SVT Ford Focus vs. Subaru Impreza WRX

osfan456osfan456 Member Posts: 8
edited April 2014 in Subaru
Decisions, decisions. I have been enviously eyeing both the Subaru Impreza WRX and the yet to be released SVT Ford Focus. There seem to great advantages for both cars. The WRX being the obvious better preformer of the two, but the SVT isn't all that bad either. THe WRX is a little bit pricier, but that turbocharger sounds pretty good. I was thinking of getting on the waiting list for the SVT, but when Subaru announced the WRX, I changed my mind pretty quick. So what do you guys think? Does the WRX's performance outweigh the slightly cheaper Focus?


  • pocahontaspocahontas Member Posts: 802
    If you don't get a response here soon, I'd like to suggest that you post (copy/paste) your question in our active

    Ford Focus SVT and/or Subaru Impreza WRX discussion; and perhaps invite people to join you in this new discussion. Sometimes it takes a couple posts (plugging) to get things rolling in a new discussion. Good luck with your decision. ;-)

    Hatchbacks/Station Wagons Message Boards
  • avedisavedis Member Posts: 1
    ...this just a troll to see how WRX owners will respond? =D

    My advice: go with the WRX, all the way. Maybe the new SVT Focus is going to be nicer than the current Focuses that are out there, but I have to say that the ZX3 I rode in recently has absolutely nothing (aside from being inexpensive) on the WRX, from the feel of the ride to the sheer power output.

    My $.02 --jeff
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    osfan456, both are neat cars, but both have very different design philosophies and missions. The "small" difference in price you mentioned in the other SVT forum isn't that small - a base SVT is supposed to be priced around $18K, vs. the $24K Subaru wants for the WRX... that's real money to most people. I had a deposit down on a WRX, then cancelled my order when I actually got a chance to drive one. It is a neat car, but I decided it just didn't make sense for me. I happen to like two-door hatchbacks for their ease of entry (I'm 6'5") and versatility - the WRX is a cramped little sedan. Other significant differences include FWD vs. AWD, Cosworth massaged NA engine vs. intercooled turbo, 400 lbs. of extra weight in the WRX, etc. Yeah, the Rex is fun when you get the turbo spooled up, but my current plain Jane ZX3 feels better balanced as a package, and was HALF the price - I can imagine how much more fun the SVT will be. Bottom line: choose the car that fills your bill. They are both very entertaining in their own ways.
  • klkrauseklkrause Member Posts: 96
    I happen to have both vehicles on my shopping list, as well, though I have a bigger reason for leaning towards the Focus ... my wife works for Ford so I get a discount. I have put my name on an order list for the Focus, but I'm still not 100% decided. The $6,000+ difference is obviously a big deal, but the WRX wagon (which I would probably get if I got the Subie) offers a bit more utility and definitely some more performance. The AWD is another big advantage of the WRX.

    Hmmm ... decisions decisions.

    The interior of the SVT Focus looks like it's going to be pretty nice ... nicer, at least, than the WRX.

    I have to admit that I'm going to check out the new RSX Type S, as well ...
  • qbrozenqbrozen Member Posts: 31,039
    First off, I gotta address the RSX Type S. In my opinion, I think that would definitely be a downgrade from the WRX. We're talking about the same price range, but you lose the AWD and 2 doors.

    I'll admit that the SVT appeals to me as well, but I couldn't get over that "Ford" road block in my mind. I don't trust them as far as I can push them (and I've pushed a few in my day).

    Well, if that's not an issue for you, the biggest advantage is the price. I find it strange that you would even cross shop the 2. If you can afford the WRX, you are obviously getting a MUCH better vehicle. The performance and AWD are worth the price difference alone, but, with that, you also get Subaru reliability and (I'm anticipating) cheaper insurance due to the safety that comes with a Subaru.

    Ease of entry? I'm also 6'5" and absolutely LOVE the WRX for its room. Yeah, its a smaller car overall than my 626, but I found that I was able to get much more comfortable in the WRX. I opted to leave out the power seats in my 626 and my knees rest against the center console and door as I'm driving. I don't have that problem in the ReX. I fit remarkably well. I don't know how a 3-door hatchback works better for you. I feel like I'm in a go-cart in my sister's Civic.

    Does anybody have any pictures of the SVT interior? I've seen a picture of the hi-po Focus from Europe, but I seriously doubt we'll see that in the SVT. The WRX interior is actually nice as far as I'm concerned. Yeah, its not a Jaguar, but it IS only $24K for AWD and under 6 sec. 0-60 sprint. Considering that, I am more than pleased with the interior.

    '08 Charger R/T Daytona; '67 Coronet R/T; '13 Fiat 500c, '21 WRX, '20 S90 T6, '22 4xE. 62-car history and counting! MB Sprinter and '92 Nissan Gloria on the way!

  • klkrauseklkrause Member Posts: 96
    The reasons to consider the RSX are numerous: Style (I like the looks of the RSX better than either the Focus or WRX), Interior (the interior is nicer than both), Reliability (the reliability for Acuras is excellent, even better than Subaru), resale value (the Integra has had among the highest resale value of cars in this price range), 6-speed manual trans (the Focus SVT has this but not the WRX), and other reasons.

    AWD is great, as is a 0-60 less than 6 seconds, but they're not the only things I consider in a new vehicle. The RSX sounds like it handles like it's on rails, though it would be a different feel than with the WRX.

    The biggest advantage to the Focus SVT is probably the price. And price is important, too! It's not always about how much one can "afford," but about how much one is willing to spend.

    Below is a link to the picture gallery at Ford's SVT website. There are some interior pictures, as well:

  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    all the way baby!! Leave the RX and SVT to their own comparison. Until they get AWD, there is no comparison. (IMHO) BTW, just because you can compare any car in a post does not make them, in fact, comparable. :-)

    My advice is to compare AWD to AWD vehicles.

    (to rework the quote from the Aztek guy over on that board..)
    "Wearing that WRX smile"
  • klkrauseklkrause Member Posts: 96
    No car is truly comparable using your logic, then. It's not a matter of the drive system or engine, but the people who are interested in the vehicles ...

    This forum is a decent comparison when you think of the vehicles which will be considered by people shopping the $20-$25k small, sporty vehicle range.
  • silver_bulletsilver_bullet Member Posts: 1,339
    I owned a Civic hatch once, and you are correct - very cramped inside. Have you sat in the ZX3? It is extremely roomy inside. I find the longer doors of a two-door better suited to my frame; it's just easier to get into and out of. With most four-doors (including the WRX), by the time I adjust the seat back far enough (I've got looong legs), the B pillar is right next to my head! Talk about a visibility problem :(

    My bike fits neatly INSIDE the cargo area of the ZX3 - don't try this with the WRX either. As far as the interior goes, the SVT will use many of the components of the European Focus RS, including the Eurocar's improved seats sporting black leather bolsters with contrasting blue or red cloth seating areas. The WRX seats are terrific as well, although the Subaru cloth isn't to everyone's taste.

    RSX? The Type S is going to be serious money - much more than the SVT.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    I heard about an AWD turbo charged focus ford was developing, any one know if the SVT is all we are going to get or could their be an even hotter focus. If only the WRC was popular here our chances of getting a model like that would be much better.
  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    yes, you're right if you take my "logic" to the nth degree (not my intention, BTW). I do understand and agree (mostly) w/your point. My point is that AWD is a solid performance value(especially safety wise)that isn't easily comparable to FWD or RWD. After owing all three types of setups I can attest to this. My comment (somewhat tongue in cheek) was for people to keep comparisons in perspective. It's sort of the apples to apples, oranges to oranges comparison thing. If you still don't get my point just look at some comparison posts throughout the Edmunds site....see what I mean?

  • klkrauseklkrause Member Posts: 96
    Fine, fine ... they are different. But those who would consider them both as a possible purchase will still compare them and that was my point. Therefore, a valid comparison for the point of those who are shopping these vehicles.
  • cwaligoracwaligora Member Posts: 16
    I was going to put an order in for a Focus SVT, but they weren't accepting any orders at the time. It was a step down I was going to have to make after the Mercury Cougar S I ordered never got produced. When I found out about the WRX, and test drove one, the Focus became yesterdays news. There are so many cars about to come out that are comparable to the Focus SVT's performance in the compact front wheel drive 170-180HP catagory, that I feel I need to move up to something better to get a real bang for my buck(and feed my ego). The WRX not only leaves all those boy racers behind, it can run with or better cars that cost $30K or more (sub 6 sec. 0-60 times). It also has AWD and a rally racing bread suspension that is perfect for Michigan winters and potholed roads. I shopped around these Town Halls and the i-club web site for the dealers who are willing to go below MSRP and I'm putting in my order. For about $4000 down I can keep my monthly payments at about where they would be for a fully optioned Focus SVT, which will reportedly run at about the $20K range. I actually like sport coupes better, but my 1990 Ford Probe GT of which I am the original owner will not hold out long enough for me to see if the Subaru SVX will debut in 2003 as rumored by Motor Trend. My WRX will be a black 5spd with the following options: Rear spoiler, air filtration, armrest extention, premium sound package 1, security upgrade and performance gauge pack. I will post the dealers I shopped next week in a separate posting in the Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan thread after I place my order.
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    They are both sport compacts right? Within a similar price range? Ok the SVT will be much less but those shopping for one would most likely consider or at least think about and possibly test drive the other. Comparable? Yes absolutely.
    I get your point about "getting comparisons in perspective" but the is far from out of perspective. Comparing a focus SVT to an Audi S4 would be out of perspective. But the SVT is still comparable to a WRX, even though it is more mechanically similar to the S4, simply for its price and target audience.

    Anyway on with the discusion
  • revdrluvrevdrluv Member Posts: 417
    If it would make you feel better to compare more similar cars I just made a new discussion about all the new performance hatches that are out or coming soon. Check it out I called it the hottest hatch
  • gsr94gsr94 Member Posts: 10
    does anyone know or can make an educated guess, if there will be big aftermarket support for these
    cars. im a college student, that drives a 94 integra GSR. with all the aftermarket parts out there for my car, it keeps me happy modifying my car to keep up w/ newer sportcompact cars such as these two. of course my budget kinda keeps me from buying a really big turbo that well make my car really really fast..hehe

    anyways, my point is that maybe consider how the car will compare 5 years from now to newer sportcompacts. and aftermarket performance parts make owing an "outdated" still fun to drive. after awhile, most cars will feel slow.....IMHO
  • petedopetedo Member Posts: 27
    Subarus have weak drivetrains
  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    Based on 80's Subaru's sure but not current models. Get w/the new millenium :-) I seriously doubt my rally based WRX has a weak drivetrain. Heck, my 00'OB was a tank in this regard too.

  • kroliphkroliph Member Posts: 75
    If the WRX has a 'weak' drivetrain, let's wait and see how the SVT holds up. The WRX is an awesome car for the money, but it is not for everyone. The price difference between the SVT and the WRX is real money. Remember the old saying, 'Do what you want, you will anyway'. What I mean by that is buy the car you like. Don't buy one based on someone's opinion. Go out and find out which one you like best.

    I'm going to wait for the WRX STi. 275 bhp and 0-60 in 4.8 seconds. Granted this car will cost around $30,000. But I just can't pass up that kind of performance, AWD and 4-doors. I usually keep my cars for 10+ years and I'm determined to own a fun car next time out. I think of it as a 4-door 911 for $40,000 less!
  • klkrauseklkrause Member Posts: 96
    Any word on the release of the STi?

    I have to agree with the price difference being "real money." Think of how much "a few thousand dollars" will be worth 10 years from now!
  • petedopetedo Member Posts: 27
    I'm more of a bang for the buck fan myself. I work hard at both my jobs and don't want to spend my money on things I don't need. AWD for example. I just don't think, even with inclimate weather here in New England , it's worth it. You have to put a huge turbo producing tons of power to get it to go fast. I wish they still sold FWD turbo talons. This is just my opinion and what would suit my needs. Others may need AWD
  • kroliphkroliph Member Posts: 75
    Car and Driver had a one page article in their May edition. Basically, Subaru has been so impressed with the response of the WRX that they are planning to bring the WRX STi here in about a year and a half. It will come with the first new manual Subaru has designed in 20 years. A six speed of course. Turbo pressure is increased from 14.2 in normal WRX to 17.5 psi in STi. 276 hp and 275 pound-feet of torque. You really need to get the article and read it for yourself. It is pretty exciting!!

    I agree that not everyone needs AWD. I think it is important in cars like the WRX STi. Most people (myself included) are not used to 275 hp in such a small car. AWD gives that extra measure of security when driving at the limits. I think I would just get myself killed in something with that much power to the rear wheels alone. Besides, you get 4 doors which means lower insurance rates and you can actually get people into the back seats. Granted there is not allot of room back there.

    When I drove the WRX, I thought it was an excellent car. But I couldn't help thinking if only this thing had another 40 hp it would be devestating. Subaru must have read my mind!!! I love the fact that you can do some autocross on the weekends and drive it to work on Monday. The ultimate bang for the buck in my book.

    The WRX STi based on the new Subaru Impreza is already sold in Europe and Japan. By the time it comes here all the bugs (if there are any at all) should be worked out. Just in time for me to get in line at the Subaru dealer!
  • barresa62barresa62 Member Posts: 1,379
    of safety regardless of the HP output in a vehicle or weather conditions. The question is whether or not the extra dollars are worth the extra measure of safety to someone. For me, the answering is a resounding "yes". This was the same for me when I bought my 00'OB Ltd last year as it was for my 02'WRX wagon this year.

  • ottosottos Member Posts: 80
    AWD is a different type of fun than RWD or FWD. With AWD, and it's easy to execute perfect powerslides (the ones that don't look like you're sliding at all). RWD requires a more deft hand to look just as good.

    Although AWD does provide extra cornering power, it has less potential for fun compared to RWD. I prefer RWD because it helps develop car control skill faster. Especially if you put practice in wet or snow (on deserted road of course) or on a race track. It's more satisfying to me to control the car rather than corner at tremendous speed. Losing the car while cornering at 25 mph is more appealing to me than at 40 mph. Good thing the WRX comes with crap tires, it makes it more fun. Along the same lines, I don't think I could have as much fun with a modern 911, because it has too much grip.
  • neutraloneneutralone Member Posts: 1
    Ya know, I've been reading town hall boards for quite some time, lurking about, checkin what people have to say. Some well educated and knowledgable folks out here sometimes, but this isn't one of them. I am a true lover of most all automobiles, all in their own right. The WRX is certainly a great car no matter how you slice it, as is the focus, but these two cars are quite different from each other in their design and drivability. I like them both very much and would but either and be happy, but it is the SVT Focus that will get my nod. I'll save about 7 grand, which for me, is good. It all comes down to personal preferences, thats why they make so many different kinds of cars. So be happy for those that are passionate about their cars, support them, and ignore the narrow minded ones. I've owned all kinds, some better some worse, but all had endearing qualities of one kind or another. Hail Edmonds...Great idea.
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