2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0 Zetec from North America


This car is a love and hate battle, don't buy it unless you can stand headaches


So far the fuel gauge has quit a few times and had to have parts replaced under warranty.

The engine doesn't always like to start and will stall out.

I had the radio replaced.

And now, the worst of all, Ford found a problem with the alignment, but we don't know which wheel it is because the clowns rotated the tires without inspecting the tires first.

General Comments:

I overall love the car. I enjoy driving it, I love the way it looks and I enjoy the roominess and cargo space.

But the problems make me hate the car.

Ford won't even fix the alignment problem because I've driven it over 12,000 miles now. So, my bumper-to-bumper warranty hopped over my suspension and I will have to deal with it.

Maybe I'll get the Better Business Bureau to help me out if possible because I've bought a lemon before and I'll be darned if I'm gonna buy another one.

I hate the customer service of the Ford place I go to because I'm just getting the run-around instead of help.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 6th March, 2004

23rd Sep 2004, 08:14

I love your comments about the focus. I also have a 2003 zx3 with a lot of problems that are constantly repeating themselves. Stalling and sputtering is the biggest problem for me. The ford dealership cannot seem to find the problem, but your right it is a love hate relationship. I love the car. I am getting to like the loaner mustang that I have had for the last 2 weeks. Stick with it if you like the car enough you can get all the bugs worked out before the 100,000 power train warranty runs out.

30th Oct 2004, 02:11

100,000 power train warranty? I just got the junk 3 year or 37,000 mile warranty. I didn't know I could have gotten anything better. I practically live in my car. I drive 50 miles per day because I work 26 miles out of town.

I have had my car for 1 year and 5 months on NOV. 2nd of 2004. I bought it new with only 34 miles on it. I now have over 28,800 miles. I think I'm going to try another few dealers to see if they can stop the shuddering at stops, stalling and long starts before my warranty is up.

20th Feb 2005, 07:36

Many ZX3's are made in Mexico, might explain quality issues with this particular model. Other Focus models are made in the U.S. To tell them apart, look at the first number of the VIN--- if the 1st number is 1, it is built in the U.S., if the 1st number is 3, it is made in Mexico.

2003 Ford Focus TDCI Zetec 1.8 turbo diesel from UK and Ireland


An economical pocket rocket


Rear washer jet no longer squirts water on the rear screen, it now goes straight onto the parcel shelf - trip to the dealer very soon!

Otherwise no problems at all.

General Comments:

My previous car was a Mondeo ST24 which was great, but not all that economical. The focus has saved me £100 a month on petrol, but still goes very very well.

I have been pleasantly surprised by this little car, it is very well put together, looks good and has superb handling.

For the money there is not much on the road that will beat this car.

Nice stereo as standard.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th February, 2004

26th Jan 2007, 12:15

Hi I have a 03 focus tdci 115. can anyone tell me if it has ABS as I thought it came as standard on 03 reg, but there is no ABS light on the dash when I turn the key cheers Anthony.

2003 Ford Focus Zetec 1.6 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Does everything you could ask



General Comments:

Just a temporary hire car, but impressed me so much I had to put a review on here.

In the past 4 months I've had a Golf, an Astra, a 206 and finally this Focus, and it's the best of the lot to drive by a country mile.

Sharp steering, powerful, well servoed brakes, knife through butter gearbox, brilliant handling (a blat over the Cat and Fiddle in the pouring rain one evening provided the test) and an eager, revvy engine. It's a 1.6 family shopping car, but, performance limitations apart, drives like a finely honed hot hatch. It feels like it's been set up by someone who cares about how a car feels. It doesn't need to be this good, but it somehow adds to the feelgood factor when you find out that it is.

Comfortable and stable on the motorway (70 mph = 2,900 RPM) decent seats, smart and well built interior (as well put together as the Golf and better than the Astra or 206). Quickclear windscreen is a bit of genius and superb on the frosty mornings we've had of late. 34 mpg average and it was driven hard!

Never driven anything that impressed me so quickly. I'd spend my own money on one tomorrow! A real feelgood car in the days of boring, derivative and dull hatchback clones. Just hope the forthcoming facelift model keeps the dynamic excellence.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 4th December, 2003