The Focus manages to be both logical in its design as well as fun to drive. This European-developed car offers ride comfort and agility on par with respectable sport sedans. Access, rear seat room and trunk space belie the fact that this is a small sedan. Interior quality and pronounced road noise mar this otherwise capable package though.
There are 7 recalls on this vehicle. Learn More.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Consumer Reports’ Annual Owner Satisfaction Survey can improve the chances of finding a compatible car match. How? Our survey data reveals whether, all things considered, owners would buy the same car again. The answer to that question is what determines our owner-satisfaction rating, which is a powerful piece of intel because it predicts how well a particular model will satisfy other owners.

Overall Owner Satisfaction

Owner Satisfaction with:

Driving Experience

Includes acceleration and handling

What Owners Say

"The ride has always been comfortable and sporty and the acceration fine with a manual trans."

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford Focus)

"The handling is very good. Acceleration is poor, at best."

Wayne G., MO (2003 Ford Focus)

"It runs beautifully, accelerates as expected."

Anonymous, VA (2003 Ford Focus)

"My car loves fast speeds. It tends to growl more at long traffic lights or slow city driving. When I merge onto the interstate, it purrs."

JEFFRY R., WI (2003 Ford Focus)

"Great in the snow"

JOSEPH S., NY (2003 Ford Focus)

"Special PEZ engin. super acceleration and pep."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"Nice commuter car old and reliable"

Z P., NY (2003 Ford Focus)

"The driving experience is more European feeling and secure. Acceleration is more than adequate."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"Amazingly good acceleration, good ride quality, good handling, and excellent braking."

RICHARD S., NE (2003 Ford Focus)

"Excellent acceleration, and nice tight turning radius."

CARL H., CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"A former truck driver drove my 2003 Focus on errands last week. He said, "I had forgotten how great this car handles." I have never had a problem entering a major highway; the car accelerates VERY quickly. The car has quick response, and just seemed to "float along" on Rte 90 with the cruise control set at 85."

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Ford Focus)

"Still has excellent acceleration from the big V-8 engine. Handling is satisfactory."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"Precise steering and road feel. Cornering."

EDWIN E., NY (2003 Ford Focus)

"The vehicle performs best on highway driving (55 MPH or better). It tends to grumble at traffic lights. We understand each other."

Jeffry R., WI (2003 Ford Focus)

"good handeling"

Anonymous, WA (2003 Ford Focus)

"Fun and responsive"

Anonymous, WI (2003 Ford Focus)

"Even at 184,000 miles it accelerates superbly. Steering is also quite adequate."

Carl H., CA (2003 Ford Focus)


Includes seats, climate control, noise, and ride

What Owners Say

"Seats are uncomfortable. The ride is good. The handling is good."

Wayne G., MO (2003 Ford Focus)

"Seats are very comfortable for commutes. Have remained comfortable for 12+ years. The climate control is continuously variable from the windshield to the footwell, and each individual vents' flow can be infinitely controlled. Noise is adequate and ride comfortable for long commutes."

Anonymous, CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"In May of 2015, I drove my 2003 Focus wagon from Ma to AZ. I took RTE 90 until Wyoming. The car performed beautifully. When the speed limit was 80, I In May of 2015, I drove my 2003 Focus wagon from MA to AZ. I went on Rte 90 until Wyoming, I was very comfortable. At the end of the day I was not in the least bit sore or stiff. A great five day ride."

Anonymous, AZ (2003 Ford Focus)

"the seats are comfortable. But the acceleration is awful and the road noise is bad."

TERRY M., CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"handles well, climate control needs charging every summer. seats have lumbar adjustments. riding and driving are smooth. For some odd reason it wears out the back tires, that's kind of strange for a front wheel drive car, i've been told no adjustment was provided for by the factory on the rear wheels! Apparently the wheels are not true to the rear alignment of the car!"

WAYNE G., MO (2003 Ford Focus)

"Road noise can be noticable."

DEAN S., WI (2003 Ford Focus)

"For a small woman my age it is a good car to see well out of, easy to get in and out, comfortable seat, easy to fine/use either heat or air conditioning, turn on/use the radio, etc."

Anonymous, OH (2003 Ford Focus)

"The A/C was never adequate even when working properly from new. Took ages to cool car and did not cool completely in FL summer. Had to replace compressor and have much work done on A/C over years of ownership. Was the primary problem with the car until now."

DEBORAH B., FL (2003 Ford Focus)

"ignition key does not unlock steering column"

BERT R., WI (2003 Ford Focus)

"The seats are stiff, the cabin is narrow, the steering wheel is not adjustable and you have to drive at arm's length is you are over 5'5", the drink holders fell apart"

Anonymous, MN (2003 Ford Focus)


Did you get what you wanted relative to the price you paid?

What Owners Say

"My Focus had a $2.5 K rebate which made the car cheap at that time."

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford Focus)

"I'm 70, driving since I was 16. Without a doubt, for the money, the best car I have ever had."

David B., NJ (2003 Ford Focus)

"This vehicle is 13 years old w/ 151,000+ miles. It has been exceedingly reliable, efficient, capable and capacious. All that and it has been inexpensive be to own and an absolute HOOT to drive! I'd buy it brand new again if I could."

Marc C., CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"I have gotten many miles of service from my Focus cars. However at 99K to 120K, the valve seats fall down and destroy the engine. This is faulty workmanship on Ford's part. They are aware of the problem, yet, they refuse to do anything about it, The DOHC engines haven't got this problem, only the SOHC engines."

WAYNE G., MO (2003 Ford Focus)

"completely trouble free. I only purchased new headlights because my night vision is worsening by age."

DONNA M., OR (2003 Ford Focus)

"relaively good gas milage for the age of the car can carry a large load as it is a wagon plnty of room car has 117000 and was delivered to my driveway when purchased - car was driven by an elerly couple rnnior to my ownership only bad ting it does not have cruise congtrol"

Anonymous, GA (2003 Ford Focus)

"we purchased this car used 3 years ago and it is used mainly for city driving. It definitely fills the bill for us and is dependable."

DAVID K., CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"Fun to drive. Reliable. Great handling. Excellent brakes. Great balance between performance and value."

MARC C., CA (2003 Ford Focus)

"This little car has a lot of space inside. I can JUST fit a bicycle in the back with the seats down. It's nice to be able to do that in a small, relatively efficient car."

NOEMI Y., IN (2003 Ford Focus)

"I believe all cars are over priced including my Focus !"

Anonymous, NY (2003 Ford Focus)

"I've been driving this vehicle for the past 13 years (216,000 miles) and I've never had to call for a tow truck. I've taken care of it and it takes care of me. On average, I spend around $1,000 a year on maintenance, far less than I would for new car payments."

JEFFRY R., WI (2003 Ford Focus)

"This car, (station wagon), is suitable for a six ft. four individual weighing two hundred and sixty pounds. It can transport a quarter ton of bagged sand without showing any sign of strain on the suspension. It is remarkably easy to enter and exit on the driver's side."

MARVIN P., MB (2003 Ford Focus)


How it looks inside and out

What Owners Say

"Wagon. Distinctive headlights."

EDWIN E., NY (2003 Ford Focus)

"It is a station wagon, one of the few small station wagons produced in the U.S. in 2003. It looks sort of dorky but it is very functional and gets excellent mileage."

CHARLES P., MI (2003 Ford Focus)

"Paint has held up well, inside still looks fine, ride is as good now as it was when new."

ALICE H., PA (2003 Ford Focus)

Would you buy this car again?

2003 vehicles
Ford Focus
Honda Civic
Mini Cooper
Toyota Corolla
Toyota Prius
Volkswagen Jetta
Percentage of owners who would definitely purchase that same vehicle again. Owner-satisfaction Ratings are determined by the percentage of those who answered "definitely yes" to the question asked by the Consumer Reports Annual Auto Survey "Considering all factors (price, performance, reliability, comfort, enjoyment, etc.), would you get this car if you had to do it all over again?". If we don’t have sufficient data, a similar model might be used to form the owner-satisfaction score.
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