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mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth MegaDork
12/5/17 11:21 a.m.

If there's any negative with the FoST it's that it's not "hariy" enough. It's just stupid competent everywhere until it runs out of steam or grip. It's really good everywhere but it never makes you say "holy berkeley" and poop yourself a little. If you want your cars to hurt you, even just a little, it'll leave you disappointed. That's my feeling with the 86/BRZ and the Miata too. They're just flat out good, but good gets boring if it's done too well.

Klayfish PowerDork
12/5/17 12:29 p.m.
Furious_E said:
Klayfish said:
Furious_E said:

In reply to z31maniac :

FoST is hard to beat on paper and I did enjoy driving it. What's the scoop on the Ford Racing tune thats supposedly covered under warranty?

MS3 just doesn't seem better than the Ford in any obvious way, other than the LSD, but I'm curious to hear about your experience and how it compares with the BRZ. 

I had a FoST with the Ford Racing tune.  Mine was the ST3, fully loaded...I liked the Recaros, sunroof, heated seats, etc...though the Ford TouchMyself system blew chunks....I've heard the newer one is better.  It was very much a love/hate relationship with that car.  Razor sharp steering, great suspension.  With the tune, it was pretty quick, it made a ton of torque.  I've owned some really fast cars over the years, so even with the tune, I wouldn't call it super fast, but it was quick enough.  The negatives...it torque steered like a bastard.  Nail the throttle and hold the wheel tight, because it'll go whichever way it feels like.  The boost was a jekyl and hyde thing.  The car was wonderful when you were on boost, but sometimes (never did figure out when/how/why) you'd catch it off boost, and the engine would just fall flat on its' face....had the acceleration of a base Focus sedan.  Had the turning radius of a Hummer H1.  Small fuel tank, which was a big problem for me, as I drive a lot.  All those flaws were ones you could deal with, but the one that drove me nuts was its' personality.  I know, I know, it's just a machine, but you know what I mean when I say "personality".  My wife drove it several times and called it a "squirrel on caffeine", and I think that sums it up perfectly.  That's great when you feel like having fun, but if you're tired and have to slog through traffic, it wears on you fast.

Darn shame too, because I'm only a few months away from shopping for my next car.  So many things I loved about the FoST, but don't know I want to deal with it in traffic again...and pathetic fuel range.

Excellent info there, thanks!

Let me ask you this: If your usage involved significantly less highway driving, would that make you reconsider the car? My commute is about 60 miles round trip, all on 2 lane back roads. I would say highway driving overall probably accounts for less than 10% of my total miles driven in a year. Gotta be honest, "squirrel on caffeine" does not sound entirely unappealing to me!

Probably.  When I lived in PA, my commute was 25 miles each way and it was all country roads.  Very little traffic to speak of, and there was an alternate route that I could take...it was 3 miles longer, but put me on empty rural very twisty roads.  I did many passes in Miatas on those roads.  The FoST would have been a blast. 

I totally agree that there is something appealing about a squirrel on caffeine.  When you want to really enjoy the driving experience, the FoST does it in spades.  Even in rush hour traffic, it was good at squeezing into holes...assuming you had the engine on boost (if you didn't, you'd nearly get run over).  But when it came to slogging along in stop and go, especially if you just wanted a soothing, peaceful drive...not so much.  I still haven't completely ruled another FoST out.  However, a '13-'14 Accord V6 sedan gets the same or better mpg (no need for premium unleaded), has a far bigger back seat for the kids, large trunk, plenty of comfort, plenty of luxury goods (which I want), is competent/bordering on fun handling, quiet, reliable as gravity and would blow the doors off a FoST in a stop light race.  With my largely highway commute, it makes a very compelling argument over something like the FoST.  So does the G37, 300C (w/Hemi) or Genesis sedan.  Yeah, I'd give up some of the phenomenal handling the FoST has, but with the driving I do, it's not much of a factor.  It's a great car, it really is.  Just not sure it's the right fit for me and my current needs/wants.

Snrub Reader
12/5/17 2:54 p.m.

I'm weighing my next options to replace my RX-8 (nothing inherently wrong with it, would just like something new).  I'm leaning towards either a 6th gen V6 Camaro and a ND MX-5.  I'm not a muscle car person, I've only owned Mazdas.  I wouldn't rule out the 6th gen Camaro just because you had a 4th gen, I believe it's a pretty different car.  The RX-8 suspension/chassis was best of class when it was new and I think the Camaro's is better.  While there aren't a lot of power adding options with the V6, various components from the SS, SS 1LE can be fitted to it.  The I4 (which I haven't driven) has power adding options.  The I4s are ~100lbs more than a FoST and V6s ~150-200lbs more.


Performance-wise an I4 won the DS nationals and C&D lapped the V6 1LE with UHP street tires around VIR at about the same pace as a FoRS with R-compounds.

amg_rx7 SuperDork
12/5/17 4:07 p.m.

FoST, FiST, MS3, BRZ/FRS are all great options.  As is the 350Z / G35.  

I'd definitely give the more recent Ford Mustangs a consideration.  I haven't traditionally been a fan of Mustangs or Camaros preferring lightweight, smaller cars but the new ones are kinda cool and might fit your dog better than the BRZ.  

G_Body_Man UltraDork
12/5/17 4:20 p.m.
Furious_E said:
G_Body_Man said:
Furious_E said:

G37 is worth a thought. I'll have to do some more research, never paid much attention to them. Are the back seats inhabitable in the coupes?


You can fit real people back there for short trips, but headroom is tight. The sedans were also available in RWD 6MT form. Once you switch VDC off, they're noticeably less "soft" than a 335i. Nothing goes wrong on them, either.

Didn't you recently pick one up? Care to give a quick review, or link me elsewhere if you've already done one? The coupes seem to be easier to find with a stick, in my quick perusal of Craigslist, and are a bit sexier to my eye. I'd consider either, even if the sedan is more practical. Need to do more research on this option.

I picked up it's predecessor, although I have driven a few G37s before. The V35s (03-06 sedans, 03-07 coupes) are big power-oversteer cars, and the V36s are similar but the limits of adhesion seem much higher. There's also definitely less body roll in a G37 than there is in a 335i. Coupe seats are awesome, and the Bose stereo rules. The shifter is a lot tighter and significantly less buzzier and tinglier on the G37 than on the G35. They're also "holy crap" good on the highway. Comfortable, quiet, great passing power, your bladder will need emptying before the tank will need refilling.

markwemple UberDork
12/5/17 4:52 p.m.

In reply to Furious_E :

996 expensive? Where do you shop? Most parts are reasonable and tgey very rarely break.

markwemple UberDork
12/5/17 4:53 p.m.

When pricing, look at insurance costs. A 20k Porsche will be way cheaper than a 20k STI or 20k Mustang, etc.Porsche owners tend to be much more responsible so way fewer claims.

Vigo UltimaDork
12/5/17 11:44 p.m.

I  will admit to a $1000 taco run in my Porsche when i backed into a pole. I had to spend $250 on a used taillight and the rest on body/paint, which blew my budget to buy a $700 oem headlight. Luckily Porsche parts are available. Some of my cars would have been nearly unrepairable due to oddball rarity. 

The0retical SuperDork
12/6/17 9:58 a.m.

In reply to Furious_E :

You're about an hour and a half from me and I have a modified MS3. If you're out in the Lehigh Valley or the Southern Poconos (or I head towards Carlisle) and want to see what it's like let me know and I'll lend you the keys.

The MS3 in stock form is interesting. Many of the complaints you'll find about it (torque steer and blowing up the motor) are warranted in stock form so some modification needs to be done to get it to behave if you don't like it's manners. The stock turbos are an unknown quantity in these, people have reported going 120k miles with no issues, I broke the journal shaft in mine at 23k. The flip side is that the platform is well developed at this point so getting the parts and doing the modifications isn't a huge deal. They don't respond well (grenade with the pin pulled) to mods without a tune so you'll need either an Accessport or a copy of Versatune.

NVH increases dramatically when you start changing things out, I suppose that's true of any car however.

Range isn't fantastic but it'll return 33 or so MPG in stock form on BFG Sport Comp-2's or roughly the same with a decent tune and a 50% more HP at the wheels. The range does fall off quickly if you put your foot into it. Gas tank is the size of a thimble so it only gets about 300 miles per tank. I don't have any problems getting in and going 500+ miles in mine with a passenger but YMMV.

The ST has supplanted the MS3 as the FWD hot hatch of choice mainly because they're cheaper to modify and there were a lot lessons learned from Duratec/MZR development which were put to good use in the current 2.3L I4 Ecoboost platform.

MS3's are starting to get inexpensive so if you're not looking to spend a ton of cash it's a lot of fun for a few bucks providing everything has been kept up. They're not that expensive to insure either, I think I pay less than 600 bucks a year for full coverage.

Really though, even though I own the "ugly" second gen version, I've owned it for 6 years now and I always smile when I get out of the car. That's all I really wanted from a DD.

Furious_E SuperDork
12/6/17 4:01 p.m.

In reply to Snrub :

Holy crap, I knew the 6th gen Camaros were lighter than the 5th gens but not THAT much lighter. 

I wasn't discounting the pony cars because I expect them to be similar to my 4th gen. Haven't driven any of the new Camaros, but I've driven a couple of '15+ Mustangs, a stock V6/Auto rental spec special and a manual GT with some mods, and they've come a long way since the 90s. Both were great fun and blew my old 4th gen out of the water in pretty much every conceivable measure. The issue is more just wanting something different, since I tend not to cycle through cars as quickly as many on here, and that feels to some extent like a box I've already checked. Probably should at least drive the Ecoboost Mustang and one of the Cramits though, for E36 M3s and gigs if nothing else, before just wholesale writing them off. 

bmw88rider SuperDork
12/6/17 4:12 p.m.

In reply to Klayfish :

You know the car the FoST most reminded me of was my 2.0L Turbo swapped Dodge Colt GT. It's really to me the modern version of that. I never found it squirrely but what do I know, I DD a 410 HP V8 miata. My definitions are a little warped. 


The GTI is a much more civilized car overall and there are some great deals on the old 3/36 warranty cars now that they are doing 6/60 warranty as standard. 

Driven5 SuperDork
12/6/17 4:19 p.m.
Furious_E said:

Holy crap, I knew the 6th gen Camaros were lighter than the 5th gens but not THAT much lighter. 

Apparently that's what happens when you switch from the Pontiac G8/Chevy SS platform to the Cadillac ATS platform.

Furious_E SuperDork
12/16/17 4:13 p.m.

Drove two more cars today, the Frisbee (actually the Toyota 86) and the WRX. 

The 86 was first, since ive had these on my mind more than anything the past couple weeks and have been itching to drive one. It did not disappoint. While the FoST and WRX are certainly sporty cars, this is a sports car, and the distinction is obvious in the dynamics- it's just a sharper and more focused car. Dont get me wrong, the FoST handled and drove great, especially for a front wheel drive car, but in the 86 the turn in was crisper, steering had better feel and feedback, chassis felt tighter (but still rode well), everything is just kicked up a few notches. The clutch was super light and the shifter was the best of the three I've driven so far, which is good because the gearing is short and the engine wants to stay on the boil so you end up working the gearbox a lot.

Which brings me to the engine, probably the Frisbee's biggest point of contention. It's noticeably slower and less powerful than the other two, but I don't think it needs power given the overall character and intent of the car. The lack of torque is definitely noticeable, especially coming from a long series of relatively torquey engines in my DDs, which tends to keep you in the upper half of the tech. I could definitely feel the dip in the torque curve, especially rolling on the throttle in a higher gear, but power builds in a pretty linear fashion otherwise. Which is maybe actually the problem with it, I felt like I kept waiting for a VTEC like kick or something, but as the tach kept climbing it just kept doing what it was doing. A little more character in the engine, like if this thing came with a K20 or something, and i think this car would be considered an all time great.

Ergonomics were very good for me and I liked the simple layout of the dash and controls. In terms of size and space, its definitely marginal from a practicality standpoint but i could live with it. The dog could ride in back with the seat back folded down and be fine I think. Visibility was pretty good for a modern car.

The WRX was a little bit of a letdown. While powerful, spacious, and a competent handler, it lacked a certain edge and playfulness the other two had, something about it just felt less special. Especially coming right off the 86 test drive, it was a lot less crisp and lacked the feel and feedback the Toyota had. Power was great, minimal turbo lag and good midrange punch. The throttle is very non-linear, though, it's like too much power comes on too soon and there isn't as much as you would think left in reserve. The shifter was my least favorite of the three and had noticeably longer throws.

The interior was very spacious and the backseat especially had a lot of room, definitely quite a bit more than the Ford (and we wont even compare the Toyota lol.) Even though I really wish they still offered the 5 door version, I don't think it gives up much in terms of space and practicality to the FoST. Ergonomics we're a bit off for me, the seat-pedals-steering wheel relationship wasn't quite as natural as the 86. I don't like the styling of the gauge cluster or the boost gauge pod thing as much in person as I did in pics. The WRX is also the most expensive of the three by a fair margin and didn't wow me enough to overcome that difference, or brave shopping the used WRX brotato market.

So, conclusion for the day is WRX out, 86/FRS/BRZ definitely in. Comparing the Frisbee to the FoST, obviously the Ford is the more sensible choice and still a really enjoyable car to drive, but my heart seems to lean towards the Toyobaru. I'm still not quite to a decision point, but i have a strong feeling it will come down to these two in the end. I think I might try to drive the turbo 4 banger Moostang and/or Crammit next to see if something like that is of interest, and I'm keeping my eyes open for other stuff as well. 

yupididit SuperDork
12/16/17 4:32 p.m.

If you're considering a toyobaru then at least consider a 987.1 Cayman. You can get an S for low 20s and a non-S in the teens. They're reliable as well. 

Or get a comparable boxster which tend to sell for less than the Cayman's.

Sonolin New Reader
12/16/17 11:27 p.m.

If your only concern with the 86 is torque, just buy one & plan in an UEL header + tune in the expenses. I'm looking at getting one early next year. OFT + OFH cost ~$1000 and from what I've heard really wakes the car up.

Also, plenty of room in the back for dogs, camping gear, chairs, kegs, etc. I haven't had trouble fitting anything in mine, although it has been a tight fit. Also, I've fit 4 people in mine, all over 200 lbs for ~20 or so miles. Was uncomfortable to say the least.

All worth it once the road opens up and you see this:


Mndsm MegaDork
12/16/17 11:34 p.m.
Furious_E said:

In reply to z31maniac :

FoST is hard to beat on paper and I did enjoy driving it. What's the scoop on the Ford Racing tune thats supposedly covered under warranty?

MS3 just doesn't seem better than the Ford in any obvious way, other than the LSD, but I'm curious to hear about your experience and how it compares with the BRZ. 

Having driven both a speed 3 (own a 2007) and the fost- the fost is a tamer car. It's arguably got more power (rated at 300hp, wasn't it) but its....softer. more refined. The speed 3 is kind of a rowdy little E36 M3. The torque steer in the fost never seemed overwhelming, and the speed 3 will change lanes if you hammer it. The suspension on the fost seemed a bit more highway burner, albeit slightly more balanced. Turn in wasn't quite as sharp, but the ass end didn't get spooky and want to switch spots with the front if you unloaded in a corner (I spun my speed3 at autox coming out of a 90-90 box.) I did still manage to scare a sales guy with the fost, so there is that. 

Furious_E SuperDork
12/17/17 12:55 a.m.

In reply to Mndsm :

Yea, the FoST was definitely a bit more tame than I was expecting. Not that that's necessarily a bad thing, it feels refined in its dynamics and well developed, but still retains a playful side. I didn't think the torque steer was that bad, especially compared to what some of the press had lead me to expect. I think they're rated at like 250 hp 270 lb-ft I think, but 300 hp seems to be pretty easy to achieve.

Furious_E SuperDork
12/17/17 1:00 a.m.

In reply to Sonolin :

I'd say the 86/frs/brz is probably in the lead right now. The engine isnt exactly what I would spec if I were in charge of such things, but its definitely not enough to turn me away from the car either. Not by a long shot. More thoughts and questions on the Frisbee tomorrow.

Furious_E SuperDork
12/17/17 1:13 a.m.

In reply to yupididit :

I LOVE the Cayman, and all rational considerations aside, 75% chance that's what I would buy if someone just handed me $25k to spend on a car. My biggest issue with the Cayman, and 911 as well, is that a late model Porsche feels a bit too...ostentatious I guess you could say? I'll probably take some flak for this, but I work in a manufacturing facility with a lot of blue collar folks and being a young dude driving a newish P-car isn't necessarily the best look.

I'm trying to talk my dad into a Cayman anyways and I think its only a matter of time until he bites cheeky

yupididit SuperDork
12/17/17 1:39 p.m.

Just tell them blue collar guys that it cost less than their used F250.

Tac1 New Reader
12/17/17 10:41 p.m.

I haven't had any issues with my mk7 gti and haven't seen anything on the forums that would concern me about its reliability. But, imo it's probably the least fun car on your list aside from the mini and Camaro. Heavy muscle cars aren't really my thing though.

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