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



  • hamproofhamproof 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?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    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.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    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?
  • hamproofhamproof 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 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??
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    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.
  • hamproofhamproof 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.
  • 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.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    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.

  • hamproofhamproof 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.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    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."
    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.

  • 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.
  • 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 :

    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!

  • 204meca204meca Posts: 370
    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.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    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.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    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?
  • 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 Stupid things like mirrors vibrating at idol. Sticking throttle bodies, that would make me so very disapointed with my NEW purchase.
  • 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.
  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    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.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Thanks. The results are impressive for the Si. makes me sick to look at the picture of the Si being smashed though.
  • bowke28bowke28 Posts: 2,185
    why save $2000 on a car and put it in life insurance if you won't get to see the money after you die?!?!
    i'd rather survive than save money, thank you.

    there are lots of people like you though...

    one customer in particular, after i told him about the break-away motor, actually asked me "how much is that gonna cost me?"
    i just rolled my eyes and said "less than your funeral"
  • mopar: You think seeing that SI being bashed up made you sick think about how I felt when my first SI got it's front end bashed up. I almost shed a tear when I went to the junkyard to take the pictures. But the car did exactly what is was supposed to do. The engine dropped down and back, airbags deployed and left no bruises (only 1 small mark on my arms where I was holding both hands on the wheel when they deployed), and even though the passenger side fender was pushed back into the passenger door both doors still opened, and the glass did not shatter. I was going probably about 45MPH when I hit the Grand Am that turned out in front of me. After looking at the pictures of how Grand AM's fare in side impact testing I'm just glad the woman's 8 year old daughter wasn't in the front passenger seat when I hit them.
  • vadpvadp Posts: 1,025
    Congratualations to the Focus for making Car And Driver's 10Best list for the fourth year in a row!
    Each and every year it has been in production.
  • Almost matches the Accord's 17 out of 20 years right? And the RSX has been named each of it's production years as well.
  • 4 out of four. pretty good score if you ask me
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    I don't understand why can you accept the virtues of other cars? It is great Focus is named 10best. Competition is good. Honda needs to improve on their car further to entice the general buying public to keep buying their car. This is not like 5 years ago when buying a used Civic is a no brainer. Other car manufacturers are catching up/on par/exceeded Honda's quality while offering more car for the money. Isn't it great that Honda would be forced to do the same?

    Instead of trying to find fault in another car to try to boost your own car, why not just concentrate on your car.

    Personally story - I'm trying to loose weight (5'9" 165lbs). Ideally I would like to be at 150lbs. You don't see me hanging around people who are fatter than me to make myself feel better? Who cares if other people are fatter than me. I just care about myself.

    Do I care if Focus has so many recalls?? I only care that the Si doesn't suffer the same. I don't praise my Si by saying the Focus is unsafe, unreliable,(insert what other comments you usually make). I criticize the Si so that Honda will make it better. Although it is not like Honda is reading this forum. If it is up to Honda and the greedy salesperson, they'll sell the Si for as much as they want. Fortunately Honda missed the mark and due to the lack luster sales coz' of better car offerings from competition, they are forced to sell it to me at $3460 below MSRP or $1800 below invoice. Do you seriously think Honda lowered the price coz' the bean counters believe they overpriced the car based on what they are offering?? Heck no! They had to do it coz' of competition. Other car makers are offering more for less money and looks like in US, only you and gee35coupe buy into the, Honda - must be good quality, mentality coz' there's so no one else buying the Si unless it is sold at $17k, $16k, $15k and $14k.

  • gee35coupegee35coupe Posts: 3,475
    Was expecting to sell 15,000 of these cute lil hatchbacks. Hatches have pretty much left the U.S. because no one buys them. Had they brought over only 2500 to 5000 of them they wuold have all sold at MSRP like the coupe. Which incidentally only had 160hp just like the new SI. But everyone loved em.

    We took advantage of the low prices also. i would not have bought a $19,000 SI. But as far as the Honda mentality...I don't think we are alone. I mean really, check any Honda board. We ain't alone.
  • hamproofhamproof Posts: 241
    I would swear you were the one who said it was wrong for Saab to abandon the hatchback style of the 93 a few months ago. There are only a select few who prefer the functionality of a hatch/wagon to the monstrous SUVs.

    And I do believe anony would have bought the 02 Si for $19k coz' it is Honda afterall. For argument sake, if Honda sold 5000 of these in US and commanded $19k, I bet a pretty penny, you and anony would be first in line.
  • No, wouldn't have paid $19,000 for it. We were at the Honda dealer right before they came out and the dealer said MSRP would be $19,000. I said "guess I won't be buying a new SI" and I wouldn't have bought one no matter how limited production they were if I had to pay that much. I don't believe in paying more than $500 over invoice (preferably nothing over invoice or lower) for any car. Shortly thereafter I bought my 00 SI and drove it til the new SI's got cheap then I got a deal I couldn't refuse. Loved the 99-00 SI when it came out but I wasn't going to pay MSRP for one. When I bought my 99 Accord sedan I love the coupe but they wanted close to MSRP or above in the V6's case and I wasn't gonna pay it. Wanted a CL-S for a looooooooong time but the prices never dropped low enough before I lost interest. With the new Accord .. wanted one since they came out but wasn't gonna pay MSRP for it.

    So yes I love Hondas. I am an admitted fanatic but that doesn't mean I will pay more than I should to own one. There are enough good used Honda's in the marketplace that I can always tide myself over with something else till what I want gets cheaper or until they make something else that catches my eye.
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