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Advan046
Advan046 UltraDork
4/14/19 4:57 p.m.

If you want a raw experience then go for a lotus or Evo8/9. I only got to drive a Lotus around the block a couple of times. It is alive. 

I own an Evo and it always feels like magic happened if I get to push it around a few corners. To quote a 370Z owner, "I can't drive one of those Evos, every body in my z club that drove one sold their Zs and bought an Evo." 

The Focus might just need a little front camber and a touch more rear sway bar and it would feel alive again. 

NOHOME
NOHOME UltimaDork
4/14/19 6:29 p.m.

Been DDing a FRS since the first day they came out in my city. Year round.  Six years in.

For me...The dealmaker is RWD and light weight. Front wheel drive, regardless of HP, is just not fun. It can certainly be wicked fast. Just not fun. The Twins are calibrated sorta the opposite..never going to be wicked fast, but I find the chassis a pleasure to be  doing business with regardless of circumstances.

 

So yeah, I would say go drive a BRZ and make up your own mind.

 

Pete

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired HalfDork
4/14/19 10:13 p.m.

This isn’t much help for your question, but I’m actively looking for a FoST to replace my NB. If you decide to sell, I might be interested 

irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/14/19 10:24 p.m.

I mean, I just sold mine and got a "boring" GTI, but if you're looking for something a bit more raw and faster, a WRX could fill the bill. Winter obviously not an issue, and yeah it's probably heavier than the FoST, but AWD makes up for the weight. I honestly miss the Subaru AWD immensely, even though the GTI is a very good and very quick car. I just like the rear wheels pushing (too). The WRX is definitely a more raw car and isn't insulated and numbed like so many of the FWD hot hatches are, IMO. 

Not saying it's what you want, but it might be worth a test-drive at least in that general price range.  I had the previous body style/engine, but hear the new ones are much "lighter-feeling" and better balanced handling, with similar power. YMMV. 

joey48442
joey48442 PowerDork
4/15/19 6:21 a.m.
Cooper_Tired said:

This isn’t much help for your question, but I’m actively looking for a FoST to replace my NB. If you decide to sell, I might be interested 

Sure thing!  Quick details, 2013, st1, so recaros and “my ford touch” radio, black, 70,xxx miles, stock except mbrp exhaust, tinted windows and synposer delete. Gorgeous car, super clean with minimal dings and scratches. Gets mid 20s for mileage.  This is with its snow tires and wheels  

alfadriver
alfadriver MegaDork
4/15/19 6:33 a.m.
joey48442 said:

In reply to alfadriver :

I hear you. But after all these years with miatas, I’ve never tired of them. I’ve probably commuted/pleasure drove them 200k miles collectively. I think I love it so much because it feels like they have a purpose. Something I wrestle with myself, I ften feel like I don’t have much purpose but that’s a different discussion ha. 

I have commuted in the fiesta, as my wife is off on fridays so I’ll take her car. I love the higher revs on the highway, the fact that it feels more wrung out, the choppierness of the shorter wheelbase, the road noise, the less weight that seems to not soak up all the sensation of the road, and it also has a way better located cup holder, which is strangely as important to me as a lot of those other quirks

Based on that, I would be 100% sure that the BRZ would be a great commuter for you.  

Given that it's far more about feel than absolute power, the engine issues would not be an issue.  And you could probably tolerate, or even want, a tight suspension.  That seems to be the greater issue between the FoST and the FiST.  

I'd say go for it.

pinchvalve
pinchvalve MegaDork
4/15/19 8:18 a.m.

I have been driving a FiST since 2014.  Can't compare it to the BRZ/FRS/GT86 triplets, but I can tell you about daily driving it. 

I drive it through the winter on Blizzaks and it goes just fine thank you.  The ESC or whatever works as advertised and helps keep you going when the white stuff flies.  The heater is great, the defrosters work great, the ABS is great.  So #1, I don't have any issues with it as a winter commuter.  

As for daily use, I would swap on Koni yellows and run them at about 1/2 way front and rear.  This smooths out the ride a bit, and you can always go full soft up front if things are bumpier where you are. I am in PA and our roads look like the roads in Fallujah, and I honestly don't have any issues.  At stock ride height and with 50-series tires, and without a bigger front bar, the Fiesta can handle just about anything.  OK, the ride is not like an old Buick, but I prefer to think of it as European and sporty rather than overly stiff. With the Konis, it's all-day comfortable. While it might be a little stiffer than say the Kia, it doesnt punish the kidneys.  When I step into anything else, it suddenly feels like a wallowing boat and I want the Fiesta back. So #2, its a great commuter. 

I needed a back seat for the kid, but I really like the convenience of a little hatch. I can live with this thing every day (I have bigger cars and trailers for Home Depot runs) because I have a back seat and a hatch. For autocrossing, I can carry a set of tires, tools, food, clothes, whatever I need. It's inside, out of the weather, and safer than on a trailer. I picked up an oversized rake on the way home from an event on Saturday, you can't do that in a triplet! So #3, its a practical car. 

And #4, the most important part, it always puts a smile on my face. For my short daily commute, it is so eager and so fun. Every corner exit is a power-on romp up the tach. I trail brake into exit ramps and carry speed through sweepers. It just eggs you on to enjoy the drive.  In traffic, it is small, nimble, and able to squirt into gaps. And where it really shines is in the mid-range, where you need to drop a gear and pass a left-lane camper or pull in front of that beige Camry before the twisty two-lane begins. On long drives, you can put it in 6th and save gas, knowing that you can quickly drop a gear or two to get through some traffic.  And on the highway with the cruise set at 70, the car is never darty or unstable. It would be a great autobahn car, stable at high speed.  Having all that torque is addicting. When I hear about the triplets having dead zones and nothing down low, I know they would not work for me.  

So I say go for the Fiesta ST, you won't be disappointed. 

 

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
4/15/19 9:09 a.m.

As someone who actually owned a BRZ for 3 years.................commuter vehicle, I wouldn't do it unless you had fun roads to commute on. Not much sound deadening, not a good stereo, it's really only good at being thrown around in the turns.

 

For the daily commute, it sucks. That's why I got rid of it and got a BMW.

spacecadet
spacecadet HalfDork
4/15/19 9:22 a.m.

In reply to MTechnically :

I was hearing more issues with the quality of the vehicle which was why I suggested GTi. 

It's about thee only knock I have against my own Focus ST. Went and drove a GTi as well and immediately noticed how much nicer a car it was to spend time in. 

CobraSpdRH
CobraSpdRH Reader
4/15/19 9:24 a.m.

What about the new Veloster N? It seems like it would combine the "fun to drive" with the handling and exhaust note with a slightly larger size than a FiST or BRZ. Not even sure if they are at dealers yet but they seem like a fun compromise between a refined GTi and a raucous FoST.

MTechnically
MTechnically New Reader
4/15/19 9:37 a.m.

In reply to spacecadet :

Nothing to disagree with you there. The GTI does impress with the level of refinement and material/build quality. In most cases I'd gladly recommend it for someone who puts on serious serious miles.

But the most logical choice isn't always the right one. I really found myself getting bored with my MK7 after 2 years. Nothing wrong with the car. It just wasn't working out between us. I ended up getting my E39 M5, and it's definitely a more engaging tool for the job. But as others have pointed out, sometimes commuting just sucks. 

Best bet it to focus on the attributes you care about and buy whatever fits best. For Joey it seems like the FRS/Miata route would be a good match.

Furious_E
Furious_E UltraDork
4/15/19 9:41 a.m.
alfadriver said:
joey48442 said:

In reply to alfadriver :

I hear you. But after all these years with miatas, I’ve never tired of them. I’ve probably commuted/pleasure drove them 200k miles collectively. I think I love it so much because it feels like they have a purpose. Something I wrestle with myself, I ften feel like I don’t have much purpose but that’s a different discussion ha. 

I have commuted in the fiesta, as my wife is off on fridays so I’ll take her car. I love the higher revs on the highway, the fact that it feels more wrung out, the choppierness of the shorter wheelbase, the road noise, the less weight that seems to not soak up all the sensation of the road, and it also has a way better located cup holder, which is strangely as important to me as a lot of those other quirks

Based on that, I would be 100% sure that the BRZ would be a great commuter for you.  

Given that it's far more about feel than absolute power, the engine issues would not be an issue.  And you could probably tolerate, or even want, a tight suspension.  That seems to be the greater issue between the FoST and the FiST.  

I'd say go for it.

I agree. I looked pretty hard at the FoST before I bought my FRS and for me at least, I'm sure I made the right choice. The chassis just has a certain balance, precision, and feel that is unmatched by the Ford, and there's something to be said about having been designed from the ground up as a dedicated sports car, rather than hot rodding an econo hatch (not that I have anything against hot hatches.) Don't let anyone fool you, while the twins are no rocket ships, they're plenty fast enough to be entertaining. If you favor handling and finesse over outright power, you'll get what this car is about. Mine is my year round DD and I find it perfectly acceptable in terms of cabin noise and ride, and it's a blast in the snow on Blizzaks. 

Cooper_Tired
Cooper_Tired HalfDork
4/15/19 10:20 a.m.

In reply to joey48442 :

 

PM sent. 

 

joey48442
joey48442 PowerDork
4/15/19 10:39 a.m.

In reply to Cooper_Tired :

Pm replied 

Ironsides
Ironsides Reader
4/15/19 10:40 a.m.

About two years ago, I traded in my Fiesta ST for a '17 BRZ.

I had daily driven my fiesta and truly loved the car, just enough space to haul around the necessities etc. It was a fun car for back roads as well as autocross, but felt that I wanted more of a visceral sports type experience.

The BRZ filled that need for me, quick enough to fulfill the fun for backroads etc, a much more rewarding autocross experience, and looks quite a bit sharper than the old neon colored hatch back imo. The BRZ rode much nicer the the FiST, which I found to have incredibly harsh dampeneing in stock form. 

I drove it though one winter on snow tires, which it tackled just fine, but instantly felt bad about subjecting it the harsh salt environment of the northeast. Not to mention holding constant fear of ice/snow covered parking spots and the low hanging body and underpinnings. 

That said after the one winter I bought a cheap daily driver to fill the winter driving role and garage the BRZ, relegating it to 3 season use. The benefit here it two fold, I don't subject it to the bumps and bruises of winter, and every spring when its time to pull it out of the garage, I find a renewed love for the car. 

Communing wise, the BRZ's gearbox/clutch is a bit more clunky that the FiST/FoST and it certainly lacks the same power, but it's more than livable and wouldn't place it above or below the ford models. 

racerdave600
racerdave600 UltraDork
4/15/19 11:00 a.m.
z31maniac said:

As someone who actually owned a BRZ for 3 years.................commuter vehicle, I wouldn't do it unless you had fun roads to commute on. Not much sound deadening, not a good stereo, it's really only good at being thrown around in the turns.

 

For the daily commute, it sucks. That's why I got rid of it and got a BMW.

I did the same thing.  Got rid of the BRZ, bought a BMW for a daily, never looked back.  Best thing I ever did for commuting to work.

nderwater
nderwater UltimaDork
4/15/19 11:16 a.m.

Any thoughts on daily driving an early Cayman as a BRZ alternative?

Vigo
Vigo UltimaDork
4/15/19 11:27 p.m.

Thoughts are it will be twice as good and twice as expensive to fix.  Even if you only drive it straight 99% of the time, there is no Cayman that isn't way, way faster than a frsbrz.

Klayfish
Klayfish PowerDork
4/16/19 6:04 a.m.
joey48442 said:

I feel like a bit of an ungrateful jerk because I just can’t seem to love my FoST. It’s a beautiful 2013 ST2, with the recaros and such. But I just can’t become a fan of it.

Having said all that, would I be happy with a brz?  Would it feel more engaging?  The FoST just seems disinterested in enthusiastic driving. Sort of like a lazy cat, whereas the FiST is like a super eager to please puppy. I like rowdy. The FoST is not rowdy. I spend 70 miles commuting a day, and the FoST is not doing it for me. 

 

What do you guys think??

I think it's all about what you feel, which none of us can answer for you.  The reason I say that is because my take on the FoST is polar opposite to yours.  Doesn't make either one of us wrong or right, just shows that it's all about feel and perception.  I had a 2013 FoST ST3, even had the Ford Performance tune done to it.  As hard as I tried, I just couldn't fall in love with it.  However, it was because IMO the FoST was always rowdy.  It wanted to do nothing but enthusiastic driving.  My wife labeled it "a squirrel on caffeine" and I couldn't disagree.  My commute is 120 miles round trip and the FoST just would never "relax".  This was true when it was stock and was even worse after the tune.  The very last thing I would have called it was a lazy cat.  I felt it eager to the point of being obnoxious about it.  When I wanted to play, it was a riot.  But when I didn't, it was annoying.

Can't say if you'd like the Frisbee, never driven one.  I'm not a fan of them.  After the FoST I wound up with an Elantra which was fine for commuting duties but no fun.  I've now got my G37 which I'm super happy with from a driving standpoint.  It'd blow the doors of the FoST in every performance category, is great at relaxing and cruising and has plenty of room.

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
4/16/19 9:20 a.m.

If we start with two things the OP said:

1) He enjoyed 17 years in a Miata, and 

2) he does not like the FoST he's currently got

I think the logical conclusion is that the twins might be a good fit, or a Miata, or a Cayman, or something else RWD / low weight.  

joey48442
joey48442 PowerDork
4/16/19 8:17 p.m.

Thanks guys, it’s awesome how many different impressions of the same car different people can make. I should have mentioned, I’m looking sub 15k. Well under that would be nice!

DeadSkunk  (Warren)
DeadSkunk (Warren) PowerDork
4/16/19 8:28 p.m.
irish44j
irish44j MegaDork
4/16/19 8:35 p.m.
spacecadet said:

In reply to MTechnically :

I was hearing more issues with the quality of the vehicle which was why I suggested GTi. 

It's about thee only knock I have against my own Focus ST. Went and drove a GTi as well and immediately noticed how much nicer a car it was to spend time in. 

Any who have read my extensive review of my GTI knows this, but for a commuting car I think the GTI is outstanding in every way. 32mpg average in mixed driving,comfortable (awesome seats), quiet, all the features you want, great LED headlights, stellar brakes, very good steering, and LSD (get a mid/high model). Plus its "pretty damn quick" if not downright fast, handles great, and has a very nice shifter/clutch feel to it. 

Whether it would make you  "happy" who knows. I like driving it and my commuite is ALWAYS a pleasant time when in the GTI, but can't say it gives me the rush the WRX did - but that car was substantially more powerful. Go drive one just to see. I never ever considered getting a VW before I test drove this car. now i own it. 

Plus they ahve monster warranties now if you buy new. 

bcp2011
bcp2011 Reader
4/16/19 8:40 p.m.

BTW not sure if you're thinking about tracking the car or not, but 2015+ ones have new coilpack designs.  The earlier ones tend to fail at track due to the high temps.  They're not hard to replace and I've done one at the track (I bring an extra one just in case), but it's annoying if you can avoid it.  

Also, the earlier models under the recall may be best avoided.  It's a major job and you don't want to leave it in the hands of some random tech.  They effect mostly 2013 models and you can check the VIN to see if it's part of the recall.  

kazoospec
kazoospec UltraDork
4/16/19 8:55 p.m.

I've driven all three (FiST, FoST, FRS/BRZ) and own none, so I guess that makes me "objective".  I was looking to buy in the same price range you are mentioning and drove all of them within the space of a few weeks.  Of the three, my favorite was the FiST, and by a large margin.  Second choice would have been the FRS/BRZ and the FoST a distance third.  I wanted to like the FoST, and by all rights, I "should have".  It's the most "adult" of the three and the fastest in a straight line, hands down.  It would jump from 65 to about 90 on the highway in a heartbeat.  It was reasonably comfortable and quiet and would, I'm sure, make a great highway cruiser.  I've also seen them run well at autocross events.  But it had no soul.  It was like a really good chicken noodle soup: a fine product, but not something that you "have to have".  It felt very heavy and sedate on the road.  Rearward visibility was terrible and it felt confining, even though it was spacious inside.  I didn't care for the seating position at all.  

The FiST was pretty much the opposite in every respect.  Sure, it would accelerate, and briskly, but not without letting you know it was doing it.  It was light on it's feet, running right up to the edge of "twitchy", without ever crossing that line.  It felt positively juvenile . . . and I loved it.  The seating position and visibility were excellent.  It reminded me of my old Civic hatchback, only with power, which was the only thing the Civic ever lacked.  

The FRS/BRZ is squarely between the two, in just about every respect.  It gets bonus points because I love the sound of a flat four.  For me, it lost some points because it is, for all practical purposes, a two seat car.  

Disclaimer: I've owned, and loved FWD and RWD cars.  If you lean towards RWD cars, and my description of the FoST rings a bell, I'd think seriously about a FRZ/BRZ.  If you have no real preference, I'd try to trade cars with your wife.  (Make up something about MPG's and the length of your commute or something)  

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