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2004 Ford Focus Sedan

4dr Sdn ZTS

Starting at | Starting at 25 MPG City - 33 MPG Highway

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  • $15,775 original MSRP
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Printable Version

2004 Ford Focus Sedan

Printable Version

2004 Ford Focus Sedan

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2004 Ford Focus

Source: New Car Test Drive

Introduction

Ford Focus continues to be one of the most enjoyable compacts in its price range. Overall, it feels cushier than other compacts, both in terms of its comfortable seats and its soft suspension. It's fun to drive, however, with agile handling. It's comfortable on long trips and stable at high speeds. The Focus is among the best of the compacts in terms of ride quality and has been lauded by the enthusiast publications for its handling. For 2004, Ford has revised the steering and suspension to further improve the ride and handling.

Ford's New Edge styling has helped the Focus stand out from the crowd. It comes in a wide variety of body styles to meet many different needs and lifestyles. It's a versatile car, particularly the three-door and five-door hatchback models with their flip-down seats that provide lots of cargo space.

The 130-horsepower engine that comes on most models delivers brisk acceleration performance and was revised for 2003 for improved response and quieter operation. For 2004, a larger, 2.3-liter engine is also available that produces 145 horsepower and lower emissions. The 170-horsepower SVT versions offer thrilling acceleration performance, sporty handling, and excellent brakes, yet give up nothing in terms of practicality. SVT versions are available in three-door and five-door hatchback styles.

2004 Ford Focus
2004 Ford Focus

Model Lineup

The Ford Focus lineup is extensive with four distinct body styles, three trim levels, and four engines to choose from. Most models come standard with a manual gearbox, but four-speed automatics are available for all models. The three-door hatchback, five-door hatchback, four-door sedan, and five-door hatchback all ride on the same 103-inch wheelbase and offer similar driving characteristics.

Anti-lock brakes ($400) and side-impact airbags ($350) are optional and we highly recommend them.

Four-door sedans are the most popular. The entry-level LX ($13,185) comes with a 110-horsepower engine, a single overhead-cam 2.0-liter four-cylinder with two valves per cylinder that delivers an EPA-estimated 27/36 mpg City/Highway. LX comes with wind-up windows and does not come standard with air conditioning. SE ($14,915) comes with the 130-horsepower twin cam engine with four valves per cylinder and adds air conditioning, power windows, power locks, remote keyless entry, a CD player with MP3 playback capability, variable intermittent windshield wipers, and body-colored trim. The sporty ZTS ($15,535) is equipped with the 145-horspower 2.3-liter engine, driver's lumbar support, aluminum wheels, speed control, a tilt-telescoping steering wheel, and nicer trim.

ZX3 ($12,725) is a three-door hatchback equipped as a sport compact car with the 130-horsepower twin-cam engine, 15-inch aluminum alloy wheels, fog lights, and a CD/MP3 player. Several packages are available, the most elaborate of which is the ZX3 Power Premium Package 120A ($2,545), which comes with the 2.3-liter engine, air conditioning, power windows, dual power mirrors, power locks, rear stabilizer bar, 205/50R16 all-season with 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, remote keyless entry, front center armrest w/storage, AM/FM/CD/MP3 with four speakers, map light, speed control, leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel. For 2004, the ZX3 is available with leather seating surfaces.

ZX5 is a five-door hatchback, a cross between a four-door wagon and a coupe, with four doors and a tapered rear roofline leading to a rear hatch. The ZX5 ($15,035) comes standard with the 130-horsepower Zetec engine, 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps. Also standard is a CD/MP3 player. ZX5 Premium package ($1755) adds the 2.3-liter engine, P205/50R16 tires on 16-inch alloy wheels, rear stabilizer bar, dual power mirrors, fog lamps, AM/FM/CD/MP3, power windows, power locks, map light, body-color trim, speed control, and leather-wrapped tilt/telescoping steering wheel.

Wagons are available in SE and ZTW trim. The SE wagon ($17,130) comes standard with the 130-horsepower dohc Zetec engine and a choice of manual or automatic transmission. The ZTW wagon ($17,745) is an enthusiast's sport wagon with 16-inch alloy wheels and a six-disc in-dash CD changer. A four-speed automatic is standard, with a five-speed manual optional. Leather seating surfaces ($695) are optional.

SVT versions are available in three-door hatchback ($18,590) and five-door hatchback ($19,090) models. Both feature the Ford Special Vehicle Team's 170-hp version of the 2.0-liter engine. Focus SVT models boast a Getrag six-speed manual transmission, SVT-tuned suspension, and special trim, including a rear spoiler. A new European package ($3,410) includes black leather Recaro seats, special wheels, the Audiophile System, the Cold Weather Package, high-intensity discharge headlights, and a moonroof. Competition Orange and Screaming Yellow are among the new colors.

Walkaround

Ford Focus features edgy styling with sweeping arcs and crisp creases. Large pie-section headlamps give the front end a distinctive appearance. Several models have fog lamps in the grille opening below the front bumper. There's a similar, but smaller opening above the bumper that houses the turn signals. Both are outlined by arcs. The front and rear fenders are highlighted with geometric curves creased into the sheetmetal.

The roofline is highly arched, particularly noticeable when parked next to another car. The roofline is truncated just aft of the rear axle line. Wedge-shaped tail lamps set in the C-pillars enliven an otherwise plain rear end of the ZX3 and ZX5. Lower bodyside PVC coating provides protection from stone dings on all models, and the underbody gets PVC coating as well. Clearcoat paint is standard across the board.

ZX3 and LX have black rather than body-color bodyside protective molding, but this is offset on the ZX3 by black rocker panels. The door handles on all models are black as well. The door handles on black cars blends in, but black also masks the distinctive lines of the Focus that are accentuated by the brighter colors. High-series models get new body-color decklid trim.

2004 Ford Focus
2004 Ford Focus
Interior Features

Ford designed the Focus from the inside out for maximum interior space within the confines of a compact body. The high roofline provides lots of head room and makes entry and exit easier.

The front seats are comfortable, cushier than those in other compacts, and are bolstered well with side support. The seats have an exceptionally high hip point, providing a better view down the road and more leg room front and rear. Manual height adjustment allows almost everyone to find a comfortable position behind the wheel and an easy arm's length away from the manual shifter. Two types of cloth upholstery are available, a sporty woven material designed for younger drivers and a textured velour fabric designed for a more upscale ambiance. Leather upholstery is also available.

The dash is a collection of arcs, a theme that reinforces the exterior design. The instrument panel is covered by an asymmetrically curved and sharply creased bezel. High series models feature a silver instrument cluster. The fuel gauge has a small arrow pointing to the right, to remind you where the filler is located. A 7000-rpm tachometer flanks a 140-mph speedometer in the ZX5. Both instruments are round and easily readable, clearly marked with white numerals on black, though the tach has no redline.

The center dash panel is formed by an arc that sweeps upward across the dash to the right side of the car and an inverted parabola. In the ZX5, ZTS, and ZTW it's finished in brushed aluminum instead of black. The radio fits into the top of this area. ZX3 and ZX5 models come standard with MP3 players. Also available is a six-disc CD player. Snuggled into the top left is a 12-volt power outlet and trinket tray. Circular ventilation controls feature the edgy styling with buttons styled to fit the room available. The trunk release, on the left end of the dash, is triangular as well, shaped to fit into the intersection of the arcs outlining the instrument panel.

With its asymmetrical design, the interior looks both informal and rich at the same time. Control knobs all have distinctive shapes for easy identification. Rotary controls are rubberized for pleasing soft-touch operation. The steering wheel on the ZX5 is leather-covered and satisfying to touch. Even the plastics used on the dash and door panels have a finger-friendly soft-touch feel. Our only quibble is that the inside door releases don't feel as substantial as they could.

The rear seat of the five-door hatchback is entered easily through the rear doors. The back seat of the three-door hatchback is best accessed by the young and agile, however. Once there, rear-seat riders have lots of legroom, thanks to widely spaced runners under the front seats, plus adult-sized head and shoulder room. Rear-seat air ducts add comfort winter and summer.

Fold the back seat of the hatchbacks and there's 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space. Access to this area is easy through the big rear hatch. The versatility of the hatchback design is lost on many Americans, who prefer the more formal sedan profile with its conventional trunk, but the hatchback design is hugely popular among Europeans for its practicality. The sedan's trunk, on the other hand, can hold two standard-size suitcases and comes with 60/40 split fold-down rear seats. The Focus wagon offers the largest cargo capacity in its class, more than a Volkswagen Jetta wagon. Fold the rear seats down in a Focus wagon and there's 55.8 cubic feet of cargo capacity, or 37.5 cubic feet with the rear seats in place. Driving Impressions

Behind the wheel, the Ford Focus is an enjoyable car. All models are fun to drive. The Focus is smooth and stable at high speeds with responsive steering and excellent brakes. The Focus feels softer and smoother than most compacts. It leans in corners, but the tires generate a lot of grip.

The 130-horsepower 2.0-liter Zetec engine that comes in most models starts instantly and rewards drivers with an almost imperceptible idle, smooth and quiet. Slam the gas pedal down and it responds with surprisingly rapid acceleration, a benefit of a lightweight car with well-developed torque characteristics. Torque is that force that propels you quickly away from an intersection and 80 percent of the Zetec's maximum torque is available from idle to 6000 rpm. Torque peaks at 135 foot-pounds at 4500 rpm.

Making the Focus even more satisfying to drive is Ford's excellent control of noise, vibration and harshness in this engine. Forget the usual inexpensive four-cylinder harshness; this pup loves to run and doesn't complain about visiting the upper reaches of the tachometer. Ford revised the 130-hp Zetec for 2003. A new throttle body offers improved part-throttle response for improved drivability around town. Greater fuel efficiency comes from a new cylinder head, new valve springs, and a freer exhaust system.

Given a choice, we'd rather have the five-speed manual than the automatic. It's easy to shift. Clutch take-up is good and easy to modulate. Shifting into first gear reveals a rubbery feel to the linkage of the long-shafted shifter. It feels like a Saab shifter; it's precise but not inviting.

The four-speed automatic is slow off the line. Left in Drive, it operates like a conventional American automatic. That is to say it's as dependable as sunrise, but not as exciting. It features an overdrive-off button, plus D2 and D1 slots, but it lacks the sporty feel and effect of the manual gearbox. Also, fuel economy drops from an EPA-rated 34 mpg on the highway with the manual to 31 mpg with the automatic.

The ZX5 does not act like an economy car. It accelerates and turns much more quickly, making this one of the most enjoyable cars in its class to drive. Response through the rack-and-pinion steering is quick and precise, and feedback is excellent. The car feels like it is leaning in corners more than it actually is because the driver is sitting higher in the saddle. The standard 50-series (16-inch) tires sharpen handling response. The power rack-and-pinion steering is precise, with good road feel and little kick-back or torque steer from the front-drive system.

Out on the interstate the ZX5 is a born cruiser. The engine is quiet and wind noise is absent even up to 75 mph. Speaking of cruising, the cruise control system holds a set speed even on the steepest Interstate grade; with Braille bumps on the steering wheel hub, it's easy to use the cruise control even in the dark (it's not illuminated). Ordinary roads feel smooth, while well-maintained superhighways feel velvety. Some road noise does filter up through the cargo area.

Even more fun are the SVT models. The SVT Focus offers thrilling acceleration in the mid-speed ranges. It'll rocket out of an on-ramp. The SVT engine develops 170 hp and 145 lbs.-ft. of torque. It's an extensively modified version of the Zetec. SVT used high-compression pistons (10.2:1 vs. Zetec's 9.6:1). Breathing is improved through a high-flow aluminum cylinder head with bigger intake ports, stiffer valves, and variable cams. A dual-stage intake manifold improves low-speed torque. SVT's 4-into-2-into-1 headers and a big exhaust pipe reduce backpressure.

The SVT Focus is easy to shift and goes quickly through the gears. The standard six-speed manual transaxle was developed by the German manufacturer Getrag. It uses clever design to deliver the performance advantages of a close-ratio six-speed in a remarkably compact and lightweight package.

Handling is tauter, yet the SVT Focus rides very nicely on bumpy roads around town. Around corners it feels well controlled yet compliant, allowing it to handle bumpy corners better, a result of stiffer springs, solid stabilizer bars (larger in front), and retuned shock absorbers with softened impact harshness and improved roll damping.

The SVT's impressive braking capabilities are the result of larger vented front brakes and solid rear discs. The wheels are fitted with Continental 215/45R17 ContiSportContact tires that provide a high level of grip and directional stability, making the braking system remarkably effective. This combination really adds to the overall performance of the Ford Focus SVT.

Summary

The Ford Focus is inexpensive yet long on style, practicality and fun. It's available in a wide variety of body styles to suit all types of lifestyles. The sedans are comfortable and move people efficiently. The three-door hatchback proves to be economical and practical yet sporty and fun. The five-door hatchback makes it easier for rear-seat passengers to join in the merriment. The wagons can carry a ton of cargo.

The SVT models bring stellar performance to this class. The Ford Focus SVT is up to the challenge of other sport compacts with strong acceleration performance, agile handling, and excellent brakes.

While we recommend the Focus, it has been hampered by recalls, most of which involve 2000 and 2001 models. Ford says all the problems have been fixed and owners should not experience problems with 2004 models. Recalls don't cost owners out of pocket per se, but sometimes involve inconvenient trips to the dealership. Overall quality of the 2003 Focus was about average, according to owner surveys conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.


Model Line Overview

Model lineup: Focus LX sedan ($13,185); SE sedan ($14,915); ZTS sedan ($15,535); ZX3 3-door hatchback ($12,725); ZX5 5-door hatchback ($15,035); SE wagon ($17,130); ZTW wagon ($17,745); SVT 3-door hatchback ($18,590); SVT 5-door hatchback ($19,090)
Engines: 110-hp 2.0-liter sohc 8v inline-4; 130-hp 2.0-liter dohc 16v inline-4; 145-hp 2.3-liter dohc 16v inline-4; 170-hp 2.0-liter dohc 16v inline-4
Transmissions: 5-speed manual; 4-speed automatic; 6-speed manual
Safety equipment (standard): dual front second-generation airbags, side-impact door beams, 3-point front seat belts with adjustable upper mount, pretensioners and load-limiting retractors, center 3-point inertia real safety belts, UCSSD child safety seat attachments, child-locks on rear doors, pressure cut-off proportioning valve on rear brakes, SecuriLock theft-deterrent system
Safety equipment (optional): ABS; head-and-chest seat-mounted side-impact airbags
Basic warranty: 3 year/36,000 miles
Assembled in: Wayne, Michigan; Hermosillo, Mexico

Specifications As Tested

Model tested (MSRP): Ford Focus SVT 3-door ($18,590)
Standard equipment: center console, front courtesy lights with theater dimming, door map pockets, cloth trim on doors, removable package tray, sport bucket front seats with height adjust, 60/40 split-fold rear seat, leather-wrapped steering wheel, tachometer, driver and passenger vanity mirror, battery saver, rear defroster, solar tinted glass, power point, power steering, trip odometer, rear window wiper/washer, aluminum wheels, power remote locking, power remote mirrors, floor mats; SVT adds four-wheel disc brakes with ABS, rear hatch cargo net, short-throw shifter, fog lights, unique headlamp bezel surround, electroluminescent instruments, black lift gate handle, color-keyed trim, stainless steel pedals, power locks, power windows, power driver's seat, sport bucket seats, rear spoiler, leather-wrapped steering wheel
Options as tested (MSRP): Audiophile system ($675) includes 80-watt system w/four 2-way speakers
Destination charge: ($545)
Gas guzzler tax: N/A
Price as tested (MSRP): $ 19,810
Layout: front-wheel drive
Engine: 2.0-liter dohc 16v inline-4
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 170 @ 7000
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm): 145 @ 5500
Transmission: 6-speed manual
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy: 21/25 mpg
Wheelbase: 103 in.
Length/width/height: 168.1/66.9/56.3 in.
Track, f/r: 58.8/58.5 in.
Turning circle: 39.1 ft.
Seating capacity: 5
Head/hip/leg room, f: 39.3/49.4/43.1 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m: N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r: 38.7/49.5/37.6 in.
Cargo volume: 18.6 cu. ft.
Payload: N/A
Towing capacity: 1000 Lbs.
Suspension, f: independent
Suspension, r: independent
Ground clearance: N/A
Curb weight: 2750 lbs.
Tires: P215/45R17
Brakes, f/r: disc/disc with ABS
Fuel capacity: 13.2 gal.

Unless otherwise indicated, specifications refer to test vehicle.
All prices are manufacturer's suggested retail prices (MSRP) effective as of May 26, 2003.
Prices do not include manufacturer's destination and delivery charges.
N/A: Information not available or not applicable.
Manufacturer Info Sources: 1-800-392-FORD - www.fordvehicles.com

Copyright © 1994-2003 New Car Test Drive, Inc.

Printable Version

2004 Ford Focus Sedan

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Opt

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Opt
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Fog Lamps Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2004 Ford Focus Sedan

Ford Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

Manufacturer's 7 years / 100,000 miles Powertrain Limited Warranty from original in-service date. 12-month/12,000-mile Comprehensive Limited Warranty. See dealer for details.. See dealer for details. Rental Reimbursement $30/day.
Age/Mileage Eligibility 6 model years or newer / less than 80,000 miles
Lease Term Certified Yes
Point Inspection 172
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2004 Ford Focus Sedan

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