The vehicle handles wonderfully well. It took to the Pacific Coast Highway with agility I would not have expected for a car at it's price level. It also impressed me when driving through Flaming Gorge on the way to Las Vegas. I did not experience any loss of power while running the AC. In city traffic it is very responsive. The standard transmission could feel a little more solid -- there is a tiny bit of detectable "give." I haven't had any problems with it except that my first oil change had to be postponed due to the new oil filter not having saturated the market yet. A chrome Harley filter could have worked.. but... :-) The filter is amazingly accessible.
Road stability, steering responsiveness, passing and merging power, passenger space, very quiet. Suave looking exterior, easy oil change with filter mounted "upside down" right next to oil tank. Pretty underside with a reasonable amount of component exposure.
The interior panelling seems to be "cheap" and loose. The front bumper is this shoddy plastic thing that looks and feels like it'd be an instant casualty to the smallest of accidents. Hard to clean bugs off. Rear seats are difficult to work with for increasing trunk capacity.
I've now had the car long enough to fairly evaluate it and there's really nothing to gripe about. I sold an F150, wanting better mileage, and had driven the 2.0 engine and decided to buy this because of the 2.3 that became available. This car feels like a sports car, it handles great, is very quick for it's class. The 2.3 engine has 145 hp and responds right when you want it. The five speed is very precise. I don't like automatics and manuals like this one are the reason why. I'm an older guy who is an enthusiast and recommend this car to anyone who enjoys driving responsive cars and still needs a back seat. I have the sport package with standard brakes but recommend the anti lock upgrade.
Engine power, precise steering, stereo has nice features. Hatch and folding back seat come in handy. Really impressive suspension, feels like a sports car. It took me some time to get used to the style but it's not a clone, it sticks out in the crowd.
Brakes; I bought off the lot and probably would have upgraded the brakes. Four wheel discs would be nice.
The SVT Focus is a blast to drive. It
does two things exceptionally well -
going fast and cornering. If that's
what you're looking for in a car, buy
This car will turn corners at speeds
you never though possible, and is very
stable at speeds that will get you
arrested rather than just a speeding
ticket (if caught).
For basic transportation, there are
better choices, though. The car is not
very roomy, the ride is a bit firm, the
engine is loud, and its a Ford.
Also, for its size, the gas mileage is
terrible, and it requires minimum 91
My SVT five-door is my daily driver,
and I'm very happy with the purchase.
European appearance package including
Recaro heated leather front bucket
seats, high speed capabilities,
excellent brakes, decent stereo,
relatively rare car (under 1100 2004
five-door SVT Focuses were built).
Should have been offered with optional
Front strut tower brace would help
minimize body roll.
Option to completely switch off
traction control would have been nice
(there is a switch but it only
partially defeats the control).
The six-disc CD changer is K-mart