Used 2002 Ford Focus Review
Edmunds expert review
The 2002 Ford Focus is a wonderful small car that's fun to drive, frugal with fuel and offered in such a wide variety of configurations it would be hard not to find one that suits your needs.
What's new for 2002
"Smart design and spirited driving" were the guiding forces behind the development of the Focus. Targeted to be the volume leader in Ford sales worldwide, the Focus is a highly evolved compact car with "New Edge" styling, a roomy interior and excellent road manners.
Ford offers the Focus in four body styles: a three-door ZX3 hatchback, a new five-door ZX5 hatchback, a sedan and a wagon. The sedan can be ordered in one of three trim levels, starting with the base LX model and going up to the mid-level SE and highline ZTS trim. Wagons are available in SE or new-for-2002 ZTW trim. For the three door hatchback, a new Mach Audio ZTS version is available, which features a 460-watt audio system with an in-dash six-disc CD changer, a silver-faced instrument cluster and special interior trim pieces. The Mach Audio ZTS also comes with a chrome-tipped exhaust, six-spoke, machined-aluminum wheels, xenon headlamps (a first for the Focus) and MACH Audio badging to distinguish it as a limited edition. It will be available in CD Silver, Liquid Grey and a MACH Audio-exclusive Mandarin Copper.
For safety, the Focus utilizes standard driver and passenger airbags, seatbelt pre-tensioners and load-limiting retractors, and optional side airbags. A three-point safety belt for the center rear seat is standard, as are child safety seat anchor points and automatic locking retractor rear outboard seatbelts. NHTSA crash test scores are very good for a small car.
The base drivetrain for LX models is a 2.0-liter 110-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual transmission driving the front wheels. This same drivetrain is standard in SE sedans, but ZTS sedans, along with wagons and hatchbacks, get a more powerful 130-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as standard equipment. A four-speed automatic is optional. Both engines provide adequate power, though the higher-output motor is the clear choice for enthusiasts.
Still not enough? Then maybe you should consider the SVT Focus. Based on the ZX3, this hot hatch puts out 170 horsepower and is equipped with an exclusive six-speed manual transmission. The SVT Focus also comes with 17-inch wheels, oversized four-wheel disc brakes and a tuned suspension keep it glued to the road. Special equipment that comes standard on the SVT Focus includes a power seat height adjuster, side airbags, heated outside mirrors, fatter front seat side bolsters for improved lateral support, rear head restraints in all positions, titanium-faced electro-luminescent gauges with 160-mph speedo and added oil temp and pressure gauges.
Regardless of trim, the Focus offers a smooth ride quality and above-average handling ability. The four-wheel fully independent suspension allows for noticeable body roll while cornering, but the Focus stays planted and inspires confidence. The steering system is surprisingly quick, fluid and responsive, always providing plenty of feedback from the road surface.
Ford is serious about retaining its share of the worldwide subcompact market. The Focus reflects not only the company's dedication to this goal, but also its ability to make solid, practical transportation for the 21st century.
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.