the interior is freshened with two new fabric trims. Finally, a CD/MP3 player is now standard on the ZX3 and ZX5. A SVT version of the ZX5 is also scheduled to appear later in the year.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

1 of 7 people found this review helpful

Horrible car

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Comfort 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this care used at 85,00 miles for $5000 and I guess you get what you paid for. Within the first few months I had to get the transmission replaced and from there it has been down hill. I havent even had the car for 4 years and I have had to get a new alternator, spark plugs, coolant resivor, vacuum pump, two thermostats, a plastic piece that connects my coolant resivor to my radiator, and two window pullys that broke. I'd say by now I could have gotten a brand new car....Thats how expensive all the repairs cost. Now it makes a weird rattle noise when I idle and the ford dealership can't figure out what it is....and let me tell you it is a really LOUD rattle. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR!



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Whatta steal w/the special 2.3l

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Comfort 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this used on 3/31/09 w/58k miles for my eldest son to commute to college. I got it cheap after previous owner bought it damaged the prior fall - it was in a front-end collision; he did most of the repairs himself. Regardless, this car is solid! It's amazingly quick for a 4-banger. That's because it was sold in NY, so it has the 2.3L Duratec PZEV engine that produces 145 HP, as opposed to the weaker 2.0L engines that came with most 03 MY 'Foci'. Around the town gas mileage is OK-to-Very Good (21-24 MPG), but it's great on highway trips (up to 29 MPG). Also, it's very comfortable and fun/different to drive - maybe that's what others refer to as this car's "European" feel.




Great car that worse than

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Comfort 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Clutch gone at 33,000 Front Struts worn out at 65,000 Steering wheel fails to unlock at 45,000 Tinim chain skips and ruins engine at 98,000 3 radios changed under warranty, and never wored right Side mirrrs break off easily and host of little problems. I used to own YUGO and things that lasted forever on YUGO break on FORD FOUCS, incredible ! Coolant tank leaks at 82,500 CHeck engine light on more than 20 times, Radiator and fan and air flow sensor all failed when still under warranty. Well mine was made in MEXICO !




Fun and more fun

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Comfort 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I actually have the 2.3 liter engine and it is the best car I love it. the engine pick up is fantastic my last car had the worse pick and the ZX5 just goes!




Zx5-comfort

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Comfort 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I have been very pleased with this vehicle. I got it for the fuel economy and the 100K drive train warranty. But I was surprised how fun the car is to drive. It is the best handling car I've owned. Ok, here is the MPG scoop. For the first 2000 miles I got a city/highway combined 31 MPG. Since then it has steadily gone up. Now at 8000+ miles I get 35 MPG. That is about 60% highway 40% city. Average highway speed 75 MPH.




My new zx5

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Comfort 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

My car is new and the fit and finish is perfect. We all expect that - of course but it really isn't always the case. My ZX5 is the size I wanted, has all the toys I wanted and the power is what I expected. It's peppy, takes corners very well and doesn't leave me feeling like I'm driving a toy box.



Full 2003 Ford Focus Review

What's New for 2003

Minor changes are in store for the 2003 Ford Focus. Two new trim levels increase the breadth of prices for Ford's economy car; a base trim for the three door hatchback renders air conditioning optional and only comes with a manual transmission. For the five door hatchback, a tilt and telescoping steering wheel, cruise control, front reading lights and a center console are available when you step up to the comfort trim level from the base level. Heated front seats are a new option, as is a traction control and ABS package. New colors for the exterior brighten up the color palette, and the interior is freshened with two new fabric trims. Finally, a CD/MP3 player is now standard on the ZX3 and ZX5. A SVT version of the ZX5 is also scheduled to appear later in the year.

Introduction

"Smart design and spirited driving" were the guiding forces behind the development of the Focus. It debuted in 2000 with "New Edge" styling, a roomy interior and excellent road manners. These qualities, plus a wide variety of configurations, have made the Focus the best small car from a domestic manufacturer. It falls behind the Civic and Corolla in terms of refinement and reliability, but the 2003 Ford Focus is still worth considering for a fun and functional small car.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2003 Ford Focus is available in four body styles: a three-door ZX3 hatchback, a five-door ZX5 hatchback, a sedan and a wagon. The sedan can be ordered in one of three trim levels, starting with the base LX model and going up to the midlevel SE and highline ZTS trim. Wagons are available in SE or ZTW trim. The ZX3 can be had in base, premium or power premium trim, while the ZX5 allows for the choice between base, comfort and premium models. There's also the high-performance SVT Focus, which is based on the ZX3.

Powertrains and Performance

The base drivetrain for LX models is a 2.0-liter 110-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels. This same drivetrain is standard in SE sedans, but ZTS sedans, along with wagons and hatchbacks, get a more powerful 130-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as standard equipment. A four-speed automatic is optional. Both engines provide adequate power, though the higher-output motor is the clear choice for enthusiasts. Still not enough? Then maybe you should consider the SVT Focus. Based on the ZX3, this hot hatch puts out 170 horsepower and is equipped with an exclusive six-speed manual transmission. The SVT Focus also comes with 17-inch wheels, oversize four-wheel disc brakes and a sport-tuned suspension to keep it glued to the road.

Safety

For safety, the Focus has ABS, traction control and stability control as optional equipment. NHTSA crash test scores for the ZX3 are good with the car earning four stars in frontal impacts and front side-impacts. The rear side-impact test, however, resulted in a very poor one-star rating for the ZX3. However, the ZX5 and wagon also scored four stars for rear side impacts. In frontal offset testing (conducted by the IIHS), the Focus has earned a "Good" score.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Focus is roomy for its class, offering generous accommodations for its front and rear passengers. Inside you'll find plenty of headroom. Some options usually not found in this segment include an in-dash six-disc CD changer, MP3 player and a stability control system. Some may find the asymmetrical dash layout odd, but the well-dampened controls and correct ergonomic placement should forgive any faults.

Driving Impressions

Regardless of trim, the 2003 Ford Focus offers a smooth ride quality and above-average handling ability. The four-wheel fully independent suspension allows for noticeable body roll while cornering, but the Focus stays planted and inspires confidence. The steering system is surprisingly quick, fluid and responsive, always providing plenty of feedback from the road surface. Our experience with our long-term ZX3 has proven to be more than satisfactory, and the SVT Focus, with its aftermarket-sounding exhaust, short-throw shifter and optional audiophile sound system has proven to be our favorite sport compact hatchback.

Talk About The 2003 Focus

Read more about the 2003 Ford Focus

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 22
  • cty
/
  • 29
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs