Fiesta ST vs. the Competition

Discussion in 'Fiesta ST Chat and Discussion' started by WRC Fan, Sep 6, 2013.

  1. WRC Fan

    WRC Fan Administrator Staff Member

    What cars compete with the Fiesta ST? How do they stack up? Are you cross-shopping any other cars against the ST?
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  3. Devon

    Devon Member

    On the cross-shopping question, I have several I'm thinking about. Criteria for short-listing are pretty open as I need no more than 2 seats, but include:

    1) excellent neutral handling characteristics, no torque steer for the FWDers; good "tossability"
    2) good power - minimum of 7 sec to 60 without dropping the clutch and spinning the tires; 14 sec through the quarter. Good mid-range torque.
    3) excellent road feel through the wheel and communication with the driver about where the car is with respect to its limits.
    4) maximum smiles per mile - fun to drive a key criterion

    On my to-drive list (by ascending price):

    1) FiST
    2) 2015 BRZ (power and torque bump anticipated for 2015 MY which will fix its current failure on requirement 2)
    3) Mk7 GTI
    4) 2015 S550 Mustang (?) - expected to be down 400 lbs and drop 14 inches in length.
    5) Mk7 Golf R
    6) BMW M235i coupe
    7) Corvette C7 with Z51 and magnetic shocks - great value for money, but as it requires a lot of the latter it will have to be truly exceptional to be chosen

    Unfortunately everything on this list but the FiST and the Vette will not be available to drive until next year. If either of those 2 strike just the right note on a test drive I may not wait.
  4. WRC Fan

    WRC Fan Administrator Staff Member

    Very diverse list. :) But, not a bad car on it!
  5. Devon

    Devon Member

    One factor in favour of the two sportcars listed (and to a lesser extent the VWs) is the low driving position. My current car has exactly the same ride height as the BRZ, and I love that low-to-the-road feeling; it generates a much more enjoyable sensation of speed than sitting a foot or more higher in a sedan does.
  6. Marco

    Marco New Member

    I'm not a big fan of modern cars, but sometimes I do want cup holders or a radio or a heater with more than just the MAX or off position (and i hear people complain about arm rests??).

    I've test driven all the BMW mini models as they came out (except for the new one with the collapsed roof). They are great drivers cars, the pedals are perfectly arranged for double clutch downshifts and the gear ratios are pretty perfect (the golf felt shorter but not as close between gears), but I'm always disappointed with how much of a scam it feels like. It doesn't feel like they should be charging that much for a car which feels more cramped than my older, much smaller mini.

    My criteria, aside from the cup holders, are:
    - much better than it was meant to be, needs to surprise
    - worth more in fun then it costs
    - be able to entertain every driver from a teenager to a senior, and do it without smugness, in standard form
    - be an instant classic
    Tall orders...

    On an unrelated note, but maybe worth mentioning is I've also test driven a few hybrids (and a leaf) and they felt very much like a sailboat, in a good way, quiet and power comes in a surge (someone needs to make one into a convertible). I had a lot of fun with it because it was nothing like driving my car.
  7. Mayhem

    Mayhem Active Member

    Smiles per mile is huge after the initial thrill of the new car wears off. And can differ for everyone I guess.

    FiST vs BRZ is a tough one. As I really like both for their own reasons, but both share the high dose of fun to drive. For me it came down to the FiST having back seats, and having a lot of great deals on them right now. That and I don't want to wait any longer than I already am for the FiST. If they were both sitting in front of me, and they improved on the lack of torque in the BRZ for 15, and I didn't care about rear cargo/passengers, I'd likely lean the other way. Although, tbh I suspect I might actually enjoy driving the FiST a little more just because of dimensions.

    For me, the GTI was a nice car, but I'd prefer a golf R everytime, and I don't think I'd feel right settling for a GTI when I could have had a FiST. If I went GTI , I would snag a left over mk6. Cheaper, and prefer the styling. But again... I don't see a GTI over a FiST as making much sense unless you need that extra space.

    I personally am not interested in the next Stang, but I'd take a current 5.0 GT or Boss 302 over the BRZ if I didn't care about insurance/gas/cost.
    Heck you can get some pretty huge discounts on the '13 GT's right now. I really wish now was an appropriate time for me to go mustang shopping...

    Still love the Golf R, I'd prefer the 6 gen styling, but if they improve the 7R enough I'd love one. I just don't see myself paying that much for a Golf.

    Don't like BMW's at all. They never do anything for me..

    Vette easily trumps everything else on the list if you don't have any financial/fuel/passenger/cargo/winter/visibility requirements for your vehicle.
    That car is just gorgeous imho. And although I don't think it would be the best city car, and is certainly the least practical... I would love to have one if I could justify it. Quite the gap in cost though! But beautiful car. Thing is, would you put it to use in a way that keeps it from getting dull eventually? A lot of car to put to waste if it doesn't get utilized.

    Imho, it is hard to beat a BRZ / FiST / 5.0 GT right now... The best drivers bargains on that list and on the market right now..

    The updated BRZ may not be priced as competitively, and if they properly update the vehicle, the wait is going to be BRUTAL..... if you don't secure an allocation very very early on. The fanboys are going to be all over them, and you'll be looking at 1 year wait lists and MSRP markups all over again. On the bright side, the car has a fantastic community. Endless aftermarket support, lots of get togethers, and lots of neat events. No doubt a fun car to own and will leave it's mark on car history.

    The GT is a steal right now with all of the incentives and wiggle room... Looking at the build site... 7K off with current incentives, and that's even before haggling with the dealer and excluding any holdbacks. I am sure saving 10k off sticker isn't impossible right now with cars sitting on lots if you aren't picky about options. You could likely walk out the door with a GT for the same price as a BRZ right now... (Locally dealers don't haggle on BRZ's much).

    But the FiST for me, is the new big deal. It won't be a dime a dozen, it's still the cheapest option, with some pretty respectable incentives on top of likely being the least common. (Maybe depends where you live?) In some ways it will be the more fun car. All while retaining more practicality than pretty much everything on your list aside from the Golf's. To me, a GTI is way too common. A golf R just isn't priced right. The ST is my clear winner.. (And I obviously put my money where my mouth is as I already have mine paid in full, awaiting delivery).

    I am sure the pros/cons for these cars will be different for everyone.. A very personal decision to make.. Best of luck with it :) And definitely share the outcome!
    OlschlagerB likes this.
  8. wash

    wash Active Member

    Five days in, its still a barrel of laughs to drive the Fiesta ST.

    Even at freeway speeds in sixth gear there is meaningful throttle response. Just about any driving situation hit the throttle and you start accelerating faster than you would expect from an economy car. Drop down a gear or two and it gets to illegal speeds very fast.

    After work on Friday I made a detour from my normal commute to go through about an hour of twisty mountain roads. As fast as I dared go, the car never showed any sign of being even remotely close to the edge of traction.

    If I wasn't afraid of driving off a 200' cliff, fully drove at the limit, and didn't hit any traffic, that hour could have been 45 minutes or less.

    Maybe some day I'll take that torque and grip for granted but for now I'm hooked.

    Smiles/mile are very high and you don't have to work hard for them either.
    Smokin likes this.
  9. Mayhem

    Mayhem Active Member

    Good to hear ;) Glad you're enjoyin it!

    Trade you for my loaner focus? :)
  10. Awesome. Looks like its just as punchy as my gti, but the smaller size is just so much more exciting. Plus the rarity factor

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-Galaxy S3 using Tapatalk2
  11. Mayhem

    Mayhem Active Member

    I had fun driving the GTI, great car... but something to be said about the size in the Fiesta... Going from the GTI, to the Fiesta Titanium, and then a Focus ST.... Naturally more power in the GTI & FoST, but I had a blast driving even just the Titanium '14 Fiesta.... I am anticipating some serious perma-grin in the FiST. Little cars are a riot.
  12. Devon

    Devon Member

    Very small cars can be a special experience. I had a lot of fun with an Accent rental up north for a week even though by any objective standards it's a crappy handling car with no power. Can't wait to try the FiST but did not enjoy the driving position when I sat in a Fiesta at the car show that much - too high.

    Bimmers, when I ride in them I am always impressed with their rock-solid yet smooth feel, but I have never driven one other than an antique 1600. It's an unlikely choice for me.

    Mustang - no thanks in current size and weight, it's too much of a boat. The new one would need to be a huge move towards BRZ size and weight for me to be interested.

    Golf R - definitely of interest in its new 300 hp incarnation with the revised v5 Haldex AWD system. In Canada though they tend to price themselves out of competition for everyone but the true fanbois - $45k!

    Upgraded BRZ would be a logical choice for me if I want to wait that long. Not worried about price (I locked in MSRP months before the BRZ release, and anticipate being able to do so again) - but there is the:

    Vette - this is a tough one. Yes visibility to the rear is limited, but what high-performance sportscar doesn't have this problem to some extent? View out of the back of the FiST with those big rear headrests is going to be no great shakes either. The reviews have been unmitigated raves, Motortrend will be coming out with a comparo that has it beating the 911S in a number of ways. Expensive relative to the others discussed here but really a bargain, especially as the Canadian pricing is now nearly on par with the US. I definitely want the experience of owning a top-level sportscar even if it's overkill for the city (I got a taste of the fun this can be when my father had a 911 in my teen years). Perfect car for HPDE days, I very much doubt it would get boring, the Porsche never did. I don't have to commute so some of the practicality issues are moot; plus you can drive these in a Toronto winter with a decent set of winter tires, Toronto rarely gets heavy snow any more (the car even has a weather driving mode for just such conditions). Highway mileage is a decent 29 mpg, amazing for a 460 hp car. It is a bit bigger and heavier than I would like, but it's only 5" longer than a Focus or a Cayman, and the same length as a 911 (177").
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2013
  13. amathophobia

    amathophobia Member

    As far as i am concerned all the cars listed (except the brz) are not actually competitors to the FiST if you look at price and size. More likely list to me: golf gti, sonic rs, velostar turbo, fiat abarth. And to a lesser extent: wrx, focus st, lancer ralliart.

    Out of all of them listed the FiST wins with price, mpg, torque, and good handling.
  14. RodMoe

    RodMoe Well-Known Member

    Agreed and I Don't even think the FRS/BRZ is in the same class as people will buy that car as a fun drifter not a quick FWD ... So in my book its the Veloster Turbo and the Fiat 500 Abarth. if you want to be picky you can toss in the Sonic from Chevy or the Dodge Dart that is not a hatch but has 4 doors and a woeful power to weight Ratio.. Apple to Apples and Oranges to Oranges even the GTI is more of a Focus size car . not to say your list isn't a good one just the FiST may be a giant killer in the right hands ;) we can all hope..
    amathophobia likes this.
  15. amathophobia

    amathophobia Member

    I agree on the gti. Its price and weight really should put it in with my second list rather than the first. I included the sonic rs just to be nice. Personally I think it would stack up against a yaris more so than a FiST.
  16. Mayhem

    Mayhem Active Member

    Do so many people really just cross shop cars that are similar in spec/price/everything else? I never understood why people are surprised by diverse (read* interesting) lists. But seems to be a common theme among car forums.

    To each his/her own but personally, I have never shopped that way. I make a list of all the random different vehicles that appeal to me... And buy the one that appeals to me the most and is within my means. And fits my criteria of needs at that time. So my lists contain everything from entry level luxury, high power RWD coupes, jeeps, trucks, SUV/CUV hatchbacks compacts, sedans, FWD AWD 4x4 lol... anything and everything.... I mean... I'm going from Camaro to Raptor to FiST....
    When I go car shopping and sales guys ask what else I am looking at, I generally get pretty confused looks.

    None of them have much in common beyond being sporty & fun. Perhaps a certain cost cap... But the list of vehicles I considered just gets all the more diverse.

    For me, if I come down to a list of very similar vehicles.. at similar prices...function , performance, reliability etc... etc... it becomes a very very quick and easy decision as far as which one I like most. If they are that similar, which one looks best? One always looks better to me.. Done and done.. lol

    I don't think the FiST has any direct competitor. Surely you can find similar price/size or power etc... But the overall package of the FiST currently separates itself from pretty much anything else on the North American market. (Isn't that why most of us are buying one?)

    As far as anyone who is considering the Vette.... I don't see the hesitation! haha.. If right now my circumstances and a corvette made sense logically.. I wouldn't be looking at a whole lot else. If you go the vette route, I want to go for a ride :) Hopefully one of those finds it's way into my garage in the near future.
    Devon likes this.
  17. amathophobia

    amathophobia Member

    Personally my list is so myopic because of how extremely small my budget for a new car is as well as that I want something fun to drive. If I wasn't worried about getting a warranty and gave myself the option to buy a used car my list would be much more diverse. But mostly it comes down to warranty, is it fun to drive, and can I make the car payment and still feed my son on $10/hr. :honest:
  18. Devon

    Devon Member

    Totally agree. The one forum where I see more diversity is for the Toyobaru twins, there are owners on there who have come from tuned Bimmers, muscle cars, etc. If your primary criterion is that the car must be fun to drive, you open up a large range of possibilities.

    If there were financial constraints limiting me to about the $25k level I'd only be considering the FR-S and the FiST - the Abarth is too much of a toy car for my taste, the driving position has you sitting on a a highstool (looks cute though), the base Mini is too underpowered and S version too expensive. Drove the Genesis turbo 4 and hated it, I am sure the Veloster will be worse. So I'd agree the FiST would be in a class of its own if the back seat space was actually needed to be functional.

    As to the Vette making sense logically - I doubt buying a Vette is ever a really logical decision!:D But I'm not planning to snap one up without driving it first. If the FiST or the revised BRZ is 80-90% as much fun to drive I'll be thinking hard about the additional expenditure. If the Vette turns out to be in a totally different league then that decision become a lot easier. Would love a car with rev matching like the Vette though - gives you the best of both worlds, the engagement of driving a stick with the capability for smooth driving at the limit on track days that rev-matched paddle shifters offer (I am never going to be that good at heel-toe).

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