2005 Ford Focus ZX4 ST 2.3 Duratec from North America

Summary:

Reliable, inexpensive sporty car with below-average MPG

Faults:

Clutch master cylinder leaked at 130,000 ($200).

Headlight plug corroded at 140,000 ($0, just needed silver grease).

General Comments:

Very reliable and sporty car, fun to drive, with cool trim pieces and interior accents. The gray color and red/black seats didn't look immature like the SVT Focuses I checked out. Oil changes were very easy to do with filter and drain bolt locations near the front. The car pretty much cost me nothing to run other than gas, oil, and brakes. I've had good luck with these Duratec cars, and switching to a timing chain only improved that. With the four-wheel discs, I even felt confident towing an 800lb (150lb tongue weight) trailer in the PA mountains several times without issue.

Some minor gripes:

- The 2.3L engine did not get great fuel economy, often 26-27 MPG for 50/50 driving with one passenger. I have a pretty light touch, got peaks of 36 MPG in my 2.0L Escort and 33 MPG in my 2010 Focus coupe so I don't think it's my driving. I blame the foam "lifetime air filters" installed in these cars that were likely very restrictive. I didn't own the car long enough to change it out for K&N cone, which is a popular modification said to help with this.

- The stick shift has a tricky reverse lockout, took a few days to get the hang of it. The other stick shift quirk is that the engine holds or gains revs if you shift slowly. This is apparently that same in the Ranger with this motor.

- The road noise in the car was higher than average, but lower than the deafening Escort I owned before this. The 2010 I have now is much quieter, the 2012+ Focus is even quieter.

Overall I would recommend this car if you need a little more power for more/larger passengers, towing, or passing, but looking for low running costs. This was far and away more fun to drive than a Corolla.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 19th February, 2019

3rd Mar 2019, 03:55

Given the tepid performance of the 2.0, the fuel economy hit with the 2.3 might be worth it.

2005 Ford Focus ZX5 SES 2.0L Duratech from North America

Summary:

It's a good car

Faults:

I changed the O2 sensor at 110 000km.

I changed the brake at 150 000km.

I repaired the exhaust at 160 000km.

General Comments:

I purchased this car 3 years ago, and for the price it's a really good deal. The ride is really good with a ZX5, and the seats are better than a cheap version of the Focus.

The viability after 3 years is great. I've only got 2 reproaches. A car of this size could be more economic in fuel - approximately 8.0L by 100km highway (60%) city (40%) combined. Also the car could be better soundproofed.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 31st March, 2013

2005 Ford Focus ZXW SES 1.8 from North America

Summary:

Best station wagon for the money, choose the SES model and manual transmission

Faults:

One bulb and the plastic armrest, but it was an easy and inexpensive fix.

General Comments:

I got this station wagon second hand, and with high mileage at 185,000 km, for next to nothing. It runs awesome a year after I got it; no oil leaks or burning oil, still covered with the dealer's extended warranty, and very happy.

I had automatic similar Focus Station, only it was 2003 and automatic, and could never get to like Ford's automatic transmission. This one is a different story - Ford's manual transmissions are a but rough, but flawless. I have more power (2005 vs. 2003), better fuel efficiency and more extras with this newer station wagon - heated seats, MP3 after market stereo, higher clearance, sportier suspension, etc.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 14th October, 2010

14th Oct 2010, 09:17

I've got an '09 SEL and it is an automatic. I routinely get into the mid 30's for mileage with mostly around town use. What did you not like about the AT? Did it fail?