2003 Ford Focus Zetec 2.0 from Australia and New Zealand
Light-years ahead of most other small cars from its era..
Engine mount failed at 55,000k's. Took the car to Ford with a massive grinding noise and they couldn't locate the issue. I found out it was the front engine mount by researching online. Not good dealer service.
Overall the car is built very well. It is strong and solid, although a tad heavy for its size.
The brakes are great, but do fade a bit under heavy braking, and the ABS is quick to cut in (some might say that's a good thing though).
The Zetec upgraded suspension is fantastic. No other way to put it. You can out handle most cars in this, and it doesn't suffer from the usual 'dogging' out that most front wheel drive cars do hard into a corner.
The Zetec engine is fairly powerful. I've driven newer basic model Focus' at work, and the difference between the 2nd gen 1.8 and the 1st gen 2.0 Zetec engines are HUGE.
The interior is nice, however there are some dumb choices of plastics used here and there, prone to getting scratched easily. The steering wheel is typical Ford in my opinion. They don't make the surfaces to last long.
I wish mine was manual :(
Overall, great car!
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 2nd June, 2010