I defended the looks of the Fiesta for too long. It looks like a shrunken minivan. It’s not horrible to look at, but it doesn’t look special. I get that that isn’t what you buy it for, but it has one good angle, and I can’t stay crouched for that long. The GTI just looks right, everything seemed to designed with a purpose, not an afterthought. I look back at it every time I leave it. Plus, dat color.
With a tune, intercooler, high flow filter, and exhaust, it would still get utterly decimated by this off of the line. Even in economy mode, in full auto, this will quickly and quietly get up to speed. No drama, no strange rattles, no weak motor mount, no rev hang, it just goes. Engage launch control? It’s stupid the way it just takes off. It’s not a super car, but it’s a fwd car with a sub-6 second trip to 60. It’s quick for what it is.
The brakes are amazing. From this list, what do you think stops quicker: Focus RS, Ford Mustang GT Perfomance Pack, Golf R, Subaru Impreza STI, or Golf GTI? The GTI. The Civic Type-R beats it, but it’s on a different level.
Interior and Overall Quality: GTI GTI GTI
Alright, confession, I miss one part of the Fiesta: The seats. If I had those Recaros in plaid in this car, I would be ecstatic. The stock seats are great, and they look phenomenal, but the warm embrace of the Recaros is missed.
Everything else in the interior hands down goes to the GTI. Everything is placed where it makes sense. On top of being where they should be, everything is super easy to use. The infotainment is quick, and faultless as far as I can tell(Admittedly, SYNC 3 was quick and easy to use). The sound system is nice and crisp, and doesn’t rattle the interior past half volume. The adjustable arm rest is wonderful and well thought out.
The Fiesta was just ergonomically bad. The seats didn’t fold down flat. The roof was slanted where you had to be headless to sit in the back(I was more comfortable in the FRS).
This is just excellent, so much room for activities. The seats fold flat, there is plenty of interior storage otherwise. I don’t have to fold down the rear seats to put more than a backpack and duffle bag anymore.
I would also add day to day use into practicality. It’s just so relaxing to drive. The Fiesta wanted more, all of the time. It wanted to be thrashed, it punished you if you didn’t comply. The shifts were sloppy if you weren’t quick and forceful. The ride was awful if you weren’t (sorry for this) sending it. It just needed to be driven hard to be enjoyable. And for the first year, that was fun, but it’s been wearing down ever since.
Because of my commute and being scarred by the FiST(and the Logitec esque shifter and clutch in the GTI), I have zero regrets about the DSG. It gives this car a split personality, which is welcome.
The anger and tossability of the FiST is almost unmatched by other reasonably practical cars. It’s just so fun to rip on, if only it didn’t want it all of the time. It’s nimble, it’s twitchy, and just feels so much quicker than it really is(maybe the blast pipe had a lot to do with that).
The GTI is just so good. Where the FiST started to chatter, this just keeps putting power down. Go full sport, and the quickness of the DSG shifts make me giggle. Sport mode engaged, traction off, manual mode engaged, left foot on brake, right foot on throttle, rev, and dump the brake. Leave traffic behind, show the left lane hogs how they are supposed to leave if they wanna lead. It’s just fun, but fun without drawbacks.
So while I miss some parts of the ST, I don’t miss the ST. It’s fun, and I get it, but I don’t think it fully deserves the legendary hot hatch status it gets by journalists, because isn’t the purpose of having a hot hatch being that it’s fun and practical? The Fiesta is eating the cake. The Golf is having your cake and eating it, too.