Thursday, August 1, 2013

Used Car Review - Ford Lynx RS (2003-2005)

Myk Belmonte invites you to start the month of August with something fast and not to forget, affordable.

2003-2005 Ford Lynx RS

For those who don't know what does RS mean, this stands for Rallye Sport. And the RS badge was created for rally racing, which is incidentally the performance car and motorsport division of Ford in Europe. Among the vehicles blessed with the RS badge include the European Escort, Sierra, Fiesta, and Focus.

Although the Laser wasn't used for rallying, a special edition was made available in Taiwan and in some South East Asian countries as the Laser RS (or Lynx RS). While some countries phased this model out in favor of the Focus in 2003, some countries released this variant during that year.

In celebration of Ford's 100th anniversary, the Lynx RS was made available together with the Centennial Edition (virtually the same vehicle but can only be purchased in black, has silver stitching, and a free special edition key chain and coffee table book comes standard) in late 2003. This was the year when vehicle taxes are based on their value, not on their engine displacement or people carrying ability. Technically, this was the first compact to have a 2.0 engine which the Honda Civic followed suit in it 2004 update.

Value and Costs
Unlike the Civic SiR that was launched few years earlier, the Lynx RS/Centennial Edition has low residuals since it does not have a huge following in the country. You can get one for just P220,000-P380,000 but remember, stock units are in the lower range while those used in car shows (and presumably modified) have high prices. For your enjoyment, get a stock model since they are priced cheaply.

What problems would one encounter in this vehicle? Although there are not to large a problem, the suspension must be replaced especially if the owner drives in rough roads most of the time. Fuel economy, as some mentioned in popular automotive forums, is better than the Ghia variant. Although this must be due to the RS' standard manual transmission and high torque which beats the Ghia's heavy body and 1.6 engine combo in stop and go traffic.

Exterior and Interior
Oh, the coincidence here, it was nearly a year I reviewed the pedestrian model Lynx. So, the different bumpers give a touch of aggressiveness, a standard rear spoiler, and a mesh grille to distinguish it to its lower brethren are some highlights. Just remember that RS models are sold in red while Centennial edition ones are in black.

No leather seats come standard since fabric ones with red and silver stitching comes standard. To know if you're buying a genuine one, the front backrests and floor mats must have an RS label. The gauges are the highlight of the interior since you are informed if you are fast enough, but the green lighting at night isn't appealing to some. Other things to remember to see if the unit you are examining is an RS/Centennial Edition are the stitching in the gear stick, silver trim in the door handles and arm rests, and aftermarket type pedals. There are some distractions for the driver especially when opening the fog lights located near the left knee of the driver and the volume and on/off function placed in the rightmost portion. Occupants have ample room inside the cabin, so four can also hop in and enjoy the driving pleasure.

Exclusive in this trim model is the FSDE 1,991cc I4 with 143hp at 6,000rpm and 192Nm at 4,500rpm. The great thing about this engine is it can reach 6,000rpm redline with an accompanying noise thanks to the VICS mechanism. This can be a practical partner, especially when driven prudently, can reach a decent 9km/L in the city.

Driving Impressions
Definitely something fun to drive, with its solid and lightweight chassis which befits this vehicle. When on the road, ruts are tolerable but don't drive in the rough ones since the noise and vibration generated isn't music to the ears. Steering is an entertainment but braking is a mixed bag, with a spongy reaction when encountering deceleration from triple digit speeds. The shifter is somewhat clunky though, but nevertheless the key to driving excitement.

Imagine a pocket rocket at prices where plain Jane sedans exist, what more can you ask for. Unlike the SiR whose resale prices are still high despite being as old as a high school student, the RS is a wonder that can be a practical city driver.

The Good:
  • Fast
  • Handles great
  • Cheap
The Bad:
  • Rare to find
  • Bulky clutch
  • Poor NVH insulation
The Pick: Go for a well maintained unit

Engine: 1,991cc FSDE I4 gasoline
Power: 143hp @ 6,000rpm
Torque: 192Nm @ 4,500rpm
Fuel Consumption: 7-9km/L (city), 9-10km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Suspension: Front independent McPherson strut, rear independent dual-link strut

Price (New): P795,000-P819,000
Price (Now): P220,000-P380,000
Rivals: Honda Civic SiR
On Sale: Late 2003-2005

Ford Libis - (02) 637-2044
Ford EDSA - (02) 744-2222
Ford Global City - (02) 860-8888

Photos courtesy of

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