Ford Focus also introduced high specification components. The car featured a highly sophisticated fully independent multi-link rear suspension (dubbed "Control Blade") which was derived from the system used on the Ford Mondeo estate and was intended to give the car class-leading handling and ride. Although fully independent multi-link rear suspension is costly, Ford managed to design and produce the suspension in an ingenious and cost effective way by using pressed metal techniques. Until then a high proportion of other cars in the class had used Twist-beam rear suspensions, or other beam type suspensions.
Petrol engines available were the well-proven 1.8 L and 2.0 L Zetec-E units from the Ford Mondeo and 1.4 L and 1.6 L versions of the Zetec-SE units found in the Ford Fiesta and Ford Puma. The ST170 and RS performance models used modified versions of the 2.0 L Zetec-E. Originally, the only diesel engine available was the Endura TDDI (a development of the old Deutz-designed motor which Ford had been using since the 1980s). This was replaced in 2002 by the Duratorq TDCI.
The Ford Focus Mk 1 received 4 out of 5 stars for occupant safety, and 2 out of 4 stars for pedestrian safety in its EuroNCAP tests (69% frontal, 83% side, 28% pedestrian). In Australia, the 2002-2005 Ford Focus was assessed in the Used Car Safety Ratings 2006 as providing "average" protection for its occupants in the event of a crash.
The Ford Focus Mk 1 was produced in factories in: Saarlouis, Germany; Valencia, Spain; Santa Rosa, Philippines; Pacheco, Argentina; Chungli, Taiwan; Chongqing, China and Vsevolozhsk, Russia.