2005 Ford Focus Sedan ZX5 SES 5-Passenger (560)

This week we’re testing the 2005 Ford Focus ZX5 SES 5-passenger sedan. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve told my kids about the world condition of oil and it’s time to dump the gas burners and buy a fuel-efficient car. Well you can tell kids, but you can’t tell them much.



Well you can imagine I was thrilled to see this Ford has achieved 32 highway miles per gallon. Gas that is. And I will share with you one more time; the Europeans achieve much more in their clean diesel burning cars. What’s the matter with us in the US? Are we whacko? Don’t get me started.

This is a redesigned Focus and a great job to get it more car like than original versions. I liked the idea but the execution of the design was ugly. This, while being much better, is commonplace.

I did experience an unusual problem. It had a sticky gas pedal. It was annoying and I couldn’t determine why it was doing it but the linkage had to be hanging up somewhere.

Public Service driving observation: Occasionally I notice something I have to share with my readers. This thought is about your seat belts. Don’t listen to the politically correct folks who tell you to “Click it or Tick-it”. Be knowledgeable and understand why you need to buckle up. The real reason is that if you get into an accident and are not wearing a seatbelt the air bag may cause the opposing forces to break your neck. Look after number one and you will demand the same for your passengers.


General Info:


Parts – n/a

Assembly – n/a

Class:  – Compact

Cars:  Crown Victoria, Escape, Escape Hybrid, E-series Van and wagon, Excursion, Expedition, Explorer and sport trac, F150, F250, F350, Focus and wagon, 500, Freestar, Freestyle, GT, Mustang, Ranger, Taurus and wagon and T-Bird.


Handling & Performance:

Outstanding for a car that will cost about $17,000. How do they do that? And even though it is only 136 horsepower it is a great family car or commuter. I always appreciate the smaller turning radius easy to park yet big enough for the rare moments I carry more than me to and fro.


Not all that good. Boring is a better term. Basic also comes to mind. But then I’ve heard that a lot from folks who are big on Chrysler because they have the balls to be different. This is a redesign for Ford and I believe it is a step up from the previous models.

Fit and Finish:

Average for this class car. The gaps and seams will be less precise than more expensive cars in most cases but in its class it is good.


I told my sister, Carol dump those gas-guzzling bombs and buy a more cost efficient car (to buy and to operate) or quit complaining the Corvette and El Camino are expensive to operate.


Quite good and common for the class with a lot of manual stuff. Air conditioning and seats to name a couple. Then I was amazed it had crank windows. I glanced over and found someone riding in the car with me groping around to put the windows down. You just don’t see cranks much any more.

Consumer Recommendation:

Get a grip. For the money this is a great commuter, an inexpensive fuel-efficient family car and easy to get in and go. You may also want to look at the wagon and hatchback models.

The Competition:

Ford Focus $13-18,000, Chevrolet Cavalier $10-18,000, Pontiac Sunfire $11-15,000, Toyota Corolla $14-18,000, Subaru Impreza $18-32,000, Dodge Neon $14-21,000, Hyundai Elantra $13-15,000, Honda Civic $13-22,000, Saturn ION $11-21,000, Nissan Sentra $13-18,000, VW Golf $16-20,000, Mitsubishi Lancer $14-35,000, Suzuki Aerio $13-17,000, Mazda 3 $14-19,000, Kia Optima $16-20,000.

Good News:

Low cost to purchase and operate, comfortable ride for 5 adults.

Bad News:

Plain Jane design that is uninteresting and harder to fall in love with. Me, I’ve concluded the homely ones are often the best – know what I mean? Oh, almost forgot to note it had a sticky gas pedal.

Standard Equipment:

2.0 liter 136 hp inline 4 cyl engine, 4-speed auto trans, dual power mirrors, rear wiper washer and defrost, solar tinted glass, fog lights, air conditioning, manual seat height adjusters, 60/40 split folding rear seat, console with 3 cup holders, map light, sound system with CD player, tilt and telescoping leather wrapper steering wheel, remote lift gate release, front wheel drive, independent suspension, front disc and rear drum brakes, power rack and pinion steering, power windows and locks, cruise control, dual air bags, child safety rear door locks, antitheft system and remote keyless entry.

Gas Stats:

26 City and 32 Highway MPG


MSRP $16,905.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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