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

revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
edited May 2014 in Ford
to discuss the Ford Focus vs. the Honda Civic Si.

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Thanks for your participation!

Revka
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    revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    A couple notes about comparing vehicles in cyberspace: Civility and respect underlie the success of an online community such as Town Hall. Please respect and interact with fellow members as you would in any public arena. Thanks!


    Helpful Links: Look for direct links to Ford Focus and Honda Civic Si new vehicle information on the left side of the page in the Helpful Links box. Also, keep your eyes open for other related articles, discussions, and tools to be linked to that area.


    Revka

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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    If you don't count the host that is .. ::)

    I have a 02 SI. Love this little car although I believe it's cursed. The SVT may be faster, may have a 6-speed, may have 17" wheels but it's a Ford and 15" tires are much cheaper to replace than 17's. I'll trade the above-mentioned advantages for a better interior, smoother transmission, better build quality, and the SI's awesome steering wheel.

    Also interesting to note than even with the Mustang and the SVT/Focus in Ford's fleet there are nowhere on the radar when it comes to what cars appeal to Gen-Y. Honda is 1st @ 28.77%, VW is 2nd @ 18.49%, and Acura is 3rd @ 16.44% and they are followed by Pontiac, Subaru, Toyota, Hyundai, and KIA according to this month's issue of Motor Trend.
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    vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
    Just took a look at the latest CAR mag which is being published in the UK. They're talking about their experiences with the long term Civic TypeR which is being build in Swingdon, on the same assembly line as your Civic Si.
    They praise the car and its performance.
    They also mentioned about some unusual feedback they were getting from the British owners.
    According to them the Civic hatch doesn't seem to be reliable, at least not as reliable as their previous models.
    Lots of complains about excessive oil consumption - I mean EXCESSIVE (as much as several liters per 7,000 miles), easily chipped paint, rattles everywhere, easily scratchable dashboard and some other things.
    The funny thing is that when the editors contacted Honda demanding an explanation the factory just blamed the dealers???
    The oil consumption thing was mentioned numerous times on the Civic Si forum.
    Sounds like the new Honda engine does like to burn oil and not just during the break-in period.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    to that article. Otherwise it's just cow manuer. I can say that I read an article where the SI was tested faster than a Vette but unless

    I provided a link to it noone would believe me.


    I can say that since you have a Focus you should trade that in for a SI and burn a little oil .. at least you can check your oil. Not much you can do about your suspension falling off, brakes failing, windshield wipers falling off, or your car catching on fire.


    http://www.newschannel9.com/vnews/print/consumer/1030144296

    http://www.jsonline.com/wheels/peak/jun02/49111.asp

    http://www.fordfocusbrakeproblems.com

    http://www.safetyforum.com/fordfocus/

    http://cartalk.cars.com/Columns/Archive/2002/July/05.html


    OMG ...... DONT EVER DRIVE THAT CAR AGAIN!!! In fact I think you should have it towed to even the Hyundai dealer. Anything has got to be better than the Focus.

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    dzigitdzigit Member Posts: 4
    with my ZX3. i have no complains. it drives like a rocket. i hope i'll soon have a oportunity to blow away a civic or a hummdie, with my 130hp and 135 ft/lbs. thats stock and i will upgrade. to everyone who got scared by all those recalls about focus, hear this. my focus drives and handles like a charm. stop reading the headlines and believing in what they say 100%. their job is to find things and blow them out of proportions. i had owned several models of cars ranging from 1985 monte carlo to my current 2002 zx. i have never had any kind of thing fall off or burn up on any of those cars although i'm sure there was plenty of recalls for everyone of them. and i never took anything back to a dealer for a recall. focus is a good car and a good design but since it was a BRAND NEW design it had couple of things that needed addressed. since then it has continually climbed on reliability charts. think about how many recalls civic must have had when the model was introduced in japan 15 or 20 years ago. and then think about the fact than 3 year old design such as focus managed to grab car of the year award in europe. to put it simply look at the situation from all the angles. not just what the papers tell you. also unlike civic focus participates in wrc but i'm not sure how to use that as an argument.lol
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    The Focus competes in WRC but doesn't compete with Peugot or Subaru. Out of all of the races they have only won 1 race. Unlike the Focus the Civic competes in British Touring Cup races where it regularly wins the production class. I don't know about you but I think that BT racing which is on asphalt is a much better real-world driving test than blasting your car up and down through the woods in the snow. And I might add the Focus in WRC is 4WD so if I were you I wouldn't be planning to take my Focus out on the rally circuit .. at least if you want to keep driving it.

    As for the US Focus .. it's a PR nightmare for Ford. The car is now a 3 year old design and they still have safety investigations going on. I will admit that the Civic had a few first year niggles but they were all addressed and the quality is back up to Honda levels. And even the issues that the Civic had were more on the lines of rattles and misaligned trim pieces. Not gas tanks falling off, defective suspensions, bad brakes, etc.

    I'm surprised that you didn't take your car in for the recall work. The point of a recall is that it COULD happen to your car and if it does after they have issued the recall you have nobody to blame but yourself, and consequently, no one to sue.
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    revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    In accordance with our Membership Agreement, profanity (even masked profanity) is not allowed at Town Hall.


    To those concerned: please check your email. We invite you to edit your message and copy/paste it back into this discussion. Thanks for understanding this is a family oriented website. Also, feel free to email me if you have any questions or comments.

    And now, back to the subject of the Ford Focus ZX3/SVT vs. Honda Civic Si.

    Revka

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    vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
    Wow, thank you for the advise.

    I stayed home all day today.

    Then went out and checked my gas tank, suspension, brakes.

    Hmmm... Everything still looks good at 55,000 miles.

    Recalls, yes I had a couple:


    1. Plastic trim on the B-pillar replaced.

    2. A back seat hinge updated.

    3. The windshield viper motor checked (I don't even know if they replaced it or not).


    That's all so far - the build date 05/2000.


    BTW, do you ever visit the Civic forums?

    Apparently, not. Because it seems that you never heard about the 2001 Civics being recalled for how many times, three?

    Don't forget about a bunch of TSB's issued.

    Doesn't seem to be all that different from the Focus.

    Yet we never hear about this from the media.


    O, and my Focus doesn't burn a single "drop" of oil between changes. Same is with the most cars nowdays, even the cheapest ones.


    Yes, the North American Focus built between the end of '99 and early '00 earned a reputation of a recall champion.

    Thank you Ford. But still it's not as bad as you want us to believe.

    BTW the Euro-built Focus got the highest quality ratings in its class and was able to beat the Japanese.


    But still, because of your passionate antipathy toward the Focus, I'm still so afraid to drive my car that I might start looking at the oil burning and rattling Civics Si.

    But if it's such a problem I would consider something else.


    Some quotes from the long awaited article:


    "...despite Honda's reputation for build quality, the Swindon-made Type-R was riddled with problems."


    "The official response was that while oil consumption was on the high-ish side, it was still within the upper limit of Honda's acceptable level; that meant 4.5 litres(~4.3 qts) in 7000 miles for one reader."


    Here is the link.

    Go to their Fast Fleet section and choose Civic Type-R:


    http://www.evo.co.uk/

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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    On the recalls ...

    Ford has issued 11 recalls on the Ford Focus since it's introduction here. The Civic has had 3 recalls since it's redesign in 2001. 11 recalls vs. 3 is a HUGE difference. On top of that the Focus is currently in the midst of SIX more investigations by NHTSA.


    http://www.jsonline.com/wheels/peak/nov02/93157.asp


    A little quote from the article:


    "Ford has sold 817,552 Focus cars in the U.S. since 1999, according to Autodata Corp. figures. The recalls announced today represent 70% of that total"


    By comparison the 3 recalls on the Civic totalled approximately 186,000 cars out of 700,000 sold, or roughly 26%. It has since had no recalls and is not currently the subject of any investigations.


    On the TSB's ..

    www.alldata.com provides TSB information. According to this the Civic had 26 TSB's in 2001 and 3 in 2002. The Focus had 30 in 2000 and then if you wade through all of the recalls you will see that it had 30 again in 2001. Looks obvious to me that Honda's reputation for steadily improving and maintaining the quality of their products is at work while Ford is showing why they are near the bottom on most consumer quality surveys in the US.


    The Euro-built Focus' quality does not do US buyers any good. That does not speak alot for Ford's manufacturing and quality control process if a car can have stellar reliability in 1 country and terrible reliability in another. Honda is highly rated throughout all of it's markets.


    You can harp on the oil consumption and the rattles if you like but it's interesting to note that the reviewers themselves had no significant problems with either issue. They had no unscheduled repairs and in the end they enthusiastically recommended the CTR and said that they actually missed it. Additionally, the CTR engine is not identical to the engine that we get here in the US. It's more closely related to the Acura RSX-S engine.

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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The fun SVT Focus has a 5 door available in 2003. I've always liked the practicality of a hatch and this one offers quite a lot of performance also. I was considering a SVT and went with the Si due to the excellent initial value (I paid less than $16K) and better resale value compared to a Focus. If they were the same price I would take a SVT 5 door Focus over the Honda.
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    vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
    O.K.

    I took a look at clubrsx.com and their problems forum. http://forums.clubrsx.com/

    Performed a quick search for "oil" and look what I've found:


    "another problem is that my car looses oil. from 7500 to 15000 miles it burned 2 quarts and in the last 1000 miles it burned 1 quart, which is now mobil 1 and kind of expensive."


    And


    "I have been checking RSX Type S's oil levels before I change oil & I can tell you they are oil consumers.Most are at least 1 quart low after about 3k.If you wait longer they will be even lower."


    And


    "I think acura is feeding customers a line here. There is no way a car should consume 1 qt of oil for every 1000K, that means that for the life of the average oil change you will put at least 3-4 qt's of oil in the car?. I'm ready to go in and return the car; I refuse to incur cost for someone else’s mistake."


    And


    "I check my oil 1-2 times per week. For the first 4300 miles it used .2 quarts, and 5000 miles later at the second oil change another .2 quarts. I now have 11,000 miles and I have used about .3 quarts in the last 2000 miles."


    And

    "do you guys think we should collect signature and send it to Acura for oil comsumption problem, because i remember that Chris or someone did collect our name and VIN# for the 2nd grind before just wondering should we do the same thing for Oil consumption???????"

    And

    "This is my 3rd Homda product as well. The other two have never burned a drop of oil. My car doesn't burn quite as much as yours, but it's about 1 quart every 1,500 to 2,000 miles."

    And so on...


    Thank you, anonymousposts.

    You kinda pushed me in the right direction so I was able to find an answer to my question.


    Good luck with your Civic.

    It's not on my list anymore.


    <a href="http://forums.clubrsx.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=35134&highlight=oil

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    vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
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    revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Instead of searching for lemons on the internet, or researching the NHTSA data base for recalls/tsb's on the vehicle you don't own, how about some actual first hand experiences?

    Aside from moparbad (post 11), has anyone else here shopped the Focus and Civic Si side by side? Or even test driven the vehicle here that they do not own?

    How about an lists of objective pro/cons for each vehicle? What made you decide on one over the other?

    Was reliability your main concern, or were there other features and options which made one stand out over the other...?

    Also try to do this without bashing the vehicle you did not choose.
    Is there anything about the other vehicle that you wish your vehicle had?

    That would be more interesting, imo. Who's game?

    Revka

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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    metallic pedals, bigger disk brakes, better sound system.

    Should be good enough for Revka.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    With the exception of the 6 speed transmission your SI can have everything on your wish list.

    I chose the SI because of it's smooth transmission, smooth engine, prior Honda experiences, and comfy seats. I did not even consider the Focus because of it's past history involving several potentially life-threatening problems as opposed to one problem that can be monitored or even avoided with proper break-in techniques.
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    keeping in mind the current crop of Focuses are better built than when it was first introduced in US, will you still consider the reliability as a deterrant factor??

    Of course it still will be for you coz' of your blind loyalty to the H.

    No matter what anyone says, the Si will always be the best car period under $20k.

    Shortcomings from other cars are not acceptable but shortcomings from the Si are acceptable. Notably the smaller rims, excessive oil consumption, buzzing and rattling from trims, dash bubbling, lower HP compared to competition etc.

    A note for everyone. No point trying to debate anything with anony. In the end, anony will always point out the unquestionable iron clad reliability of the Civic over any other car and she'll say 160HP is enough for most people. Let's not forget the seats and most important of all, the H emblem.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    Reading your post makes my wonder why you bought the SI and not the Focus.

    Smaller rims are not a problem. A set of 17" SSR GT1's complete with tires runs about $1200. Stock 17" wheels do no good if you don't like the design of them in the first place. I'd rather have the 15"s as winter tires and the 17" as summer tires.

    I read the owner's manual, followed the break-in period religiously (even gave it a couple hundred extra miles because people were reporting slight oil consumption at the beginning) and to date my car has burned 1 quart of oil and has not burned any since 3000 miles.

    Buzzing and rattling? What buzzing and rattling. Guess I got the perfect SI.

    Dash bubbling? 1 owner reported this on Edmunds. I have not seen any other reports of this and obviously my car doesn't do this either.

    The SI has 10 less HP than the Focus to go along with it's 10 less recalls. It has 15 less HP than the Spec-V which has a rear axle and was a sedan. Even with the HP disadvantage and having one less gear it is within .3 seconds of both above-mentioned cars. It also gets the best observed fuel economy by 6MPG. These numbers are from the Nov. 2002 issue of R&T.

    You are right, there is no point trying to debate anything because when all of the facts are considered the SI is the best hatch under $18,000 (I now consider the Mazda 6 to be the best car at the $20,000 mark). What it lacks in tire size and HP it makes up with a more efficient engine, better safety, better projected reliability, and it comes from a company that has long since proved that when it comes to performance oriented cars that will start every morning and save you at the gas pump they can't be beat.

    Did I mention the Ford Focus only scores 1 star in rear occupant safety? Is that worth a .3 second advantage to you? If it is, just don't put a baby seat in the back.
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    revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    Well nothing wrong with feeling good about your own car, imo. However, you make a good point about the current Focus being better built. If (perceived) reliability was not a deciding factor, how would these cars measure up... one against the other? Let's not forget that someone that leases (like myself), or trades in every couple years, may not be so concerned about reliability.

    And to everyone - To keep the discussion moving in the right direction, let's keep the focus on why you like one vs. the other, and not so much on what other participants here think. Okay? So who's next?

    Revka

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    muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    I haven't had any problems with my Si yet, just under 4000 miles. (knock on wood) I don't really think the ZX3 can really compare with the Si, except that a loaded ZX3 and an Si now go for about the same price.

    hamproof says:
    "No matter what anyone says, the Si will always be the best car period under $20k."

    I think that's true for right now, but I wouldn't say "always."
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    modify their cars mechanically. When we frequent auto forums, it seems like everyone is modding his or her car left and right. Not everyone wants to modify their car. A lot of people are happy with the way the car is and if Honda were to include 17" instead of the 15" w/ AS tires, we won't have so many complains that we hear about from the reviewers.

    Tirerack.com has SSR GT1 for either $300 or $330. So, in my calculation, even with ultra affordables Kumhos, you are looking at an additional $1600 for a set of 17". Or if you choose Michelins or Bridgestones, it will be around $1800. Now, that's a huge chunk of change for me. Maybe not so for you.

    If the Si is the best hatch under $18k, the numbers sure don't show it. It may be the best Japanese made hatch under $18k coz' AFAIK, there's no other Japanese made hatch (3dr) under $18k. So, by default, the Si wins. If that's your argument. If you exclude the Germans and Americans, there's your Si for you.

    I'm like you in choosing the Si. I chose it not because it is the best hatch for me. I too buy into the perceived reliability of the H. But at least I see the shortcomings of the Si.

    You can report all you want about the problem free Si you are driving. I've drove it for a total of 3 days since I bought it 3 weeks ago. Was gone on vacation. But I've read enough complains from other drivers that I do not believe the Si is prefect. I just hope it will be problem free for me. Just as there are people who have problems with the Focus, there are also countless others who have Focuses that are trouble free. Otherwise, Ford will not sell as many as they are selling them. Though to be fair most are the cheaper Focuses and not the SVT.

    It would be interesting to see how many SVTs are sold compared to the Si.

    Just because you don't hear about problems with the Si as you would the Focus, it doesn't mean Civics or Hondas are trouble free. Just as your Civic is prefect, it doesn't mean mine will be or others will also.

    You seem to have the tendency to point out all the shortcomings of the competitors while putting your Civic on a pedestal praising it.

    Like Revka says, if you take away all of the recalls the US Focus had (ideally the Euro Focus), and compare it to the Si, do you still think the Si is better??

    I don't see how you can say the Si is better other than the seats. Even that, I'm sure you can find an equal number of people in the world who likes the SVT seats over the Si seats. All auto reviewers have praised the handling of the Focus. Better brakes, more power and better looking.

    Although the latter I disagree. But again, looks are subjective. I like the looks of the Si over the Focus.

    But on things that are subjective it is hard to compare. Things like bigger disk brakes, more HP, bigger rims etc. are things we can generally agree upon. So, take away all the recalls the Focus have had in the beginning and concentrate on the later built Focus, coz' Ford seem to have fixed most of the problems.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    Auto owners as a whole might not modify their cars most buyers in this segment will. There are already stock Civic SI wheels, headlights etc for sale on ebay. There are tons of modified Civics running around from every year. In fact, most reviews of the Civic stated that Honda had given buyers a good platform to do the modifications they were bound to do anyways. I just like the SSR's so if I replace the wheels on my SI it will be with them, if I have to pay $1800 I will. You can get a set of 17's with tires starting at $969 according to Road & Track (there are alot of wheels under the $1200 mark I listed) and still have your stock rims/tires as winter tires/backups.

    But to use your argument that people in this segment won't modify their cars we can argue that most owners won't go around racing their cars so the .3 second disadvantage the Civic has won't mean very much.

    If you look at the facts according to the July 02 issue of Road & Track the performance difference between the Civic and Focus is negligible.

    0-60: Focus 7.4 Civic 7.6
    1/4 mile: 15.8 Civic 15.9
    Braking from 60: Focus 134 ft Civic 133 ft
    Braking from 80: Focus 229 ft Civic 253 ft (I'll admit this is one area where the Focus easily beats the Civic)
    Slalom: Focus 65.2 Civic 64.6
    Top speed: Focus 134 Civic 130

    There is no huge difference in any of the above areas. Where there is a difference is in safety where the Civic outscores the Focus 5 stars - 4 stars in front impact and and the Civic outscores the Focus 4 stars to 1 star in rear occupant safety. There is a difference in fuel economy where the Civic has a 6 MPG advantage on the highway even without the extra cruising gear of the Focus. Less important is that the Civic is 3 decibels quieter on the highway and 5
    decibels quieter at max throttle in 1st gear.

    If you take all of the above information into account along with Honda's better reputation for quality even with recalls set aside. But it's really hard to discount the recalls when there have been so many of them where the Focus is concerned and there promises to be more.

    Ford does sell alot of Focus'. But the Civic still outsells it by 60,000 units even without offering 0.0% and without selling in semi-heavy volume to rental fleets. And again, with there already being 1 recall on the SVT and the Focus being in the midst of six more investigations you can't say that Ford has definitely addressed the problems.

    In the end, you can argue quite successfully that the Civic SI IS the better hatch of this duo. It's performance is competitive with the SVT even if it doesn't beat it. But when you get down to reliability, economy, efficiency, and safety the Focus, at least in this race, never left the starting line.
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    vadpvadp Member Posts: 1,025
    The recalls don't apply to the Focus SVT.
    I'm tired of repeating this over and over again.

    "But when you get down to reliability, economy, efficiency, and safety the Focus, at least in this race, never left the starting line."

    If this is true then tell me why is the Civic Si a such slow seller?
    While the Focus SVT doesn't have too much of the problem "moving the metal".(I'm talking about the sales expectations).
    And why do all the comparisons rate the Focus SVT higher than the Civic?
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    dzigitdzigit Member Posts: 4
    obviously you are very loyal to H. and no matter what anyone will say no focus fan nor civic fan will admit that their car is worse hands down. i chose focus because of styling and because of price at the time. i needed a car right there and did not have time to wait for the reliese of svt or si. all said and done i am happy with the choice i made since my focus seems to hold up very well. and thats why i'm defending it. my only wish is that it had more horsepower but that can always be fixed thru after market parts.
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    with the Focus. But what about the countless comparison showing the Focus outshining the Si??

    For example, the Edmunds.com comparison:

    0-60: 7.5s (F) 8.1 (H) -0.6s
    60-0: 118ft (F) 129ft (H) -11ft.

    You can read the comments from this comparison from Edmunds. None of the editors favors the Si.

    Link to Edmunds.com article

    Mpg, cabin noise etc. be darned. I do not know of anyone who buys a car put mpg on his or her top priority. The general male population buying a car in this segment cars about looks and HP. Although most reviewers do not favor the looks of the Si, I do like it personally. HP?? Even if you say it makes little difference in 0.1s or 0.6s from 0-60, it matters to a whole lot of people. Just because something is good enough for you, who are you to tell the rest of us that it is good enough.

    The SVT is built better than the average Focus. So, in comparing with the Si, like a poster said, you should put aside all the recalls involving the regular Focus.

    It might seem strange that I actually bought an Si instead of the SVT. Reason being SVTs were not discounted (though the latest news I read, you can get a rebate to knock off about $1k off the $18k price) and I do not buy cars from the big 3 nor will I buy a car from Mazda, Toyota or Infiniti (Nissan is OK).

    But at least I don't have an H tattooed on my forehead. I recognized the shortcomings of both cars.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    I don't consider anything around .5 seconds to be outshining. That is a difference that can easily be made up with an experienced driver or if the SVT owner makes a mistake. If the Honda owner makes a mistake they will definitely lose. So don't race a SVT unless you know what you are doing.

    As far as driving I have no doubt reviewers prefer the SVT. It has more HP, bigger wheels and tires, and a more agressive exterior. But for "most" of us regular people who will never take our car out on the track and on the slalom course the other areas like safety, economy, and reliability will come in to play or they wouldn't sell 800,000 Accords and Camrys combined and the SVT and SI would be the best selling Focus and Civic.

    I'm surprised that you won't consider Toyota, Nissan, and Infiniti. They are consistently among the top 10 brands in overall reliability. Only thing I have against Nissan is their interior design and they use a rear axle in some of their cars.

    Here in GA there are SVT's on a couple of dealer lots and Ford is now offering 0.0% financing.

    I can recognize the SI's shortcoming but when you look at all of the data you will see that the shortcomings it may have in wheel/tire size are easily made up in other areas. The HP can be made up with a CAI and a set of headers and with a new ECU upgrade about to hit that will be an additional 25HP available. The HP/tire difference is easy to make up, the safety and efficiency difference is not.
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    A 0.6s is a huge difference. Why you attribute the differences to the skills of the drivers of each car is beyond me. We are not talking about the occasional traffic light race. What I'm talking about it the repeatability of these tests and the skills of most auto. reviewers far exceed those of you and me. I'm basing the 0.6s difference in time attained by an equally skilled drivers of the Si and SVT.

    Saying a competent Si driver can beat an incompetent SVT driver, is, how shall I say, a silly argument and a weak one at that.

    It is because most of us regular joes and janes do not take our car out to the track is the reason why we want more of everything straight from the factory. If you take your car to the track, chances are you'll have some modification done to the car. Us regular joes and janes just want factory performance with full warranty intact. If the Si had come w/ more power, sure people will still want to mod it, but quite a number of people I'm sure will not want to mod it coz' maybe 200HP is *enough*. But with the offering of 160 when the competitors are offering more, what more can you say to defend Honda?? Is it because of the H we should pay more?? It is consumers like you Honda is praying for each day. Brand loyalty is plain silly. When will you realize that Honda is giving us less for more than what competitors are charging?? In the past Honda is known to be the most reliable small car. But competitors are on par w/ Honda's reliability if not exceed them in some cases.

    Here in GA there are SVT's on a couple of dealer lots and Ford is now offering 0.0% financing

    So, what's your point? In Chicago, Honda dealers are offering Si for $15k. So what?
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    I said Toyota, Mazda and Infiniti. I happen to like the Maxima if I was going to get a family sedan over the Accord or Camry though Nissan is putting the Altima to compete w/ Accord and Camry.

    There's more to buying a car than just looking at reliability and safety record. If you want to know, I dislike the pricing policy adopted by Toyota. Every single thing is an option. The same goes w/ BMW. Sure, you can also negotiate options at invoice prices or just buy from carsdirect.com but I prefer the straight forward method by Honda.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    If all you want to do is take your stock car to the track and run circles all day long then the SVT is for you. Me? I'll take the SI and enjoy my smoother engine and transmission along with the knowledge that my car is safer, more efficient, and more reliable. Oh yeah, and if the mood strikes me right I might just take that $2000 I saved by buying the SI and get a CAI, a set of headers, and a less restrictive exhaust and meet you at the nearest stoplight.
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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Save $2000 Huh?
    List price 2002 SVT = $17,480
    List price 2002 Si = $19,000

    Unless you know what SVT purchasers paid then the Si is more expensive. Safety is nearly the same with the edge to Si with 5 star and good rating and the SVT with 4 star and good rating.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    I said "take that $2000 "I" saved" meaning me, and me, oh yeah and did I say I was talking about myself?

    Why are you going to post in multiple forums that SI's can be had for $15,000 then come in here and compare prices at MSRP. If someone does pay MSRP for a SI the least of their worries is getting beat by a SVT.

    The SI does have a slight edge in frontal impact but slaughters the SVT in rear occupant safety. Why are you only posting front impact ratings when the rear impact ratings are right there? The SVT scores ONE star in rear occupant safety meaning that you would probably be safer in the Civic's hatch than in the backseat of the Focus. I don't think rear seat passengers are much going to care about a .2-.5 second advantage to 60 when they don't want you to go to 60 in the first place. I wouldn't even put my cat in the rear of the Focus.

    The argument about 0-60 is really moot when you have the Dodge SRT-4 coming out with 0-60 well under 6 seconds and a price under $20,000. Good thing it's Dodge or I'd be jealous but then again since most people only care about 0-60 according to some posters it's light years ahead of the SI and the SVT.
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    0 percent financing compared to Honda's 3.9% for 3 years if you happen to have bought it at that time when the offer was given. Even if you pay cash for the car, the 0% buyers will still be ahead, since the $17 or $18k can be put into a CD for 3 years and earn interest.

    Just because the Si can be had for about $16k now doesn't mean the SVT can't. If you factor in the 0% financing (which I wasn't aware Ford is doing for SVT models - but since you brought it up, it must be correct since as we all know, you know what's best for us all), SVT and Si are priced similarly. But that's coz' 02 Si are on year end clearance and Si is not selling as well as Honda had hoped.

    All I want is more power in the Si straight from the factory. Not for racing or taking it to the tracks. I just want more for my money. Why can't you understand that? If other manuf. are giving more HP, bigger tires and brakes, 6 speed, optional leather, power seat, lumbar adjustment, powerful sound system etc. I look at my Si and wonder what am I paying for? The H in the front??

    The Si could be better and that's what all of us are saying. We don't slam other cars shortcoming to show off our own car. We want the Si to exceed the other cars and to win the heart of reviewers in a positive manner. What you are intend on doing is say 160HP w/ 15" AS tires is good enough coz' Focus has so many more defects and safety and reliability is spotty.

    What I want is to have the Si have at least the same amount of HP, 6 speed like the Type R, bigger rims etc. straight from the factory. The Si will win the heart of many because of it pluses rather than you resorting to finger pointing and bashing the SVT for its shortcomings.

    Get it?
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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The only way you can say you saved $2000 is if you had a quoted price on a SVT that was $2000 higher than the Si. Is this correct? Target price for a SVT is $15,700 according to Intellichoice. MSRP is the only fair way to compare as it is pointless to compare the price that each individual paid for their car.
    Yes the Si is selling for $15 now but there are many people that paid MSRP earlier in the year.
    I attempting to compare the SVT and Si base on facts and not personal passionate zeal which it appears that some people are unable to discard.
    SRT and cats are not part of the discussion.
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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    I went to Intellichoice (is it OK to mention this?) and compared the Si and SVT and no where did it mention the price anonymousposts paid for her Si or the price I paid for mine. It has MSRP. Purchase prices vary but MSRP does not, can we please base our comparisions on something that is not going to be as varying as the wind?
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    We are lucky to have been able to buy the Si at well below invoice. But in general when we buy cars at invoice we are happy (big 3 makers do not apply).

    Btw, anony, you say if you so desire, you can put on a CAI, headers and exhaust and meet me at the redlight. Ok, let me ask you this. How many HP do you think you are going to get? 5HP? 10HP?? In any case, you'll be lucky if you can shave 1/2sec from the 0-60times. Saying 0.6s difference bet. the SVT and Si as tested by Edmunds.com is not something to shout about is plain silly. Do you know how hard is it to shave 1/2 sec from any car going from 0-60??
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    How am I to be considered bashing the SVT for it's shortcoming but you are not bashing the SI for it's shortcomings? Come on.

    Let's be realistic here. If all you want to do is race around then go buy yourself a Z28 or a Mustang GT. These 2 cars are so close that neither car will leave the other. As you pointed out Edmunds got 8.1 seconds for the SI, Road & Track got 7.4 for the SVT and 7.6 for the SI, Car & Driver got 7.8 for the SVT. So as you can see the 0-60 times are variable and depend on conditions, driver, etc. The things that aren't variable are safety and fuel economy.

    "I just want more for my money. Why can't you understand that?"

    Why can't you understand that you are getting just as much for your money if not more? Would you rather have 10 more HP or better safety? Would you rather have 17" wheels and a small advantage to 60 or get 6 miles more per gallon?
    If you really liked the Focus better you should have bought it. But you didn't so obviously the SI offers something to you that couldn't be had with the Focus. And if it doesn't then trade it in and buy something else. Maybe another Escort will do you.
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    zx3dynamozx3dynamo Member Posts: 17
    On a less "my car can beat up your car" debate. The reason I chose my ZX3 over the Toyota Echo, Hyundai Elantra, and Dodge Neon is that it had the best road feel out of the three. The Hyundai and Echo felt too "spongy" to me. Granted my last car was a VW and they are known to have that harder suspension. On top of that, I was able to haggle the dealer down to $250 below invoice not including the $2500 cash back I received on top of that.

    So far, this car is 3 months old and well broken in. I may add some toys to it later but right now it's a nice comfortable (and occasionally aggressive) ride.

    I did not have Honda on my list of prospective buys because of two main reasons. First, they are a dime a dozen in my area and I was getting rather tired of seeing them. Second, the cars are thief magnets. Everyone I've known with a Honda has either had it broken into, vandalized or outright stolen. It's a sad thing, but true (at least in my city).
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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    The only way a Honda fanatic could even consider that the Focus SVT is a nice car is if it had an H on it. When you have a H on your forehead you will only consider the Si. I am an automotive fanatic if anything. I find something to like in all good cars and trucks.
    The SVT has choice of 2 doors or 4, larger wheels, is faster, the interior is a little more tricked out, offers a better audio system, has worse mileage, costs more when you add optional audio and sunroof and will most likely have more problems than an Si.
    Si is smoother, better mileage, better seats in my opinion, better shift position, better reliability.
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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    We want all of that and more - the good stuff in the SVT or rather the CTR all for the same price as what we are paying now for the Si.
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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    If Honda can so easily give us 10 more HP and bigger wheels why can't Ford provide safety, quality, and fuel economy for it's current price? The sword can cut both ways. Like I said, you just have to decide what's important to you.

    And you're right, I didn't buy the SI just because it got 6 miles more per gallon. I bought it because I knew it would crank up every morning, not be in for recalls every other week, and it was not the subject of 6 current investigations. I also liked, no loved, the way it drove and the unique location of the shifter, I also liked the solid feel of the car and the smooth-as-glass engine.

    You paid $16,000. Stop saying what you should've gotten for $19,000 because you didn't pay $19,000. Appreciate what you did get for $16,000.
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    gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,387
    The car isn't a $19,000 car. Obviously very few people thought it was a $19,000 car. They didn't heavily discount it because of goodwill to the customers. I know for a fact Anony would not have bought a $19,000 Si. But for $16,000 it's a steal.


    The only thing the Focus has is a marginal advantage in speed. If that's all you judge your cars on then you are right then the Focus is the "better" car. I find the Focus is at best the faster car. But "better"???...No way.


    The Si has an advantage in reputation, safety, and efficiency. A very severe one when it comes to rear passenger safety. Now if that's not enough to make the Si the better car to you then I guess we will never come to an agreement. But to more rational consumers if you tell them that there was a 26% chance of injury in a side impact crash in the Focus, they would place that at a much higher priority than .3 -.6 seconds to 60.


    Additionally there's that 6 mpg fuel economy difference. That's a significant difference. Many people choose 4 cylinder engines over V6's for smaller difference in mpg.


    Thank god for choices. And the people to make em.

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    hamproofhamproof Member Posts: 241
    If that car isn't a $19k car, what is it then? I must be missing something.

    Just because Honda is not selling the car well, we benefited from the discount. The S2000 MSRP is like $32k. Most people do pay $32k if not more when it first came out coz' of demand.

    If the Si had been as popular as Honda had hoped, you can bet your rear end that the salesperson will rape you when you buy.

    Focus has 4 things going for it. 1) Winner of European Car of the year (which unfortunately Ford/UAW North America screwed up royaly) for best in class in terms of steering, handling, roominess etc. 2) More Power 3) 6 speed 4) Better overall package.

    What went wrong was the incompetency of Ford and Uaw to produce the same quality car in NA. However, as someone pointed out the SVT did not suffer the same recalls like the regular Focus.

    Don't get me wrong. I will never buy a Ford period. Even if there are no recalls and the SVT Focus has excellent crash results, I'll still not buy it. What I want is for Honda to give us a car like the SVT. All of the plusses obviously. Basically bring the CTR or some variant of it and sell it for $20k. Ok, price it at $22k MSRP and make sure dealerships give us some room for haggling.
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    gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,387
    can read far far between the lines on some things then can't even see what's in front of them on others.


    What you missed is that I said it's value to customers was not $19,000 so they had to discount it. The 2000 still has more value to consumers than the 2002.


    The Focus may be faster but that's about it.


    R@T quotes: "It's a laudably well-rounded package that offers the most civilized ride, the lowest noise levels, and the most generous rear-seat knee room."

    "The Si may not be the most exciting car from the enthusiast's standpoint, but there's no denying that it does just about everything amazingly well."


    Sure the SVT is faster but the buck stops there.

    The Civic's list of pluses the Focus can't touch..

    1. Safety. Front and rear (especially the rear) and the additional safety of EBD to go along with the ABS.

    2. Economy. Mpg is over 6.6 better than the Focus according to R@T. Cars tested on the same day and conditions.

    3. Reliability. Hondas have historically been bullet-proof especially long term. Focus's haven't.

    4. And since you used European car of the year, the Civic has a racing pedigree there in the BTC Production class.
    "Civic Type-Rs have competed in both touring races and rallies across Europe and Asia, with 10 championship wins this season including success in the production class of the British Touring Car Championship, the Portuguese Touring Car Championship and a class victory in the German Rally Championship."

    http://www.motorsportvortex.com/artman/publish/printer_1860.shtml
    I know it's a Type-R but the U.S. Focus is obviously just as foreign to the European one.


    So as I have said the Focus may be faster (by .1 sec to the quarter mile in the R@T test) but that's about it. In any other measure that you would compare vehicles the Focus comes up short.

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    anonymouspostsanonymousposts Member Posts: 3,802
    ham: You are just saying the same thing in a different way. Why can't Honda give us bigger wheels and tires etc? That is less important in the overall scheme of things when compared to quality and safety which the SVT does NOT have.

    Maybe you should write a letter to Honda and Ford and tell them to merge. Honda can do the manufacturing, design, engine, transmission, and safety while Ford throws some big wheels and tires on it along with a couple of rebates/0.0% financing deals and they would have the perfect car.
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    carluver3742carluver3742 Member Posts: 6
    Please, don't compare the Si with the ordinary focus. Compare the SI with the SVT.

    SI - 0 Recalls, SVT - 1 Minor Recall..

    $2000 for 1 trip to the dealer? Not such a bad trade off, is it?

    MSRPs -

    SI - $19250 (with side airbags)

    SVT - 17480 (with side airbags)


    Plus with the SVT, you also get 17' and leather. for less. want traction control? Add it on, and it still costs less. However, I cannot say for all areas, but where I live, Ford excludes SVTs from 0% financing because they don't need incentives to sell them, they are going off the lots pretty fast. Someone said


    Worried about side crash ratings? The SVT has standard side airbags, and it improves the score of the front occupants. However if you are frequently using the rear seat, why not get the 5-door SVT. It has a much better crash rating because of its b-pillar.

    From : http://www.nhtsa.dot.gov/NCAP/Cars/2003Cmpt.html

    SI - Front 5-5 Side 4-4 Rollover 4

    Focus 4dr (similar structure to 5-dr SVT)

    Front 5-4- Side 3(Front, 2-dr got 4stars, don't know why) Side Rear -4 Rollover 4

    Big Difference? Spend the 2000 on extra life insurance if you're are concerned.


    Fuel Economy? You're comparing performance version of these cars. SVT has a power advantage so it sucks up more gas. SI has less power, so it uses less gas. It is a simple trade-off, this depends on your own priorities.


    Styling - This is very subjective. I like the focus styling. Some prefer the SI. Some hate both. Buy the one you like better, but don't try to force everyone on your beliefs. Ford used the same styling since 99(in Europe), some say honda borrowed some styling cues from the focus. But I do believe the focus is due for a facelift, (03 models do get a minor one, but a new focus is coming soon) The SI does look fresh, and does have a more unique look, because no other honda in US share the hatchback platform while ford also sells the ZX3/5.


    Reliablity - European produced focuses are the most reliable, but they don't produce SVTs, so its not 100% relevant. However, the Flint plant that has a lot of problems creating the sedan and wagon, do not produce the SVT, so their mistakes do not directly affect the SVT's reliability. The SVT is produced in mexico with the other hatchbacks. The mexican focuses have not been affected by the same problems in flint, and based on forum posts, have a better relability (compared to the flint cars). Honda produces reliable cars, especially in their european plants. Why doesn't ford produce the SVT in europe, and bring a competitor to honda.


    Civic Type R- well, if you're comparing non US-version of the civic, you might as well compare the focus RS, or the ST170, or even the focus cosworth, all way too expensive to be profitable in north america.


    Ford and Honda merger, if only they learned from torota and gm. Boring but reliable + good styling = $$$.


    Still not convinced (about either). TEST DRIVE it yourself. See how each drives. Each has their own characteristics. You don't pick your wife from forums without spending time to know her, don't pick your car the same way. You will probably spend more time with your car than your wife, and you may even have more fun with your car than your wife. However, some people are very loyal to a particuar brand and cannot live without the H or blue oval, and thats okay, but compare objectively.


    The main reason why people pay 19k for a car they could buy the base version for 13k is because they are fun to drive. the extra power, the nicer styling, the toys, etc. Reliability and safety are similar between the base and performance models. Please, someone talk about how each car drives like!

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    204meca204meca Member Posts: 369
    and drove it up from San Diego to Seattle. He is a former SCCA competitor and very picky about his rides. He choose the SVT based on all the good press. My bro got 33 with his and was not feather footing it -- beats Motor Trends Si (sorry anonymousposts)!

    However, he is part of a SVT group and their mileage is all over the place. Some people can't crack 25mpg. He also said that one guy over 250lbs, has had his seat rails broken twice. Others are having O2 sensor & computer problems. He also said the Conti tires are great for dry cornering, but he had the traction control came on several times while on the freeway in heavy rain. He since replaced the tires with BFG KDs. He was also disappointed in the suspension and replaced the shocks with Koni adjustables (said "it did not have enough dampening and bottomed out at speeds over 100").

    If he cannot get a blower for his SVT, he plans on selling it cause he can't stand to not be the best! He now wishes that he had bought the GTI 332. Just goes to show you that some people are never satisified!

    I drove the car & it is a comfortable very nice driving hatch. It is kinda slow of the line, but moves fast after 3000 rpms. It has lots of nice features including power seats, wonderful stereo with steering wheel controls...

    The SVT, Si, & GTI all have excellent attributes, but also all seem to suffer from a variety of unfortunate nigglies that really makes it hard for the consumer to know which one is best. Perhaps there is no overall best, but I still can't decide which one is best for me!

    I love these discussions and hope that the host will not fire off posts about problems where one has to sort thru all the DXs, LXx, and EXs to find info about the Si.
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    gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,387
    Niether car is selling for retail so I didn't even include it in my reasons in my last post.

    You said let's be fair then said buy a 5 door SVT. But there is no 5 door Civic. That's fair? Apples to apples the back of the regular SVT Focus is a deathtrap and the Civic is at least dual 5 stars front without the optional side airbags.

    Styling hasn't been mentioned in quite a while. I think they look too similar to even matter.

    Reliability: Honda Civics have the relibility history of legends. Ford [insert model here]'s don't. Advantage Honda until proven otherwise.

    Euro Honda's vs. Ford..The Type R can be had in the U.S. and actually is being imported here if you want one. Don't know about the Focus.
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    moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    Seeking information on the Civic Si and crash testing. I checked several areas and can not find any record of crash testing specfic to the Si. Only for the Civic in general and it is a sedan body style. Can anyone post a link or tell where there are results for crash testing of the Civic Si?
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    greenguygreenguy Member Posts: 78
    My Si is my daily driver. I need it to perform 24/7 365 days a year. It needs to be a good performer. Needs to be comfortable whenever I use it. It needs to respond well to the mods that I do to it. The Si is all of those things and more. I drove a ZX3 and was so horrified with the quality of the interior that I thank the gods that I did not buy ANOTHER Ford. Yes that's right. Another. I came from a 94 escort GT. The Si was a HUGE upgrade in vehicles. The SVT IMHO would have left me with a huge dissatifaction with all the problems that people are haveing. Dont believe me read the forums www.focaljet.com Stupid things like mirrors vibrating at idol. Sticking throttle bodies, that would make me so very disapointed with my NEW purchase.
    thanks.
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    muffin_manmuffin_man Member Posts: 865
    The tiny power advantage that the SVT has is not worth 6mpg.

    "Big Difference? Spend the 2000 on extra life insurance if you're are concerned."

    Every Focus salesman should use that line.
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    gee35coupegee35coupe Member Posts: 3,387
    Follow carluver's link and check the 2 dr hatchback statistics. This configuration is only sold as the SI.

    Then read the opening and first line from post 51.
This discussion has been closed.