1 2 3
mazdeuce
mazdeuce UberDork
10/13/14 3:05 p.m.
Harvey wrote: FiST won't fit three kids across the back seat, which is something he says he wants. FoST is pushing it in that regard depending on the kid size.

I drove three kids in the back seat of my 2 (which is the same back seat) with two of them in boosters for a year and a half. Car seats are always an issue, but unless the little buggers are on a bulking diet of twinkies and soda, they'll almost certainly fit. Kids are generally smaller and pack together well. They might complain, but they'll complain about something no matter what. Having said all of that, I like the FiST better but acknowledge that the FoST is probably a better place to live day to day.

Harvey
Harvey Reader
10/13/14 6:47 p.m.

The suspension is a bit bumpy in the FoST especially in comparison to my wife's ZHP which by comparison soaks the bumps up. I was going to throw either Bilsteins or Konis in the car if they ever make them for the 2014. That said, I can live with the stock setup. It's not bad, especially at the price I paid.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/13/14 7:09 p.m.

In reply to Joe Gearin:

Funny, I bought this car over the summer. I didn't quite get it at the "old" pricing, but within a few weeks after I got it Hagarty came out with new valuation guidelines that were all $10k higher than I had just paid weeks earlier. But these cars are still nowhere near out of reach, especially if you can live with a 2-valve FI car ~1980.

So far I am finding the electrical issues to be overstated--even though I did have one teeny little electrical fire on the first day. I upgraded the fuse block and cleaned a few things up. The car is great. I drove it from Baltimore to Summit Point (100 miles each way) two weekends ago and had zero problems aside from trying to drive slow. I was initially quietly disappointed with the handling, but an alignment and a set of QA1's and Eibachs up front cured it. Now it's unbelievable.

And it gets the same gas mileage as a Prius. (If a Prius got 11 mpg.)

If anyone is thinking that they ever want to own an Enzo-era F-car, just do it. You guys (GRM and Zachary Mayne) did readers a disservice with the November 2013 article.

Storz
Storz Dork
10/14/14 7:43 a.m.
Harvey wrote: The suspension is a bit bumpy in the FoST especially in comparison to my wife's ZHP which by comparison soaks the bumps up. I was going to throw either Bilsteins or Konis in the car if they ever make them for the 2014. That said, I can live with the stock setup. It's not bad, especially at the price I paid.

Interesting you say that about the ZHP, I feel like my ZHP ride really roughly and is a very "busy" car to drive

Harvey
Harvey Reader
10/14/14 9:16 a.m.
Storz wrote:
Harvey wrote: The suspension is a bit bumpy in the FoST especially in comparison to my wife's ZHP which by comparison soaks the bumps up. I was going to throw either Bilsteins or Konis in the car if they ever make them for the 2014. That said, I can live with the stock setup. It's not bad, especially at the price I paid.
Interesting you say that about the ZHP, I feel like my ZHP ride really roughly and is a very "busy" car to drive

How many miles? The stock struts and shocks didn't last much beyond 80k miles on my wife's car. Once I replaced them the car went back to riding like new. The suspension on the ZHP is communicative and tight, but it should not ever crash or really be rough. The FoST is definitely more busy than the ZHP.

Storz
Storz Dork
10/14/14 9:44 a.m.

100k on my ZHP, guessing the stock stuff is dead

Harvey
Harvey Reader
10/14/14 9:54 a.m.

If you have never done struts and shocks, yeah they are toast. Believe me, I know what you are going through, once you replace the struts and shocks it will be like a new car again. Turner used to have this kit that included pretty much everything including new control arms for like $600, that's how I got the parts, but I don't think that is around anymore. You usually want to do upper mounts at the same time, at the very least on the rear and swap the front lower control arm bushings. It's easier just to buy the lower control arm housing that contains the bushing rather than try to press them out.

Desmond
Desmond Reader
10/15/14 12:23 a.m.

Lol, stock BMW bushings are good for like 60k miles, MAX. A full bushing refresh is right there on my list of priorities for my car, but I think the ones one there still have some decent life left. Its got over 200k miles on the body, so I am sure they have been replaced, probably (hopefully) a few times by now.

Mr_Clutch42
Mr_Clutch42 Dork
10/15/14 1:48 p.m.

In reply to Harvey: I bought polyurethane bushings separate because I didn't want to throw away good housings. Even my local shop was very reluctant to press them in.

Harvey
Harvey Reader
10/15/14 1:59 p.m.
Mr_Clutch42 wrote: In reply to Harvey: I bought polyurethane bushings separate because I didn't want to throw away good housings. Even my local shop was very reluctant to press them in.

Since it is my wife's car I wanted it to remain OEM as she has always liked the way it is has driven, but I also wanted to avoid the hassle of trying to get those bushings in and out. Yes, I chucked the perfectly good housings. I don't think the lower control arms needed to be swapped, but since I had them and the ones I got had the upgraded ball joints I decided to put them in. That kit from Turner was such a deal, it was basically for if you wanted to swap your regular BMW to the ZHP suspension, but it worked fine as replacement parts too.

I have an extra front swaybar from the kit sitting around if anyone wants one.

Advan046
Advan046 Dork
10/15/14 2:21 p.m.

I would recommend that you let the BMW convertible go. IF you want a fun sporty car with room for three kids in back you do have a few options other than the Focus ST. I think the Focus ST is great BTW; worth the money.

The new features of a 20teen car are hard to resist. My 2004 Evolution seems to be some old car from the 60's or something with its manual windows and probably marginal crash safety.

NEWNESS

  • New Golf GTI
  • Tesla S with the rear facing third row
  • Check an Evolution X
  • New WRX
  • ATS manual
  • Buick REGAL GS with the manual
  • Dodge Charger/Chrysler 300
  • Mazda 3, 5, or 6 manuals

The WRX or Evolution can make a great family car. Mine does a great job.

getfast
getfast Reader
10/15/14 2:28 p.m.
Advan046 wrote: - New Golf GTI

I drove a new mk7 GTI on both road and track the other month. Three pedal non performance pack car. It's no Focus ST (opposite powerband/power all up high, and much more understeer.) Nicer interior, ride, base seats, base stereo, and shifter though. Better mpg's/bigger tank, too.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
10/15/14 2:31 p.m.

Easy.

Fail wheel drive.

Contradiction
Contradiction Reader
10/15/14 2:53 p.m.

A new Focus is just another new focus. You can get one anytime, anywhere. Can you get another 99 M3 Convertible as easily?

Will you truly miss driving the car?

Would you buy one again if you could?

A month after I bought my brand new Mazda6 a tree branch fell on it in a storm and spider cracked the whole windshield. When I told my boss that he laughed and said "Wait a minute, you didn't have it in the garage? Is that old VW of yours in there instead?" "You're keeping the $25,000 car outside instead of the $4,000 one?"

And my reply was, "I can go get another brand new Mazda tomorrow. I may NEVER find another near mint condition, 77,000 mile, all original 84 VW GTI again."

You may never find another M3 like yours again.

While the ST would certainly be fun and have more modern conveniences, if you love the M3 enough you shouldn't get rid of it for a new car. if I were you and the M3 was paid off (if it is), I'd keep it and buy a new Daily Driver.

Advan046
Advan046 Dork
10/16/14 6:40 a.m.

In reply to Contradiction:

I usually have followed your thought process in my car purchase adventures.

But there are time where I think. Why not have the mint 77000 mile 2015 Ford Focus ST in 2045? Will it be worth it then, who knows. But I would enjoy it now as a DD until then.

yamaha
yamaha UltimaDork
10/16/14 9:36 a.m.

In reply to Advan046:

Bingo. Its the same difference as my Raptor, no PO ever really rode it to ride it. It lived most of its life like Vin Diesel or in pieces.....so people are shocked that I am racking up mileage on a 1 of 3 4k mile motorcycle. My response, berkeley you, I'm enjoying it.

Harvey
Harvey Reader
10/16/14 10:18 a.m.

The E36 M3 convertible is just another mass produced car. Finding another one is as easy as hitting autotrader. I found three manual convertibles just within driving distance of me. They aren't rare or special in particular and the convertibles are probably the most common version I see out there for sale. Now if the car was a hard top no sunroof car or a four door I could see maybe having some argument over it being a bit more special than some others. If it is special to the OP personally, then that's fine, but I still see very little reason for it being a special car on its own merits.

AaronBalto
AaronBalto Reader
10/19/14 7:57 p.m.

I drove the Focus ST at Carmax on Friday. I like it. Great car. Yes, the e-LSD is not optimal, but the car overall is very, very nice. A huge upgrade in terms of quality of life over the M3.

The bad news is that this particular example was knackered. It had a very sloppy respray that went from the front fender to the rear bumper cover and included both driver's side doors and the rear quarter. They also managed to paint the rubber trim along with the head and tail lights. Great color match, though.

So I am a Carmax shareholder and I totally believe in their model. But their cars are not supposed to be this screwed up. Really disappointing, and I feel like I wasted my time going out there. I did get to drive it, but this was a car for a date--not a marriage.

Know what? I really like this car. But I think I am going to go and drive a GTI. I can't believe I am saying that. The last VW left me with massive electrical failure and the dash lights lit up like Times Square on Christmas.

Taking the bus is starting to look like a viable option.

getfast
getfast Reader
10/19/14 8:07 p.m.

Unfortunately that's totally normal for Carmax. Went through something similar on not one but two WRX wagons years ago.

Based on my experiences driving both on street and track, the mk7 GTI is the better street car and the FoST is the better performance car. Reliability, either or both could be a nightmare. Too soon to really know.

Interestingly I know where there's a never wrecked or painted '14 FoST with 11k miles for sale by its original owner in VA who plans to replace it with a GTI, if you're interested

HiTempguy
HiTempguy UberDork
10/20/14 9:18 a.m.

So... Are you able to fit 3 kids in the back seat of a e36 convertible? Or is this a new requirement?

Also, why not, I dunno, buy a used e46 m3? I honestly can't see going new to get into a FoST. I mean, it is cool and all, but if you are going to spend $30k on one... Hell, that probably gets you close to a new BMW. Buy a new bmw with a sport package on it? Or throw some performance parts at a base model?

I just can't wrap my head around spending that much on an econobox that at the end of the day is a daily driver with sporting intentions. Might as well make it a bit more of a special car at that by in!

Harvey
Harvey Reader
10/20/14 9:25 a.m.

If you spend $30k on a FoST you are getting screwed. I got a fully loaded one new for $26k. The lightly used ones will go for closer to $20k.

getfast
getfast Reader
10/20/14 9:31 a.m.

The E46M3 vs FoST comparison is close to my heart because I have one of each. Performance and comfort wise, M3 all the way. MPG's and gizmos/creature comforts, definitely FoST. Reliability, either or both could be money pits... but the M3 is more likely due to age, and no warranty. Fun factor? They're both hilariously fun cars to drive but in very different ways.

Oh and agreed on the FoST pricing. They were frequently discounted when new. The one I know of for sale is an unmolested adult owned '14 base model with 11k miles and I'm told the first person to show up with anything close to $21k takes it. They do have Ford resale value after all

1 2 3
Our Preferred Partners
S8IGEbTWupCn8Gd5WjVevy4IFmMyO14i5L0sJkL6GZA2M2EmS6JzadvapvlHp38o