2003 Ford Focus - Consumer Reviews

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Average Consumer Rating 352 Total Reviews
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Top Flight Car - If Modified
By svt_owner on 07/03/13 06:46 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus SVT 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 6M)

Review

Test drove an Acura RSX-S and SVT. RSX felt cramped with poor outward vision poor and didn't come "loaded" as the SVT - which had everything but traction control. Driving position, outward vision and ergonomics all superior to RSX, as are brakes. Body roll excessive and gear linkage slow. Worst feature is the dual mass flywheel, which is supposed to dampen out ham fisted shifting, but merely retards revs, acceleration, and obviates engine braking. Noisy car with practically no sound insulation, although it comes with a good sound system. MPG on the poor side, especially in mixed traffic, (22-23).
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3 of 7 people found this review helpful
Absolute piece of garbage
By invisiblekid87 on 04/03/13 11:45 AM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Bought the car back in 2011, used, about 65,000 miles on it. I should be able to get some life out of it, right? Wrong. About 4 months later, the alternator had to be changed. Figured that was normal - took it for inspection in June of 2012 - needed a tune-up. Then - the ignition started sticking, got to the point where I was coming out of a hair appointment and the car would not start. Had to call a mechanic - $400 dollars to get the ignition fixed! Now - the battery's drained and my transmission is sticking. I have no clue how much it's gonna be, but the car has been sitting in the driveway for about 3 months and I refuse to put another dime into it. Good riddance.
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3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Clear sailing
By matthewew on 03/26/13 15:59 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus ZTW 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl 4A)

Review

I love this car. The only issue is that it is rough on tires. I normally get about 40K out of a 60K tire. I average 26-27mpg in the winter and 29-32mpg the rest of the year. I have 149900 miles on my car. I have not experienced many of the issues that others have, but then I bought mine new and know what it has gone through. If you do the maintenance when the owner's manual says to do it then you will have very few problems. Word to drivers the rotors are not the best, but the pads are really good so if you have worn out your brake pads, that is on you. I went 89K before having to change rotors and it was a mountain pass that did in the rear brake pads.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
More fun than expected
By driven1320 on 03/09/13 17:54 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus ZX3 Premium 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

I knew what I wanted initially: a small hatchback with good mpg and a manual trans. However, I never expected to like it this much. The old saying that its more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow... this car nails it. Driving around town I find this car more satisfying than my 400hp Mustang. Its reasonably peppy, doesn't have to be revved, and with the addition of a stiffer rear swaybar, the handling is a blast. Tons of room too. On one trip I managed 3 people and a 50" tv. On another, a full dresser. It's got 140k miles on it, so a few things are starting to go, but I'd say its held up incredibly well. Couldn't be happier with my purchase!
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Underpowered, boring, but reliable.
By njoosse on 01/04/13 09:41 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

We owned this car for a little over 5 years. It gave us very little trouble, and was very economical. We got rid of it with 100,000 miles. At that point it was a very rattly annoying car to drive. Also very underpowered, passing someone had to be all planned out. Awesome on fuel, but I think a Civic or a Mazda would have been a lot more fun.
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avg bang for avg buck
By midlevelbuyer on 12/18/12 14:09 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Whaddya expect... you're buying a used car! Granted I bought it 40km and am now past 130k, but its been a great car for the buck. ( had a Toyota dealer ask 10k for the used price at first though? what the..!!) But reading through these reviews its obvious too many poor quality parts were used given how many similarities in repairs: trunk latch has been replaced 3x now and still doesn't latch all the time. Door handles. Ignition locked up. Battery is being drained by something, replaced once already. Sway bar/bushings. But be realistic. Otherwise its been a great little mid level car.
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Focus for average people
By connemara on 11/29/12 10:47 AM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

Cheap to buy used, good solid reliability, few issues, good mileage, fun to drive, very easy to service
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1 of 4 people found this review helpful
Horrible Car
By laurenglamtm on 11/21/12 21:19 PM (PST)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Comfort 4dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

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!
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1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Ford = Fix. Or. Repair. Daily.
By jaym83 on 09/26/12 19:54 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2dr Hatchback (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

This car is a nightmare. Every other focus owner ive talked to hates this car too. Never buy this vehicle. Even the ford mechanics at the dealerships ive been to tell me this car is nothing but a bag of issues. I have had this car for less than six years and put less than 40,000miles on it and have had so many issues. This car eats tires and rear brakes like candy. So far, new ignition cylinder after six months of ownership, new motor mounts, new fog lights, new throttle cable, more new tires, more new brakes, rear defroster repair, new alternator, driver seat broke (spot welds that hold the seat up right broke), manual window crank broke off, ECU repair, and none of this is covered by Ford.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful
As good as the Japanese
By connemara on 09/18/12 16:45 PM (PDT)

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus SE 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

Review

I have a 2003 focus that just passed 160 kilometers and other than regular maintenance like tires, brakes, oil changes I have only had to replace the trunk opening latch ($150). It has the smallest engine (2.0 twin port), manual trans and I put 16 inch wheels and a hogher aspect than stock tires on it to maximize mileage. Even with this high gearing it still has reasonable torque to pass in high gear. Best steering and handing in a North American car and you sit up high not like sitting in a hole like a Honda. Styling is still fresh after all these years, going to keep for at least another 5 years. Hey it long been paid for
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