Test drove an Acura RSX-S and SVT. RSX felt cramped with poor outward vision poor and didn't come "loaded" as the SVT - which had everything but traction control. Driving position, outward vision and ergonomics all superior to RSX, as are brakes. Body roll excessive and gear linkage slow. Worst feature is the dual mass flywheel, which is supposed to dampen out ham fisted shifting, but merely retards revs, acceleration, and obviates engine braking. Noisy car with practically no sound insulation, although it comes with a good sound system. MPG on the poor side, especially in mixed traffic, (22-23).
A great car to develop, but frustrating out of the box because of compromises the engineers built in for people who cannot drive well. If you don't like fiddling with cars, buy a hi performance Subaru or Mazda, because this car is underpowered for its weight (2810 lbs.). Great outward vision and brakes. Seems a lot more roomy on the inside, at least up front, than it looks from the outside. Back seats next to useless, it should have been designed without them for more cargo space.
Build quality good to above average, uses no oil (now at 93K) and no major repairs except alternator at 85K - which will cost you $800 at a Dealer.
I had the following parts replaced or added:
Sound insulation, Springs, Anti-Roll Bars, Rotors, Struts & Shocks (Koni Yellow), Clutch/Flywheel, Rear Engine Mount, End Links, K&N intake system, CFM throttle body and Hi-Flow Cat Converter (easily passed Illinois EPA). Replaced all suspension bushings with OEM at 90K. All mature modifications, no kid stuff. Transformed car's handling and performance into pocket rocket platform stable at 90mph and above.
If you can find a clean example of this car and afford putting about $5-$8K (parts & labor) of modifications into it, you can run rings around anybody and will have all sorts of people chasing after you because after all, its only a Focus!
Love the Comp. Orange color, always the only 1 in a parking lot. The car is about balance. Adequate acceleration, good grip, excellent handling, fantastic brakes. I don't trust my Ford dealer so have not had the clutch knocking fixed but it continues to function otherwise so I'll wait to repair it. Euro package brings nice accessories, but body treatment adds useless weight to a car already weak on torque. I'd trade 15/20 Bhp for 5/10 more lbs./ft. Base car weighs less than SVT! Wrong. I'm 70" tall and my hair rubs the sunroof. Wish it had 16" wheels for improved ride/comfort without diminishing the turn in. 45 series rubber is ridiculous off track. Car is noisy on many surfaces.
The brakes! The handling. The balance. HID headlights. Competition orange color. Routinely get 30 mpg. Exclusivity. But ultimately the essence of this car is balance.
When down, the windows rattle when closing the door. Makes the car seem cheap. The Recaros are nice but sit higher in the car than the base car's seats. Wrong! In a performance car a lower center of gravity should be expected. Door pockets could be deeper so stuff doesn't fall in the street. Quieter, please!
Well, I have only had this car for a week now, but I love this car! It's so fun to drive and its peppy! I have had so many people say they love it! I really don't think I have had any issues or complaints about the vehicle! I would recommend this car to everyone who wants a sporty, fun car to drive with decent gas mileage!
Color, 6 speed manual, 17' Alloys, red and black matching seats, white faced guages and the handling!
I bought this car used, I am so glad I purchased the extended warranty though. Over all the car is great and fun but repairs and parts are pricey.
It's very roomy inside and looks awesome inside and out. Premium sound system really rocks. I constantly get compliments. It's fun to peel out of a light and leaving a unexpecting Civic or Scion in my dust.
I cant think of anything that would improve this car, it's great.
The car has been nothing but trouble since I bought it. SVT improved a few things but introduced so many more problems it made an already poor car, the Focus, worse. This car should only be considered as a hobby car. Its abysmal reliability, poor design, and engineering take it out of the realm of a daily driver. Fiddle with it for three weekends, drive it the fourth. This car is in the same category as an exotic Italian vehicle (as long as that vehicle is a Fiat.) It can be a fun car but the flaws, poor design, and engineering blunders render it an extreme source of cost and frustration.
Good looking car, great stereo, Recaro seats, fun handling, peppy engine, remarkably good fuel economy.