(Don't Lose) Focus – SVT Edition

Someone took the best-selling car in the world and dressed it up like a 1970’s Ferrari.
As you might know, we have a 2004 ZX5 in our garage, and have owned it for 10 years. It’s been a most excellent car, doing exactly what we need it to do, and then some. It’s given us all the expected maintenance & repair headaches – water pump, alternator, starter, coil packs, electrical gremlins typical for 1st-generation Foci – but in return has given us good mileage, good handling, plenty of legroom, and a practical trunk (Remind me to tell you the story about hauling 500 pounds of mulch in the trunk).
Why do I mention all this? Well, even though it’s not rare or fast or red, it would still get a decent price on the used car market. Why, then, is an SVT going for only four bills?

These cars are getting fairly rare. Only 536 of this model made.
All power everything with sun roof.
137xxx miles. Absolutely no mechanical issues. This car is in GREAT shape. Interior is 9/10 and exterior is 8/10
6 speed manual transmission.
Header, exhaust (doesn’t sound rice at all. Has nice tone)
K&N drop in filter
Msd coil pack
Ngk 8mm wires and new plugs
HID headlights
Adjustable kyb suspension

According to good guys at Focus Fanatics, there were 582 of these red ZX5’s made in 2003, which makes this car somewhat uncommon. As the seller correctly lists, this SVT has all kinds of go-fast goodies and add-ons to make it faster and sportier than the base model. This was the Si killers of its day, and 170hp helped to that end.
The backspacing on the wheels is a little much, but it works on this car. They are aftermarket, but they fill the space nicely.
The combination of gold wheels with a red body is really cool. Classic. I have to wonder why it’s only $4,200, and I also have to wonder why I don’t trade my ZX5 for an SVT. Wouldn’t you?
[Source: Springfield Craigslist]

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  1. B3NN3TT Avatar

    I bought my 2003 SVT Focus in 2009, and it’s been one of the most enjoyable, reliable cars I’ve ever owned. Just passed over 170,000 miles. Clicking off 7300-RPM upshifts never gets old! 🙂
    I always preferred the 3-door to the 5-door, as the extra pillars look a little clunky and busy to me in side profile.

    1. Hatchtopia Avatar

      With the blacked-out pillars, a window tint goes a long way in reducing the clunkiness.

  2. CruisinTime Avatar

    Woof WooF

  3. Zentropy Avatar

    Wheel backspacing (and color) ruins the presentation. Anything beyond fender width is bad, and gold is always a negative.

    1. Andrew_theS2kBore Avatar
    2. JayP Avatar

      Look like Mustang Fox 4 lug Cobra R replicas.
      Right about the offset. How long do wheel bearings last??
      Color I don’t mind.

    3. outback_ute Avatar

      Plus will rub the tyres on a decent bump, and upset steering geometry especially on a fwd cars

  4. alex Avatar

    I’m a proud owner of an original 2002 Silver over Red SVT Focus. It was owned for it’s first 12+ years of existence by one of my closest friends, who has serious car-cleanliness OCD. He never had kids. Impeccable inside and out. I’ve had it for about 18 months now. 85,000 miles on the chassis. At 76k he took it in for a new timing belt, and they put the belt in wrong and grenaded the motor. So, it sits with a Ford crate rebuilt motor with about 11 k miles on it.
    About 9 months before he bought this car, I bought a Feb 01 build Subaru WRX. One of the first in New England. Loved that car, but got hit b y a moron.
    This is an incredibly driver-oriented car. It is one of the most fun and enjoyable cars I’ve ever driven. Clearly the best steering feel and precision of any can I’ve driven regularly.
    Why only $4k? Many have been beaten. Parts are scarce. It’s a Ford Focus. Yeah, it’s special, but the audience for a special Ford Focus is small.
    Need to wait another 7 years some of the early 2000 STI/WRX/etc fans of that day have the jack to buy one of these as a collector.
    Personally, my car will last that long, but I probably will not, being nearly 70.

  5. JayP Avatar

    I put 45k miles on a new 2004 5 door. It was a nice car, had a few issues I’d not expect… suspension issues, alignment couldn’t ever get right. I was chewing tires and the dealer wasn’t any help.
    Traded it for a 2002 A4 quattro. One of my bigger mistakes.

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