Bought this car brand new and owned for 8 years. Drove sparingly with only 45,000 miles when she got totaled. I have been in 4 major accidents with this car (none of them my fault) and every time had no injuries and no interior damage to the car. Nothing ever had to be replaced except spark plugs and only issues were check engine light coming on for no reason and gauges flickering sometimes when the car was turned off. I enjoyed driving it, not the most comfortable for long periods of time but a very smooth ride. I am sad to see this car go, would have kept it for a very long time.
This car has been GREAT. I bought it with about 30k miles on it and now it has 90k with very little put into it. Give her regular oil changes and this car will just keep on going. I had to put new tires on it, new brakes and change the lock cylinder when I bought it, but outside of that, it has been perfect. It runs smooth and shifts beautifully. I get about 25 mpg with mostly city driving. Sometimes when I shut the trunk it doesn't latch, but I just have to shut it again. Great car, will drive it into the ground.
The 5 speed is awesome to drive. It is the anti-ticket car: I have it in grey--the ultimate blend-in color. The blaupunkt stereo system is pretty dang nice.
The light over the rear seats should have a switch on it, as opposed to only on the steering column.
I've owned my 2003 Ford Focus ZX3-5 speed manual since July of 2003. For being a lower priced vehicle I couldn't have asked for a better more reliable vehicle. I've only had two problems over the last, almost, 8 years. The first full summer I owned the vehicle the A/C went out, but was covered under warranty-no hassles. Recently I had to replace the alternator, otherwise besides routine maintenace it has been a fantastic reliable vehicle I couldn't be happier. When I bought the vehicle I was just going to college. The storage in the back of the vehicle is amazing for the size. For being a small vehicle it handled Wisconsin winters very very well.
Definitely recommend Focus.
I bought a Ford Focus 2003 (automatic) from a private party, used. Only after owning and driving regularly, I noticed how poor the suspension was. It is the stiffest suspension one can imagine. It is so bad that I bought heel support/shock absorber for my feet to heal my right heel, which is soar from all the suspension-related "beatings". My back hurts from longer drives as well. The seat is a horror-trap, despite added pillows. The mileage per gallon is rather poor: about 23 at the most in the city, and about 32 on the freeway. For a 2.0 engine, this is rather weak. And it has the classic Ford engine noise.
Uncomfortable, weak mileage, noisy, and undesirable. Don't buy a Ford Focus.
Soften the suspension !
Improve the seat.
Improve the engine to eliminate engine noise.
Improve the MPG.
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.
Engine works great w/ the 4-spd Auto Transmission - shifts are very smooth, car moves very quickly.
Suspension seems to have been tuned just right for great balance between performance and comfort, The interior is roomy, even in back seat.
Respectable amount of storage area under the hatch.
Despite the pseudo-geeky looks of its rear-end appearance, with the turn-signal/brake lights up high on the pillars, my sons like it a lot better then the '93 neon green Escort LX I bought a few years back. Now that my son is out of college and in the USAF, I'm definitely looking to help him get an
'07 Focus hatchback as his first car, especially since Consumer Repts recommends it very highly.
The std 15" alloy wheels look nice, but their design and excessive brake dust from the front discs makes them very hard to keep clean.
Even after replacing the headlights w/ Sylvania Silverstars, the coverage pattern is a lot different to what I'm used to.
Also, when you switch from low-to-high beams, the lows cut out completely, leaving only the highs operating.
I've never noticed this in any other car I've ever driven - it took a while to get used to.
BTW, I couldn't replace the driver's side lamp w/o ruining the retaining clip - it was way too hard a job for me to do w/ my large
Replaced the factory-installed Blaupunkt Stereo/CD, which sounded great, but had bad LCD display.