I bought mine used at 19,000 miles, and have had it for 13 months now. The drivetrain has performed well, except for the 1-2 shift issue appearing at sudden brief stops. I don't typically drive that way, so it's not a problem. My problems have included the windshield wiper motor control, which had to be replaced, the cruise control, which had some connector that had to be replaced, the remote control trunk latch, which had to be replaced and even then had to be taken back and adjusted to proper operation, and the ignition cylinder, which caused a short and had to be replaced. All told I've had the vehicle in the shop 6 times in a year for warranty repair and re-repair.
I like the 100,000 mile antifreeze. I appreciate the safety cage design for collision accidents. I like the ingress and egress without having to adjust the seat.
The turn signal audible click is much too loud. The 3:1 ratio of FM:AM bands should be a 2:2 ratio. The cruise control should promptly "resume" when commanded, rather than pause and consider before engaging. The noise from turning wheels shows that improvement can be made there. Use better paint.
I had my problems; first the cold idle is still very rough till it warms up. Dealer couldn't fix. Also the rear camber adjusters were factory defective which made the car handle terrible in the winter and ate the rear tires up at 20,000 miles; dealer installed new adjusters and tires under warranty. I told the dealer to take the terrible low-profile Firestones and chunk them as we live in a snowy climate. Engine has plenty of power. Transmission has a harsh 1-2 rolling shift if you don't stop completely. Brakes are excellent as far as stopping power, steering is nimble, ride is acceptable, gas mileage is way below what it suppose to get. All this said I do like the car but my review at 60,000 miles may tell the story.
Large trunk, excellent headlights. Lots if headroom with no bonking your head getting in. Nice sound package. Braking ability.
Fix the excessive brake dust problem. Door handles/latches are very flimsy. Fix harsh 1-2 transmission shift while rolling; dealer says it's normal.
My ex wife totaled our 2003 Focus at 55 mph on a mountain road; Every corner of the car was demolished - but she walked away with only a small bump on her head. The cabin was completely intact. I recently bought another one just like it. A good, solid car for the money.
2003 Ford Focus Sedan ZTS 4dr Sedan (2.0L 4cyl 5M)
This vehicle performed superbly right up until the 40,000 mile mark. First of all, the Pirelli tires are horrible and will need to be replaced between 35-40k. Secondly, I had to replace the brakes and rotors because they were shot. Third, I had to replace a transmission part that caused my engine to skip (thankfully covered by the extended warranty). Lastly, and most important, the engine stalls in the middle of traffic with no warning. I have taken it to the dealer but they can't figure out what is wrong. I used to think "buy American" but in the case of cars, IT'S NOT WORTH MY LIFE or yours either! Do yourself a favor and STAY CLEAR of this one!
The exterior styling gives the car a upper-scale appearance. However, remember the old saying that you can't judge a book by its cover!
Ford: Why don't you actually MAKE a car that is as good as you claim! You need to recall this model to fix what you have done (regarding engine stalls). Also, "thumbs down" to Consumer Reports magazine for giving this car a high rating. If they only knew.