How was your Labor Day? I test drove a BRZ and a FiST. Also my SVT Focus puked coolant all over the parking lot at the Ford dealer. So there's that.
The BRZ: What hasn't been said already? Well, I liked it. Quite a lot actually. Everyone says that it needs more power, and that may be true. But after driving one I think it's just fine. It is certainly just as fast as my SVT and I feel my Focus is already fast enough to get me into trouble should I want it to be. I didn't get a chance to push the handling on the test drive, but I feel confident I could cope with the switch from FWD to RWD.
The FiST: Yeah, it's big smiles for little dollars. But, and I am trembling as I type this, I did not like it. Yeah I said it. I am prepared for the backlash. It is everything anyone has written about it. It handles like you can't believe; I found an empty parking lot and had a go at flinging it around. It's really just unflappable.
But, I felt disconnected from the driving experience. I do not like how far from the front you sit in the car. And the Recaros are indeed Love or Hate. And I HATE them. They pinched the back of my thighs and I would NOT want to drive long distances in them ever. I did not get a chance to sample the stock seats, but I didn't like the rest of the car so it's a moot point.
I prefer a linear power delivery, because that is what I am used to. The BRZ feels roughly the same as my SVT in that the engine is willing to rev all the way to redline. The FiST has nothing in 1st and then once you shift to 2nd it just takes off. I felt more like I was along for the ride than that I was the one driving the car. Call it what you will, but I did not like it.
I also want to send a huge thank you to Brant Benson at Lebanon Ford in Lebanon Ohio. He went beyond what I expected him to do to help me get my Focus back on the road despite only being there for a test drive. Letting me take the FiST back out to run and get some coolant stop-leak was more than most dealers would have done. If that is any indication of how they treat actual customers then you owe it to yourself to visit Lebanon Ford if you are in the area and looking for a new to you car. Also they have a 2014 FiST in blue with grey Recaros and a clear-bra with only 19,000 or so miles on it for a decent price.*
*I am not getting anything from them for this shout-out. I just felt that great customer service from a dealer should be rewarded. I also thought that maybe someone here was in the market for a FiST and would want to know about the one they have.