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).
At first I really enjoyed the car. It is great fun to drive. The 6 speed provides good pull at every shift. I have experienced some problems with the car however. It has been back to the dealership 4 times with clutch problems. One of those times I had to be towed in. Finally all the clutch assembly, slave cylinder etc. had to be replaced. Needless to say with less then 20,000 miles on it, I have lost some of my confidence in the car. Gas mileage is good but the car requires gasoline rated over 91 (super premium). With prices over $2.00, it can cost well over $20.00 to fill the tank. I will not buy another Focus SVT again.
i was looking for a sports compact. However the focus SVT was nowhere near the top when i was deciding. the Eclipse, Tiburon, and Mazda Protege 5 were my top choices. However due to a mix up at car max the car i wanted was no longer there. So i looked around. I had heard good things about the SVT to i took a chance. as soon as he open the door i was in love. The leather trim seats were eye catching. Once he started it, the purr of the engine was beautiful. i test drove and was sold. the SVT suspension is surpieror to and other STOCK compact car. This along with the Kit and Exhaust tip, saved me alot of money on visual upgrades. I put a AEM shortram and my cruise speed went from 80 to 90.
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.
I shopped around for a small commuter that was fun to drive. It came down to the Mini, SVT focus and a Miata. All three were fun to drive but bang for the buck the SVT topped them both. I bought it at 40k on the clock and have taken two long trips and daily to and from work. There have been no issues aside from some worn bushing on the front torsion bar that made a bit of a thump coming back into the driveway. The dealership took care of it right away with apologies that it wasn't fixed before the car left the lot. It's been a good car so far and the dealership as usual is above and beyond. Chevy built a good vehicle but their dealerships drove me away, and I am not looking back.