2003 Ford Focus User Reviews

2003 Ford Focus Review Ratings

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Average Ratings from 89 reviews

  • Performance:3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars3.7 out of 5 stars 3.7 / 5
  • Appearance:3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars 3.8 / 5
  • Build Quality:3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars3.8 out of 5 stars 3.8 / 5
  • Overall: 4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars4 out of 5 stars 4 / 5

Review Highlights Click to filter reviews below

PROS
"fuel economy" 36 reviews
"ride" 32 reviews
"handling" 25 reviews
"power" 23 reviews
"reliable car" 16 reviews
CONS
"power" 14 reviews
"fuel economy" 7 reviews
"build quality" 4 reviews
"expensive car" 4 reviews
"small power" 4 reviews

User Reviews

Displaying 1 - 10 of 89 2003 Ford Focus reviews.

Adam writes:
2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Gas mileage, quality, fun to drive, responsive

Cons

hard to find performance parts cuz it's not an import HAHA

105

I Love This Car — The Focus is built like a tank. I wrapped my first Focus around a tree and walked away without any bumps or bruises. I like the Focus cuz it's a fun little car to drive. Responds really well. I put a short ram air intake, short throw shifter, lights, and a sub box and stereo. More mods comming soon (hopefully). And the best thing, amazing on gas!!!!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.
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Ben writes:
2003 Ford Focus SE Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

Acceleration, Handling, Comfort, Looks, Gas Usage.

Cons

Paint

85

Ford Focus 03' — I love this car. Best performance out of the cars that I've driven so far. Superb handling, great acceleration, not to mention great on gas. Upkeep is pretty cheap, costs about 40 to 45$ to fill the gas tank. Appearance is OK. Paint is starting to come off on the hood and other places.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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Albert writes:
2003 Ford Focus Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

handling, good looks

Cons

rust

145

Best Compact Car Of Its Time — The 1.6 engine feels slow. The estate has a sizeable boot. Watch out for rust as it's a major problem. Very good suspension, fun to drive and comfortable at the same time. Rear suspension isn't as durable as in some cars. Still looks good.

Primary Use: Family transportation

5 of 6 people found this review helpful.
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Peter writes:
2003 Ford Focus Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Handling, Reliability, Cheap to run, Practical.

Cons

Road noise, lack of equipment

105

Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec 5dr — Although it only has the 1.6 Zetec SE engine with 99BHP it is surprisingly swift, provided you do not change up too soon - 4th Gear is needed below about 55mph on a flat road. This is down to the unusual combination of low weight and highish gearing. Braking is about average - antilock is standard with EBD. Handling is excellent with good steering feel. The trade-off is a firmish ride and some roll-rock at very low speeds (the zetec version has stiffer suspension). The car has done 83,000 miles and has been very reliable. The only unscheduled items that needed replacing were the brake discs, the starter motor (under warranty) and the driver's window regulator. I judge build quality to be above average with no major problems and only minor trim creaks - the electrics could be better though. It is easy to forget that when the MkI Focus emerged in 1998 it had radical styling - its very familiarity makes it difficult to criticise. I personally think the shape has mellowed into something restrained but still eye-catching. The interior is less successful from an aesthetic point of view, although there is no denying its ergonomic excellence and space-efficiency. Front-seat comfort is poor for taller drivers, though. Ownership costs are reasonable for the class of car - servicing and repairs are cheaper than average and I am currently getting 42.4mpg (British) on a diet of A/B roads and town driving. Overall, it is great fun to drive but also very forgiving. Like many modern cars with independent rear suspension, road noise is an issue at higher speeds. I would recommend it to anyone - except those who want to stand out from the crowd!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Christian2022 writes:
2003 Ford Focus ZX3 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
4

Pros

Economy

Cons

Performance

85

Focus Fanatic — This was a great, peppy little car that ran GREAT! Where it lacked in performance it made up for in economy & versatility. It had more headroom & legroom than other small cars I've owned and was very dependable. This car looks great with custom wheels and a dropped suspension; I just didn't have it long enough to get that far.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Dan writes:
2003 Ford Focus SE Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
5

Pros

handling, reliability, fuel efficiency

Cons

didn't get cruise control

65

Ford Focus, Fun To Drive — This car handles like a go-cart. I have the five speed standard transmission, which is fun to drive and delivers great gas mileage. I have not had any trouble with it in the five years I have enjoyed driving it. I would recommend this car to anyone that loves to drive and dosen't need to spend a lot of money on fuel or repairs.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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hitemstiff writes:
2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Daily Commute:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Interior Noise:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
4

Pros

Bulletproof, perfect commuter, reliability, Car and Drivers 10 best in 2003, fuel economy

Cons

noisy interior at highway speeds, needs 50 more horsepower

hitemstiff
65

Perfect Daily Commuter — We bought this car brand new in 2003 on year end clearance. 183,000 miles later it has been the most reliable car we have ever owned. Fully independent suspension makes it very fun to drive despite lacking some power. Check engine light has never lit up yet. No issues whatsoever with this vehicle. Back seat is tight for adults, but seats fold down making lots of cargo room.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Chris writes:
2003 Ford Focus ZX5 Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

Easy and fun handling

Cons

Poor back seat and truck space

55

Could Be More Fun If It Is An Awd Car, Competible To The Subaru Wrx (not Sti Version) — Acceleration & Brake pedals are quit sensitive. For a little car like the Focus, it has quit a bit acceleration power. What I love the most is the handling and turning range. I can get in the most impossible parking space or have fun at the back road corners.

Primary Use: Commuting to work

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
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Michael writes:
2003 Ford Focus SE Wagon Review
Appearance:
Performance:
Quality:
Overall:
3

Pros

Cheap.  Tonnes of cargo room.  It was blue like my favorite team the Oilers.

Cons

Ugly.  Not much head room.  Cheapest interior build quality on the planet.  It's Ford's attempt at being like VW.

115

(ford) Found On Road Dead — I bought this car after my GTI because I needed the space to put my guitar stuff. I broke my driver seat with my Rivera Knucklehead in my GTI and it was rusting so I traded it for the Focus. Performance: Good enough to get you from A to B. Build quality: I didn't need to fix anything, but it was cheapy cheapy build quality inside and outside. It was only a matter of time before the "Found on Road Dead" kicked in. Appearance: Ugliest front-end of any car at the time, but I didn't mind the overall look. It reminded me a little of a Volkswagen. The interior cloth seats were the grey fuzz which is a trademark of most low-end Ford vehicles. Cost of ownership: Low. It took regular gas, had a small 4 cylinder engine. Fun Factor: 2/5. Nothing like the old arm-strong windows! I was happy that this car had AC, because my GTI didn't. The cool thing was all the gear I could put in it with the seats folded down. It fit 2 4X12 guitar speaker cabinets, a mini-fridge bass cabinet, 3 electric guitars, assorted cable boxes, and a merchandise bin! I even installed a hitch on it to pull a trailor for when Cassidy was going on tour! Good thing we didn't go through with it, because we probably would have died off a cliff when the brakes were to fail on the Coquahalla freeway in B.C. When I sold this car it was absolutely spotless, it didn't have a single scratch on it!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful.
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Richard writes:
2003 Ford Focus SE Wagon Review
Back Seats:
Cargo Capacity:
Family Car:
Fuel Economy:
Front Seats:
Handling:
Maintenance Cost:
Price:
Power:
Reliability:
Snow/Ice:
Looks/Style:
Overall:
5

Pros

Interior Size, Cargo Room. Speaker Layout and size (5x7's), Good Heater, Drivetrain layout, made it quite good in deep snow.  Good Passing Power, Fuel Economy was decent 23-30 50/50 Mixed Highway/City

Cons

Thin metal, Crappy Factory paint and clearcoat. Transmissions seem to slip FOREVERRR on these without dying.

85

A Great Beater, Or Family Car. Economical. With A Little Speed. — Was a cheap beater, got from my sister, it was driven pretty much 24/7 for 2 years. with virtually no maintence. a few oil changes, new plug wires, a thermostat, and tires. it's never failed to start. decently comfortable. Had thought it was the 2.3 Duratec. but in fact is the 2.0 Zetec i believe. Makes decent power. Highway speeds it has decent passing power for a small 4cyl. went through a winter with a set of new Winterforce Snowtires, in some baddd weather. and it never failed me. Rust has taken it's toll. however... The rockers are both non existant, on both sides, the rear trailing arms seem like their rotted or broken. and overall. it's just getting too rusty. i replaced the drivers rear door early on due to it rotting out at the corner. Did the two tone Paint to hide the rust as best I could. but it's now too far to save. for $500. this 2003 Focus SE Wagon was about the most reliable car I ever owned. I moved friends with it, Furniture, Motorcycles, a Quad minus hubs/wheels/bars, Cabinets. My sisters entire college dorm, for 2 years. It's been an excellent beater. Would love to have one with a 5spd, and the 2.3

Primary Use: Family transportation

1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
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Displaying 1 - 10 of 89 2003 Ford Focus reviews.

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Reviews From Other Years

2014 Ford Focus Reviews

Great Looks And Fuel Economy But A Few Quirks. By an672

I rented one of these and had it for about 2 weeks, it only had a few thousand miles. I expected the compact size to be an issue due to my size but it wasn't. I was very comfortable driving and as a... Read More

Love It By emeade

I like the fuel mileage and the fact that it’s a FORD. Its very fun to drive to and from work. The sound system links up to my Iphone and iy plays all my music from a USB port. No need to carry CD's i... Read More

Read all 4 2014 Ford Focus reviews

2013 Ford Focus Reviews

Leading In The Sport Compact Class! By david_harness

One of the best vehicles in the sport compact class. Miles ahead of other cars in the class like the MAZDASPEED3, Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic SI, Dodge Dart, and any other car in the FWD category. Fan... Read More

Exciting, Futuristic And Well Engineered Earth Friendly Vehicle By CJC_VW_GTI

Love this car, I have had it for 6 months, will write more later. Carbon free driving, charged by solar energy on my own home, silent, looks like a regular car, just like the normal Focus. Great blu... Read More

Read all 8 2013 Ford Focus reviews

2012 Ford Focus Reviews

Love It By bbrat

Great car. Perfect for commuting to work and sporty enough to drive around with my friends.Don't really have anything bad to say about the car. Could be happier if it was a little roomier, but I kne... Read More

Reliable Focus By Chasneyc

I love the fuel economy! It's compact size helped me find parking spots at packed events. Very reliable, haven't experienced any problems with the car. It has a good amount of trunk space, also the ba... Read More

Read all 20 2012 Ford Focus reviews

2011 Ford Focus Reviews

2011 Ford Focus Sel By NitaScottSellsCars

I like the way the car looked inside and out. I drove it to Greenville, NC on a full tank of gas & filled up once I got there. I also took a trip to Dolly Wood in Pigeon Forge, TN both trips was comfo... Read More

Don't Buy Ford By Simon

looks and sounds like a great car to buy after owning for a year and looking after it, the stupid thing has started to fall apart the engine mount snapped at 10,000 miles unbelievable to be honest R... Read More

Read all 6 2011 Ford Focus reviews

2010 Ford Focus Reviews

Great By urb2012

Very nice economical car. Great gas mileage,looks,basic clean interior and Satellite radio is a definite plus. The SE model with power windows and locks and alloy rims looks sporty and sharp. Good siz... Read More

Best Used Car I've Ever Purchased By mobarnes

This is a great car for a single granny like me - it holds my grandsons in their car seats comfortably and I have no concerns about safety. It accelerates when I need it to, there are no rattles, and ... Read More

Read all 30 2010 Ford Focus reviews

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