The ZTS is pretty cool because you get the 16V DOHC ZETEC engine that's in the ZX3, but you get all four doors and all the options including nice rims, wider tires, power everything, cd, etc. The one that I test drove was a 5-speed. Here's what I thought about it.
I didnt like how you had to start it. You have to turn the key, wait a few seconds, and wait for a little red light to turn on, then you turn the car on, it's a feature of the passive security system, but I like to just start my car without the wait.
It was a very comfortable ride, and very nice in the corners, alot stiffer then I expected for an econocar. I didnt like the console in between the seats though because when you reach to pull up or push down the e-brake, it gets in the way so that you have to either reach under the console to do it, or move the console up entirely to get it out of the way. A minor annoyance.
The engine was nice and quiet, and very smooth. The 5-speed transmission may need some getting used too because when you shift with it, the engine seems to like to rev up a little, maybe I was giving it too much gas.
That little 130hp 135tq DOHC 16v Four accelerated much quicker than I was expecting. The 1/4 mile time with the manual is a decent 16.9 seconds, which again is not bad for an econocar. I think that it really fealt faster than it really was.
One other thing that I didnt like too much about it was the sloped hood. When I'm driving I like to see the hood so that I can get a good idea where I am on the road, and when I park, with this car all I could see was the windshield.
There is alot of aftermarket for these cars, but if they only run 16.9 seconds in the 1/4 mile to begin with, you are going to have to do ALOT to get these things up to speed. Sure there is a ton of stuff out for them now to compete against the Civic, but that's what it's going to need, is a TON of stuff to really make it cruise, like maybe a turbo or NOS.
The reason why I test drove is because my Durango is really digging me a grave. The payments are too high, the insurance is too high, and the gas mileage sucks. I was interested in the Focus because it's good on gas, insurance, and it's a fairly cheap vehicle compared to my Durango.
Well, it turns out that I need to pay off the Durango some more and get a little equity in it before I think about purchasing another vehicle, but at least I got to finally try out the Focus and see what it was all about. Was it fast? NOT REALLY. Comfortable, yes. Looks good, yes. It would have made a great family car to modify. But I'm going to give it another year or two on the Durango, and by then hopefully the Focus will have a more modern style engine (like vtec, vvt-i, etc) that will allow it to rev higher and create more power. As it stands though, I rate the car a decent 7.5 out of 10.
After driving that, then hopping into my Durango I realized how much more powerful the V8 is! The Focus just does not slam you into your seat like the 300 ft. lbs of torque does on the D. But then again, the Focus ZST was just a family four door, and for that it does a pretty damned good job.
That is my review..