Last post on Nov 25, 2004 at 2:27 PM
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#34 of 43 Re: creakid1 [muffin_man]
Nov 22, 2004 (12:47 am)
Test drive an ST, then see if its ride/handling/steering compromise is 2nd to none. & since the adoption of the Mazda-developed 2.3 back in late '03, the Focus' reliability rating "sky rocketed", per CR. For '05, 100% of Focus I are equipped w/ Mazda-developed engines.
creakid1 "Ford Focus vs. Mazda3" Nov 22, 2004 2:45am
Nov 22, 2004 (3:20 pm)
I suspect that real reason that Mazdaspeed decided to focus on the sedan version of the 6 is the same reason we sat for almost 2 years having only the sedan version of the 6; Most automakers don't think that midsized and premium hatchbacks will be competitive in the USA. Heck there is even something to it; VW sells Jettas in high multiples over the Golf, even though the latter is cheaper and has more utility (and at least as good a driving experience).
Even if the structural issues were the reason, they are a less compelling reason on the Focus; the squared off end makes than hatches that try to emulate coupe or sedan lines.
#36 of 43 It was a British magazine
Nov 22, 2004 (4:08 pm)
talking about why the production MazdaSpeed 6 switching into the notchback for the structural reason. & the Euro market prefers hatch over notch.
&, yes, our '05 Focus I ST 2.3 is the highest-performance notchback Focus in the world!
Nov 22, 2004 (10:07 pm)
I've driven the ST, and while it is a very nice car, it is too "every day sedan" to really replace the SVT.
As Carlisimo mentioned, there are a lot of very solid competitors in this price range (give or take): the Lancer Ralliart, the Sentra Spec-V, the Neon SRT-4, the Corolla XRS, and the Impreza are all preferable sporty sedans -and I'll add the Mazda 3s, Cobalt and Ion Redline.
I'm not sure that the ST would rank too highly in that group, but it sounds like an interesting comparison test. Edmunds?
#38 of 43 Re: creakid1 [muffin_man]
Nov 22, 2004 (10:39 pm)
Since I never drove the SVT. Can you tell me more about the 2 different steerings -- ST vs SVT? I've heard the SVT's ratio is very quick, maybe too quick for high speed. 'cause my ST steering's already pretty quick, but lacks road feel at parking-lot speed(no big deal). & I heard the SVT's steering feel is Miata-like. Is that true?
I really thought the main reason the ST isn't as hardcore as the SVT is the 16" tires, but rides much more comfortably due to longer springs &, of course, the 16"s.
If I live w/ a Mazda 3S, I'd pick the 16"s. I'm not an "Evo" driver, but a Rabbit GTI driver that likes raw steering/handling w/ playful controllable oversteer drift but still rides comfortably in a stable way. I don't really need the max acceleration or max corning g-force.
#39 of 43 Re: creakid1 [creakid1]
Nov 22, 2004 (11:44 pm)
The steering wasn't just quick on the SVT, it was very, very precise, and steering feel was excellent. The ST handles very well, but response is not quite as immediate. Hard to say how much of this is a result of the springs and tires.
I don't know if I can compare the SVT steering feel to the Miata, because the cars are so different.
From the sound of your GTI, I would think the ST and the SVT would both feel like boats to you!
#40 of 43 Thanks muffin_man
Nov 23, 2004 (11:48 am)
My restored "Rabbit GTI" is actually modified w/ softer springs. It is a German-built Jetta coupe Wolfsburg w/ Recaro-style front seats & no front sway bar. I simply put the GTI sway bars in it, front & back, & added Gabriel gas shocks. Plus the front upper & lower bracing. The car was transformed from a low-limit high-swaying neutral/oversteerer into a higher-limit low-swaying mild-understeerer but safe 4-wheel drifting w/ easy-to-correct occasional oversteer due to no weight behind the rear axle(the spare tire is located far forward).
See my profile:
This is my type of preference -- keep the Focus SVT suspension but w/o the lowered firmer-riding springs. That's why I jumped into buying this ST.
CR found the regular Lancer poor in ride/handling/steering compromise. So I assume by the time they modify the car into more handling bias & even improved steering, such as the Ralliart, the ride will suck. As we can see, even the STi version of the Impreza WRX still rides less punishing than the Lancer Evo, per CR.
Nov 24, 2004 (4:39 pm)
I haven't driven a Ralliart, but I've heard good things - something to try.
The ST sounds like exactly the compromise you were looking for then. A somewhat softer SVT, I think.
Nov 24, 2004 (5:20 pm)
"So far the best time I remember seeing for the 3s is 7.9."
Car and Driver got 7.4 seconds with the Mazda3s hatch. The sedan is a little lighter, so it should be a little quicker.
I thought you and Gee were Car and Driver readers?
#43 of 43 If you don't read C&D
Nov 25, 2004 (2:27 pm)
then your knowledge is incomplete.