2003 Ford Focus ST170 2.0 from UK and Ireland


More refined than raw power...


The handbrake gator came lose. Reported this to the dealer and had a new one fitted.

General Comments:

I bought the ST170 for it's performance and handling. The Focus chassis is renowned for its stability at high speeds and the ST170 is no different.

I previously had two Fiesta Zetec S models, but the ST170 leaves them standing when it comes to refinement and power.

Part leather seats, extra dials on the dash and steel pedals add to the sporty feel inside, but I love the way it looks like any other Focus on the outside except for a few subtle hints such as 17-inch alloys, smart fog lights and the ST badge.

MPG is OK. I do a lot of motorway mileage so I'm getting about 32 miles per gallon which is only a bit lower than what I was getting in my 1.6 Fiesta.

The only thing that disappoints me is the fact that the car is geared far too tall. It only seems to utilise its full power (172 bhp) once you start getting into 3rd and start shifting through the gears towards 6th. But I still leave Golf GTIs in my wake and I can at last watch those silly little Saxo VTRs disappear in my review mirror, much to their annoyment!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 28th August, 2003

1st Sep 2003, 08:06

I'm a VW geezer through and through, but I test drove the ST170 and compared it with the latest Golf GTi.

Sadly, I found the Ford lacking in imagination and indeed credible performance. A bit of a girl's car if you will.

I have now bought the Golf R32 which is an awesome machine and if little Mr Focus ST170 wants to try leaving me in his wake, he would be very surprised!

Cheers. Dave.

2003 Ford Focus ZX-3 2.0 16v from North America


You get what you pay for


My car started to leak oil around 1700 miles. And both of my fog lights went out.

General Comments:

The reason I rated the dealership so badly is because they told me my car would be done in 2 days. Instead, it took them a week and a half. As for the comfort, plenty of room and head space, but the seats themselves feel like rocks. I start to get lower back pains every time I enter the vehicle. Besides those problems, its not really a bad car. Very gas miserly and well placed gauges.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 29th July, 2003

2003 Ford Focus ZX-3 2.0 Zetec from North America


FORD (fix or repair daily & found on road dead)!!!!!!!!!


Right off of the lot I had a bad feeling about this car. Only two days later my first problem kicked in. You know how your supposed to at least what until you have 1000 miles kicked in before revvin' it up, well I did. After 100 miles of slow driving, my car begins to vibrate drastically. I mean from normal driving. The next problem were the windows squealing. First the driver side than the passenger side a week later. Now I've only had this car for a month and already dislike it a lot.

General Comments:

This car does not even have the same fuel economy as posted. I pick up very slowly to break in my car and to view the best possible gas mileage and still come up very short. City being 20mpg and the highway coming up way less than marked at 25mpg. Those differences come out to about a 10mpg difference. I highly do not recommend this car to anyone. I choose the Power Premium package with moon-roof. I would've gladly given up the extra 3 horsepower to get the same price and by far better reliability of the HONDA CIVIC. Heave my warning and stick with HONDA. I give this car an overall rating of 4/10. As soon as I finish paying off my debt, I'm selling this one to some sucker who hasn't read this and buy a Honda Civic EX!!!!!

P.S. For those that actually want to know where redline is, its at 6750 because its not shown. To have made sure thats right, I talked to my dealer. The older ones redline at 6250. And SVT at 7200.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 23rd July, 2003

29th Jul 2003, 18:16

I Thought that the focus was a good buy. I guess not. Since you had such a bad experience, I'm going to try rent-to-buy to first see how it goes. Thanks!!!

Seeing everyone else's review I knew there had to be something wrong.

9th Dec 2003, 00:45

From what I've seen its pretty much hit or miss with this car, I've had mine since april 2003 and haven't had a single problem yet. Great little car, handles well, peppy engine, generally fun to drive. If you're looking for fun cheap transportation you really can't go wrong with the Focus. Hondas do. however. have outstanding reliablity and much better resale value. If you're going to get a Focus don't get a base model sedan, go for a ZX3 or ZTS, either with the Ztec engine or the new PZEV. And a warranty upgrade prob wouldn't be a bad idea.