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2003 Ford Focus - Consumer Reviews

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2003 Focus Consumer Reviews

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Top Flight Car - If Modified
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By svt_owner
on

Vehicle

2003 Ford Focus SVT 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).


Favorite Features

A great car to develop, but frustrating out of the box because of compromises the engineers built in for people who cannot drive well. If you don't like fiddling with cars, buy a hi performance Subaru or Mazda, because this car is underpowered for its weight (2810 lbs.). Great outward vision and brakes. Seems a lot more roomy on the inside, at least up front, than it looks from the outside. Back seats next to useless, it should have been designed without them for more cargo space. Build quality good to above average, uses no oil (now at 93K) and no major repairs except alternator at 85K - which will cost you $800 at a Dealer.


Suggested Improvements

I had the following parts replaced or added: Sound insulation, Springs, Anti-Roll Bars, Rotors, Struts & Shocks (Koni Yellow), Clutch/Flywheel, Rear Engine Mount, End Links, K&N intake system, CFM throttle body and Hi-Flow Cat Converter (easily passed Illinois EPA). Replaced all suspension bushings with OEM at 90K. All mature modifications, no kid stuff. Transformed car's handling and performance into pocket rocket platform stable at 90mph and above. If you can find a clean example of this car and afford putting about $5-$8K (parts & labor) of modifications into it, you can run rings around anybody and will have all sorts of people chasing after you because after all, its only a Focus!


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2003 Competition Orange SVT 2 door hatch
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Marc Ceniceros
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Love the Comp. Orange color, always the only 1 in a parking lot. The car is about balance. Adequate acceleration, good grip, excellent handling, fantastic brakes. I don't trust my Ford dealer so have not had the clutch knocking fixed but it continues to function otherwise so I'll wait to repair it. Euro package brings nice accessories, but body treatment adds useless weight to a car already weak on torque. I'd trade 15/20 Bhp for 5/10 more lbs./ft. Base car weighs less than SVT! Wrong. I'm 70" tall and my hair rubs the sunroof. Wish it had 16" wheels for improved ride/comfort without diminishing the turn in. 45 series rubber is ridiculous off track. Car is noisy on many surfaces.


Favorite Features

The brakes! The handling. The balance. HID headlights. Competition orange color. Routinely get 30 mpg. Exclusivity. But ultimately the essence of this car is balance.


Suggested Improvements

When down, the windows rattle when closing the door. Makes the car seem cheap. The Recaros are nice but sit higher in the car than the base car's seats. Wrong! In a performance car a lower center of gravity should be expected. Door pockets could be deeper so stuff doesn't fall in the street. Quieter, please!


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I love this car!
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By SVT1105
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Well, I have only had this car for a week now, but I love this car! It's so fun to drive and its peppy! I have had so many people say they love it! I really don't think I have had any issues or complaints about the vehicle! I would recommend this car to everyone who wants a sporty, fun car to drive with decent gas mileage!


Favorite Features

Color, 6 speed manual, 17' Alloys, red and black matching seats, white faced guages and the handling!


Suggested Improvements

None!


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Fun to drive, bang for buck
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By black euro
on

Vehicle

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


Review

This car is a blast to drive fast and aggresive, but is also good for just cruising and driving for better gas mileage. The car is compact yet has very useful, roomy interior, for a car this size. The brakes and handling are superb. The exhaust note is like a well tuned performance car, not loud and buzzy. The engine has a wide power band and it will pull all the way to its 7200 redline. Itís hard to find a better bang for your buck. I have seen so many other compact and b segment cars priced well above what these cars sell for. And most don't even come close to the performance, value and fun factor of this car. The car has been problem free since I owned it and I drive it daily, and enthusiastically.


Favorite Features

Heated recaro seats, hidden headlights, euro appearance package. Gertrage 6 speed. Audio system.


Suggested Improvements

Factory ecu programming is horrible. (for emissions purpose) could use some more power (super or turbocharger)a limited slip differential would have been nice. And rear or all wheel drive also would have been nice. Oh well cant have it all and be cheap too.


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I love my Focus SVT
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By SunGirlAmber
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought this car used, I am so glad I purchased the extended warranty though. Over all the car is great and fun but repairs and parts are pricey.


Favorite Features

It's very roomy inside and looks awesome inside and out. Premium sound system really rocks. I constantly get compliments. It's fun to peel out of a light and leaving a unexpecting Civic or Scion in my dust.


Suggested Improvements

I cant think of anything that would improve this car, it's great.


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Best for the money in every way
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By ischober
on

Vehicle

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


Review

My Focus 4 door wagon is the best car for the money I have ever had. Huge space with back seat down. Has everything a more evpensive car has except dumb things like outside temperature sign ( just lower the window). Only possible drawback is that the back seat does not seperate the same as the back of seat. Air excellent, good mileage. Wish I could buy another new one here in Mexico! If there is a new one anywhere in Mexico I would fly to get it!


Favorite Features

Space! Electric everything, rear washer/wiper, visability


Suggested Improvements

Separate back seat bottom like the back of back seat so that a third person can ride even if carrying large items with part of back seat in lowered position


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Only a hobby car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By gukin
on

Vehicle

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


Review

The car has been nothing but trouble since I bought it. SVT improved a few things but introduced so many more problems it made an already poor car, the Focus, worse. This car should only be considered as a hobby car. Its abysmal reliability, poor design, and engineering take it out of the realm of a daily driver. Fiddle with it for three weekends, drive it the fourth. This car is in the same category as an exotic Italian vehicle (as long as that vehicle is a Fiat.) It can be a fun car but the flaws, poor design, and engineering blunders render it an extreme source of cost and frustration.


Favorite Features

Good looking car, great stereo, Recaro seats, fun handling, peppy engine, remarkably good fuel economy.


Suggested Improvements

Exploding clutch pressure plate, leaky plastic thermostat housings, chronic oil leaks, jamming ignition switch, detaching shift linkages, engine stalling (with stock tune.), short-lived brakes, tires, difficult to obtain parts, too tall, difficult to shift transmission.


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fun but...
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Kevin
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Great car. Works well in winter with snow tires. Spirited driving brings out the best in it. Clutch assembly problems and poor gas mileage make the car suffer, though. Insurance companies act like it's a sports car also. Wouldn't buy this car again.


Favorite Features

Handling, stereo, 6speed, heated leather seats.


Suggested Improvements

CLUTCH! Gas mileage.


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2003 Focus SVT European Package (red)
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By Garry Mohr
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I would like to get a new GT Mustang but do not have the heart to sell my Focus SVT to get one (what does that have to say). It's fun to drive, fast for a 170hp and almost 2800lbs, handles like a sports car (which when you drive it, you think it is). The only problem I've had with it: the clutch assembly had to be replaced due to a rattle sound it made, especially at idle (I've heard this has been a problem with some because of the complex clutch/flywheel assembly/design). The 17" wheels are somewhat easy to damage if you hit a bad chuck hole (I've bent one). When I part with it I know I'll miss.


Favorite Features

The exterior style is very European looking (spoiler, lowered, mono colored, multi spoked wheels). The headlights that come with the Euro package are fantastic. The interior is distinctive with heated Recaro seats and asymmetrical dash style. Full gauge package, even a oil temperature gauge.


Suggested Improvements

Simpler clutch assembly/design. The car was only made in the 2002-2004 time frame, which I think was a shame since I believe it was a car not very well sold or appreciated.


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Comp Orange SVT
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By JLiegl
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I shopped around for a small commuter that was fun to drive. It came down to the Mini, SVT focus and a Miata. All three were fun to drive but bang for the buck the SVT topped them both. I bought it at 40k on the clock and have taken two long trips and daily to and from work. There have been no issues aside from some worn bushing on the front torsion bar that made a bit of a thump coming back into the driveway. The dealership took care of it right away with apologies that it wasn't fixed before the car left the lot. It's been a good car so far and the dealership as usual is above and beyond. Chevy built a good vehicle but their dealerships drove me away, and I am not looking back.


Favorite Features

Competition orange exterior, Recaro seats, and the way it corners. The clean blueish headlights and dash are great for traveling at night. The car really settles in on the highway and is a breeze to drive for hours at a time.


Suggested Improvements

A little more low end torque would be nice. The AC is enough to make starting from a light on a hot day something to think about instead of the systematic start.


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