If you recognize the names Fantasia Barrino and Diana DeGarmo, chances are you've already seen the newly restyled 2005 Ford Focus. Ford is a major sponsor of the popular "American Idol" television talent series, and the Focus, with its "talking car" advertising spots, was presented over and over again to the millions of loyal "Idol" viewers. These fans tuned in not once but twice weekly to watch 12 finalists get narrowed down to two popular singing divas.
But alas, someone finally sang the closing note for the big win, and although the newest "American Idol" is technically Ms. Barrino, we're sure that Ford could legitimately claim that its refreshed Focus is the real winner. What better way to introduce the 2005 model than by allowing it to "talk" directly to its target demographic on a weekly basis?
The 2005 Focus is a car worth talking about. Aside from the rash of early recalls, we have always been pleased with the car's performance since its introduction for the 2000 model year. Our editors have named the Focus to our coveted "Editors' Most Wanted" award list for four of the past five model years. And while the 2005 makeover may have taken away some of the car's puckish charm, the result is a more polished, upscale feel in both the cabin and around the exterior.
The Ford's front and rear treatments have been restyled for a broader appeal, right down to the removal of the lower-case Focus name badge which has been replaced by a bolder, more authoritative font. Additional subtle styling cues such as color-keyed trim pieces and new light fixtures buff up the car's exterior, but the real improvements are on the inside.
Gone is the distinctive diagonal line that once slashed across the Focus' dash, and in its place is sedate, sophisticated styling. Attractively trimmed gauges are easy to read, no matter which Focus model you're driving, and the controls are placed within easy reach for both front-seat occupants. The seats are more supportive than those of our long-term Focus ZX3 hatchback -- an improvement in comfort for both front and rear passengers.
Four models are available in numerous trim levels: the ZX3 (from $13,550) is a two-door hatch, the ZX4 (from $14,150) a four-door sedan, the ZX5 (from $14,850) a four-door hatch and the ZXW (from $17,350) remains a real wagon. The hatchbacks and sedan come in three trim levels -- S, SE and SES -- while the wagon is available in SE and SES trims only.
The entry-level S model gets 15-inch steel wheels with nine-spoke covers, black exterior trim accents, an AM/FM single CD player with speed-sensitive volume control, black-faced gauges and intermittent windshield wipers. The SE adds seven-spoke wheel covers; air conditioning; power windows, mirrors and door locks; keyless entry; variable intermittent wipers; an MP3-compatible stereo; and additional cabin storage bins. A step up to the nicely appointed SES yields 16-inch five-spoke alloy wheels on Pirelli all-season rubber, color-keyed body side- and rear-moldings, foglamps, cruise control, an in-dash six-disc CD player, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and gray-faced instrument gauges.
The ZX4 sedan is the only model to also offer the sportier ST treatment (as close as the '05 Focus gets to last year's SVT versions) which provides more power, unique wheels, four-wheel disc brakes, ABS, traction control, color-keyed body trim, rear ground effects, a chrome-tipped exhaust, sport front bucket seats, a black leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter knob with eye-catching red stitching and a silver instrument cluster with black-faced gauges. The interior treatment is also specialized, with two-tone charcoal surroundings and black fabric with snazzy red inserts.
But Ford didn't stop there. The ST also benefits from key components from the past SVT Focus and European Focus ST170 models, including the same front struts and rear shocks. These struts and shocks are about 50-percent stiffer than the workings used on the SE and SES suspension, and after driving both, we'd cast our vote for the sportier ride and finer handling characteristics of the ST suspension.
Under the hood of most Focus models is a new 136-horsepower, 2.0-liter "Duratec 20" inline four-cylinder engine. This engine comes standard on all S, SE and SES models, except in the green states of California, Massachusetts, Maine, New York and Vermont, where the cars receive the 130-hp, 2.0-liter "Duratec 20E" engine instead. The latter engine meets Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV) standards and is also available to buyers in neighboring states, including Arizona, Connecticut, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.
This engine replaces both the 110 hp and 130 hp 2.0-liter engines offered for the Focus line since its debut in 2000. The 2.3-liter, four-cylinder Duratec 23, which makes 151 hp and 154 pound-feet of torque, is offered only on the Focus ST sedan, and is available in all 50 states. A sport-tuned exhaust not only heralds the sound of a Focus ST in motion, but also aids in the horsepower increase. A five-speed manual transmission comes standard across the Focus lineup, with a four-speed automatic optional on all models except the ST, where the smooth-shifting manual remains the only choice.
Options worth considering on the '05 Focus include the Weather Package, which bundles heated front seats with heated mirrors, and a Sony audiophile system with over 500 watts of power that plays through an eight-inch subwoofer and four coaxial speakers. What better way to crank Fantasia's new single?
All Focus models are backed by a fully transferable five-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty which includes towing and roadside assistance. That's undeniably an attractive deal, heartily topping the 2004 model's three-year/36,000-mile coverage. This, along with a new look, a more comfortable cabin, cleaner engine options and increased horsepower (save for the retired SVT version), should assure that the 2005 Focus has what it takes to win its own place in the spotlight. Or, if not the spotlight, then perhaps your garage. If you're shopping for a small, affordable hatchback, sedan or wagon this year, the Focus should be on your test-drive list.
Is the 2005 Ford Focus a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2005 Ford Focus and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2005 Focus featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
Our Review Process All of our reviews are 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.
How do people like the 2005 Ford Focus? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2005 Ford Focus and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2005 Focus 4.5 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2005 Focus.
Review The car looks great inside and out. It drives well and has very nice and quick acceleration. So far, country and city, I am not experiencing the fuel mileage on the sticker. Overall, I love my new Focus.
How can Edmunds help? Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color
What options are available on the 2005 Ford Focus?
Available Ford Focus 2005 Submodel Types: Sedan, Hatchback, Coupe, Electric, Wagon, SVT
Available Trims: SE, Titanium, S, SEL, SES, Electric, ZX4 S, ZX4 SES, ZX4 SE, ZTS, ZX3, ZX3 S, LX, ZXW SE, ZTW, ZX5 SE, SE Comfort, ZX3 SE, ZX5, ZX5 Premium, ZX5 S, SVT, ZX5 SES, ZXW SES
Exterior Colors: Ingot Silver Metallic, Oxford White, Magnetic Metallic, Shadow Black, Ruby Red Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Sterling Grey Metallic, Race Red, Tuxedo Black Metallic, Tuxedo Black Metallic (Late Availability), Kona Blue Metallic, White Gold, Blue Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Blue Candy Metallic, Performance Blue Metallic, Ebony Clearcoat, White Platinum Metallic Tricoat, CD Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Tectonic Metallic, Sangria Red Clearcoat Metallic, White Platinum Metallic Tri-coat, Blue Flame Clearcoat Metallic, Vista Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Pitch Black Clearcoat, Red Candy Metallic Tinted Clearcoat, Silver Frost Clearcoat Metallic, Ingot Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Sterling Grey Clearcoat Metallic, White Suede Clearcoat, Blue Flame Metallic, Frosted Glass Metallic, Infra-Red Clearcoat, Cloud 9 White Clearcoat, Light Ice Blue Clearcoat Metallic, French Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Light Tundra Clearcoat Metallic, Lightning Blue Metallic, Liquid Grey Clearcoat Metallic, Pueblo Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Sangria Red Metallic, Atlantic Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Black Clearcoat, Brilliant Silver Clearcoat Metallic, Ebony, Sonic Blue Clearcoat, Vermillion Red Clearcoat, Arizona Beige Clearcoat Metallic, Dark Toreador Red Clearcoat Metallic, Grabber Green Clearcoat Metallic, Jackpot Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Malibu Blue Clearcoat Metallic, Natural Neutral Clearcoat Metallic, Twilight Blue Clearcoat Metallic, White Gold Metallic, Yellow Blaze Metallic Tri-Coat, Amber Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Aqua Blue Clearcoat Metallic, CD Silver Clear Coat Metallic, Cloud 9 Clear Coat, Fort Knox Gold Clearcoat Metallic, Vapor Silver Clearcoat Metallic
Interior Colors: Charcoal Black Insert w/Warm Steel Surround cloth, Charcoal Black leather, Charcoal Black Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Warm Steel Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert cloth, Medium Light Stone cloth, Medium Dark Stone Surround w/Medium Light Stone Insert cloth, Charcoal Black w/Metal Gray Surround cloth, Medium Soft Ceramic leather, Medium Light Stone w/Medium Dark Stone Surround cloth, Tuscany Red Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Charcoal Black cloth, Medium Stone cloth, Medium Light Stone leather, Charcoal Black w/Warm Steel Surround cloth, Medium Stone leather, Metal Gray/Charcoal Black Surround w/Charcoal Black Insert premium cloth, Medium Parchment, Light Stone leather, Medium Graphite, Charcoal Black Surround w/Arctic White Insert leather, Tuscany Red w/Charcoal Black Insert leather, Charcoal Upper/Charcoal Lower leather, Dark Charcoal, Dark Pebble Upper/Light Pebble Lower, Arctic White w/Charcoal Black Surround leather, Charcoal Upper/Charcoal Lower cloth, Charcoal Upper/Light Flint Lower leather, Dark Flint Upper/Light Flint Lower, Dark Pebble Upper/Light Pebble Lower cloth
Popular Features: Fold Flat Rear Seats, Rear Bench Seats, Tire Pressure Warning, Aux Audio Inputs, Stability Control, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Trip Computer, Bluetooth, USB Inputs, Back-up camera, Post-collision safety system, Alarm, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Parking sensors, Heated seats, Sunroof/Moonroof, Power Driver Seat, Leather Seats, Remote Start, Keyless Entry/Start, Upgraded Engine, Navigation, Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane Departure Warning, Upgraded Headlights, Upgraded Stereo, Mobile Internet