Used 2003 Ford Focus Consumer Reviews | Edmunds
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2003 Ford Focus - Consumer Reviews

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353 Total Reviews

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Whatta Steal w/the Special 2.3L Engine
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By wnyfordguy
on

Vehicle

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


Review

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.


Best Features

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.


Worst Features

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 hands. Replaced the factory-installed Blaupunkt Stereo/CD, which sounded great, but had bad LCD display.


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I will miss you
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By WHAT2BUY?
on

Vehicle

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


Review

My husband just totaled my 03 Focus. It had 93,000 miles, and i bought it brand new. It was paid off and i have never had any problems with it or put any money into it except for very recently. Just before he wrecked it, i paid $240 to have a new ignition switch put in since the key wouldn't turn. (had to be towed to fugate ford). What to buy now?


Best Features

cute, good mpg, decent trunk space


Worst Features

maybe less trunk room and more backseat room. car seats are almost out of the question


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7 yr review: a reliable car overall
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By randy
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Just reaching the 140,000 mile mark, car has been very dependable and easy to maintain, and much MUCH cheaper to maintain than the 99 Civic i had before. My Focus has been used as a commuter car, sees a mix of highway and city miles and all four seasons (cold brutal winters) Had a few minor problems along the way, but it never left me stranded or cost a fortune to fix. I would recommend this car, it would be a great vehicle for a student because its reliable and economical.


Best Features

Handling, shifter feel, seating position, reliability, cost of ownership.


Worst Features

A bit more power would be nice, more powerful seat heaters, and i never did like the dash design.


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Not a Lemon, but NOT a great car
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By CharlestonGurl
on

Vehicle

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


Review

I bought my 03 Ford Focus LX used at 35000 mi. Drove great for first year. Soon after, alternator died (after draining 2 batteries), brakes CONSTANTLY squealed (even after replacing rotors), a pipe to the engine RUSTED OFF (luckily a friend could replace it for me), tail lights died a lot, ridiculous rattle/vibration in the dash that would go away if you hit the dashboard, trunk would not latch since the last few months. I was in a wreck a month ago that totaled the car at 141,000 mi. I walked away without a scratch, so I guess the car was pretty durable. Wouldn't purchase another one though, I'm looking for a Toyota Camry or Nissan Altima now.


Best Features

Hmm. Repairs were easy to do, even hobby mechanics could easily do my repairs. The car was pretty durable. I've rear-ended a couple of ppl and then was in a head on collision with absolutely no injuries.


Worst Features

Give the car some frills and make it more reliable. Put some quality into it! The interior is very very cheap, but it works. Make a car that doesn't slowly fall apart after the first 60,000 miles.


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Money Pit
1 of 2 people found this review helpful
Performance
Comfort
Fuel Economy
Fun To Drive
Interior Design
Exterior Design
Build Quality
Reliability
By u2
on

Vehicle

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


Review

Been towed to repair shops about a dozen times over the past 6 years. I would not buy a ford focus again.


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