I bought this SVT new in Nov. 2004. I work for Ford and am a Master Tech. Being familiar with the Focus, i had to snag one before they were gone. This car has amazed me from day one. Through the years, it has just been better and better. With a few modifications here and there, this car is extremely hard to beat at 4 times the money. To date, this SVT can pull 1.15g in cornering and out brakes pretty much anything short of pure race cars. I have less then $30k in it and have out performed cars costing over $100k on short courses.
Handling hands down. Audiophile system is amazing for stock. I was lucky enough to get one that doesn't have traction control.
Ford SVT should have made the Jackson Racing supercharger stock.
This is by far the worst car I have ever owned. I bought the car about a year ago with less than 50,000 miles and $6400 in repairs later it's still not right. I have replaced the A/C compressor and condensor, the swaybar twice, gauge cluster and I have had countless electrical problems. I just noticed that the 4th thermostat housing is leaking. The car surges while driving down the road and the dual mass flywheel is constantly chattering. When the car is running it's a blast to drive, but that really doesn't matter when it breaks down at least once a month.
I bought my yellow [bumble bee, per my husband] SVT in early May 2004 and have been driving it non-stop ever since. The day "I" drove it off the lot, I did not know how to drive a stick, so my husband drove it home for me. I am now a pro! It is a fabulous car. It still feels new to me. I have had the sunroof motor replace (under warranty), the driver's seat belt (twice; under warranty), the clutch petal cover, and the rotors and brake pads at 45,000 miles (for that I blame the Ford mechanics; in retrospect, I do not think they needed replaced). There is not another car I want ... until the new model Mustangs come out! I've read there were only 123 of these made; is that true????
The car! Seriously, the seats, the heated seats, the back seats are very comfortable, the manual transmission, the sunroof, the stereo, the ease of viewing from all angles (the windows are great), and I love the headlights!
I wish it were a bit peppier on the uptake. I've had grandmas beat me off the starting line and it can be very embarrassing.
I purchased my SVT Focus new with 67 miles on the clock in 8/04. As of 1/08, it's now at nearly 70k miles. While I can't say they've been entirely trouble free, the Focus has never left me stranded. All of it's foibles have been superficial. Right now it has no issues other then steering wheel wobble at freeway speeds, and even that's not too bad. Performance is superior; 0-60 mph in about 8 secs, and up to 34 mpg on the hwy are both legit numbers I've acheived. Being a hatchback has also helped, such as when I fit an entire kitchen table with the seats folded. Overall, great car for the money, and no regrets in purchasing it.
Cornering ability with stock suspension and tires. No question. Second place would be fuel economy. 34 mpg with three aboard with the cruise set at 75 mph. Amazing.
Gutless off the line. I think my 86' Isuzu Trooper with a 96HP engine is quicker from 0-15mph. Blame a ratio in 1st gear that is too tall.
I love my SVT Ford Focus! I was dissappointed that Ford didn't continue to produce this car, so I traded my 2002 in on a 2004. Both cars have exceeded my expectations. Every color on this car looks good, although Sonic Blue is my favorite. There is no bad version of the SVT Focus.
This car corners like an expensive sports car! The 6 speed transmission really puts this car over the top. Shifting out of second gear at 70 mph gets it done when you're getting on the interstate. I live in Colorado so the fact that the heater starts blowing warm air in 2 minutes is awesome.
Heat the entire seat not just the cloth insert. A supercharger should be standard. All-season or snow tires should be an option.