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No. 4: Nissan Sentra SE-R Spec V
Highs: Plenty of low and Midrange torque w/ no waiting, limited slip diff plumbs it to the pavement,enough chassis poise for good times.

Lows: Labored steering that needs grease,moaning tires,shifter could use a map and directions.

The Verdict: You never forget that it's a Cheap car w/ a Big Motor in it.

No.3: Mazdaspeed Protege

Highs: Exquisute handling, spacious and well-appointed seats, more thrust and flexiblity that a Focus w/ the same horsepower.

Lows: Occasional throttle surges,rumbling tires and wind noise, hopelessly complicated and distracting radio.

The Verdict Brilliant chassis seeks refined engine for profitable marriage.

No.2: Ford Focus SVT ZX5

Highs: A smoothie most of the way to the redling, warehouse-size interior,tasteful Continental styling.

Lows: Gutless in this group, a bit tipsy in the turns,spongy shifter.

The Verdict: A speedy pack mule for the more practical soul.

and the number 1 car:
No.1: Dodge SRT-4

Highs: Power out the wazoo, bites into the corners like a pitbull, the brakes never give up.

Lows:Exhaust boom can get tiresome, punishing freeway ride, single-purpose seats.

The Verdict: Dodge delivers a club racer in a Box

There you have it according to Car and Driver.

[ 04-17-2003, 04:58 PM: Message edited by: zetecinside ]
 

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The Spec-V should have been #5 in a list of 4 cars. That P.O.S. doesn't even deserve to be on the same list.

I have to say that I agree with most of what they said. The SVT did admireably against some pretty stiff competition.
 

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Originally posted by racerx:
Here's where people say, "But it's still a Neon!"

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Which is utterly ironic coming from a group of owners of the 2nd most unreliable car in recent history.
 

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I think at this point everyone already knows that the SVT focus doesn't hold much weight against the SRT. The SRT4 out performs it in every performance catagory, and only has a $900 higher msrp then the SVT 3 door.

Dodge has done an amazing job on this car. At least it appears that way. In few years they could all be blowing up for all we know. I hope they sell a ton of them. (Then I can pick up a cheap used one.)

SVT needs to beef up the SVT focus, or lower the price. It's pretty looks don't do it much good when being looked at in a rearview mirror.
 

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Originally posted by Maxximtl:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by racerx:
Here's where people say, "But it's still a Neon!"

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Which is utterly ironic coming from a group of owners of the 2nd most unreliable car in recent history.
</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">You're just jealous, Max...
 

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Originally posted by racerx:
Here's where people say, "But it's still a Neon!"

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">It IS still a Neon. That was the impression I was left with, anyway. We took one for a test drive and while the power was downright amazing, the ride, seating and general feel of the interior was uncomfortable. A few simple -- okay, a complete redesign of the interior -- maybe a few suspension tweaks and Dodge has a SUPERB car on their hands. Aside from the engine pull, and exhaust sound at startup, I wasn't impressed.
 

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Originally posted by SuperMatt:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by racerx:
Here's where people say, "But it's still a Neon!"

<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">It IS still a Neon. That was the impression I was left with, anyway. We took one for a test drive and while the power was downright amazing, the ride, seating and general feel of the interior was uncomfortable. A few simple -- okay, a complete redesign of the interior -- maybe a few suspension tweaks and Dodge has a SUPERB car on their hands. Aside from the engine pull, and exhaust sound at startup, I wasn't impressed.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">People buying the SRT-4 don't give a crap about the crappy interior. They aren't buying it for that. The WRX has a crappy interior too. There are plenty of cars out that that are mediocre in all the categories. I'm glad we finally have one for under 20 grand that is 100% geared to performance. Thank goodness Dodge didn't waste money on fancy upholstery and knobs. Those things just don't matter to me (or to most people buying the SRT-4).
 

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I think you can take your pick on which of the top 2 should have been ranked #1.

The Neon is clearly the better "racecar" but the SVT is the better daily driver. I think their verdicts sum it up pretty well. Take your pick depending on what you want out of the car.
 

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Originally posted by zetecinside:

Lows: Labored steering that needs grease,moaning tires,shifter could use a map and directions.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">That has got to be the greatest quote ever
and having driven a SE-R it is oh so true



quotes like that are why I love Car and Driver
just like their Caddy EXT review


[ 04-18-2003, 01:33 AM: Message edited by: focalBlur ]
 

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Originally posted by ferrethouse:
People buying the SRT-4 don't give a crap about the crappy interior. They aren't buying it for that. The WRX has a crappy interior too. There are plenty of cars out that that are mediocre in all the categories. I'm glad we finally have one for under 20 grand that is 100% geared to performance. Thank goodness Dodge didn't waste money on fancy upholstery and knobs. Those things just don't matter to me (or to most people buying the SRT-4).
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">That's a good point. People BUYING the car don't care about the interior. It's not so much a lack of fancy this or that, it's more of a cramped feeling. I'm an inch or two over 6' and 215 lbs and felt somewhat cramped inside. It's not my style -- that's why I drive a Focus. I have PLENTY of room in mine, and enough power to keep me happy. Is the SRT-4 a good deal for $20,000? Yeah, you probably won't find much of a better one. Could I rather buy a $12,000 Focus and with $8,000 of mods make a better car inside AND out...probably. I respect the direction Dodge is going and this car will definitely raise the bar in the SC market, but I just couldn't shake that "Neon" feeling.
 

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Yeah, it's still a Neon.

And my car's still a Focus.

Big deal.

They're both inexpensive, and CHEAP, econoboxes. I happen to like the styling on both of them.

As for interior room, I don't find them to be dramatically different. I was just as comfortable(uncomfortable) in either of them. I'm 6'2", and uh...let's just say considerably over 200 lbs.

Having put 12,000 miles on my ZX3 since August, and having spent alot of time in the right seat of a my friend's neon, I don't see them as being uncomparable in terms of reliability or fit and finish either.

I'd actually be driving a Neon R/T if not for a Ford discount and an uncooperative Dodge salesman.

Why can't people appreciate the finer points of a car just because it's not either A, some kind of supercar, or B, the car they personally own?


[ 04-18-2003, 07:26 AM: Message edited by: GreyZX3 ]
 

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Originally posted by GreyZX3:


Why can't people appreciate the finer points of a car just because it's not either A, some kind of supercar, or B, the car they personally own?
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">


dodge did a great job with the SRT4. hopefully ford and chevy follow suit and build some inexpensive fun to drive cars with more nut than they have been.
to dodge. no, i dont like neons, but i'd definately hit the SRT4.
 

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Originally posted by SuperMatt:
</font><blockquote><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><hr /><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Originally posted by ferrethouse:
People buying the SRT-4 don't give a crap about the crappy interior. They aren't buying it for that. The WRX has a crappy interior too. There are plenty of cars out that that are mediocre in all the categories. I'm glad we finally have one for under 20 grand that is 100% geared to performance. Thank goodness Dodge didn't waste money on fancy upholstery and knobs. Those things just don't matter to me (or to most people buying the SRT-4).
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Could I rather buy a $12,000 Focus and with $8,000 of mods make a better car inside AND out...probably. I respect the direction Dodge is going and this car will definitely raise the bar in the SC market, but I just couldn't shake that "Neon" feeling.</font><hr /></blockquote><font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Well for 12,000 you likely won't be getting AC, you have a warranty, you won't get the financing for all the mods, you will have spend a lot of time on the car, you will have reliabilty issues at some point that will be harder to fix then the neon's, and you will still hear "But it's still a focus!".

But yeah, you can do it.
 

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like the ACR, i think dodge is really attacking the competition-specific compact car market. This thing is destined for Rally, IT and the like.
 

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Originally posted by s2d2:
like the ACR, i think dodge is really attacking the competition-specific compact car market. This thing is destined for Rally, IT and the like.
<font size="2" face="Verdana, Arial">Turbo cars are not IT eligable.
 

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feather weight? What does that make my MR-S? Or an Echo, Aerio, KA, Fiesta? I think "bantam weight" would have made more sense.
 
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