2005 Ford Focus ST 2.3 DOHC from North America


Vast improvement of the Focus!


The shock tower was bent and making a horrid squeaking noise at only 2,000 miles. This was fixed quickly and for free at the dealership.

My 6 disc changer quit reading my Cd's. This was also remedied quickly by Ford and wasn't their fault, it was Sony's. Also taken care of at no cost to me in a timely manner.

General Comments:

This car definitely packs more power than the 2000 Focus LX I had previously and definitely handles well.

The ST is the definite way to go, it has all the perks of a luxury car (leather, moon roof, 6 disc Cd changer..) for a lot cheaper.

It's very fuel efficient.

The one downside is the traction control will kick in around turns if you're going too fast and will drag you down.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 16th July, 2005

26th Aug 2005, 15:33

Sounds like the ST's pretty nice; too bad it's only offered as a sedan : (

12th Nov 2005, 15:29

What is the engine like for refinement and sound? Is it torquey?

28th Jan 2006, 00:42

"What is the engine like for refinement and sound? Is it torquey?"

Feels more powerful than the horsepower and torque numbers would lead one to believe. The car pulls smartly and smoothly and consistently from dead stop. Good passing power (ST model with the 2.3L), too.

Engine revs willingly and smoothly all the way to red-line. Not as quiet and refined as - say - a Honda Accord (4-cyl), Toyota Camry (4-cyl) or a VW GTI (sharing GREAT turbo motor with A-4 Audi), which I consider about as good as any four-cylinder can get, for ANY amount of money. The Ford engine sounds "sportier" in its exhaust note, but not unpleasantly so.

The Ford Focus line are using exactly the same motors that one finds in the Mazda 3 series. Compared to most Japanese makers, Mazda seems to go for the sporty side - snappy throttle response and a little "adrenaline" in the exhaust note. Ford, FYI, owns a controlling share in Mazda, for whom I have a great respect. Their cars seem consistently more fun to drive - if a little less polished - than equivalent Hondas or Toyotas. That Ford is using their wonderful motors in the Focus is a great plus as far as I am concerned.

Why not get the Mazda 3 instead of the Ford Focus? A matter of taste. I prefer the European styling to the somewhat overwrought Japanese look of the Mazdas, and the European-style interior proportions are just more comfortable for my 6'4" frame.

30th May 2006, 05:54

UPDATE FROM ORIGINAL POSTER!!! So, here we are, about a year after I bought my Focus ST. It has 23,000 miles on it (what can I say I do a lot of driving) and this is by far the best car ever. Not one problem, except standard maintenance. This little car hauls, and gives all the little Hondas and Scions a run for their money! I am a female driver, and I do know a lot about cars, and this is definitely the way to go!

9th Feb 2009, 14:43

Well I am glad you are enjoying your car... well I am looking at a red 2005 Ford Focus ST :) It's loaded with sunroof, Sony system, leather and much more.. but it has 71k miles on it :( Is it worth 6600 :)

2005 Ford Focus Zetec Climate 2.0 TDCi 136PS diesel from UK and Ireland


Apart from the styling, a very hard car to fault


No faults so far.

General Comments:

Had the car for three months now and I'm delighted so far.

The biggest improvement over the old model is the interior which now matches the likes of the VW Golf in both materials and build quality terms. It's a massive improvement over the old one which looked quite striking, but suffered from cheap looking materials.

The engine is a peach too. Punchy, frugal and very refined as you would expect from an engine that Peugeot helped develop. It's a few PS down on the mk5 Golf 2.0 TDI, but feels quicker thanks largely to a lighter kerbweight. The 6 speed box is slick and positive, and performance is excellent. Even in the 0-60 dash, an area where diesels traditionally look awful, it has been figured independently at 9 seconds on the nose. Midrange and overtaking punch is incredible as you would expect from any modern turbodiesel and once "on boost", the car feels unstoppable.

Handling and ride are almost identical to the old model, and therefore superb, although I don't think the steering feels as positive as it did on the 2000 1.8 (petrol) Zetec I had. The new system is lighter and still gives good feel, but lacks the old model's weighty, almost go-kart like feel. I don't like the exterior styling much either. It's grown on me a little, but after the sharp angles and freshness of the old one (how many big sellers still look good after 6 years in production?), this simply looks dull and a bit dumpy.

Coming to this car from a troublesome mk4 Golf TDI 130 has been a revelation. Better built (so far), more reliable (so far) and significantly cheaper, not to mention quicker, smoother, more spacious, better specified and far more fun to throw around. The only area where the VW does have it licked is economy. The Golf managed 50 mpg average whereas this is nearer 45. Still not exactly a gas guzzler though.

Will post an update after the first service (12,500 miles) unless anything major happens beforehand. Look forward to seeing if the dealers have improved since my Focus 1 days, although they can't be worse than I experienced with the VW.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 13th June, 2005

25th Aug 2005, 01:59

12,500 mile service now completed at a cost of £120 all in (the Golf's first service was twice that!) and the car continues to be a pleasure to own and drive. The engine has loosened up noticeably since my last report and fuel economy has improved slightly to 47 mpg average. The performance has also become even stronger, and the engine is noticeably more willing to pull into higher revs these days. Not that it's the best way to drive a diesel of course, but it's nice to have the extra poke there.

Quality and reliability are so far faultless (again, more than could be said for the Golf at similar miles). The dealer was pleasant enough and the work was carried out on time and within the original quote. They didn't valet the car like the VW agent used to, although at half the cost, I can live with that.

Proving to be an excellent choice so far. Quick on real roads, reliable, well made, good to drive, cheap to run and own, and having just won Auto Express's Car of the Year 2005, seems to be winning over the press too. I am still indifferent at best about the looks though - why did they make it so dull?

29th Aug 2005, 08:04

RE: the Focus II's dull looks and general lack of flair. I reckon they've done it to appeal properly in Germany... the conservatism that exists (and that the Golf and Astra appeal to) was ground the old Focus couldn't really compete on, being as it was, radical. Different countries want different things... and the British like radical and stylish - hence why the Megane II has jumped up the sales charts!

17th Oct 2005, 07:51

Yes it looks bland compared to the old one, but then again one could argue that its all down to the growing up process that happens in car design - the Mk.1 Golf GTI and the 205 GTI were quite wild compared to the conservatism that marred their successors. Ford dealers still have a long way to go where I live before I would rate them particularly highly. They are nice enough, but when spending £110 for an interim service, (and lets face it most modern cars don't actually need all that much doing to them anyway apart from an oil change!) one would expect slightly better treatment. That said they are a lot better than Volkswagen!