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


Fun, agile, reliable and practical car


Had a few faults when purchased - needed tracking, spare wheel well had water, and one of the tail lights wasn't working.

Windscreen is scratched.

Carpets got wet as the pollen filter cover got damaged.

Heater fuse kept blowing.

The car had a flat tyre.

Air conditioning isn't that cold.

General Comments:

Back when the Focus was launched I was teenager. I wasn't a fan of its looks, but kept reading reviews of how good it drives.

Fast forward to today and I'm a fan after owning and driving one.

I originally bought this car as a cheap runabout to quickly replace my Fiesta.

Was very cheap, bodywork wasn't the best with rust on the front passenger door and a few dents, but had a solid chassis and underbody. Also it had a stamped service book which showed it had money spent on maintenance, even if it did look a little battered.

It did have a few faults - the tracking needed doing as the steering wheel didn't sit straight, windscreen has a scratch and the air-con wasn't cold.

Ended up spending a fair bit on servicing (cam belt, water pump, PAS fluid, gear oil and A/C) then a bit more on the front suspension to pass the MOT.

Driving wise - the agile chassis and revvy Zetec engine comes into its own. Its well balanced chassis and sharp steering means that on fast flowing A and B roads you can have a lot of fun flinging it and carrying speed through bends.

In town it's OK, doesn't crash over bumps.

Reliability/running costs - same as any other car, keep an eye on the fluids and service regularly. Mine's never given me any grief - driven in town I get about 35 MPG, but on a decent cruise it's 42+ MPG.

Would I buy another? Yes, either another 1.6 or the ST170.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 27th September, 2018

28th Sep 2018, 12:27

Ford were onto a winner with the Focus in the late 90s when it came out and replaced the ageing Escort. I remember car magazines and motoring programmes going crazy for it. It was and still is a great all round car.

2003 Ford Focus ZX3 2.0L Zetec from North America


Not a car you want to buy


Water pump (twice).

Head gasket leak.

Oil pan leak.

Rear wheel bearings.


Battery went out twice.

Broken seat levers.

So far... it hasn't even been a year -__-

General Comments:

This car is an OK looking hatchback. I got mine in November of 2015. It's September 2016 now.

Something you might want to consider is that the car is slow. Very... slow. Mine goes 0-60 in 19s. With a proper launch maybe 15s.

Gas mileage is really good. You can fill this thing up with 20 bucks. My problem is that the car is only about 8000 miles in and all these things have gone bad. I don't recommend this car to anyone, unless you just really need a car with good gas mileage; other than that, I don't like it.

Engine sounds pretty cool though...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 13th September, 2016

14th Sep 2016, 12:33

Used Car Buying 101: when you buy an older, high mileage car, expect to have to have to do repairs that a new or late model low mileage car would not require.

And you're not "8000 miles in", you're 134,000 miles in LOL.

14th Sep 2016, 15:15

Amazing. The first owner may have glowing remarks during their ownership. Even with that someone with over zealous maintenance could get remarkable results from a new vehicle deemed trouble prone and one to avoid. Lack of maintenance is never really addressed through a single car review. Best to read several.

Lastly, some love cheap. That's great, but is it really fun on a trip to drive and own. Some ride and bounce. Poor sound deadening. Boring to own. To me that's time to step up and have better quality of life. That's the mark of true value with new ownership.