2002 Ford Focus SE Sport 2.0 Ztec from North America


Roomy, comfy, reliable with good handling and low operation costs


So far, nothing has gone wrong with this car. It has never let me down, even during our harsh Canadian winters!

General Comments:

This is my second Focus. I leased the first one early in 2000. It was fairly reliable, but the numerous recalls were annoying and time-consuming.

So far I have been pleased with this second Focus. It came well equipped for the price, the financing rate was low, and the car is relatively cheap to drive and to maintain.

I think the weakest point in this car is the overall quality of the fit and finish inside. This is especially apparent in the seat cloth/stitching and in the door panels. The cheap plastic they are made of reflects badly on an otherwise roomy, comfortable and ergonomic cabin. Furthermore, the center armrest is too high, too aggressively positioned, scarcely padded and it prevents adequate shifting of the manual gearbox. The armrest can be tilted vertically, but this doesn't improve the situation. I suppose if the car had an automatic transmission I wouldn't notice this flaw as much, but it has gotten to the point where I wish I could just tear the armrest off!

The seats are comfortable, even in the back, and the high seating position make you feel like you're in a bigger car. However, wind and engine noise become somewhat annoying once you reach 110km/h.

Outside, fit and finish are average. Side mirrors do not fold, which is inconvenient when parking in the tight streets of Montreal.

The rear spoiler is useless and unpractical in winter conditions, as snow and ice build up in the space between the spoiler and the trunk lid.

The handling is light yet firm yet responsive and I find the car offers excellent steering feel and feedback.

Brakes are adequate even without ABS.

Clutch and gearbox are easy to maneuver and pleasing to use.

The engine provides sufficient performance, though with maximum power peaking at only 5300 rpm, it is obviously tuned for every day driving. However it does provide sufficient torque at low and mid rpm, which is good when driving uphill with 4 people and a trunk full of luggage.

I don't know if I'll buy another Focus for the simple reason that I don't like what Ford has done with it in 2005. They barely tweaked it instead of giving it a good refresh. This is in stark comparison with Ford of Europe which has successfully renewed the Focus in 2005 and transformed it into a top of the line small compact, making the American version look cheap and outdated.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd February, 2005

2002 Ford Focus SVT 2.0 from North America


Fast and fun, but never stops rattling


Rear motor mount was loose and caused the engine to rattle at torque load, very common problem, easy fix at about $100 and a 20 minute install.

The catyalitc converter rattles at times, motor mount helped this, but not completely.

The car surges on cold starts, likes to jump forward in 1st gear take off and revs up when you push the clutch untill the car warms up.

General Comments:

This car is not without it's faults, but I still love it. For the money you will be hard pressed to find a car that does everything this thing can. At normal throttle this car feels like your average Focus, but press down on the accelerator and this thing will unleash. It's not the fastest car in the world, but it's fast enough to keep up with pretty much any stock Mustang.

The car looks pretty nice too, I used to hate Focus' because of their rather goofy look. But when I saw a silver SVT at a local car lot, I was impressed. The deep set fog lights are what really make this car, and the really nice looking SVT wheels. The interior looks nice and is comfortable and ergonomic, but it's still a Ford so expect some very serious rattles.

The transmission is solid, the shifter feels great and I believe the car has a new clutch because it grips very easily. But the cars real appeal is it's handling, this thing corners with the greatest of ease. The steering is ridiculously responsive, one minor jerk of the wheel will put you off in a ditch. And the suspension is insanely tight, this car has no body roll and it will knock the fillings out of your teeth if you hit a pot hole. I previously owned a '91 Trans-Am, I can take turns at 70+ mph that I wouldn't dare take over 60 in my TA.

This car has it's ups and downs, I don't recomend this car just to anyone. It's a car for people who like to drive, and still have some practicality to boot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 23rd January, 2005

28th Feb 2005, 11:23

The reason the SVT Focus has "surging" problems when it is cold is due to the computer programming of the spark plugs. Ford set the computer to retard the sparks from firing when cold until the catalytic converter warms up. Just an FYI.

12th Jul 2007, 07:16

I have owned my 2002 SVT Focus since 31 Dec 2005. It has been a fun car. There are a number of Technical Service Bulletins that have been opened for the car though. Some things that I have needed replaced are the 02 sensor, oil pan gasket, clutch master cylinder, and catalytic converter heat shield. Some of these cars are lemons, some aren't. Be careful.

If you buy this car from a dealership make sure that problems are taken care of by the dealership before they aren't covered anymore.