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Discussion Starter #1
My 2004 SVT ZX5 with a short throw shifter and Borla exhaust system is about ready to be retired. It's my second SVT.

I really love its 6-speed manual transmission, the 170 HP, the tight suspension, the Recaro seats, and the exhaust note. 22 MPG has been nice.

Can someone please recommend a worthy replacement? It'd be nice for it to be 3 to 5 years old, and hopefully under $15,000. Four doors would be great.

Thanks!
 

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Fiesta ST!

Better handling (a bit less comfort), more power, more torque, better mileage.

There is a bit less interior space, but it is a great car.
 

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Two great choice's.....Seems like a few test drives are in order. Let us know what you think, + & - of both of them.
 

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I will say if you like the SVT you will probably like the Fiesta ST. It is pretty much the same car except with cheaper interior, suspension. But does have boost. I have drove both a Fiesta ST and Focus ST and did not like either of them. To me they do not feel special. Granted to me the SVT does not feel special. I have found a base car is more fun to drive.

Brother was just in this market and walked away with a new Civic Si. I am not a fan either due to one thing. That one has one of those stupid electric handbrakes. He tried out the Fiesta St and Focus St and did not like either. He had a Focus Wagon years ago and loved it but passed on the two Fords. He wanted a WRX but did not want to spend the money on one extra gas that they drink when driving 60 miles a day right now.

Other than that there is the GTI. Liked a few Mk6 ones I have drove but that thing was always breaking down so it is a pass from me. You will probably go drive a Fiesta St and buy it. Nothing really wrong with the cars just not the one for me.
 

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I love my SVTF, however; it is missing two things: All-Wheel Drive and forced induction. Because of this, it will never be the car I really want.

That being said, it really depends on what your looking for LenMinNJ.

If you want to stay in the Ford family, as others have stated, the Fiesta ST or Focus ST are going to be your best options.

If you are looking for something similar, but not Ford; their aren't too many options especially for the years you are looking for.

If you want to stick with a hatchback, the Golf GTI is going to be the closet option since the Focus is basically a Ford Golf. The Honda Fit is actually a pretty good little car. Last is the Mini Cooper, but I have heard of some reliability issues with the Mini. All of these have 4-door options as well.

If you don't mind a sedan: The Subaru WRX is probably the best choice as you get AWD and turbocharging while still being relatively cheap to run. The Audi A3 or A4 are also pretty good options, but are going to be a bit more expensive, especially when it comes to repairs. Both of these are AWD. The BMW 3 series is another option, but probably going to be the most expensive to run and is only RWD.

One other option is the Honda Civic. I had a 1999 Civic Si and loved it until it was stolen. But today, I feel the Civic is just so bland and uninspired. It is also FWD, which; is also my least favorite thing about the SVTF.

One last option is going to be the Mitsubishi Evo, however, you will probably have to go with an older one to find it in the price range you're looking for and it is maybe a little too extreme looking for what you want. However, you will see far less of them on the road than any of the other options.

Hope this helps and sorry to hear you are parting ways with the SVT.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thanks much for the recommendations!

The Subaru just doesn't look okay to me. I don't think I could get used to it.

I drove the Golf over in Europe and it was pretty pleasant. A bit smaller-feeling than the SVT, and I'm not happy about the VW's repair record.

I'll test drive the Fiesta ST and the Focus ST, and report back here.
 
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