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

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Comments

  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    well, i agree that overall performance is indeed excellent, but I come from a long line of Honda's, and I am used to hanging in the high rpms. I contantly bump the rev limiter in the Si, not so often lately, but pretty often until recently. I think the peak HP in the K20A3 ( I think that is what in the Si) is at around 6500 RPM, that only gives me 300 rpm to play with before shifting. But I am glad that torque is available down low, defenately make sit a better city vehicle, with shirt bursts of stop and go traffic. Overall, I am happy with the Si, but I will stop picking on ford, Focus did not need unscheduled visits to the dealer.
  • Anybody out there that thinks that a Ford Focus or any american car can even be in the same ballpark is kidding themselves. Hondas are a completely different quality then any Focus. In the beginning both are equal until you start to put miles on them. Try redlining your focus and racing it around on a regular basis and it will fall apart it is just a matter of time. The honda about 90% of the time will hold out literally forever under the same conditions. Why is it if american crap is so reliable and great do they not have any websites to prove it. Honda on the other hand has Hondabeat.org which is a website where honda owners can put there high mileage cars on it. I searched for weeks and could not find any american car sites like this. The honda site lists numerous people with 500k+ mileage and many of them have been redlining and modifying their cars since day one. Also one guy even used vegatable oil in his old Honda instead of regular just to see if it would destroy the engine and it had no affect at all. If you do by american like a Focus you will get a better deal there is no doubt about that. Hondas are more expensive to maintain and to purchase new but in the long run they will not nickle and dime you to death like the Focus or american crap. Just make sure you trade in your american crap before 100k miles otherwise you will definitely become a Honda fan quick. Most people do not keep their cars past 50-100k miles before trading them in so never discover how crappy that american car really was so love to say that they were great cars. If you are like me and do not want to shell out a car payment forever you will get a Honda and keep it when the payments stop and still not have to worry.
  • Any american crap owners look on Cars.com and go to cartalk section and look under the car surveys. This is an area were you can look up any car by make model and year and consumers over many years have written their comments about the cars and all the american ones(especially Ford) or at least most of them have consistent problems when you get cars that are more then 3-4 years old, however the Honda consumers constantly state how great the car is from the 2003 clear back to the early 80's and that is definitely not the case in the American car sections. As far as I am concerned consumers experiences mean a lot more then JD Power or any frekin survey
  • bc01clsbc01cls Posts: 44
    Well this IS a heated discussion and I am entering it rather "late". However as an owner of BOTH a Civic Si and an SVT Focus I thought I might jump in here with some observations. SVT beats all of them financially including RSX. I bought my 02 SVT new for $16K LOADED with roof, leather, best 6CD sound system (with sub) I've ever heard (including my 01 Acura CL-S Bose system), 170hp Cosworth engine, 6 speed Gertrag box, 17" wheels, PW, PDL, Cruise, tilt, awesome ABS 4 wheel discs, etc. My 99 Si was great but I personally think Honda's assembly quality here in Ohio is slipping in the Civic department. Not thrilled about the English version either. (More buzzing than I wanted to hear in my 99.) I enjoyed my 99 Si, but you couldn't keep it on an interstate long without tiring either. High revs and not the best seats. SVTF comes with bolstered seats and lumbar for both driver and passenger, plus power lower cushion lift for driver. I drove 940 miles straight through at 85mph and it shines at highway speeds. Mind you, I am not a big Ford fan and think their quality lately really sucks even when compared to Chrysler (my 02 Ram QuadCab has been perfect for 26K miles), but so far the SVT has been flawless. Driving wise there is no comparison since the SVT is better balanced all the way around. It's one of those cars that you drive once and fall in love even though Ford sells and services it (gulp!). However, resale will be crap so you have to buy one at the end of the year and NEVER pay near sticker (20-21K!!). Then it's a deal! I see the new Si selling off sticker as well which does not bode well for Honda's resale. To me Honda lost it when they discontinued the 99-00 Si with double wishbone all the way around and better looks than the new version......just my opinion. That said and all quality debates aside, you have to drive an SVT to see what a surprise it is. Plenty of guys at Focaljet.com with 36k to 40k miles and no problems so I think there's hope for Ford. Hard to beat at the price I paid.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    Congrats on that SVT buy. I had no idea you could touch a SVT for $16K.

    With no wish at all to rain on your parade, check out the resale prices. Even with a buy price equal to the Si ($16K, smart shopper's price), the SVT comes in 2nd, buckwise, by $2-$3K.

    These MSRP's are silly, IMO.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for your notes! It's interesting hearing from someone that's owned both the SVT and Si.

    One small suggestion: it's a good idea to break up your longer messages into small paragraphs. This will makes it easier for other to read; and people will be more likely to read your entire message if it's easy on the eyes. Thanks for your participation! ;-)

    To Everyone - Since the RSX has been brought into the discussion here on a number of occasions, I'm going to add it to the title subject. Hope this is helpful. Happy motoring!

    Revka
    Host of Hatchbacks & Wagons
  • dmoulddmould Posts: 76
    I test drove both these cars before choosing the SVT back in February. Here in Canada, the Si is almost $3000 cheaper, and would probably hold a better resale value. The Si does have nice seats and a very smooth drivetrain. I didn't like the short gearing which caused high RPMs and some noise on the highway, and the interior is a little cramped - my dog would not be comfortable in the hatch area of the Si like he is in the SVT. The SVT is so much more of a driver's car, and I love to drive. The extra's that the SVT has over the Si such as the great stereo, 17" wheels with performance tires, the 6th gear to bring down the RPMs on the highway, heated seats and traction control (keep the wife happy) make the price difference worth while. Driving the SVT is a joy every single day. We have had a couple of minor problems like a check engine light (new fuel cap) and abnormal tire wear (new strut and tire), but the dealer has treated us well. SVT owners get a free vacuum and car wash with every trip to the dealer! 18k miles in less than 9 months with the car.
    The car we traded in on the SVT was a 2002 Civic Ex (Canadian Si) Coupe. My wife had hit a deer with it, and although the repair looked good, we decided to trade. That car was not of the highest quality - we had to have a strut replaced on it in the first 10k miles. So the Ford has been no worse than the Honda we had. Great thing about the Civic Coupe - fuel economy. Poor things about the Civic Coupe - lack of headroom (I'm 6ft tall, and my head was always touching, very annoying), less than stellar handling, not very quick.
    The bottom line is that I would recommend the Focus SVT to anybody, especially if you like to drive. I've tried Solo II racing in the car, great fun. Ford has a long powertrain warranty on the car, to quell any concerns about quality.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    Consumer Reports states that the Focus reliability has improved to the point the Focus is now recommended. Not only recommended, but at the top of the list for small cars.
    http://www.detnews.com/2003/autosinsider/0311/04/c01-315932.htm

    This in the same week that Honda announced huge recalls (not Civic).

    Interesting how much change can occur in a short time.
  • redsirredsir Posts: 34
    You cannot convince me that product quality can change overnight.

    When looking at a Focus in the showroom I found the inner door jam had been unpainted. Why would anyone put that on display? How many people at Ford failed to see that?

    To me that translated into equal apathy towards the rest of the car. Sorry no sale.

    Reviews say this is a great car to drive, obviously well engineered. Too bad the rest of the company didn't hold up their end.

    Final word, count the number of orphans Ford has created. How long will it be before the Focus is old news and gets moved to the back of the lot?

    26000 km on my 02 SIR. Some nits but no major faults. Most of all it's a blast drive and fits like a glove.
  • I love my Si, but I'm very happy to hear the Focus is doing so well. Lots of interesting news in that article.

    I recently lowered my car by changing the springs, and the handling has improved significantly. Should be a lot of fun as long as the stock shocks last.
  • noting that last year the Ford Focus became the most recalled car in history, passing the Chevy Citation for that honor.....That means the AMC Pacer was more reilable.......Fix Or Repair Daily.
  • That is worth noting - what a turnaround!
  • si takes the focus IMO and the integra errr rsx takes all. although we get nothing fun here in the US ( we need a friggin new type-r here especially a civic-R) even though i have never owned an si i still know the power of dohc v-tec sicne i got my gsr motor in my coupe. ahh the pure pleasure of dohc vtec. but i think im going to get either a del sol or new si depending on if i can find a del sol vtec with low miles on it for a decent price. but yea the ford focus will only be good if we get the new cosworth edition that should be coming out in europe soon but most likely wont be seen here for some time if ever.
  • From what I understand, the handling of the Del Sol is pretty substandard, they crack their rear windows during hard cornerning on occasion. That car may look better than what you are driving (not that I've seen it), but I don't think it's really an upgrade.
  • I've driven the SVT, The rsx and the civic si

    First let me start off by saying that i feel sorry for you if own a civic si. IMO i think the civic is a POS. The Seats are well bolstered and that's about all i can say that is good about the car.

    The Rsx is a better car than the civic. The version i drove was the type-s. It is a fast car,w/ a good suspension, ok handaling and great transmission. I like the amount of storage room in the back w/ the seats folded down.The one thing i don't like is the stero and the lack of driver feedback.

    My choice is the SVT. Sure it is a little slower than the rsx, however but it more than makes up for it in handaling driver feedback. I feel that is is the most fun to drive of the bunch. Plus you can get the european package which includes HID feadlamps, heated seats, a sunroof, 270 watt sound system and leather trimed recaro seats. You can get all of this below list price.

    Just please don't get a civic. They stink!
  • dudkadudka Posts: 451
    I hate to burst your bubble, but the recarros in the SVT are the same as in the Si, except the leather. And some people don't like leather seats, like me.
    Si has more storage volume than RSX because it is a true hatchback and not a fast back. Try to fit a 32 inch TV in the RSX and close the hatch.
    I test drove RSX-S and yes it has some pick up, but the "sitting in the bucket" feeling due to high belt line or low seat position was not something I wanted to be driving for too long. Si has good torque down low that I don't have to gun it to keep with traffic. And at 6 feet tall I don't have to recline my seat to 45° "inner city style" (can't say the G word or host will delete) driving position

    Si is the best value overall. I got mine brand new with 8 miles on the odometer for $14,500.

    Good for you that you liked SVT, it is a nice package, but at the time SVTs were carrying a $20K asking price at the SVT dealer, which is not my local dealer. My closest SVT dealer is good 60 miles away. And you have to take your SVT there to enjoy the benefits of owning SVT, your local Ford may actually refuse to work on your SVT.
  • a) The RSX-S does not compete with the Si and the SVT, it is significantly more expensive. That said, until 6000rpms, both the Si and the SVT have about the same power output
    B) the Si and RSX-S share a lot of suspension components, and the Si has significantly more storage room. And I prefer the Si transmission to the RSX-S.
    C) The RSX-S would cost about 6500 more than I paid for my Si, not worth it to me
    D) The SVT is a LOT slower than the RSX-S, and virtually the same speed as the Si (.1 in the 1/4 mile is insignificant)
    E) When I bought my Si in 2002, it was still too early to tell whether the SVT was going to suffer the same early maladies of the rest of the Focus line. It's a great car, but the seats are basically identical to the Si, except for the cheap leather which I didn't want. The HIDs are great, but I wasn't that impressed by the sound system (and I'm not impressed by the Si's system either, but it's good enough)
    F) Don't feel sorry for me, I'll be ok.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    The seats in the Honda Civic Si are not Recaro seats. (What is Recarro?) This is according to Honda and according to Recaro. I contacted both Honda and Recaro when I owned my 2002 Civic Si and Honda USA stated that the seats are not Recaro. Honda of Swindon England stated that only the R type Civic has Recaro seats installed at factory. Recaro of Germany firmly stated that seats in Honda Civic Si are NOT supplied by Recaro. If was difficult and took some time to verify this. I consider the belief that Si seats are Recaro to be an Urban Myth.

    Brand new 2003 Focus SVT are available for $15,500. Better value than Si.
  • Better value?

    When you figure in resale, reliability and fuel economy Ford WILL cost you more, don't believe me? Read consumer reviews about focus.
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