Driving over the Santa Cruz mountains to work every day this car is a ton of fun to drive. Great bang for the buck. I purchased it Used in 2009 and have loved every minute. In mostly highway (commute) driving I consistently get 30 mpg. Only mechanical issue I've had is needing to replace the clutch master cylinder for $270. If left out in the sun in high heat the gauges sometimes don't read correctly after start up. Other than that I love the car. Looking forward to the new Focus ST to be released in 2012.
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.
This is the car with *the full package*. Not just shoving an S/C or turbo on for bragging rights, this car runs like a tuned European car WITH [some] torque. It handles, brakes, sounds (thumping stereo!), excellent road feel, and rides comfortably. Excellent daily driver for those on the go -- hatchback capability and room is excellent. This car is for people that know how to drive and wants a relaxing, involved driving experience. Unfortunately, not everyone knows how to drive and yet utilize the full potential of their car, hence it's demise :(. Only thing to look forward is most manufacturers have taken notice and are integrating SVT DNA into their lineups for better cars.
What a great car! Having owned SVT products in the past, I have always been impressed with the performance, handling and all around fun factor of these cars. This Focus was no exception. That being said, it does have it's "quirkiness", mainly that the engine has an emissions-control function that makes the revs hang in-between shifts and that the dual-stage flywheel takes some getting used to. However, these are easily corrected by a "tune" for the ECU. It also adds 10 HP to wheels and allows you to scan for DTC's. The car handles extremely well for a front driver. You can actually get it to four wheel drift!! I have the EAP package-a must have!
I’ve had the car for 5 months, the exterior is great. Put a vinyl top dress it up and turn heads. Performance is awesome, wheels are great, steering and turning corners are fun, passing people on the highway is cool. The interior design is awesome looking. Seats are comfy and stereo sound system is great. 6 disk CD changer and green glow gauges. 6 speed manual transmission is great.