2003 Ford Focus Ebony 1.6 from UK and Ireland


Fine motor, but keep the tow truck number handy


Faulty ignition coil.

6 CD auto-changer.

General Comments:

The Focus Ebony (mark 1) is fairly mundane to drive, although very comfortable. I do like the extras such as the heated leather seats, parking sensor, and heated front screen. The 6 CD auto-changer is prone to jumping and there’s a few annoying rattles in the dashboard, but all livable with. Cheap to run until...

I was distinctly less than impressed when the engine warning light coming on and the car ground to a halt in the middle of the road. I wasn't expecting my car being towed quite so soon (20k miles). The breakdown service suspected (correctly) a faulty ignition coil. The Ford dealer was only interested in the profit to be made from my misfortune. Typical phone call, “that’ll be 95pounds to connect it to our fault diagnosis computer”. Like I have a choice! Although my car is just out of warranty I submitted a claim to Ford UK, but am not holding my breath. When Ford Customer Care tried to phone the dealer they wouldn’t even answer the phone! At least they know what it’s like for customers.

My experience with Ford dealers and their non-interest in existing customers ensures, I will shop elsewhere for servicing and my next car purchase (Japanese)

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 3rd March, 2007

2003 Ford Focus Zetec TDCi 1.8 turbo diesel 115hp from UK and Ireland


Unneven abilities in diesel form


Nothing yet, but only had it 4 months.

General Comments:

Engine pulls well above 1750rpm, but throttle response is poor compared to a non-turbo engine. Also easy to stall for a diesel.

Rattly engine noise intrudes into cabin, especially at low speeds and low revs.

Rather hard ride in diesel model (heavier engine means stiffer springs).

Handles well for a family car.

Gearshift obstructive until fluid changed to Dexron 3 ATF (in manual box).

Very relaxed open road and motorway cruising due to high top gear (3000rpm = 90mph), but less at home in stop-start town driving. Low first gear.

Cabin design distinctive and well-built, but materials look cheap.

Brakes OK, but lack ultimate bite. Had to upgrade pads. Same size discs used as in lighter petrol models.

Quite spacious, but rear seat backs don't fold flat unless base cushion tilted upwards.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 15th August, 2006

2003 Ford Focus Zetec TDCi (115PS) from UK and Ireland




Noisy Dual Mass Flywheel was replaced under warranty at 55k. Its apparently a common problem with common rail dervs.

Handbrake cable snapped at 74k, although the mechanic that fixed it reckons it was due to a lazy techie that serviced it last. Chip as chips to fix at £50.

General Comments:

I have owned this car from new and has been superb. Plenty of pulling power on tap from the powerful and economical TDCi. It easily gives a combined 45-50 mpg.

It looks stunning with the Panther Black paintwork and 16inch Zetec wheels.

I really can't fault it in any way, its gorgeous, reliable and cheap as chips to own.

I would not hestitate to recommend it to anyone.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th May, 2006

8th May 2006, 15:10

Geeze, what we wouldn't do for well built, diesel powered Focuses in the States. Or at least I'd like them...

2003 Ford Focus Ghia 2.0 from UK and Ireland


Great car as a Manual, but poor seating for an Auto


Nothing, the car has been excellent to date, but I have only driven 3500 miles in it.

I fitted my 2.0 Ghia with the genuine Ford MP3 17" wheels which improved the looks no end.. My problem with the standard fit Ghia wheels is that they make the car look very "old man".., and they just had to go. My advice is fit genuine Ford wheels as after market wheels drop the resale value.

The 17" wheels are excellent in the dry, but the car skips around a bit in the wet.

General Comments:

The car is a fantastic car. There are so many good things on it. I love the 6 disc CD Changer and the quality of the audio is very good. Other big plus points are the heated front and rear windscreens, amazing in the winter, at the touch of a button the screens are clear in minutes. Petrol consumption is very good too, 30+ mpg which gets better when you push the car..

Now for the bad stuff. The seating position for an auto is awful. The pedals are in the wrong place and too small, and the seat has no lumbar support, with limited movement, so if you suffer from back problems think long and hard about this car..

The Focus is an awesome car which was built and designed to be a manual, it is a totally different game as an Auto...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th April, 2006