When I did this with the Mazdaspeed3 and my MK3 GTI, I ended up buying one less than a month later.
My legend dates back to the 12th Century you see. My legend is quite old. The 12th Century was a long time ago. It was summer and so cold from the snow because it was actually winter or maybe it was Monday. It could have been a Thursday or possibly a Saturday or was it Tuesday though it could have been Wednesday or a Monday.
I am really disappointed to hear about the back seat room in the Focus. That said, I don't really use my back seat, but the room back there is a huge plus for the GTI since it makes the car very usable.
I also agree that the shifter in the GTI sucks. The SHO has a very mechanical feeling linkage, one I wish the GTI emulated (if not the stiff shift action and general balky demenor of the SHO's box).
I also wish the GTI were maybe 15 - 20% more playful. As it is, its a little too buttoned down for my tastes, which I suppose is why it is so easy to live with day to day.
GReat review. I will have to go check one out.
2014 Volkswagen Jetta GLI Edition30, Pure White/Black V-tex/carbon
2016 Honda Accord Sport CVT w/ HondaSensing, Crystal Black Pearl/Black
Yeah, I wish the Focus had a bit less space allocated to the cargo hold and the rear seat was 2-3" further back. Of course given the roofline that'd mean anyone over about 5'8" would have their neck bent over to sit back there...the GTI's shape is definitely the box it came in, but it pays handsome rewards in the rear cabin and cargo area.
The GTI is a very nice small GT car, and in that role it definitely makes both daily driving and longer distance stuff easy. Given that's what I do with the car 95% of the time, I can't complain. I do wish it had the steering and shifter feel of the Focus, though.
Great review. Sounds like it's kept some of the driving characteristics of the first gen Focus. I'm not in the position to buy a new car right now but once these come down a bit on the used market I may seriously have to look at one. Also I don't care about back seat room, I have a strange pet peeve of people in the back of my car . All the more reason to not take them.
It'd make for a fine 3 door; I wouldn't expect a ton of rear seat room in that case, and would buy the car accordingly.
But 4 door cars in this class, IMO, need to be utility players. A nice dose of sport, reasonable economy, and if they are 4 doors they should be able to seat 4 adults without too much discomfort.
I would be uncomfortable sitting behind myself in the Recaro-equipped ST for more than a short drive. Which is unacceptable to me, unfortunately. And also a darned shame, as if the GTI were totalled today and the ST had acceptable rear seat room I'd give it serious consideration. It's about $2-3k cheaper when fully optioned than an Autobahn package GTI, which makes it very good value for a car that drives better overall.
Not that I'm discounting your experience, but it's highly variable. Like I said, ten years ago all compact cars had about this much space, and it's only recently that cars like the Golf, Elantra, and Jetta have really pushed having 35"+ of rear legroom. The '02-'07 WRX had even less legroom than this, around 31" IIRC. It's smaller than a Golf but still works for me and a lot of other people. I guess I see it more optimistically.
Splinter - Team Post-Killing Ninja
I don't practice llanteria
That's true. It wasn't possible to do what I describe in a Mk4 Jetta comfortably (a car noted for its lack of rear seat room).
But again, I'm not tall. I usually sit fairly upright and I had another 3" of rearward travel in the driver's seat, easily. And yet my knees were firmly pressed into the front seatback.
That, to me, isn't acceptable. It requires a compromise of neither the driver nor the rear passenger likely being comfortable for anything more than a cross-town jaunt. If I'm spending nearly $30k, I want more than that.
I'm also not trying to discount your personal perspective, but as have others I also want to point out that perhaps the weight you place on rear seat room vs. excellent performance attributes would be more relevant in a Golf vs. Focus comparo, rather than a GTI vs. ST one?
Maybe, Brad. I think my message here is, "I could very easily see this being my next car--if not for this one thing." And I'm quite up front with the fact that if this isn't an issue for you, it's a better driving car than the GTI.
The GTI is also at the end of its run, too, so it'll be interesting to see how the Mk7 w/Performance Pack compares to the Focus. My expectation is that it'll still be more refined and not have handling that is quite as playful--but VW has surprised us before (with the Mk5 GTI); perhaps they benchmarked the Focus ST in their final suspension calibrations.
InsideLines track test numbers don't seem to be that fast. 15s for 1/4 is a bit slow. That is slower than a heavier BMW 328 with similar HP.
0-30 (sec): 2.8 (2.9 w/ TC on)
0-45 (sec): 4.5 (4.8 w/ TC on)
0-60 (sec): 6.6 (7.2 w/ TC on)
0-60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.3 (6.8 w/ TC on)
0-75 (sec): 9.9 (10.0 w/ TC on)
1/4-Mile (sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 93.3 (15.1 @92.5 w/ TC on)
30-0 (ft): 28
60-0 (ft): 112
Slalom (mph): 69.1 (67.7 w/TC off)
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 0.93 (0.91 w/TC on)
Db @ Idle: 45.6
Db @ Full Throttle: 78.4
Db @ 70-mph Cruise: 64.7
RPM @ 70: 2,650