Since American cars are apparently no longer the shite that I used to think they were, that opened up a few doors for cars which I'd consider owning. Enter this one car in Ford's entire lineup which by the way has gotten quite nice over the years.
I called my local Ford dealer and told them that I'd be in the market for a new car sometime in the future. My car is 12 years old, has a lifter tick, but the miles are relatively low at 116k, so who knows when it'll go. I was up front with them and said my car could go in a month, a year, or 5 years. I don't have the foggiest idea, but I do know that when it does happen I want to have a plan of action and know which car I want to buy. The salesman was very understanding and kept calling me back to let me know the status of the STs that were being delivered. Finally one stayed on the lot for more than a day, so I hustled over and hopped into a car which had 5 miles on it.
It's a good looking car without overdoing the boy racer image. I drove the ST2 package which had the HIDs and the LEDs up front.
Interior is probably the car's biggest selling point with the leather Recaro seats that hug you like only an overzealous girlfriend could. The stereo sounded quite nice with the subwoofer in the back, but the car could quite honestly use some more sound deadening as it was only marginally quieter than my hoopty on the highway while we drove over our expansion-joint-riddled highways here in WI.
This car has plenty of it. Whether you're in first gear or sixth, there's always enough torque to inspire confidence. I had the salesman in the car next to me so I didn't beat it like that dead whore in my trunk (who still owes me money), but I did put it through its paces. At 40mph in 6th gear I was able to floor it and get up to 70mph in approximately no time at all.
Good pedal feel. Again, didn't really want to put the salesman through the windshield, but uh... the car stops, so that's good.
Didn't really surface during the test drive, so that's good. On my way home in my rattle trap, I remembered thinking that the FoST rode quite smoothly over our nasty highways. No perceivable dive or squat was noticed. Those seats— have I mentioned how much I love those seats?!
I was able to toss it through a few roundabouts and one highway onramp, so I got a decent feel for the handling. It's got a good weight to it, but that's good because it tells you what's going on underneath the car. The steering wheel is thick, but padded nicely to give those big meaty hands of yours something to hold onto.
Not a well-seasoned rower of my own gears, but I didn't stall it once or miss a shift. I'll give it a 6, because why not
The stereo was nice. AM, FM, Sirius is available. The model I drove had the subwoofer in the back which added a nice low tone to my country music that I turned up for a moment. That was all I needed to confirm my suspicions.
SYNC worked nicely and has a nicely sized and positioned display. The small screen in the gauge cluster was also nice as you can show MPGs, time, average speed, miles to empty, and change various settings. MyKey seems like a feature that would come in handy if you have a teenage kid who will be driving this, or loan your keys to a friend who recently flipped his car.
Ambient lighting, auxilary in, RCA inputs, SD card, steering wheel controls- these are all nice things that I'm not used to having.
The car I drove was listed just shy of $26k... brand new. Considering what else is on the market for that price, this car is quite a bargain.
Total Score: 71/100
To wrap it all up, it's a good car that does everything right. I can definitely see why people buy this car, but there's something missing about it. It didn't have me giddy like I was when I test drove a Cadillac ATS or even a VW GLI. There's nothing that really stands out about this car. It's basically how I envision every Toyota in the world to be- it's a car that is good at everything, but not great at any one thing.
And on that bombshell, I'm zipping up my flamesuit.