My new (to me) SVTF - Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum
Ford Focus Forum
HomeContact UsAbout UsGalleryDiscussion ForumsMarketplace


Go Back   Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum > Ford Focus SVT > SVT Performance (2002-2004)

SVT Performance (2002-2004) The place to chat about any 2.0L SVT DOHC Zetec engine performance, tuning and exhaust related upgrades.

Search This Forum | Image Search | Advanced Search    
Ford Focus Tire & Wheels FocusFanatics Merchandise

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-11-2008, 01:26 PM   #1
SVT666
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Fan#: 52664
Location: Summerland, BC
What I Drive: 2003 silver SVT Focus 5 door

Posts: 140
FF Reputation: 1 SVT666 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
My new (to me) SVTF

I never thought I would find FWD 4 bangers all that entertaining since Mustangs have been my drug of choice for the past 15 years, but this car (and the Cobalt SS/SC) makes me giggle like a little school girl.

I have it. I flew down to San Jose yesterday morning at 6:00am. I got there at noon and I picked up the car at 1:00pm. I left town at 2:00pm and drove North until I got to Salem, Oregon at 12:30am where I slept (on and off) in the backseat until 6:00am in the Wal-Mart parking lot. I left Salem at 6:45am and drove without stopping for anything more then fuel until I got pulled over for speeding 2 hours from the Canadian border. After the cop decided to NOT give me a ticket for doing 65 mph in a 45 mph zone, I drove away and my next stop was at the Canadian border at 3:15pm. At that point US Customs took all of 3 minutes to okay the car for export. I headed to Canadian Customs and they spent the next 45 minutes going through everything from my checkbook, every piece of paper in my backpack, to every inch of the car itself. They didn't believe my bill of sale that states I only paid $9000 for the car, so I had to prove it by logging into my bank account and showing them the transactions so that they knew I was paying the correct amount of tax. I felt like I had been strip searched. After all of this they finally sent me on my way. At 4:15pm I pulled away from the border and at 5:35pm I pulled into our driveway. After 20+ hours of driving I finally got her home.



REVIEW

Handling. The SVT's handling is phonomenal. It tackles corners better then my Mustang ever did even with the suspension mods I made to it. The chassis and suspension are extremely well sorted and very balanced. Only when pushed realy hard was there any kind of understeer, and the grip provided by the Contisports was impressive. If anything, high speed cornering highlighted the cars ability to corner by providing direct and accurate steering that felt like the car was on rails. Sometimes the car would oversteer a little and made me realize that no matter how fast I was going I could still go faster. Steering is perfectly weighted, whereas the SS/SC's steering is heavier and makes cornering more of an effort. Steering feedback, body roll, and brake dive is superior in the SVT. In the SS/SC the feedback feels a little numb. The SVT is noticeably better in the corners then the SS/SC, though the SS/SC will kill it in a straight line.

ADVANTAGE = SVT


Engine and Power. That's not to say the SVT isn't powerful, it is. The SS/SC is rated at 205 hp, though many independent dynos peg it at closer to 230hp. The SVT has 170 hp. Where the SS/SC is explosive off the line, the SVT is kind of weak below 2500 rpm. Above 2500 rpm the engine rips to it's 7200 RPM redline very quickly and it begs to be revved. It's addictive and it's what got me pulled over. The most impressive thing about this drivetrain is how perfectly matched the gear ratios are with the engine power. I left it in 6th gear at 70mph on cruise through the mountains and no matter how steep the hill was, the speed never dropped and I never had to downshift. That blew my mind. Engines in both cars are very smooth. In the SVT, power isn't an issue, though the power from the SS/SC is intoxicating and I would love to put 200+ hp in the SVT.

ADVANTAGE = SS/SC


Transmission. The SVT's 6 speed tranny is a dream. It's beautiful. Shifting is accurate and easy and I only missed one shift on the entire drive. Not bad for a car I've never driven before. It was also the first time I've ever driven a 6 speed manual for a long period of time. I found that I forgot about 6th gear a few times and left it in 5th, and I also began skipping 5th altogether and just shifted straight into 6th from 4th. More then 6 gears in a manual transmission would be too many. The 5 speed in the SS/SC is a fine tranny as well, and the shifting action is on par between the two. The shift knob in the SS/SC is too small as I've mentioned before, but the knob on the SVT is perfectly sized.

ADVANTAGE = SVT


Brakes. I can't compare them since I haven't had to make emergency stops in either, but they both have great feedback and don't feel like they fade.

ADVANTAGE = Draw.


Steering wheel and column. The SVT has got textured leather and perforated leather, with easy to operate cruise control buttons. The stereo controls are on a seperate stalk behind the steering wheel to the lower left and are very intuitive in their operation. The stalks feel like they belong in a much more expensive car, and again, very intuitive in their operation. The steering wheel has both tilt and telescope, though I believe the SS/SC has that too. The thickness of the SS/SC steering wheel is probably the closest to perfect I have ever driven and is wrapped in smooth leather. The controls are not as intuitive as the SVT's and that matters to me. The less I have to take my eyes off the road the more I can concentrate on the road. The wheel itself is nicer in the SS/SC, but the wheel in the SVT is pretty good in it's own right and has better controls and the stalks have a higher quality feel and sound.

SLIGHT ADVANTAGE = SVT


Seats. I've never driven the SS/SC on a long trip, but they are great seats. The SVT's seats are fantastic. After 1200 miles and 20 hours sitting in them, I never had to shift myself around to get comfortable or get out to stretch my back. I don't even feel like I was in a car that long. The bolstering in the seats is great, though the seats are little on the narrow side, however wider ones would have required a wider car. The SS/SC's seats are fully wrapped in supple leather, and the SVT's are leather with fabric inserts. I feel that the SVT seats breathe better because of the fabric, though fabric stains easier. They seem to have held up very well to the first 43,000 miles, and seats in both cars are heated. Until I drive the SS/SC for a long period of time, I'm calling this a draw.

ADVANTAGE = Draw


Stereo. The SVT's stereo is the Audiophile system from Ford. The SS/SC's is the top of the line Pioneer system. The sound quality of the Pioneer is definitely superior to that of the SVT's. The subwoofer in the SS/SC is largely absent, and the subwoofer in the SVT is very present. Though I do like bass, I prefer sound quality.

ADVANTAGE = SS/SC


Ergonomics and Guages. The interior of the SVT is definitely a love it or hate it kind of thing. Personally I love the non-traditional and funky look of the SVT's dash. The guages are great and during the day they are very clear and readable. At night, it's a different story. The white guages with black numbers become green guages with black numbers and are very difficult to read at a glance. Thankfully the green isn't the typical Ford green we're used to, but it's still hard to read them. The stereo buttons are more intuitive then the controls on the SS/SC, and they both have great climate controls. The SS/SC's dash and instrument pod has a more upscale feel and look then the SVT, but the stereo controls are somewhat confusing. The guages are easy to read, day or night, and the A-pillar mounted boost guage is cool.

ADVANTAGE = SS/SC


Exterior Styling. Boy racer vs. Subtle and tidy. I can appreciate both, but the SVT has nicer wheels.

ADVANTAGE = SVT


Trunk. They are comparable in size, but the SVT's hatch is more pratical.

ADVANTAGE = SVT


Backseat. The SVT offers back doors and more legroom. The seats are equally comfortable, though the SVT has a headrest for a middle passenger even though you could never get 3 back there. The superior legroom and back doors make a world of difference.

ADVANTAGE = SVT.


Headlights. The projector style headlights in the Focus are far superior to the headlights on the SS/SC. My dad chas complained that on a car as fast as the SS/SC the headlights don't throw light very far.

ADVANTAGE = SVT.


Sleeping accomodations. They both suck.

ADVANTAGE = Draw



Overall, I would take the handling, 6 speed tranny, styling, and back doors of the Focus, but the power, interior, and instrument guages of the SS/SC are awesome too. In this part of the world, handling matters more, so the SVT is the better car for this man.

If I was still in Calgary where handling is not a big deal, then the SS/SC with it's huge power advantage is the car I would pick.


NOT WASHED YET


Yes those black specs are all bugs. They are not rock chips.












SVT666 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Old 03-11-2008, 03:59 PM   #2
SVT-SAGE
Banned
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Fan#: 43249
Location: Chicago
What I Drive: 2003 Pitch Black SVTF

Posts: 621
FF Reputation: 15 SVT-SAGE Great Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (17)
Sweet review man, glad you like your new toy.
I've had a "run in" with a SS/SC and It wasnt to much of loss, were talkin less than 2 cars, on a freeway run. The top end on this car is where it shines. I mean 3rd gear top's out 90+. You cant beat that.
SVT-SAGE is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2008, 04:42 PM   #3
SVT666
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Fan#: 52664
Location: Summerland, BC
What I Drive: 2003 silver SVT Focus 5 door

Posts: 140
FF Reputation: 1 SVT666 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by SVT-SAGE View Post
Sweet review man, glad you like your new toy.
I've had a "run in" with a SS/SC and It wasnt to much of loss, were talkin less than 2 cars, on a freeway run. The top end on this car is where it shines. I mean 3rd gear top's out 90+. You cant beat that.
I am really impressed with the top end of this car. It loves to be revved.
SVT666 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2008, 05:02 PM   #4
shepski
Banned
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Fan#: 45523
Location: Washington, D.C.
What I Drive: '04 CD Silver SVT ZX5, #328 of 1079

Posts: 2,814
FF Reputation: 53 shepski Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (10)
Nice, thorough, loving review - U got the SVT jones!

Meanwhile, that NEW Cobalt SS (turbo instead of sc) is sounding like the real deal. When the sedan drops this summer I may have to go take a look. I'm skeptical about much more than 220hp through the front wheels, but what-the-heck...
shepski is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-11-2008, 05:39 PM   #5
SVT666
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Fan#: 52664
Location: Summerland, BC
What I Drive: 2003 silver SVT Focus 5 door

Posts: 140
FF Reputation: 1 SVT666 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
The SS/SC's steering is a bit heavy and I think it has to do with the power. Torque steer is virtually nil though so, GM did a great job setting that part up. My experience behind the wheel of the SS/SC is that it's got about as much power as I would want in a car that size with FWD.
SVT666 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-13-2008, 10:34 PM   #6
Peregrine
I.S.A.I.K.I.
 
Peregrine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Fan#: 6009
Location: Wadsworth, IL
What I Drive: '03 CD Silver SVT, '11 Mazda CX-9

Posts: 5,413
FF Reputation: 112 Peregrine Excellent Standing Member Peregrine Excellent Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (23)
Nice write-up and congrats or getting your new go-kart.

I'm going to have to disagree on the sleeping accommodations and give it to the SVT. Ain't nothing wrong with folding down the rear seats and sleeping in the fetal position....lol
Peregrine is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-13-2008, 11:52 PM   #7
SVT666
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Fan#: 52664
Location: Summerland, BC
What I Drive: 2003 silver SVT Focus 5 door

Posts: 140
FF Reputation: 1 SVT666 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine View Post
Nice write-up and congrats or getting your new go-kart.

I'm going to have to disagree on the sleeping accommodations and give it to the SVT. Ain't nothing wrong with folding down the rear seats and sleeping in the fetal position....lol
They only fold to a 30 degree angle, so I just folded them back up and slept on the seat.
SVT666 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-14-2008, 12:02 AM   #8
wakewil
Focus Addict
 
wakewil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Fan#: 50446
Location: Redding, Ca, United States
What I Drive: 04 silver svt

Posts: 626
FF Reputation: 3 wakewil Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
if you fold the butt cushion forward then take the headrests off you can lie it down completly flat.... thats how i always fit 3 snowboards in my car.... havnt had to sleep in it yet tho
wakewil is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2008, 06:21 PM   #9
SVT666
Focus Enthusiast
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Fan#: 52664
Location: Summerland, BC
What I Drive: 2003 silver SVT Focus 5 door

Posts: 140
FF Reputation: 1 SVT666 Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by wakewil View Post
if you fold the butt cushion forward then take the headrests off you can lie it down completly flat.... thats how i always fit 3 snowboards in my car.... havnt had to sleep in it yet tho
You gotta be shittin' me. The seat cushions fold forward? Damnit, I could have slept half assed comfortable? I'm gonna check this out when I get home.
SVT666 is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Old 03-17-2008, 06:33 PM   #10
wakewil
Focus Addict
 
wakewil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Fan#: 50446
Location: Redding, Ca, United States
What I Drive: 04 silver svt

Posts: 626
FF Reputation: 3 wakewil Good Standing Member
Buy-Sell-Trade Rating: (1)
yea it took me awhile to figure that out... i left the seat cushions down for awhile too. u can fit quite a bit more stuff in there like that
wakewil is offline  
    Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Reply

Bookmarks & Social Networks

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Ford Focus Forum, Ford Focus ST Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Steeda Springs, Camber kits, Endlinks, SVTF Parts Lupuri Archive 20 03-07-2007 08:55 PM
WTB: SVTF Floormats / SVTF Bumper (Silver) and Grille HTPerformance Archive 0 04-12-2005 11:37 AM
WTB: SVTF parts/ CD player 00svtprototype Archive 1 02-08-2005 05:51 PM
The SVTF Gets it's beating svt medic General Racing Chat 26 08-17-2004 11:21 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:13 PM.


Copyright 2002-2014 FocusFanatics.com. All Rights Reserved : Privacy Policy : Advertise Information

Focus Fanatics Ford Focus Forum offers many fun ways for you to engage with other Ford Focus Owners from across the world. Whether it be about the aftermarket performance modifications, technical how-to's, European tuned suspension or awesome fuel economy similar to the Cadillac ATS-V, Ford Fusion and Acura TLX. You can find all Ford Focus and Focus ST related information here. Join our Ford Focus discussion forums and chat with local Focus enthusiasts in your area.