I drove an ST yesterday and thought that I would post a few opinions. I did about 20 miles through town, semi-urban and about 10 on a motorway.
"am I immune?"
Firstly it didnt feel that fast.
My last 3 cars have been Astra Sri (2.2), RS-225 and currently a Civic Type-R so I might be getting a bit de-sensitized to hot hatches.
But it was quick in a brutal way without being exciting :?
When I first drove the 225 back in 2004 I was blown away. This left me feeling rather underwhelmed. Its very heavy, I know it is literally heavy but it FEELS heavy. When you put the power down there is quite a lot of turbo lag. I was disappointed that I couldnt always feel the turbo come in
" the turn-in ability of a nimitz-class destroyer"
Turn-in isnt sharp and it doesnt feel at all nimble. Long sweeping cornering was great beacuse the whole car feels SO planted at speed. The lump under the bonnet has shed loads on torque (feels like you could tow an aircraft carrier) and there is pin sharp-throttle response but the turbo lag takes the edge of that.
"I thought u'd be louder"
The noise...... Well I had high hopes for the noise after reading about the bespoke acoustic solution channeling "good" engine noise into the cabin whilst keeping out the road noise . it started well..... First junction and i feather the throttle waiting for a gap, it burbles and pops on lift-off like its WRC big-brother. Pedestrians turn and stare. YES I am thinking, this is goood.
I pull into the fast moving traffic and let it go to about 4500. The engine has a deep gruff note that isnt bad, but it is pretty muted. Maybe it gets louder as it revs I think. It doesnt. I nail it on the motorway sliproad all the way to 7k and the same through 2nd. It gets a bit more urgent, a gruff-barking sound but it isnt ever loud enough, I can talk over it to the StealerRep who is gripping the seat next to me.
Admittedly I am used to the Honda 2.0l iVTEC powerplant which sings to you, but this sounds more like a sherman tank than an F1 car.
"subtle it aint"
The interior reflects the drive imo. Its all big and solid without ever being refined. The wheel is thick in your hands, the same with the gear-shift. The seats are good, supportive and well made. But they feel supportive in a "i cant get out", claustrophobic sorta way. I found it all a bit numb and imposing at the same time.
"Just the facts man, just the facts"
I never felt like I wanted to spend time in this car. Dont get me wrong, its not bad, in fact I think that it is a very very good car.
At the price-point its value, no question. I would probably even get used to it and end up enjoying owning one.
But for me its a very quick familly motor with a bit of extra styling. But it didnt feel like a hot-hatch. It doesnt lend itself to "hot-hatchy antics". If I bought that car today I wouldnt waked up at 2am and wonder if the wife would notice me sneaking out to put a quick 20 miles on the clock. And I want to wake up thinking that.
It doesnt have that extra thing
that cars like the 225, FRS, CTR have. That driveability, the ability to make you grin like an idiot for no reason. The thing that makes u park, lock it, walk away and not be able to stop yourself looking back and smiling (u know u do it !!!!).
"So Vol, whats your next car gonna be?"
dunno, but it wont be a Focus-ST