AutoGuide Under $30,000 Performance Car Shootout – Part Three: And the Winner is…

AutoGuide Under $30,000 Performance Car Shootout – Part Three: And the Winner is…
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Yesterday we eliminated five cars from the 2014 AutoGuide Under $30,000 Performance Car Shootout.

That leaves the final three, which are all completely different takes on affordable fun. Weren’t we surprised when the numbers were tabulated and the top cars included not just all-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive and front-wheel drive rivals, but a hatchback, a sedan and a coupe.

The Scion FR-S is a low-slung, rear-wheel drive sports coupe built without compromises. The Ford Fiesta ST is a sub-compact hatchback jacked on steroids. And finally we have the sensible, all-wheel drive Subaru sedan, that also just so happens to deliver awesome amounts of turbocharged thrust.

This is it, time to crown a victor. Who is your money on?

  • Soyntgo4it

    Yeah no thanks I will take the WRX or Si..

  • Jimny

    I love that Fiesta ST!

  • Rickers

    So did the WRX really win based on fun-to-drive or is it just the best because it’s got so much more power?

  • Bastard

    I couldn’t agree more. All the more reason this shootout should have had a Genesis Coupe.

  • Migs Orona

    It’s because of both. As I’ve read so far, making the car turn in fast was a hassle, was impractical and wasn’t how you should be doing it, but it was damn fun and was effective. They also noted that it has the turbo boost and it has the NA redline to match. I wouldn’t put the Genesis coupe(IMO) all because it has a fake hood scoop. Hyundai themselves have confessed that the hood scoop has no function at all.

  • Teckler

    No thanks to what? The WRX won

  • Teckler

    All the above. And imagine if this comparison was done in the rain, snow or dirt?

  • Soyntgo4it

    Meaning It was a waste for the test I will take either that I said before.. No need to prove to me which is a better car.

  • Josh

    FR-S with E85 and 225 tires changes things considerably.

  • Rickers

    Um.. the WRX did win. And the SI is a POS.

  • Soyntgo4it

    Yeah like you are a POS also.. F off seriously troll wasn’t asking for your input..

  • Joseph Sorvillo

    Wow your a jerk…

  • Joseph Sorvillo

    And of you already have your mind up which car is the best, then why are you looking at and commenting on a comparison??

  • Felix James

    E85… you must be kidding.

  • Rickers

    And a WRX with more boost would change things again. What’s your point?

  • Chooman

    Point is any of these cars have a lot more potential with simple somewhat cheap upgrades.

  • Shiratori90

    Not surprised. The combination of power, practicality, and enjoyment that is featured in the WRX is just unbeatable.

  • Shiratori90

    Not under 30,000………

  • Billy Cypher

    I bought one of the cars in this comparison earlier this year and it wasn’t the Fiesta ST. I have to say, though, that the Fiesta is a pretty compelling argument for city car: inexpensive, fun to drive, easy to park. I think with a lot of these comparisons people read them and cut straight to the 0-60 time. But living in a big city I can tell you that Fiesta ST is just as fast as a Ferrari if you’re at a dead stop in traffic.

  • Rickers

    Exactly. So saying the FR-S is better with modifications is irrelevant.

  • smartacus

    I have no horse in this race because my daily driver is a German rear engined rwd so don’t flame me for my opinion.

    I have never had to drive through a racetrack during a commute or errand run (driving by the entrance to Laguna Seca and Raceway Park, Englishtown don’t count).

    So track numbers aside, the surprising winner is the Fiesta ST with 42.7 total street points. I looked again because my favor would always gravitate to the rwd cars FIRST and fwd cars LAST.

    What is the secret formula to that car. It doesn’t have a low slung body, it has wrong wheel drive… What is the secret sauce?

  • Soyntgo4it

    Wow you troll.

  • Soyntgo4it

    Why does it matter to you, why did you troll my comment for? You could have easily scrolled by and left it be… But Noooo stop trolling dude..

  • shaun walsh

    Why post your opinion of you don’t want people to comment on it. This is SOCIAL media. Should have kept your opinion to yourself. And according to every car magazine the si is a pos

  • Soyntgo4it

    Troll Troll I didn’t ask for you input Bug off loser.. Bet you can’t afford any of these cars in the segment anyhow lol

  • shaun walsh

    I own a 2013 focus st2….

  • shaun walsh

    Proof, sitting in it now

    Edit. Doesn’t seem to want to upload the picture. Oh well

  • Soyntgo4it

    LMAO NOW THAT’S WHAT POS IS HAHA F-ING FORD HOPE IT CATCHES ON FIRE..

  • shaun walsh

    Eats those si’s up nice enough. Sorry your a fan boy and can’t afford any of these cars

  • Guest

    LMAO.. When the Ford is on fire that virtually impossible.. LOL or when its the shop more than a road haha think now buck-o thing has more recalls like Chevy cars do..Lmao..

  • Soyntgo4it

    I will take the WRX or Si..

  • shaun walsh

    So funny from the guy without a car… And to be honest my car has 0 recalls, came in second for track time, has the best interior styling, oh and Ford is the top selling car in the US… Just so you know. And your precious si came in last cause it sucks

  • Knux

    Wow all the hate…all the cars in this shootout is great in their own right. Drove my friend’s Focus ST and my cousin’s Fiesta ST, great driving cars in the real world streets, especially the Fiesta. I almost bought a GTI because it is fun to drive as well but lower than expected reliablity became an issue. I ended up with a Civic Si, because of the high reliablity and performance versus cost. Low depreciation also played a role.

  • smartacus

    **and ok I’ll bite; i couldn’t help but notice how the photo is the same as the previous one, but with the Miata photo edited out :)

  • ColumWood

    It’s not edited out, its actually not there. We took an 8 car photo and then a 7 car photo and then a… and so on. As for why the Fiesta ST is so good. . . it’s just back-to-basics in many ways. The Focus has a feature that eliminates torque steer from making it back up into the steering wheel. The Fiesta doesn’t have that, so it’s much more raw. Also, while it is FWD, Ford has made it oversteer using some amazing rear-brake tricks. http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2013/04/focus-st-handling-secrets-revealed-how-ford-engineers-made-a-front-driver-drift.html

  • smartacus

    Goodness! I expected them to have stiffened the rear suspension and added a few mm thickness to the swaybar diameter; but i had no idea the secret was the brakes. I never would have guessed their brake control hardware was sophisticated enough to emulate rear wheel drift … In a hatchback?
    And 95:5 front to rear braking ratio is like my Kawasaki.

    *wondering if that AWD Focus RS will have the same :)

  • john_parsons

    The Focus ST is dumped for being “too smooth and refined”? Are you guys nuts? Would you say the M3 E46 was “too refined”? Give me a break. JP

  • Buoysmash

    Yes, similarly loaded the Si is much less expensive than the new WRX or the GTI (which is what I was also considering before we settled on an SI)…. about $4500 to $7000 less once you negotiate with the dealers (no deals on the just released WRX and GTI). We got our sedan for $20,700 plus tax/title.

    I’m also averaging about 31mpg in city driving and 35mpg on the highway (measured at the pump using the odo, as the computer is 1-2 mpg optimitic) so I suspect the engine issues they noticed on the track may have contributed to low mpgs. BTW, why didn’t they test a sedan rather than coupe, given this car is on the practical end of the spectrum in this group?

    But yes: reliability! Come on, a NA honda is going to be much better than the fords and the GTIs. The fords in particular lose value like crazy. I would prefer a fiesta for fun to drive but I like to keep my cars for more than a few years. This is why the SI has the highest resale value in this group (I tried looking for a used ’12 or ’13 and it hardly saved anything over a new one). That low depreciation, coupled with the lowest base price means the SI is much more economical than almost all the other cars here. A few might have slightly better mileage, but check fuelly in a couple months and I believe it will show that the turbo charged cars will have burned more gas. (The wrx in particular is a grin inducing rocket–there is no way anyone is going to drive that thing slow enough to get decent mileage). I would have loved a WRX or GTI, but they are much more expensive (and for the GTI less reliable) choices. The civic is really in a different price class here, closer to $20,000 than $30,000 and much more practical choice for someone looking for a fun to drive and economical car.

  • buoysmash

    I just checked fuelly and the 2014 Si is getting 27.7mpg, the GTI is getting 29 mpg, and the WRX is getting 24.8mpg (overall average for all users). So yes, it looks the GTI might be a bit better, but WRX is still thirsty.

  • GTI Guy

    OMG seriously! Do you buy a great car to sell it or do you buy a great car to drive it! Why the heck are we talking about resale value? Is this a Financial planning site our a Car Guys site? While I have A GTI my best bud has an Focus ST – Both Great Cars! All these cars are great for diifferent reasons – though I question the Nismo in this Comparo. Why not the Speed3?

  • GTI Guy

    It is the preformance leader for sure, but I just can’t forgive that spartan interior – YAWN

  • GTI Guy

    Subie enginers – love them
    Subie Designers – ummmm I WILL TYPE IN CAPS SO YOU CAN SEE THIS BECAUSE YOU MUST BE 60+ AS YOUR DESIGNS ARE PAINFULLY DATED.

  • GTI Guy

    Im with you there. Drove a friends Fiesta ST and wow, pocket rocket and so much fun to toss around

  • GTI Guy

    WRX sure, Si – not for me. I like my low end torque and across the range. Si needs to be rung out to get prreformance out if it. I had one 4 years ago, and sold it after 2 years.

  • GTI Guy

    Guest your a Dumba*ss. Buddy owns one and its kiss a*ss. Im sure you prefer your Pinto but if your gonna cherp off, at least know what your talking about.

  • Thomas Paletta

    So what was the results guys? Was the S2000 still faster than these like I said or not?

  • GTI Guy

    Love the ST. Great car, great low end torque, great interiour. When its time to sell the GTI, i will seriously consider the ST.

  • shaun walsh

    The rs is supposedly coming out on 2026/17. If it doesn’t I may just get a mustang again. The st is really fun though, especially at the track with some brake upgrades

  • Nick

    These numbers conflict with previous reviews by AutoGuide; For track time the Fiesta ST and FR-S are separated by 2.2 points in this article… which on your scale of 25 is nearly 9%. Yet, when you guys put the Fiesta ST against the BRZ; ( http://www.autoguide.com/car-comparisons/2014-ford-fiesta-st-vs-subaru-brz-3720.html ) it was only 3/10ths of a second behind the BR-Z… and in fact 2 out of 3 legs of the track, the Fiesta ST was faster. So… what gives?

  • Driver

    Come on, where are your editors? Please hire me instead and I’ll actually read and edit your articles.

    On page two:

    “especially if you’re idea of fun” should be “especially if your idea of fun”

    “It’s suspension tuning is a bit on the soft side” should be “Its suspension tuning is a bit on the soft side”

    Feel free to contact me. Thank you.

  • Knux

    I keep my cars for 8-10 years or even more. I modd my cars to my
    personal taste. I plan on keeping mine for the long haul to drive the
    heck out of it. But if something happens before then (accident that total the car, etc), yes resale value does play a role. After 10+ years, and i get $6k instead of $2k on trade in. So it matters. Usually resale value is directly proportional to reliability. So I don’t want the problems in 3 years. Real world it plays a role especially if you do modd.

  • ColumWood

    It’s pretty impressive technology for sure. Dave Pratte, aka, the AutoGuide Stig, felt something strange going on and Ford confirmed it. If you want to see it in action, check out this video and skip to 0:40. You can see how the Ford goes around a tight corner vs. how the Mazda does. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUnksKbG1b8#t=34

  • David Pratte

    Hi Nick. There’s a variety of reasons the results you’re referencing from last year’s Fiesta ST vs BRZ comparo are different than the results from the Shootout, but the most relevant are track conditions, ambient air temperature, and inter-car variability.

    Track conditions last fall when we tested the Fiesta ST vs the BRZ were cool and drying but with some standing water in a couple of corners. For the Shootout, it was warm and dry, but the esses were dirty from other cars cutting the curbs and Turn 8 had been oiled down by a drifter with a blown engine the day before. Point being, track conditions do impact the outcome of these sorts of tests, and when conditions vary as much as they do between that FST vs BRZ test and the Shootout, you’re really unable to compare the two data sets.

    Ambient temps play a big roll too sometimes, especially when dealing with turbo cars. The cool fall conditions during the FST vs BRZ test last year meant the Fiesta’s hard-working turbo engine had lots of cool air to gobble up, something every turbo car owner can tell you they love. Meanwhile, the Shootout testing was done on a fairly hot mid-summer’s day, so the turbo cars were all showing signs of heat soak after a lap or two, especially the Fords.

    Finally, the Fiesta ST we tested last fall isn’t the same one we tested for the Shootout, and as I’ve learned from years of track testing and dyno testing, no two cars produce the same power. Braking and handling is generally fairly consistent, though tire condition plays a big role here and hot track temps can degrade both tire and brake performance fairly quickly, but engine performance tends to vary more widely.

    All that to say, we don’t have an apples to apples comparison when looking at data from last year’s FST vs BRZ test and this summer’s Under $30k Shootout. All you can do is look at the results from the Shootout and say, “Ok, on this day, under these conditions, with that bald driver, these are the best lap times for each car”.

    Hope this helps.

  • David Pratte

    I haven’t tested a stock S2000 at this track, but based on my “research” (polling my racing buddies who’ve owned S2000s and lapped at our test track), the consensus seems to be something in and around a 1:26 is about right for a completely unmodified AP2. So it’d certainly be in the ballpark of the fastest lap time we recorded during the Shootout, but this wasn’t a used car shootout. If it were, lots of other interesting options would also enter the mix, like a Porsche Cayman S, E46 M3, and so on. Sadly, these aren’t in the press fleet at the moment ;)

  • David Pratte

    Too refined may not have been the best way to describe it, John. I think the point Mike was trying to make is that the Focus has a more isolated feel from the road because it’s more softly sprung and damped (and thus has a more refined ride quality) than some of the edgier cars in this event, and because of it’s higher curb weight it also feels a little less willing to rapidly change directions. Keep in mind, we’re splitting hairs here amongst a group of outstanding vehicles. The Focus ST is a genuine hoot to drive and is also suitable for adult ownership — in many people’s world view this would be a pro, but in our hopelessly immature take on “fun to drive”, we preferred the edgier and some might say less refined performers.

  • David Pratte

    Those are all my typos. In my defence, I’m dyslexic and only have 3 university degrees. But on the upside, I have a spectacular head of hair. No, wait…

  • Nick

    Thanks for your reply David, I really appreciate your explanation. I know I have been a bit vocal through the review, but I like to have a good understanding. Cheers!

  • David Pratte

    I’m with you on that one, GTI Guy. The WRX interior is like the cover of a Spinal Tap album. Too much black. The GTI’s interior is beautifully done and a lot more interesting to look at/be surrounded by (plus an awesome audio system). The GTI seats were among the least supportive out on the track, but I’m still a sucker for Tartan.

  • ColumWood

    Nick, we appreciate the feedback! Because of the different conditions every time we test we keep a fully tally of every lap time from our test track. http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2013/05/fastest-lap-times-at-the-autoguide-test-track.html

    This way we give you data to make your own conclusions. If you check out the link, maybe you choose to pay attention to the terrible time from the Civic Si from this test, or you find another Civic Si time and use that.

  • ColumWood

    When comparing the Focus ST and Fiesta ST there’s one big factor that does separate them – steering feel. The Focus actually has a feature that makes sure that torque steer isn’t transmitted back to the driver through the steering wheel. The Fiesta ST doesn’t get this feature. That said, you ARE more isolated from the road in the Focus.

  • ColumWood

    HAHA. We ALL questioned the Nismo in this comparo. And as for the lack of a Speed3, well… it’s because they don’t make it any more.

  • GTI Guy

    Guest, don’t be a hater because all you can afford is a Pinto while the rest of us drive real cars. Isn’t that why you like using “POS” so much – ‘cuase its the Pinto reflect responce “Pinto Owner – Sorry”

  • Mark

    The FR-S that was used in the review had the high end switch gear inside, but when I tested a 2015 a few weeks ago, it still had the old school switch gear as before. The only models where I have seen the upgraded switch gear and stop/start button in the FR-S were the Monogram and the upcoming Release Series 1.0. Was your tester sourced in Canada and that was why you had the upgraded switch gear?

  • Mark

    The GTI in the review, was it fitted with the performance pack (trick handling, bigger breaks and extra power)? I think they will also offer the adjustable dampers as an extra later this year. I ask because the GTI beat the WRX in Car & Driver when they went down to the Dragon, that said they were using the GTI with the performance pack, so maybe that was why it came through so well. For sure though, in all comparo’s I have read the WRX is the faster car, just not always the best handling or most enjoyable.

  • GTI Guy

    Fair enough on the Speed3

  • David Pratte

    No, it was a regular GTI with a 6-speed manual gearbox. I suspect it would have been a half second faster with the DSG gearbox, and who knows how much quicker with the Performance Pack. That said, it was over 1.5-seconds faster than the MkVI GTI Wolfsburg Edition I tested last year, which did have the DSG gearbox and seemed more willing to rotate (track conditions and tire conditions and compound likely contributing to that). So the MkVII is faster while feeling, somehow, a little less exuberant than the that Wolfsburg did. Looking forward to trying the MkVII with the Performance Pack!

  • Mark

    Many thanks. Looking forward to seeing how the Autoguide test of MkVII with all the gizmo’s plays out, but I think may be a struggle to stay under the $30k number (maybe just squeak in). Looking even further ahead, also looking forward to seeing how the Golf R MkVII works out, with near 300hp while buy a Audi S3 sedan, when you have a Golf R. Finally fingers crossed that Subie changes their mind and does a WRX hatch in the mid cycle refresh!

  • ColumWood

    Mark: Our car was the Monogram edition. It’s a big improvement over the base model.

  • David Pratte

    Golf R should be fantastic, and I’m with you on a WRX hatchback.

  • Ben

    I’d say that the WRX won for good reason, but I would still never buy one simply because it is so damned ugly. Subarus have been steadily getting uglier, and this newest bodystyle really is terrible. Luckily the other two cars that were just as hideous, the Civic and the Juke, also performed poorly, so them being cut from the pack doesn’t really hurt. It’s just a shame that the car that really was the “best” out of the group is also one of the ugliest.

  • David Pratte

    Oh, one other note on the GTI. It has a rather tall 2nd and 3rd gear compared to the rest of the cars in this group. You’ll see this once we post the in-car/on-car hot lap videos next week. I only used 2nd and 3rd gears in the GTI, but needed 4th gear in all the other cars down the main straights. As you know, taller gearing hurts acceleration, so this certainly contributed the the GTI posting a lap time a bit slower than we had hope we might see out of it pre-shootout.

  • Mark

    Many thanks. Not sure there are many Monograms left in the show rooms here (Cali). That does bring up a point though, Scion has revised the suspension for 2015, basically a little less tail happy – will be interesting to see what David Pratte and Autoguide think of the change. I did test the 2015 and was surprised at just how much fun it was to drive, even relative to the NC Miata (sorry but while I like both cars, the FR-S handling was very sharp). Sad that the switchgear upgrade is not an regular option, but of course there is always the BRZ. The Scion FR-S Releases Series 1.0 does have this nice switch gear, plus some TRD trinkets, but there are only 1500 of them, they are >30k and they are in banana yellow only.

  • Mark

    Looks are subjective but every car can look like an F Type Coupe or Cayman. If I was living in cold wet, snowy north, 268hp, AWD for less than 30k sounds great even it is not the most picture perfect car. If Subie gave me one wish, I would say no worries on the looks, just bring back the hot hatch.

  • Paul Harford

    I’m with you Ben. The WRX is an ugly duckling and I don’t see a swan in its future.

  • Mark

    Ah, did not know about gearing. I get some great MPG out of my MkVI and they are claiming a substantial increase MPG in the MkVII, not sure what are the key changes for this MPG increase, some weight reduction for sure. Very cool that the Autoguide team is responding to all this posts – good stuff. You folks, other reviewers and a great test drive have nearly sold me on an FR-S…then I tested a well used Cayman and now I am wanting what I cannot afford to own let alone buy. There is a reason by used Cayman’s hold their value, they are awesome.

  • Mark

    Errr, meant to say “not every car”.

  • Nick

    The Genesis Coupe 2.0T R-Spec coupe is well under 30K, any reason it wasn’t included in this review?

  • Mike Schlee

    It’s been discontinued. We wanted to get one, but for 2015 they are no more.

  • David Pratte

    I suspect it’ll drive a lot like a BRZ in 2015, since apparently the FR-S will use the same rear shocks and springs as the BRZ. It will be interesting to find out if there’s a significant difference out on the track. The BRZ does have a touch of turn-in understeer where the FR-S has none, and for many drivers the BRZ is faster because that bit of understeer gives them the confidence to drive the car into corners harder, but for my driving style the FR-S has always been faster.

  • Mark

    I think that I would be in the camp of needing that bit of understeer to feel confident. Many thanks for all the feedback, look forward to reading/watching more reviews. One idea for video is pitting a new FR-S/BRZ vs a used base Cayman of equal value, old story but still an interesting one for folks looking to get into RWD (apologies if this has been covered before).

  • Steven Palmer

    I keyed on the remark about ‘worry about German reliability’ as since I owned a BMW, I too will not buy another German car.

  • ColumWood

    I drove that GTI almost every day that week and loved it. But I still worry. http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2012/05/are-german-cars-reliable-myth-german-engineering.html

  • ColumWood

    Thanks for the feedback Mark. We have reviewed a 2015 FR-S but it would still be great to get Dave behind the wheel for some feedback from a pro driver. And yes, the FR-S vs Cayman would be cool, but you’d need to get a pretty old Cayman before it costs what an FR-S does. http://www.autoguide.com/manufacturer/scion/2015-scion-frs-review-4046.html

  • litehoss

    What about the 370z? I have a Frs and love it, but test drove a 370z for a friend. Not my taste, but great car. More power than the Frs and heavier so would like to know how you guys would compare the two. 2014 was 29900 without sport package, but maybe the 2015 is more. Just curious. Great reviews.

  • Mark

    Thanks for the link to the very useful article. Sad to say I think the 2015 sounds more my speed, a little under steer inspires a little confidence. Maybe switching off the nannies in the right situation brings a little more over steer to the fore. The used FR-S rarely dip below 20k, so buying new does not seem so bad at 25k.
    Agree about finding a decent used Cayman (or Boxster for that matter), for the price of a new FR-S. 30k seems to get a 2006 to 2008 base, but the 2009 jump seems a step. The good news is that plenty of folks did not use these as daily drivers, so when you find them, the mileage is low. Test driving is great, but the more you drive them, the more you dream of owning one.

  • YourBoy

    the 370z is over 30k. i have a friend who bought a 350z brand new and it was over 30k, my cousin recently bought his 370z and its over 30k.

  • Mark

    Audi currently sits 4th in Consumer Reports survey results as a brand. While VW have some not recommended, it does have some recommended. On top of this, they seem to be trying to fix the Jetta and make it work (Jetta is not a big deal in Germany, seems to be the last VW model to get the love). That said this Golf and GTI are the first off the all new line in Mexico, so some hesitation maybe warranted as in any first built. Like with new Mustang orders, what will be with new Miata orders, there are plenty of MkVII buyers out there willing to test the waters for the rest of us, plus we can see what JD, CR, and long term magazine tests say. Only first build I ever owned was a MkIV GTI, reliability was fine but was way slower than my old unreliable but great fun to drive Peugeot 309 XSi, the MKIV was a salient lesson to look before leaping. Of course, life is not a practice session and is way too short to drive a road Toyota Corolla (unless driving is more a chore than a hobby).

  • ColumWood

    As auto journalists, we get spoiled. Drive a 2014 Cayman, and any older one just won’t do.

  • Mark

    Cayman or Boxster GTS reviews have been great to see, but the only chance I would ever own one is about 6 years from now as a well used car. Yep, auto journalists are often spoiled but we live vicariously through these reviews!

  • Dana Black

    Doesn’t the 2015 start at around $27k anyway? Just couldn’t get your hands on one?

  • Jeremy

    The editors’ posts in this comment section are so refreshingly civil. Keep it up. I’ll be coming back here in the future instead of just Youtube. I sometimes kick myself for venturing into THAT comments section.

  • Jeremy

    I second the motion of de-emphasizing 0-60 times.

  • Jeremy

    It’s a matter of opinion, but I have to say the WRX can look pretty sharp in person.

  • Jeremy

    Makes it hard to give credibility to the car when they do that. The fake side vents on the BRZ (where the FR-S has the 86 logo) are another issue.

  • Jeremy

    Can this be perma-pasted to the top of every single comparo made from now on?

  • Mike Schlee

    Yeah, the 2015 were not available as of yet. We are hoping to get one soon though!

  • Mike Schlee

    Oh, we all do Jeremy ;)

  • Havoc Dark

    What about the Mustang? For less than 30k you can get the convertible from the mx5, the rear wheel drive of the FRS, the recaro seats of the VW the handling package from the Focus and more power than the Subaru. Sounds like they cut out a ringer to make it a closer race. Especially if you consider the 2015 ecoboost 4 cylinder with its 300 HP and 320 ftlbs and the same all powers at all speeds torque curve that the focus st motor has. Seems like enough fun and performance to forget where you parked the other cars.

  • Toronto_Canada1

    Uh where’s the write up for #3? I assume that it’s the Fiesta ST but when I click from Page 1 of 5 to the next page it goes to Page 2 of 3 and starts with the Second Place- 2014 Scion FR-S.

    ???

  • ColumWood
  • Toronto_Canada1

    Yes but it starts at Second Place. The write up on the Fiesta ST is still missing.

  • ColumWood

    Can you try doing a hard refresh of the page or clear your cache/cookies. We updated the slideshow after it was published so you may be being redirected to an old view of the page.

  • Toronto_Canada1

    I’ve cleared my cache, cookies and history. I’ve tried IE and Firefox on 2 different PCs and tried the browser on my phone. Page 2 still starts with Second Place. The Fiesta ST write up is still missing.

  • Toronto_Canada1

    So I guess that you guys just aren’t going to fix this? It would be nice to be able to read the 3rd Place write up on the Fiesta ST!

  • Oshawa_Canada

    Same problem for me…

  • ColumWood

    This is certainly strange. Here’s the full text for the 3rd place Fiesta. ”

    The Fiesta ST is an interesting case of the whole being greater than
    the sum of its parts, or at least it feels that way. Statistically, it
    was consistently mid-pack, but because it was the most enjoyable
    front-wheel drive machine in the competition and 3rd most fun overall (behind the two rear-wheel drive entries), it moved up the overall rankings into a strong 3rd place, less than a point behind the winner.

    The Scion FR-S woke us up to the fact that faster doesn’t always mean more fun when it first hit the market a few years ago, and
    the Fiesta ST continues this trend but adds a real hoonigan spirit to
    the equation. It’s just such a spirited little hot hatch, torque steer
    and all. Yes, the interior’s cramped and the ergonomics are a bit odd
    depending on your body shape, but once you stomp on the go-pedal you
    really do forget about all that and just revel in the urgency with which
    it accelerates and carves a corner.

    We don’t care that it’s almost 2-seconds a lap slower than its big
    brother, the Focus ST, because it’s the rawness of the Fiesta’s
    performance that engages and entertains me as a driver. It looks
    immature, it feels immature, and that’s exactly why it’s so much fun to
    blast around in. It’s the Fountain of Youth on 4-wheels, and we love it.

    More analytically, what we love most about the Fiesta ST is that you
    can pitch it into corners like a rallycross car, or you can drive it
    into corners like a road racer and it’ll carve a perfect arc and scoot
    out onto the straights as tidily as you’d like. It’s a rare thing for a
    front-wheel drive chassis to offer such a wide range of driving styles
    and such an immediate willingness to change directions, and it’s this
    freedom of expression that epitomizes a true driver’s car.”

  • ColumWood

    Like we said to the others, the 2015s weren’t out yet and (likely because of that) Ford wasn’t interested in giving us a 2014. But yes, even a base V6 track pack would have been a strong contender.

  • Havoc Dark

    It definitely seemed like a glaring over site to omit the 6 cylinder Mustang from this competition. To give due credit you guys have been covering the Mustang and its new line up well, it just doesn’t seem to be getting its dues credit on the streets. Its remains a good source if amusement though at open track days and blowing off many of this high end package, tuned up and modified street cars with a basic GT. It kind of gets old being told that the Mustang can’t accelerate or corner or whatever the latest challenge is from an expensive import tuner with half the power and tinkertoy suspension.

  • GTfrank

    Good point. Long term reliability and dealer service had allot to do with my BRZ choice.