Do NOT buy this car without the 2.3
By Eddie Adams on
Vehicle2004 Ford Focus ZX3 Premium 2dr Hatchback (2.3L 4cyl 5M)
ReviewI was kind on the fence about this car - I loved the styling and handling, but was underwhelmed by the motor. The Zetec is kinda crude and not too powerful, especially when you drive it back-to-back with Hondas and Toyotas. Then, I drove one with the new Mazda- built 2.3 - what a difference! This motor is a little jewel - smooth and powerful, with a nice little growl as you hit 6000 RPM. Mind you, this is no WRX-hunter, but it's plenty quick enough. To top it off, I got a ridiculously good deal - almost $4,000 off, plus a 5/100,000 bumper to bumper warranty.
Best FeaturesLove the uprated engine, and the handling and steering are scalpel- sharp. This is one of the best-handling cars I've driven at any price. Also love the styling - great design, hasn't worn a bit since it came out in 2000.
Worst FeaturesA little cheap-looking inside, particularly compared to Civics and Corollas. The center console interferes with shifting. Shifter is a bit notchy, but it's accurate. Chassis is a bit twitchy on grooved concrete. There's also a bit of torque steer.
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