Production Models: MK-I (2000 to 2004)
The Focus was introduced to the world in Europe for the 1999 model year, and earned the designation "MK-I" among European Focus enthusiasts. The Focus was introduced in North America for the 2000 model year. Since then, it has endured an interesting journey of praise and condemnation from customers, consumer organizations, and the automotive media. The first-generation Focus in North America gained great acceptance in the media and marketplace offering great value, decent performance, distinctive styling, and outstanding handling.
However, that image was tarnished in the first two model years (2000 and 2001) with numerous recalls, flimsy parts, and frustrated owners. In 2002, the Focus became part of the SVT line-up, offering greater performance and handling. Ford continued to improve the quality of the Focus, but also began cutting features and costs due to corporate financial difficulties and economic downturns. In 2003, further cost-cutting was evident through reduced features.
Despite these rough patches of pavement, tThe Focus managed to regain its reputation as a quality vehicle among consumer groups. Even Consumer Reports ahd changed their critical views on the Focus! The 2004 model continued virtually unchanged as the new model was to be introduced in 2005.
The following are models offered in the First Generation:
Welcoming you to the world of Foci is the LX. Powered by a thrifty 2.0L, Split-Port Induction I4 engine (110 bhp), you're able to take the world in a European-inspired package.
It's your basic car with no power accessories and AM/FM stereo cassette radio. However, it still offers 14-inch wheels, dual front airbags, fixed intermittent wipers, remote decklid release, Securilock anti-theft system, and a Security Group featuring Anti-Lock Brakes (ABS) and side-impact airbags. It's only available as a 4-door sedan.
The SE offers those who want thrift but with perks. The SE gives you the option of power accessories, CD player, upgraded sound systems, variable intermittent wipers, comfort and convenience features (such as tilt/telescoping steering column, remote power locks, map lights, and rear head restraints), side air bags, ABS, and body-coloured side moldings.
For those wanting more kick, there's the SE with Sport Group (2000 AND 2001) or SE Sport (2002+). It's powered by the 2.0L Zetec I4 engine (130 bhp) found in other Ford products (Contour, Mystique, Mondeo, Cougar, Escape, and Escort ZX2).
Zetec-equipped SE models offer a rear spoiler (sedan models), 15-inch, multi-spoke alloy wheels, tachometer (all except 2000 wagons) standard comfort and convenience features, and fog lights (all except 2000 wagons). Exterior badging shows these Sport models as an SE.
The SE is available in both 4-door sedan and wagon form.
The flagship of the sedans. The ZTS offers a full complement of standard features, 16-inch alloy wheels, ABS, and rear spoiler. It also steps into entry-level luxury territory offering Advance-Trac (active handling system) and leather seating.
The flagship of the wagons. Introduced in 2002, the ZTW allows active families to do what they must in style and a package that suits their demands.
It is fully loaded, offering the 2.0L Zetec I4 engine, 16-inch alloy wheels, power accessories, ABS, and other creature comforts. The ZTW can also be optioned with Advance-Trac and leather seating.
Sporty, yet affordable, Ford offers to those young-at-heart. The 3-door, ZX3 hatchback offers practicality in a head-turning package. It, too, is powered by the 2.0L Zetec I4 engine.
In keeping with the affordability of the Focus, the ZX3 can be optioned with various comfort and convenience features, power accessories, and power moonroof.
The ZX3's amazing handling prowess can be accentuated by the optional Advance-Trac electronic stability system.
Note: In Québec, the ZX3 was offered with the 2.0L Split-Port Induction engine found in the LX and SE models.
After the success of the ZX3, Ford decided to introduce the 5-door hatchback to Canadians in 2002. It's been wildly popular in Europe and other countries. Dubbed the ZX5, it offers hatchback lovers the practicality of a sedan, while keeping the slick lines of the ZX3.
It's also powered by the 2.0L Zetec I4 engine, and offers many standard comfort and convenience features as the SE Sport model. It also comes standard with ABS, 16-inch alloy wheels. In ZX5 form, the owner may choose to further trick out his/her ride with options like Advance-Trac and leather seating.
The SVT Focus had been anticipated by many. The Special Vehicle Team (SVT) , Ford's performance division, needed a vehicle that would bring in younger buyers and woo customers in the ever-growing sport compact car market.
Enter the SVT Focus (SVTF in Focii circles). In its alter ego in Europe, it's known as the ST-170. It's powered by a modified version of the 2.0L Zetec I4 pumping out 170 bhp. The suspension was lowered and retuned. Brakes and wheels were upgraded. A 6-speed manual transmission was added. More features and options were made available, such as an Audiophile package, power moonroof, and Cold Weather package. The result is a pocket-rocket that is sure to entertain you on the road, track, and twisites.
The SVTF was introduced as a 2002 in 3-door hatchback form only. Colour choices were limited to Sonic Blue, Pitch Black, Infra-Red, and CD Silver. For 2003, it became available as a 5-door hatchback. U.S. models were available with an optional European Appearance package featuring Recaro front seats and high-intensity discharge headlamps. The 2004 was the last model year for the SVT Focus.