Had the day off work today so decided to go test drive the Focus ST/FiST. But the FiST is never available in my town to test drive (only special orders) and the Focus was DOA. They asked me to test drove the Fiesta Sport instead (because it was "almost the sameā€¦"), so I promptly laughed my way out of there. And yes, the Focus Recaro's are amazing.

(Subaru wanted me to drive the WRX so bad that they, what I can only assume, sabotaged the only available Focus ST across town by depleting its battery. They then threw me the keys and said have at it son)

This will be quick, there are many more WRX reviews written by actual writers, these are just my personal ramblings. I promise to stray away from hyperbole, because a brown Clarkson I am not.

Looks:

As we all know, looks are subjective blah blah blah. But the point of a review (as I gather) is to be as opinionated as possible, so in my eyes it actually looks quite aggressive, yet un-cohesive. The aftermarket Lexani wheels on it weren't helping either; pretty sure they would be heavier than the stock.

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Interior:

Well put together, heaps of screens and gadgetry to distract yourself momentarily before you push the starter button (still not a fan of these). Seats were a bit meh after sitting in the ST, but miles better than the slippery slide that are the leather buckets in my DC5. Also much roomier than expected.

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Engine:

What a great little 2.0. The boost was low-down and earlier, and power was accessible almost everywhere. On the butt speedometer 0-100kmh was around 5 seconds. I still wanted more noise though, the cabin seemed a bit too insulated, and the wind noise with the windows down was horrific.

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The gearbox wasn't as short as I would like, and the rev range left me lacking. The clutch was spot-on though in my opinion.

Boost:

Yep, it's got some.

Ride:

Surprisingly comfy. But I say that coming from a daily car with 14kg front and rear coilovers. So im not exactly one to comment.

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Handling:

Didn't really get a chance to test this, even though it's the car's trademark. The issue is that where I live, the roads are flat, and all straight. The town's called Wagga Wagga so you can look it up if you're wondering. I did manage to get sideways on some 90 degree turns which was enjoyable though. Around town the steering was worryingly numb, and it definitely lacks the feel of the older Honda's im used to (yes I know apples to oranges).

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Value:

At $42,000 drive-away here in Australia, it presents tremendous value, especially when compared to similarly priced BRZ, Focus ST and GTI here. Load of tech and quality in the car helps as well.

Just on a side note, to the American's that think we also have the options of our RWD V8 sedans, in all honesty they are nowhere near as fun or well-built as this generation of fast hatchbacks.

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Verdict:

A great car and I'm sure one that will please all its owners. But for me personally, I didn't find a more visceral connection (same happened to me with the 86/BRZ). It's possible because I've caught the venereal disease that is VTEC-YO, or I just didn't have the skills to exploit it.

Ps: First oppo review and you'll have to excuse the grammar.