Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

Ford Focus ZX3 / SVT vs. Honda Civic Si / RSX



  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I'm hoping like heck to avoid big wheel fever - taking my zinc, using insect repellant, and washing my hands a lot.


  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    I took a roadtrip to Atlanta recently (total RT 1500miles) and while I enjoyed driving the car around the winding roads, but I never felt the car was rock solid. Rock solid was what I felt when I drove my previous A4. But that car was heavier and I opted for sports package (if you call it that). I wouldn't call the Si rock solid coz' it wasn't. Maybe compared to some lesser car it is. But I guess it all depends on what you are used to.

    Smooth as glass?? If you call revving at 5500 RPM going at 90-95mph w/ the wind howling like mad smooth as glass. I can't even hear the engine w/ all the wind noise.

    And I must not be driving the same car as you and anony. My car has this annoying squeek whenever I go over uneven roads. Definitely plastic rubbing sound. I was getting squeeks all over the car but now only the left side is persistent.

    As far as what Honda fans think of the Si, I can tell you the general public do not share the same view. But it doesn't matter to me. I wanted a cheap car that will be my beater for years to come and looks like the Si will serve this purpose.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    How many SVT Focus did Ford sell in 2002.
    I believe roughly 15,000 Si were imported by Honda.
    Sales numbers do not change quality, performance or any other attribute except for price and availability.
    I can go to nearly any Honda dealer and buy a Si. It is available. None of the Ford dealers in my area have a SVT Focus. My local Ford dealer had an SVT Focus earlier this year and I test drove it. It was impressive. It is the only one that they sold.
    If Honda would have only imported 2,000 Si they would have sold every one at MSRP.
    My point is that you can not say a car is good or bad simply based on sales.

    Ford acknowledges that Focus has quality issues and they acknowledge that they have many problems with the union at the Focus assembly plant. Seems that everyone but a couple of people here on this board understand that Focus is outstanding in the number of quality failures it has.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Hi, Ham

    I see where you're coming from, and I think you're right. To be fair here, comparing an Si to an A4 is about the same as comparing an Si to an Echo or a low end Mirage; the price differentials are roughly equivalent. My take is that to even compare an Si with an A4 speaks incredibly well of the Si.

    It sounds like your Si is improving, squeek-wise. That's a good thing.

    Revs? I think a six speed would be very desirable for x-way driving. It helps me to remember, though, that similar engines to ours are redlined much higher in the RSX-S and S2000. Wind noise? Doesn't surprise me that the Si is noisier at autobahn speeds than an A4. My '02 is a little quieter than my '99, and I'm pretty satisfied.

    General public? The general public didn't 'get' my '99 Si for a couple of years, either, and has seemed pretty happy at various times with minivans and SUV's. I can't say that I've ever shared popular, mainstream tastes.

    All in all, I'm satisfied. LOL, I figure it would be miraculous if I were to spend 1/2 again or twice as much and end up 1/2 again or twice as satisfied.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    I see what you're saying.
    The SVT's vehicles were always rare and in short supply.
    The majority of the buying public actually had and still have no idea for the most part, what those letters stand for.
    Ford has sold around 5,000 of the '02 SVT Focuses during its first year in production.
    It proved to be popular and now Ford is increasing production and planning on offering 3 and 5-door SVT versions.
    The funny thing is that decision has generated an outcry amongst the current SVT owners, because with the increased production numbers they're gonna loose their status as the owners of a "rare" vehicle.
    And in Europe the SVT Focuses are being sold as Focuses ST170. They even expanded their model line to include an ST170 wagon. I would never believe that a wagon could be made to look so sporty.
    Now back to the Si's. The previous gen was selling like hotcakes. The model was running for years in the Honda line and proved to be enormously popular. It's pretty much a cult car among the Civic enthusiast community.
    With the new gen, Honda did everything it could to bring that model back to Earth.
    And the sales numbers plummeted accordingly.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    The previous gen Si was available in '99 and '00 model years. When I bought mine (3/99) not many people around here 'got' what they were; I had my choice of colors.

    So, somebody actually buying a car would need to pay what for a SVT? 2-2.5K more than an Si?
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    I also think competion was less in 99/00. Not too many cars have 160HP though w/ puny torque numbers. Maybe the older Sentra SE-R (150??) or GTi with 150HP (non-chipped 1.8T). So, it stands to reason why a lot of people bought the 99/00 Si and it comes as a coupe to boot.

    Fast forward 2-3 years and competition have caught up w/ Honda. And they are offering more car for the money though some would argue the legendary Honda reliability and resale value. The former maybe but I believe the general public is paying less and less attention to it coz' styling and performance numbers are probably tops now. As much as I like the Si styling, there are more who don't. Resale value?? Only uninformed buyers would pay $14k for a used 99/00 Si. That's just dumb. Never in my car shopping years (which is less than 10 years) have I seen a Honda sold for so much below invoice (02 Si). The only time I saw it was when the Accord changeover in 97/98 (?). You could easily get $1-$1.5k below invoice then. We are talking about an 02 Si invoicing at $17.8k being sold for $14-$14.5k. But I'm sure years down the road, some sucker will still pay $15k for a used 02/03 Si.

    As far as how much an SVT cost, I'm sure the average price is similar to the Si. We look at the lowest price of the Si ($14-14.5k) and compare it to the average selling price of the SVT w/ rebates ($16k??). I'm sure there's someone who got the SVT for $14-$15k as well.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    The previous Civic Si hatchback which was last sold in 1995 was never present in great numbers on dealer lots. It only became very popular in later years when people on west coast favored it for modifying. Hondas mistake was importing too many of the current Si and not having wheels, tires and styling that appeal to the current youth import speed market. 17" wheels, better audio system and body styling like the Civic TypeR would have the current Si selling very well even with "only" 160 hp.

    The current Si may never reach the popularity of the previous hatch Si since the engine is difficult to mod.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    So, there's a car out there one can really buy for 15K (or even 16K) you'd rather have than an Si?

    If your answer is yes, let's have some proof of price first. Here's mine:

    I wouldn't argue with anybody's taste, but facts are another matter. Even at Si pricing (of which there's no proof, yet - hint, hint), I wouldn't go SVT over Si on reliability/resale grounds alone; that's my taste, though.

    Honda has mis-marketed the Si? Rings true to me. The Si would sell better in Type-R trim? Maybe, maybe not; depends on price, I figure. Would sell better in Type-R trim at 15K? Well yeah, duh.

  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    For $19460 MSRP w/o side airbags the Si should have larger wheels, better stereo, body kit similar to TypeR. How much would this cost Honda per car? $500? $400? Surely would cost less than discounting the Si $4400. As is it stands I feel I got a bargain at $16K.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    I priced out a SVT 3 door with sunroof and it rang up to $19,695. Ford must have raised the price for 2003.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I agree, wholeheartedly - the US, HB Si is an unqualified bargain at 16K.

    If Honda offered a Type R look-a-like at an SVT price? Seems like a great marketing move to me. LOL, if Honda were to produce a bunch of 'em and price 'em at 18K, Ford would have to stick to trucks.

    Marketing types - humph! Ford did the same thing with the '89 5.0 Stang; took a great value and priced it out of contention. It'll be interesting to see how many of those 19.7K SVT's actually sell in this market; I wouldn't even go test one, knowing that's the purchase price. An SVT at 19+K looks more ridiculous to me than an Si at 19+K.
  • I have no problem with the SI's high revs on the highway. It's quiet and it still has power. It's also still smooth thanks in part to the balance shafts. I had a 01 Mazda Protege ES and that thing was not fun on the highway. Suspension was great but at higher RPM the engine would run out of power and it was buzzy to boot. While the SI may not be smooth if you compare it to a LS430 or something, it is pretty darn smooth for what it is and how short the gearing is.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    While some noisy media outlets(those which have no understanding in cars)still bitching about the N.A. Focus recalls, the other more serious publications are quietly giving the car an award after award, basing their conclusions on some other (must be scientific data).

    Here are Polk Automotive Loyalty Award winners - 2002 Model year.

    Ford Focus - a customer loyalty award winner in the small car category for the second time in the row.

    P.S. Awards are based on actual consumer transactions, with over 5 million household records per year being analyzed to determine the winners. It is based on the census of information obtained from state registration and lease transaction information.

  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    LOL, same study shows highest manufacturer loyalty going to GM and highest make loyalty going to Ford. Yum, yum! I think I'll trade for a Cavalier or a Focus, paying extra if I have to.

  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I don't think it's a conspiracy. I dunno what's counted as 'loyalty'. Repeat buyers of the same manufacturer, line, or model? Whatever it is, it's not enough to induce me to buy GM or Ford.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    shiniest penny in the well. Could the loyal Focus buyers possibly be the same loyal purchasers of lottery tickets? You can't lose if you don't play.
    Just kidding the Focus owners a little bit.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    I priced out an 03 Civic Si w/ side airbag at $18,249 using my zipcode on carsdirect. So, comparing to the 03 SVT it ain't that big of a difference since your qoute for the 03 Focus SVT is probably MSRP.

    I don't think you can get an accurate qoute for SVTs online. Reliable numbers are probably obtainable at the dealerships and w/ the increased rebates Ford is giving now who knows what the true price of the car is.

    But for me, I'll never buy a Ford product. Let it be a Volvo, Jaguar, Aston Martin (as if I can afford a Vanquish), Lincoln, Mercury, Mazda or whatever else they acquire in the future. Or even rent a Hertz car. I've nothing against their car. I've a personal vendetta towards their employees and they are not going to get even an extra $0.00001 cent from me in their bonus.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Rebates do not apply to the SVT. It is listed as excluded from rebates and it is listed as excluded from low finance rates from Ford. Since no other information is available on SVT I will have to use MSRP for comparison.
    The low prices for Si in Chicago area are $16,800 for 2003 and $14,995 for 20002.
    Si is still the bargain.
This discussion has been closed.