The Focus received new styling inside and out for 2005. For 2006, a new Street Appearance Package option with unique body trim and a body-color spoiler gives ZX3, ZX4, and ZX5 models a street-racer appearance, and three new colors are added to the exterior color palette. A CD/MP3 player is now standard, and the optional 6-disc audio system comes with steering wheel controls. New Convenience and Safety Packages combine several popular options.
Designed with European-style road manners and American-style interior room, the Focus was a success on both sides of the Atlantic. It was named European Car of the Year in 1999 and North American Car of the Year in 2000. The European market received an all-new Focus in 2005, but here in the States the original Focus soldiers on. The Focus got a major restyling for 2005, its sharply creased sheetmetal and asymmetric dash giving way to a more conservative design.
The European lineage of the Focus is largely responsible for its wide variety of body styles. There's a 3-door hatchback (called the ZX3), 5-door hatch (ZX5), and 4-door sedan (ZX4) and wagon (ZXW). All models are available in S, SE, and SES trim levels; the ZX4 also comes in performance-oriented ST trim with a larger engine and performance-tuned suspension. Anti-lock brakes are optional on all models (but standard on the ST), as are side air bags.
Power for the Focus comes from Ford's Duratec 20, a two-liter, DOHC four-cylinder engine producing 136 hp. Versions of the Focus that are sold in California, New York, Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine get a special engine called the Duratec 20E, which qualifies as a Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle (PZEV). ZX4 ST models get a 151-hp, 2.3L engine. A 5-speed manual transmission comes standard, and all models except the ZX4 ST offer an optional 4-speed automatic.
The Focus is one of 20 vehicles competing for buyers in the Compact Conventional segment. Though once seen as entry-level transportation, cars in this segment are becoming increasingly sophisticated and well-equipped.
The Honda Civic was the sales leader in this segment for calendar year 2005, with 308,415 sales, followed by the Toyota Corolla (244,032) and the Chevrolet Cobalt (212,667), according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Focus' 184,825 sales put it next on the list. Other top-sellers in the segment include the Nissan Sentra, Hyundai Elantra, Toyota Prius, Volkswagen Jetta, and Saturn ION.