2004 Ford Focus Station-wagon SE 2.0L SOHC from North America


40 MPG gasoline station-wagon


Funny noise at idle speed when the clutch is up (sort of rattle snake).

Intermittent wipers stopped where they are when I put them at off (front only).

CD player sometimes jumps.

Tires were too small for my concept of a comfortable family automobile.

General Comments:

I put on 205-70R14 tires (about 9.7% bigger in term of distance and 7.8% in RPM), which upgrade the comfort to the Taurus/Malibu class, but decrease the available power. No proof that I'm saving more than 5% in gas mileage after a 1 month experiment

In term of gas mileage I got:


City from 37 - 42 MPG.

Road from 38 - 43 MPG.


City from 30 - 36 MPG.

Road from 33 - 38 MPG (Quebec).

Let said that I'm always driving between 1,000 and 2,500 RPM (max: 70 mph) and most of the time on mexican overdrive in the city (50%).

I've got all the statistics for 1 year prior. See 40mpg.org Focus for my techniques.

It's a Ford, so you don't expect to have Japanese fancier gadgets like a Nissan, but when you go for maintenance, it's much cheaper and as good...

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 26th April, 2005

26th Apr 2005, 12:27

Sorry for my spelling, I also got a hissing noise from the air vents (probably a maple leaf stuck somewhere inside..;)

Never went back to my dealer for any trouble/maintenance, a good guy anyway.

It's really not the sportive package with the slugging base DOHC engine, but I got great fuel economy (6.34l/100km combined 1 year average).

2004 Ford Focus ZX3 2.3 from North America


Engine Runs great, but the rear end is junk


Rear stabilizer bar comes from the factory set wrong.

General Comments:

The zx3 handles and runs great for the first 10k to 15k.

After about 15k the rear end starts to feel loose.

Ford has a 'silent' recall on it as they say 'some' of the zx3's are set wrong.

The dealership did make sure to tell me to rotate my tires every six thousand miles, which is a great idea if you own a tire dealership, It ruined 4 tires instead of just 2.

I checked my vin with Ford itself and nothing came up as there being any problems or listed recalls.

I am now past the 3/36k warranty and into the worthless 100k drive train warranty.

Neither Ford or the dealership I purchased the car from did anything to notify me, I had to go in there angry and complaining before they gave me the "oh yeah now I remember" crap.

I have gone through 3 sets of rear tires on this car now and have had it. If this is how Ford backs their products I am washing my hands of them.

If you own one and are noticing the rear tires slanting out at the bottom, tilting like an A frame house in other words, take it back in now and demand they fix it.

The tires will start to look like someone twisted them and then the handling goes to pot.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 20th April, 2005

2004 Ford Focus Zetec 1.8 from UK and Ireland


Good family hatchback that handles very well


Only thing so far is there are 2 rattles coming from the rear of the car.

One is the rear seat mount. The other is the rear hatch.

General Comments:

I had to think very long and hard before buying another Ford POS.

The last Escort I owned was brand new and was rusty on delivery.

Twelve months later Ford were still refusing to fix it and never did.

Against my better judgment I bought a Focus, mainly due to price.

So, did I do the right thing or get ripped off again.

Well, so far so good, apart from rattles, this is a good all round family hatch.

The 1.8 engine just gives that little bit more power than the 1.6 with similar MPG.

It handles very well with a good set of brakes.

The seats are not that comfortable.

They could be better with adjustable lumbar support as standard.

The heated front screen is great in the winter, clears frost in seconds.

I think after 3 months ownership I made reasonable choice.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2005

21st Apr 2005, 16:31

The rattles in the back are because the rear end is not lined up properly. I have 51k on mine and have gone through 3 sets of rear tires, it started with rattles coming from the back. It could have been avoided if I would have known they rigged the car straight out of the factory.

Go back to the dealership and ask them to look up the correct alignment specks on the rear end. Don't let them try to sell you struts either because that is not the real problem. If they are anything like the dealership I bought mine from, they will try. Goodluck.

OH Yeah, get 2 thin pillows, foam works the best, and seat covers, slide the seat cover over the pillows placed on the back of the seat. That will cure the numbness in your elbow and the pain in the middle of the back. ;)