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I recently bought a 2003 SVT based upon the reviews I read in the car magazines. To be honest, after 2,000 miles with the car, I'm really disappointed with the car. The thing is a slug off the line, makes a lot more engine noise than forward thrust, and gets the gas mileage of a V8. The handling is OK, but certainly no better than other cars that I've driven. And to make matters worse, it's been back to the dealer for repairs THREE times since I bought it!!

A lot of people on this site really seem to be high on this car, but I just don't get it. Please explain. I really wish I would have bought the Subaru WRX, but the extra cash swayed me into buying the focus. I guess you get what you pay for.
 

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[rolleyes] It's about to get hot in here.

Name one car that outhandles the SVT in it's class. There ain't one. The SVT has a very good balance between handling and comfort.
 

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As someone who has driven both the SVTF and a WRX, you have the surfer syndrome as I call it. You see, no matter what car it is, it will never be as fast or handle as well as you think it should.

What did you own before this car?

Btw I am wondering what other cars you drove with better handling?
 

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if u dont like ur car we can trade 01 silver zx3. it'll look just like ur other onr and get better gas milage
 

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So, you based the car buying on reviews and not your own likes and dislikes? You test drove it right? Saw the gas milage? Sounds like you bought it blind and don't like it, should have done more research and test driving.
 

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Sure, their are cars that handle better and have more power, but not in the same price range or class. Coming across the 152 from I5 to 101 on my way home from LA, I had a BMW Z3 and Acura TL that kept pumping the speed up. So I said "F" dropped into 4th and went. They followed me up to above 105 mph and then they backed off. This was at about 1:00 am with light traffic, and it had drissled maybe 30 minutes earlier. Now, it could have been that they weren't as confident as I was in the twisties, maybe they didn't have the skill, who knows, maybe they weren't crazy enough. But I do know from personal experience, I never came across there at more then 90 in my Eclipse GST that had before this. In a straight line the Eclipse would beat the SVTf, not by much though, but in the twisties the SVTf will handle the Eclipse big time.
 

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What cars have you driven, how hard do you drive, do you live in a city?

There is road here in Southern California called Bouquet Canyon, it is my favorite road to hit on my motorcycle. In the summers I have ridden the road 8-10 times a week. I know the road well, to say the least. Corners with a 25 mph limit, I can easily enter at 50-55 mph on my bike and exit around 60-65 mph. With the SVTF, I can enter the same corners at about 50, but the difference is that I cannot accelerate out like on the bike. This was suprising, I just kept charging faster, and the car was fairly stable, although I will say the rear end did feel a tiny bit mushy at what I thought the limit was.

What I am saying is that this car plain handles! If I come in too hot, I get off the gas, the car starts to tighten up. Still too fast and I lightly touch the brakes and the car wants to oversteer more, and hits the apex. I can drive faster than most poorly ridden sportbikes while listening to the radio and picking my nose!

There are 2 numbers that don't lie: .89-.91g on the skidpad (better than a WRX), and ~2750 lbs.

I did a trackday and kept up with stock WRX's, but the STi ate my lunch...with 4 doods in it!

Cheers!
 

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STI is pure power no crap it ate you

The SVT isn't the fastest of the line but don't play with me in the curves Although i have trouble beating a V6 camaro dragging if he brings me into the curves he won't even see my taillights =)

You must have really high standards or bought the car expecting to pull 14 second 1/4 miles someone once pointed out to me the fact that a car that accelrates quick doesn't make it manly anyone can go fast its the car that can take the corners going fast that is manly cause you gotta have guts to do it
 

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I'd be happy with a slower car. I'm all about the corners. You might have been better off getting the Dodge. If you can't tell it handles well its probably too much car for you. Yes, it sucks off of the line; it is front wheel drive.
 

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Im not gonna lie though the WRX is alot of fun it can handle well and has alot of power thats why i only wish the SVT focus had more power but its good for what u pay
 

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I think its soryy he would come in here and say something like that, before the SRT-4 came out the SVTF was the top sport compact really, no other was as good. Its still not bad its just the lack of power that holds it back.
 

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Jeffp13 said:
I recently bought a 2003 SVT based upon the reviews I read in the car magazines.
Like someone said earlier, didya test drive the thing? I mean, really test it (drive it hard)? If so, why did you buy it - the test drive should have been enough to have pointed out most of the "deficiencies" you complain about.

I suppose the performance is all relative - if you are coming off of having owned something like a Mustang GT or Cobra, then of course the Focus will seem like a slug that makes more noise than forward thrust. As for the handling, again, I don't know what you've been driving but the handling on the Focus, especially the SVT, is fantastic. It is one of the best-handling FWD cars available today. If that isn't apparent then perhaps you drive like Grandma Moses. Dunno what to tell ya guy - even Subaru's have to go into the shop sometimes, too...
 

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So, from what your saying, you just read about it and just went out and bought it? No test drives? Everyone is asking that question. Why don't you answer it. I don't think I would have bought something just cause I read about it.
 

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Focaltech although it lacks power look at what u get for your money when u compare it to the SRT-4 the overall package they come out even actually i think you proly get more for your money from the SVT the SRT-4 is just like a Lancer Evo just the economy model with a turbo thrown on and a few new things to look pretty it has the same engine as a regular neon just with a turbo

And also if you got into modding if you wanted a SRT-4 to handle like the focus you would need many thousands of dollars of work for the price of that you could turbo out a focus or atleast put a good supercharger on it
 

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All I'm gonna say is that you have to be willing to push the car to the limits. My svt handles far better than most imports and domestics on backroads. NOTE: They do handle tests with the likes of all wheel drive vehicles, and from experiance, I've burned alot
 

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Dude comes on here and makes one post, and this is it. LMFAO

Okay you know like everyone has stated, you should have test drove and researched, test drove again and researched some more. Not happy, well you made the choice and purchased the SVTF. Sorry, but if your not happy you have no one but yourself to blame.

No pun intended. [;)]
 

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I bought my SVTF after NO research, and test driving it once.... Okay, I went from a 1994 Escort LX hatchback, where I measured 0 - 60 in "yes" or "eventually". Cornering was an experiment in how loud I could get the tires to scream before the back end slid around.

I simply love the car. It is the most pleasurable vehicle to drive that I have ever owned. Used to have an '88 Mustang GT Convertable. Loved that car, but it did not handle like the SVTF does.

Jeffp: What were you expecting? Were you going to go racing Vettes? This car is well balanced, predictable, refined . . . I am sure you just don't get it.
 

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Seb656, you are dead wrong if you think a Lancer ES with a turbo is equal to the Lancer EVO!

I can go on and on, but how about the fact that the EVO is all wheel drive, compared to the front wheel drive ES? The EVO chassis has been beefed up with aluminum and steel plates to make it more stiff, there is even a cross member behind the rear seats, so you cannot fold them down. How about the alumium hood? Only the front door panels are exchangeable between the 2 models. The rest is aluminum.

I just wanted to point out that the Evo is not a Lancer ES with a turbo. In most races it is equal to the STi, the normal WRX stands no chance.

The Evo is a great car for road racing, if I had $33K to spend I would have got it. What I like about the Evo is that it is no nonsense, the interior is super cheap looking because they spend all the money on the engine, drivetrain, chassis, and brakes! Yeah it looks like some stupid tuner car with the wing, but to people who know, and are drivers, there isn't much better cars out there for $30K.

That said, a poorly driven Evo still loses to a well driven SVT Focus. There is some autocross video that shows this.
 

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Really good drivers in those reviews

Jeffp13 said:
I recently bought a 2003 SVT based upon the reviews I read in the car magazines.
I just saw this. The guys that tested the SVT in those articles were probably very experienced behind the wheel. This makes a big difference. I don't think it is hard to unlock its handling potential but I don't have enough experience to know.
 

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as far as the lanser evo goes for 30k which is a huge cunk of change id much rather have a 03-04 cobra that will eat that car for lunch![;)]
 
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