2005 Ford Focus

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Change year or car

$13,465

starting MSRP

2005 Ford Focus

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Maneuverability
  • Interior space
  • Hatchback versatility
  • Distinctive styling

The bad:

  • Performance with automatic
  • Side-impact crash-test rating of hatchback
  • Resale value

14 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2005 Ford Focus trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • New 136-hp four-cylinder
  • Euro-style handling
  • Manual or automatic
  • Four body styles
  • New 151-hp ZX4 ST performance sedan

2005 Ford Focus review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

For ’05, Focus is on styling, lower emissions

Ford says consumers will be happy to know they can get a PZEV or a ULEV Focus for the ’05 model year.

Of course, consumers probably would be even happier if they knew what PZEV or ULEV means.

PZEV stands for partial zero-emission vehicle and ULEV stands for ultra-low-emission vehicle. PZEV means the car produces about the same amount of emissions as a gas/electric vehicle, and ULEV means it isn’t as clean as a gas/electric but still produces fewer emissions than a non-ULEV vehicle.

For 2005 the compact Ford Focus, which is now at dealerships, has replaced its 2-liter, 110-horsepower single-overhead cam and 2-liter, 130-h.p. dual-overhead cam Zetec 4-cylinder engines with two versions of a new 2-liter, 136-h.p. 4 designated as Duratec 20 or Duratec 20E.

The Duratec 20 is offered in all 50 states, and the 20E is a PZEV and a SULEV (Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle) sold only in New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and California, which have stricter emissions regulations than other states.

Also, Ford offers a 2.3-liter, 151-h.p. dual-overhead cam Duratec 23 ULEV 4-cylinder in a new performance Focus designated the ZX4 ST.

To be blunt, unless you’re the one who came up with all those silly LEV designations, no one other than a card-carrying Sierra Club member gives a hoot. Suffice it to say Focus will spit less pollutants into the air we all breathe for ’05 than it did in ’04.

And they’ll all go farther on a gallon of gas, 1 m.p.g. more in the city, 2 m.p.g. on the highway. Plus they’ll travel even farther between refills because the tank has been increased by 2 gallons.

What most people will notice, however, isn’t the LEV ranking or the added miles between fills, but the the ’05 Focus’ new sheet metal.

Focus has received what’s called a minor freshening for ’05, its first cosmetic remake since it bowed in the 2000 model year. But it sure looks like major surgery–and successful surgery at that.

New front- and rear-end treatment, especially noticeable upfront, where the sharply creased hood has given way to more subtle creases to now appear wider and lower hood, though 1 inch higher.

Headlamps have been moved forward and have more of a jewel-like appearance. Turn signals were moved from the grille to alongside the headlamps and the honeycomb grille resembles that to be used on the 2005 Ford Five Hundred sedan.

The cloth seat covers look richer and provide more support. And wherever a storage compartment would fit, it was added. The changes were made in response to owners who asked for upgrades and refinement–as well as two more cupholders, one in each front door.

“The voice of the customer drove the changes for ’05,” said John Sidelko, chief engineer for Focus, who also admitted that results of the J.D. Power and Associates Appeal Survey on what consum ers liked or didn’t like about their vehicle also prompted a few tweaks.

We tested the ’05 ZX4 ST sedan that Sidelko insists isn’t the replacement for the performance SVT Focus that won’t be offered for ’05.

“The ZX4 ST doesn’t substitute for the SVT even though it appeals to a similar enthusiast customer. They both share much the same personality, but the ZX4 ST is more refined,” he said.

“The 2004 model year is the last for the SVT Focus and is off the radar screen at this point in time so the SVT team could concentrate on other projects, such as the Ford GT, Ford Lightning and the Mustang Cobra,” Sidelko said.

The ZX4 ST has some performance-tuned suspension components from the SVT. Those who have driven both probably will say the ZX4 ST is a little more refined, less harsh and quieter despite a noticeable exhaust rumble. The ride is pleasant without being jostling and jarring. Handling is crisp and accurate and steering response above averag for an economy car at heart–because that heart had an SVT suspension transplant.

Also contributing, of course, is the 2.3-liter, 151-h.p. engine. It delivers less horsepower than the SVT Focus (170 h.p.), but boasts more off-the-line torque than the SVT (154 foot-pounds versus 145). Yet it’s rated at a most respectable 23 m.p.g. city/32 m.p.g. highway versus 21/25 for the SVT.

The 2.3-liter is teamed only with a smooth shifting 5-speed manual. Sidelko said there’s no technical reason the ZX4 ST couldn’t have offered an automatic, but Ford felt that enthusiasts prefer manuals. Because enthusiasts will be the primary buyers, manual it is. So no extra-cost automatic.

The ’05 Focus is built on the same platform as the ’04 Focus, and the European Focus is built off a new global platform shared with the Mazda 3 and Volvo S40. The next-generation Focus is expected to share that global platform, but Sidelko wouldn’t say.

Some suggest the global platform means the U.S. Focus could offer all-wheel-drive and perhaps a couple of even more potent engines; a 180-h.p. and a 200-h.p. 4-cylinder have been speculated.

Sidelko said that AWD “might put the car out of reach for the entry-level buyer concerned about price” and that he “doesn’t know of any upcoming planned new engine offerings.”

Base price of the ZX4 ST is $17,705. There are only six options–side-impact air bags, a Sony audiophile upgrade with six-disc rather than single-disc CD/MP3 player, alarm system, power moonroof, suede seats and heated seats. The test car came with the moonroof ($625), side air bags ($350), alarm ($125), heated seats ($115) and audiophile upgrade ($455).

Standard equipment includes four-wheel anti-lock brakes with traction control; power windows, door locks and mirrors (not seats); air conditioning; AM/FM stereo with single-disc CD/MP3 player; passenger seat sensing system to prevent air-bag deployment when empty; fog lamps; decklid spoiler; 16-inch radial tires; and body-color outside mirrors, door handles, moldings and front and rear fascia.

Noteworthy features include positioning a power plug in the dash alongside the radio to make it easy to plug in the cell phone without tangling the cord on the gearshift lever, and placing the trunk-lid release button on the dash behind and to the left of the steering column, again making it easy to see and use. And for a compact, trunk space is abundant.

The original Focus stumbled out of the gate and suffered a number of recalls. Sidelko is quick to point out that in the latest J.D. Power Initial Quality Survey, Focus has moved to 6th place in its segment, up from 17th–and that’s before the many changes instituted for ’05.

Sidelko wouldn’t forecast sales, but noted the ’05 Focus reached showrooms in May and sales rose 17 percent that month.

Strictly personal: Birthday greetings to Ashley Marie, daughter of Mrs. Twin No. 1, wh o is celebrating No. 5.

And, as always, memories of grandson Peyton who would have been 7. – – –

TEST DRIVE

2005 Ford Focus ZX4 ST

Wheelbase: 103 inches

Length: 168.5 inches

Engine: 2.3-liter, 151-h.p. 4-cylinder

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Fuel economy: 23 m.p.g. city/32 m.p.g. highway

Base price: $17,705

Price as tested: $19,375. Includes $625 for power moonroof, $350 for side air bags, $125 for alarm system, $115 for heated seats and $455 for Sony audiophile upgrade with six-disc CD/MP3 player. Add $545 for freight.

Pluses: Midcycle freshening brings new front- and rear-end styling, remake of the cabin interior, passenger air-bag occupant detection system and two more cupholders. Suspension components borrowed from SVT version for more performance handling in an economy car. Excellent mileage.

Minuses: Only offered with 5-speed manual.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 4.0
  • Performance 4.0
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.1
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews

3.3

Ugly car but good car so far

I’m used to owning sporty mustangs but will never own anything but a Ford. So I hit hard times and had to sell my mustang and needed a cheap car while between owning mustangs. I saw a hour old ad on Facebook for a 2005 Ford Focus with 153k miles on it (these can last 200k-250k miles!) for $2k. I bought the car in cash ASAP. Several other people were interested in the car as well. I was a little disappointed as the car is just a car. No one is going to see the car and say “oh my gosh it’s a Ford Focus”. When I had my mustang people were excited to see it and recognized it. It was great. But now I have a Ford Focus that is so plain and ugly. First thing I noticed was there’s a lot of Ford Focus’s driving around and several of my neighbors have one! The car had no oil leaks or any other type of leak. It seems to start really strong. The tires were bald and the brakes very worn but these are easy replacements. The car would get about 36 mpg on highway and 26 city which is great! Insurance was a little more simply because it doesn’t have as many security features as a newer car. One of my complaints is the seat is super uncomfortable for my back. I remember my mustang had lumbar support. Another thing is there’s only a key hole on the drivers side, at least for my base zx4. I’m used to my mustang which only had a key fob and I didn’t have to use the key at all. So this is a big change and down grade. But replacement keys shouldn’t be too bad to buy. The car also passed emissions which I was proud of! There’s lots of places to hide sunglasses and there’s a cup holder in the door!! The AC blew cold air which I was so happy for. The buttons of the radio are rubbed off but the cool thing is you can buy stickers to cover it or buy a new radio OEM cheap on eBay. And that’s another thing: replacement parts are super cheap! I’m going to be buying this car brand new headlights since these are faded, it only costs $80 for a brand new pair! The acceleration on this is pretty slow but seems to coast really nicely and once you get going, it is pretty zippy. I think it has 150 to 200 horsepower, I don’t remember so it’s not super fast but that’s ok. The trunk fits A LOT! I was shocked! The back seats also fold down which is great. I haven’t been able to find seat upholstery replacements though because it has stained leather seats which grosses me out and when it’s hot, I get all sweaty. Yuck. The FWD will also come in handy in winter in Colorado. I’m saving up for a mustang but in the meantime this is my car and it’s pretty good. I like it enough. And I would recommend anyone to buy one of these. Very cheap, they last awhile. This is the best car deal I’ve made!

4.4

You just cant go wrong here.

Have always been a die hard Chevy guy until I pulled an old f-150 from its grave many years ago. That had the straight 6 bulletproof 300 in it. After fixing it up, (easy to work on by the way and parts are cheap) it had to have been one of the best vehicles I've ever owned... Until I got a focus. 2.0 runs like a pair of cheap pantyhose. Besides routine maintenance, not a single issue. Not one. 140k miles and a million more to go...

4.6

Makes Amazing First Car!

This is the first car that I've ever bought. A 2005 Ford Focus ZX4 ST. I bought it when it had 123,00 miles on it. Mileage is now @ 145,000 after several years and it still runs great. I use this car A LOT too. It's in great condition for a used car. Everything actually works! It's also very reliable in the snow and on a 1,000 mile road trip. Changing the engine oil is a breeze since the oil tank is located at the front of the car, which sadly not all cars have. I got to learn how to drive a stick too, which I'm very thankful for! The only thing that I don't like about this type of car is that you can't access the Transmission Fluid yourself. Only a mechanic with a special tool can access it to see what the fluid level is. I also had to get the Reverse Light Switch replaced to get the reverse lights to work again. Thanks to my dad, I learned how to do it myself. Otherwise, everything else has just been regular maintenance. I definitely recommend this car as it's a pretty reliable one, and I know that I'm not the only one that would agree! :-)

See all 65 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Ford Blue Advantage Gold
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
60 months/100,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Gold Certified: Ford models up to 6 years old with less than 80,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12-Month/12,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Blue Certified: 90-Day/4,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Comprehensive Limited Warranty Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
Powertrain
7-Year/100,000-Mile (whichever comes first) Powertrain Limited Warranty Blue Certified: Available Disclaimer: See your dealer for warranty coverage details.
Dealer certification required
Certified 172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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