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.

General Comments:

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

2003 Ford Focus SES hatchback 2.0 from North America


Our best car ever



Oh yes, I had to top up the brake fluid several times the last couple of month I had it.

General Comments:

This has been our best car (and we've owned a VW and a Volvo before).

We were looking for a small car that could fit a family with 3 kids for mostly city driving, and this 5-door hatchback fit the bill perfectly.

Plenty of power to drive within speed limits in Canada. Would probably get you in trouble if let loose.

Excellent visibility all around. Fits is small parking spots. Perfect car for the city.

With rear seats down, the hatch is huge for a car that size. I've been transporting 8ft pieces of lumber many times.

The 5-door hatchback came with excellent equipment (SES with winter package).


- Fuel economy is poor. Around 10l/100km on average (even worse in winter).

- The engine/gearbox is not very smooth, to put it mildly.

- Comfort, especially in the back, is poor.

Would I buy a car from the same manufacturer? Sure I ended up getting another Focus.

I just don't get why Ford discontinued the Focus hatch and wagon in Canada.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th July, 2009

21st Jul 2009, 11:08

"I just don't get why Ford discontinued the Focus hatch and wagon in Canada."

You are not the only one. Hatch and Wagon are discontinued for the US as well. I think Ford is afraid they would eat into the sales of the Escape, Edge and Flex.

2003 Ford Focus ST170 2.0 16v petrol from UK and Ireland


Fantastic, comfortable, fast, sporty, affordable hot hatch


Common faults like the heat shield on the manifold rusted and came loose... simply replaced by a Hi-Flow sports cat; no heat shields, no worries.

Bracket from the cat rubbing against the drive shaft. Again not a big issue; £50 at the local Ford dealer.

General Comments:

This is a fantastic car. I bought it 2nd hand as a replacement for my aging 1.25 Fiesta, which was also a brilliant little car. It looks and sounds like it has just rolled out of the showroom. Not a scratch and a single rattle.

Very comfortable to drive long distances in, economical when in 6th cog, but drop it and put your foot to the floor and it will soon drink your tank dry. Comes with the Xenon headlights and climate control.

I run it on Octane 99 from Tesco garages, and it adds to the torque and generally is still quite economical. It's been serviced every 4000 miles and cleaned twice a week. If you keep the car maintained, it will last for years.

A new panel filter and Hi Flow sports cat have added 10-12bhp, so it's currently running at 183Bhp. What would have really made this car would have been if they put a turbo on the engine.

I have left Golf GTi's, Ibiza Cupra's and thankfully the Nova chav's standing. You can chuck it into corners and it will stay stuck to the road, thanks to its stiff chassis, suspension and help of the wide tyres.

I may stick with Ford as the cars I buy from now on.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 29th April, 2009

23rd Nov 2010, 03:23

A panel filter and high flow cat will get you 5 BHP tops, nice made up figures though.

3rd Dec 2010, 11:40

If you wanted a focus ST170 with a turbo, well that's what the RS was for, which came with a 2.0 turbo 212 bhp I believe. This was a cheaper alternative.