2003 Ford Focus Zetec 1.8 TDCi 115PS from UK and Ireland


Car is great, but dealers and quality spoil it


Squeak from tailgate

Intermittent clonking and vibration from rear end.

Uneven front tyre wear.

General Comments:

Great car to drive, but ownership experience is ruined by truly awful dealers and a few quality issues.

115 PS TDCi engine is a match for the 130 PS unit in my old Golf due to the Focus being 200kg lighter. Ford unit is more refined too.

Fun to drive with fantastic handling and great "feel", especially through the steering. Feels sportier than the Golf.

Dealers are hopeless. Tried three, and none can fix the clonking rear end which occasionally makes alarming grating noises over bumps. All rate the front tyre wear which sees the outer edges bald whilst the rest of the tyre has 3mm of tread remaining as "normal". None can fix a simple rattling tailgate.

To be fair, VW dealers were no better, and the Golf was less reliable, but that's no excuse. Car buyers deserve better.

Will go Japanese next time.

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

Review Date: 25th July, 2004

2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0 Zetec from North America


A Definite Best Buy!


Absolutely NO! problems with this car. Everything working perfect, like the day I bought it!

General Comments:

This is possibly the best car I have ever bought! I have had 8 brand new car in my life. This is the only one that "hasn't" had to go back for repairs before reaching 12,000 miles (HONESTLY!). Just change the oil and go! Car handles very well, seats are the most comfortable in it's class. Plenty of power from the Zetec engine, and right around EPA's rating on fuel economy! I love my FOCUS and I love FORD! I will be buying "Blue Oval's" from now on!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2004

2003 Ford Focus zts 2.0 from North America


A good car, so far


So far it's been a pretty good running car. Although I am somewhat concerned about the aluminum rims. I hit a chuck hole in the road the second day I had it (at about 35 mph) really messed it up.

General Comments:

Well I have read a lot of negative comments about this car. None of them is a 2003 though. Most of them are about the front brakes and rotors going bad at an early stage.

A friend of mine whom is a ford mechanic confirms that this is a problem. He also claims that it's only the first set for some reason. It's about a $300.00 repair that ford won't cover under warranty. I think they should since it's a known problem.

I've had mine only 4 months though and because of the reviews I have read I'm kinda leery about this car. Still no complaints at this time. Keep in mind when reading these reviews that some are kinda unjustified complaints (I believe anyway) Example #1 A lady was complaining that she had to have the oil changed every 5,000 miles. Another one is a guy complaining that the car didn't get anywhere near the gas mileage listed on the sticker. I think he said he had just under 1,000 miles on the car.

It takes (on the average) about 10,000 miles to break in a new car I'm not sure if that same rule stands fast with smaller cars though. I'm getting right @ 35 mpg driving the posted speed limits.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th June, 2004

12th Jun 2006, 17:53

I have a 2003 Ford Focus, it is a four door, 4 cl.

Recently I have had trouble with the ignition. The key just won't turn. I have checked to make sure it is in park, turned the wheel, etc. I have also discovered that many other people have had similar experiences with this make and model. The trick to turning the key is to jam it into the ignition while turning it, also once you have turned the car on, you can turn it off and back on with ease as long as you do not remove the key. Ford tells me that it is a problem with the contact between the key's chip and the internal CPU of the Focus. The car is under original factory warranty, but I am unsure if this would be covered.

Other than the ignition problem that comes and goes, this is an outstanding vehicle that has great gas mileage.