2003 Ford Focus Wagon Review | Edmunds.com

2003 Ford Focus Wagon

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Ford Focus Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.0 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 4-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 130 hp @ 5300 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/28 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 (21 total reviews)  |  Write a Review

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Terrible

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

bought this at 81,000 miles was good until about 85,000. New motor mount, then a new engine, then a huge exhaust leak, then the engine was misfiring, then had to take it back to ford to get the lifters replaced, now i am waiting on it in the shop because they had to replace the instrument cluster. a total of about 5,000 in repairs in just a year. It's rediculous! i spend more time without a car then i do with one. I just barely hit 97k miles!




Took the crash well

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Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

My wife bought this car new. In the time she had it there was very little maintenance done on it. Had to replace a tail light that had melted to the plastic holder. Had to drill the old one out. Car ran smooth. A couple of weeks ago another driver pulled out in front of her and my wife and 9 month baby hit them head on at over 45 MPH. The good news is they both walked away. Minor injuries. Insurance did not give is much money for it but they car crumbled and not my family. Other problems with the car was the radio stopped working but could not be turned off. It just blinked, and the tailgate release button was not working had to use the keypad.




Awful

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Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Picked this up just over a year ago with 38,000 miles on it & over a year of original powertrain warranty left. Since then, it's been into the shop many times. I've spent over $3,000 repairing this vehicle, replacing the a/c compressor, the a/c condenser, the alternator, the tensioner pulley, & the front sway bars amongst other things. None of the repairs were covered by the warranty. The car now has 47,300 miles on it, & I can't wait to trade it in. In my opinion, I think that overall, it's a good idea poorly executed, put together with poor quality parts.



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Nice wagon

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

This is a great little wagon with exceptional gas mileage. Right now has 100,000 on it an still running nicely. The ignition lock froze up around 70,000 and had to be replaced and the shift solenoid in the tranny was just done last week. Other than that, just general maintenance. Have driven this car all over the country and it's always started and run nicely. I do not go to dealerships for upkeep on my car, I go to Firestone so haven't had problems with recurrent brake issues, etc.




Great car!

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

This is my first car and so far it has been great. We've had it for a year and it hasn't had so much as a battery problem-Extremely reliable. The car is easy and fun to drive with tight steering and a lot of zip to it. Both the interior and exterior have a really cool design. I do a have some complaints; The interior-actually the whole car- has an overuse of cheap plastic and the brakes squeak, but only in very cold, rainy, or snowy weather. If you're looking for a reliable car you can't go wrong with the Focus.




Too many repairs

by on
Vehicle: 2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Here I have a 2003 Ford Focus wagon with 52K miles. Decided to go on road trip; had to be towed twice. Started smoking, Ford dealer said it was battery. Then it died again; this time alternator replaced. Made it home and was told the a/c compressor is going. Real nice at this low mileage. In repair shop at least 7 times since I bought it. All about the brakes and rotors. No one could fix them right, still squeaked loudly. Final answer from mechanic that all Ford Focus's do this. Give me a break. I went to brake specialist and they fixed it. Doors sound like tin. Can't open left side passenger door. Just a piece of junk. The money I've spent on this car I could have had a wonderful vacation.



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
/
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs