Used 2003 Ford Focus Wagon Consumer Reviews
I love this car. The only issue is that it is rough on tires. I normally get about 40K out of a 60K tire. I average 26-27mpg in the winter and 29-32mpg the rest of the year. I have 149900 miles on my car. I have not experienced many of the issues that others have, but then I bought mine new and know what it has gone through. If you do the maintenance when the owner's manual says to do it then you will have very few problems. Word to drivers the rotors are not the best, but the pads are really good so if you have worn out your brake pads, that is on you. I went 89K before having to change rotors and it was a mountain pass that did in the rear brake pads.
This is a great little wagon with exceptional gas mileage. Right now has 100,000 on it an still running nicely. The ignition lock froze up around 70,000 and had to be replaced and the shift solenoid in the tranny was just done last week. Other than that, just general maintenance. Have driven this car all over the country and it's always started and run nicely. I do not go to dealerships for upkeep on my car, I go to Firestone so haven't had problems with recurrent brake issues, etc.
I purchased my 2003 Focus Wagon used with just over 60,000 miles in June 2011 when the car was about 8 years old. In the 7 years I have owned the car I have added 120,000 miles for a total of just over 180,000 miles on the original equipment. Given my propensity for clocking what many would call excessive miles per year, it is only understandable I have had a higher maintenance cost. For example, in October 2015, I changed the timing belt at just under 120K. In less than 2-1/2 years I added another 60K, or a little over 26K per year. For me, that's easy. Where I live, everything is a long-distance commute. I don't know what the previous owner did to the vehicle; I bought it as-is and immediately had necessary but normal maintenance items performed. Other than regular oil changes, fuel filters, air filter, struts and an alternator -- all normal wear and tear items - I have experienced no unexpected hard part failures. The original engine and transmission have served well over the last 7 years, though at 180K the engine has sprung a leak. Having previously lived in a climate with extremes of cold and hot temps, I am not surprised that the motor mounts have begun to crack, increasing engine vibration. To be honest, there are some things about this car I do not like, chiefly poor fuel economy (compared to yesteryear's Japanese imports), poor sound insulation from road noise, the front-end turn signal lights are too much in the center, and an instrumentation cluster that does not provide any useful and preventative information concerning the vehicles day-by-day condition. Also, it's acceleration is not as quick as I would like, but for a vehicle in its class, I think it does well enough. But this is an economy car, not an F-18 fighter jet, and while I may yet wish for many gauges and a Heads-Up-Display with Infrared to see through snow, I am aware of the reality that you get what you pay for; with that in mind, I like my Focus. In fact, I like the wagon so much so, I am willing to repair my oil leak not by fixing the leak itself ($2k) and leaving the old engine and transmission in place, but by pro-actively installing a brand new OEM engine, remanufactured transmission, cross-members, struts, hub assemblies, alternator, water pump, power steering pump, radiator, new wires, and a few other items for $12K -- rather than scrap the car and buy someone else's problem. Some people, I am certain, will think I am certifiably insane. Did I mention I like my wagon?
My ZTW-wagon is the perfect urban vehicle. Easily hauls four adults and four sets of golf clubs. It handles like a sports car, is quiet with no rattles or squeaks, good pick-up for a 4-banger, 30-mph on trips, and is well-equipped. I have 6-CD stereo, 4-wheel disks with ABS, stability control, moon roof, 16-in aluminum wheels, low profile tires, vanity cover for the storage compartment, rear window wiper-washer, leather wrapped steering wheel, and plenty of storage pockets, bins, cup holders. It has over 60,000 miles without a single problem. The Volvo S-40 underpinnings help make it a wonderful car to drive.
We have owned our Focus ZTW wagon for almost 2 years. Purchased used with 13,644 miles on it, we got this fully loaded car for a great price and couldn't be happier with it. In this time we have driven 42,356 miles and the only repairs were new brakes and tires just within the past few weeks. This wagon is truly fun to drive on long trips. 795 miles = about $70.00 gas when gas was almost $3 per gallon, and the cargo room is great. This car replaced a 1994 Escort wagon LX that is STILL running. We loved that car as well, but needed something newer. In a nutshell... if you are in the market for a new small wagon, consider looking at a used Focus, it's a great value.