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Old 05-10-2004, 12:25 AM   #1
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Initial impressions of my car after one week of ownership

So, after being forced to give up my plan of owning a 2004 2.3L ZX5, I got this wonderful 2004 SVT version. I always liked the SVT, but was scared away by the gas milage, requirement for premium gas, and the turning radius. I feel so lucky that it was an accident I was forced into this car, because I'm very happy with it now. General observations:

1. This is a tricky throttle to modulate. It's very soft in first gear due to the tall gearing, making take offs difficult. It's even worse with four passengers and the A/C blowing as I found out yesterday. This car is incredibly easy to bog in first gear, and I will definitely need to practice a bit more. I'm riding the clutch more than I would like to for a smooth take off. Shifting is nice, but the throws are longer than in my old Type S. That car easily takes the crown for best shifter I've ever had the pleasure of using. The Geartrag isn't too shabby though.

2. Once this car gets going it has an interesting Jeckle/Hyde personality. Get this thing past 3K rpms and it takes off. I'm still in break in but I can tell acceleration will be nice past 4K rpms.

3. Breaks are awesome, but I have a good deal of brake dust on the wheels already. I'm going fairly easy on the brakes, but I'm concerened about how much dust has accumlated in such a short time. Is this normal for the SVT? Never had this problem with my RSX.

4. Seats are incredibly comforable, plus it's so nice having four doors now. I like the high seating position everyone complains about. I started getting tired of feeling like I was sitting on the floor all the time. Plus the car is easy to get in and out of. No more gymnastics for me and my wife.

5. Turning radius has been far less of an issue than I thought. The car is so short, that turning in tight spaces is still very easy.

6. Gas milage has been okay, as was expected. According to the gas guage and how many miles were on the car when I drove it off the lot, I'm averaging about 22 mpg in mixed city/hwy driving. Not great, but I'm guessing that will get somewhat better as the engine breaks in. It's a shame the gas milage plummeted so badly after SVT worked their magic on this engine, as opposed to other high compression four cylinder engines like the RSX Type S and the Celica GT-S that both get much better gas milage.

That's it for now. Of course the handling is simply awesome, I haven't even begun to test the limits of this car, but I know they will exceed the limits of my old Type S. Oh yeah, the audiophle system absolutely kicks ass!

2004 CD silver ZX5 SVT (build date 2/2004)
HID's, moonroof, Audiophile package
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Old 05-10-2004, 12:48 PM   #2
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Sounds pretty similiar to my first week with my car, minus the 5 doors and the audiophile package.

Definitely an impressive little vehicle. I was floored when I test drove it. Leaps and bounds above the other vehicles I've owned.
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:06 PM   #3
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Its a great car! But you are right... you will need to get used to the clutch/gears..

I used to drive a 2002 6-speed Mazda Miata LS.. Great handle, short gears, light clutch, RWD... It was a HUGE change to the SVT.. But I like it a lot now.. I just miss the convertable on the sunny days! lol

As for milage.. It didn't really bother me until the Gas $$ jumped up as of late!
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Old 05-10-2004, 01:43 PM   #4
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Thumbs up I just went to SVT too!

I just traded in my 2000 ford f150 4x4; with a six inch fabtech lift kit, dual shocks, and 35inch BF mudders..........(don't worry, I will replace it in a year or so with a f-250 6.0L Turbo dissel when they get on they used market, and garage the SVT)......And picked up a SVT on 4/20.......What a world of difference the SVT is...... I thought my 5.4L was the shit, but when I test drove the SVT I fell in love........ I almost got a WRX, but thank god Subaru tried to low ball me for my truck......... ........ I can't believe the legroom in my SVT.....I am 6'5" tall, and I have plenty of legroom!........Not only that but the second I turned 1000 miles it chirped 1st, 2nd, and almost third (not quite as noticable).... I also took on a honda civic crx that was juice'n'........he was pissed when I beat him by half a car of fun..I will never get rid of it........ I would even go as far to say that this car will beat my 70 el camino ss in a year or so!!!!!!!!!....
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Old 05-10-2004, 03:13 PM   #5
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Sounds like everyone is HAPPY. :)
I too was forced into my SVT, sold my Honda Accord because they kept breaking into it, and boy was I impressed. Even though I picked up a used one it is GREAT. I will definitly be keeping it and performing major mods once the warranty is up. :)
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Old 06-24-2004, 10:31 AM   #6
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I have a little under 1000 miles right now on my 2003 SVT and i'm extremely pleased!

The test drive blew me away and I had no choice but to buy the car. I've never driven a car that felt so sure footed and capable.

I'm curious about the poster who mentioned being able to chirp the tires in 1st, 2nd and 3rd gears right after passing the 1000 mile point.

Do you mean by dropping your clutch or do you mean by a rolling start at 1000 RPM or some other RPM?

My car bogs easily from a rolling start at 1000 RPM. It's shifter also sticks a bit sometimes and requires that i really pull the gear out of its gate, but 95% of the time the shifter is perfect. Those are my only criticism so far.
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Old 06-24-2004, 02:12 PM   #7
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I've had my car for a month and just passed 3k!! I've loved every minute of driving it. My only complaint was/is a squeaky seat that iv'e got. I test drove this car for fun on a saturday and came back on sunday to buy it ( i previously had been planning on getting a mazda 3 5 door). right after the 1k mark i notice my gas milage jumped like crazy. I went from barely getting 20-22 mpg to almost 30 on a couple tanks of gas. But I like to keep my engine in the higher rev's so i aver about 24 mpg now. city/hwy with the ac on too. Can't wait to get some serious miles on this thing so i can turbo it!
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Old 06-24-2004, 05:42 PM   #8
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We have a 04 SVTF also, and at first where extremely dissapointed with the way the car takes off and rides like crap with the air conditioner on. We bought a Screamin Demon coil w/ livewires, but didn't really help much. I highy recommend you get a K&N drop in filter element. Its close to 40 or 50 bucks but the car feels like a completely different car now. Takeoffs are alot easier, riding with the A/C is actually not so bad even with the VF motor mount. My dad who is the daily driver is absolutely in love with it now. It's what the car needed, just some more air.
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Old 06-24-2004, 08:21 PM   #9
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Six months and 5k miles on mine. Zero problems and love every minute in it. Your car will get considerably stronger after break in and the bog in first will decrease accordingly. Enjoy.
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Old 06-24-2004, 08:51 PM   #10
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Yea that is exactly what i have experienced during the first week of owning my SVT. I have a 2 door tho. But yea the clutch takes some gettin used to but it will all come with time. Im glad u like it as i love mine.
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