NEW: Autoweek test of '04 Focus PZEV - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace

Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum > Ford Focus First Generation > DURATEC Performance (2003-2007)

DURATEC Performance (2003-2007) The place to chat about any Duratec 23, 23E, and 20 engine performance, tuning and exhaust related upgrades.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-03-2004, 08:26 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2004
Fan#: 5254
Posts: 1,520
FF Reputation: 1 firemanfrank Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (2)
NEW: Autoweek test of '04 Focus PZEV

(08:30 April 05, 2004)

2004 Ford Focus 2.3 PZEV
Sweet P...ZEV: 2.3-liter Focus brings more driving fun to an already enjoyable lineup


NOT OFTEN DO YOU GET something for nothing or even almost nothing. Not so the 2004 Ford Focus. We lauded the car when Ford launched it in the United States for the 2000 model year, and we’ve continued to do so since. The Focus’ combination of cost, steering and handling makes it one of our favorite compact cars this side of factory pocket rockets from Honda, Volkswagen and Ford’s own SVT division. But since day one, we often wished for a more powerful, smoother engine option. Neither the 110-hp SPI base engine nor the 130-hp Zetec managed to keep pace (at least not the pace we wanted) with the car’s fun, rewarding chassis.

Broad torque band Low emissions Fuel economy

Plasticky interior Niggling reliability issues Dated styling

Honda Civic Hyundai Elantra Volkswagen Golf

Four years after launch, Ford stepped up to the plate. For a measly $115 (like we said, almost nothing) more than the cost of a 2.0-liter Zetec-equipped Focus, you can specify your car with Ford’s Duratec version of the 2.3-liter I4 also available in Mazda’s 6 and 3, as well as the revised 2005 Ford Escape. The Mazda engine produces more power and torque through variable cam timing, though. If you reside in one of the so-called green states (California, Maine, Massachusetts, New York and Vermont), the Duratec is the only available engine. Besides producing 15 extra horsepower and an additional 14 lb-ft of torque (peaking 250 rpm sooner) over the Zetec’s 130-hp, 135-lb-ft engine, the Focus’ 2.3 qualifies the car as a Partial Zero Emission Vehicle. (The Mazdas and Escape use non-PZEV-rated engines.) This means the car’s emissions are equal to or less than the total powerplant emissions produced in order to recharge an electric car. Based on our track test results and owner input, the Duratec recharges our already strong enthusiasm for the entire Focus lineup.

“This is an incredibly smooth and powerful four-cylinder that emits a satisfying growl from the engine bay when you punch it,” says one owner.

Others agree. Several describe the engine as “a real jewel,” and one driver was flat-out surprised by its performance. “I expected dull response, but found anything but,” he said. “It really jumps out when you boot it, especially over 3000 rpm.”

Our track test results confirm such seat-of-the-pants impressions. With 3000 rpm on the tach, we drop-clutch launched our ZX3 hatchback test car from 0 to 60 mph in 8.52 seconds, 0.62 second quicker than we managed with the Zetec-powered hatch (AW, April 3, 2000). We also bettered our previous quarter-mile run, even though strong winds hampered our full-drag-strip blasts. Our best time of 16.68 seconds at 86.2 mph eclipsed the 16.83 seconds at 81.3 mph we managed with the 2.0-liter car. For each test, we achieved maximum acceleration by running the torquey engine all the way to its 6500-rpm limit between shifts, with second gear good for 62 mph.

More relevant, the Focus 2.3 smashes the Zetec’s performance in the all-important time-to-pass drills. Its 3.9-second 40-to-60-mph time betters our previous test car’s run by a significant 1.7 seconds, and we ran from 60 to 80 mph in 6.3 seconds—a 1.3-second improvement. We greatly appreciate the broad torque curve and lower time-exposed-to-danger when passing on two-lane, undivided highways.

Pure muscle isn’t the PZEV’s only trump card over lesser Foci, though. The new engine boasts slightly better fuel economy (25/33 mpg vs. 25/32) than does the Zetec, aided in part by a taller final drive (3.41 vs. 3.82). AutoFile contributors report the EPA’s certification is accurate, with 30 mpg-plus highway economy the norm. One respondent says he has achieved 31 mpg in combined driving conditions during his car’s first 7000 miles.

Owners note few problems. One received his car with a faulty front-passenger seatbelt, rendering it useless. The same owner also experienced headlight failure after the related wiring system burned itself to oblivion, prompting him to worry, “Every time I work at night, I wonder what will happen when I turn on the headlights.” Another experienced headlight switch failure and faulty dashboard lighting. Dealers quickly rectified each owner’s problems under warranty.

It’s fair to say we no longer have much to gripe about when it comes to the Focus; improved interior materials to go along with the improved powertrain would be nice, but really, we’re nitpicking. Besides the new engine, the 2004 model’s revised suspension struts and steering knuckles provide more of the same corner-carving fun we’ve come to expect. Our test car pulled 0.81 g on the skidpad, the same as the Zetec record-ed, but slithered through our slalom at 45.1 mph. While this 1.4-mph improvement over our 2000 test car is at least due in part to one-inch-larger tires, the point is clear.

Improved performance doesn’t always carry a high price.


My dealer was offering $5,000 off every Focus and it was too good a deal to pass up. I’m 42 and I feel like I’m 23 when I jump behind the wheel. I love it because it is fun to drive, fast, handles great, and the ergonomics are nicely laid out. I am a tad concerned about the quality of materials, which aren’t up to the standards of Honda and VW. The shifter is also rubbery and vague. But for the $10 grand I paid, I can’t really complain. -Mike Pease, Murrieta, Calif.

The Mazda Protegé had a better dash layout, but what sold me on the Focus was the exceptional ride and handling. With the new 2.3-liter engine, it is also much quicker. I was wary of buying a Focus because of its recall history and the reputation of domestic economy cars, but I couldn’t be happier. The car remains as tight and rattle-free as the day I bought it. On top of this, it has got to be the most fun-to-drive small car I have driven. -Kevin Averill, Seal Beach, Calif.

I am six feet tall and have no headroom problems thanks to the height-adjustable driver’s seat, which also accommodates my five-foot-tall wife. The handling and ride are good. We are averaging nearly 30 mpg in all conditions. We appreciate its size, style and all the user controls. We looked at the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Hyundai Sonata and Honda Civic—all great vehicles, but the Focus’ shape, features, warranty, higher horsepower and value sealed the deal. -Brian Semich, Indianapolis

The new engine has great torque and is jewel-like cruising at 85 mph without a complaint. Wind noise is very well managed, even with the moonroof open. The interior has cheap-feeling plastic in places, and I wish you could get heated seats without leather. Despite its small size, my wife feels safe driving it among all the San Francisco-area SUVs. We had one small warranty issue with the headlight-selector switch failing and none of the dash lighting would come on. The dealer replaced it promptly. -Toby Weir-Jones, Sunnyvale, Calif.

Ford Motor Co.
The American Road
Dearborn MI 48126
Customer assistance: (800) 392-3673
Internet address:
Country of origin: United States
Number of dealers: 4000 (est.)

Base (includes
$690 delivery): $15,815
As tested: $18,060
Owners paid; average: $9,975 to
$16,000; $13,825

Leather seats ($695); ABS ($400); audiophile
system ($395); side airbags ($350); six-disc
CD changer system ($280); perimeter alarm

Four-speed automatic transmission ($815);
moonroof ($595); traction control ($125)

Unibody two-door hatchback

Wheelbase (in): 103.0
Track (in): 58.8 front,
58.5 rear
Length/width/height (in): 168.1/66.9/56.3
Curb weight/GVWR (lbs): 2612/3715

Fuel (gal): 14.0
Cargo (cu ft): 19
Towing (lbs): 1000

Front-transverse 2.3-liter/137.9-cid dohc I4
Horsepower: 145 @ 5750 rpm
Torque (lb-ft): 149 @ 4250 rpm
Compression ratio: 9.7:1
Fuel requirement: 87 octane

Front-wheel drive
Transmission: Five-speed manual
Final drive ratio: 3.41:1

Front: MacPherson struts with coil springs,
gas-charged shock absorbers, antiroll bar
Rear: Multilink with coil springs, gas-charged
shock absorbers, antiroll bar

Discs front and rear, ABS,
aluminum 205/50R-16
Pirelli P6 Four Seasons

0-60 mph: 8.52 sec
0-100 km/h (62.1 mph): 9.38 sec
0-quarter-mile: 16.68 sec @
86.2 mph

20-40 mph (second gear): 3.5 sec
40-60 mph (second gear): 3.9 sec
60-80 mph (third gear): 6.3 sec

60 mph-0: 129 ft

490-foot slalom: 45.1 mph
Lateral acceleration
(200-foot skidpad): 0.81 g

Idle: 42
Full throttle: 74
Steady 60 mph: 68

EPA combined: 27.79 mpg
AW overall: 28.92 mpg2004 Ford Focus 2.3 PZEV

firemanfrank is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 04-03-2004, 08:52 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Fan#: 61
Posts: 7,241
FF Reputation: 4 SVT4ME Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Wow, whaddaya work for Autoweek or something? Just kidding, but someone else already beat you to it:
SVT4ME is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 04-03-2004, 09:56 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2004
Fan#: 5254
Posts: 1,520
FF Reputation: 1 firemanfrank Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (2)
Well, YES and NO SVT4ME.

At times I can honestly be accused of stupidity (and rightly so!), but that other post did not contain a full copy of the road test. It was a great post that was alerting us to the existance of a road test, but the actual test itself was missing.

So here I've supplied the entire article for our perusal.

Maybe I should have placed this post in that thread, but I wanted to highlight Autoweek's full review of the PZEV in a separate thread. I didn't want it to get "lost in the shuffle", if you know what I mean.

If I had erred in doing so, my apologies to the moderator and all here at Focusfanatics!

firemanfrank is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Old 04-03-2004, 10:24 PM   #4
Join Date: Jun 2003
Fan#: 61
Posts: 7,241
FF Reputation: 4 SVT4ME Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
That's alright, I'm sure no one is bent out of shape about this. I thought maybe you had missed the other thread. Autoweek may have the article posted online, right? You can link to it from your post...
SVT4ME is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum, Ford Focus RS Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Mountune: Ford-Approved Performance upgrade for the Focus RS FFTeam General Car Chat Lounge 30 11-15-2010 03:00 AM
Soon to come, more SVT parts for your non-SVT Focus... ZETEC Performance (2000-2004) 32 05-02-2004 05:31 PM
PZEV road test in Autoweek mikeyp DURATEC Performance (2003-2007) 7 04-04-2004 05:01 PM

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:27 AM.

Copyright 2002-2015 All Rights Reserved : : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Mazda CX-3, Audi S3, Mazda MX-5 Miata and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus, Focus ST and Focus RS related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area. If you own other makes have a look at Challenger Hellcat Forum, Charger Hellcat Forum, Cadillac ATS-V Forum, Cadillac CTS-V Forum, Lexus RC-F Forum, Lexus GS-F Forum, Mercedes GLA Forum, Mercedes GLE Forum and Volvo XC90 Forum.


Search Engine Optimization by vBSEO 3.6.1