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      01-19-2019, 11:09 AM   #1
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Most fun daily driver - Civic Si, Focus ST, Fiesta ST?

I cross-posted this in the Camaro forums, but looking for more opinions here.

I'm thinking about selling my 2003 Mini Cooper daily driver and getting a newer daily driver. I want it to be economical, decent in snow, have fairly new tech, and be fun year round. My budget is $12,000 to $14,000.

I like my Mini because it's so easy to drive and park, and has the super-quick steering and decent handling. Plus, it's small size makes it seem like it's going faster than it is. It's fun. I don't want another Mini however, because of the thousands I have had to put into mine in the past few years.

I'm thinking about a 2013-14 Honda Civic Si, a 2015-16 Fiesta ST, or a 2014-15 Focus ST. I test drove a 2018 Fiesta ST last year and liked it a lot. Never drove a Civic Si or Focus ST.

The Honda appeals to me mostly because of the reputation for reliability. I'm wondering if it might be somewhat boring though? The Fiesta ST and Focus ST appeal to me because they seem fun, punchy, and reasonable to maintain.

Looking for opinions on these cars.
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      01-19-2019, 11:17 AM   #2
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I've driven my friends Focus ST a few times and it was decently fun. It didn't struggle to drive normally in traffic and had enough power to pass people on the highway without planning ahead. Cornering is pretty good for a FWD hatch. His is a manual. I think he gets mid 20s in MPG average, but he also drives a bit fast everywhere.

I can't compare it to a Civic or Fiesta since I never driven them, but I assume the Fiesta would be lame and I just don't like Civics.
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      01-19-2019, 11:39 AM   #3
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The Fiesta ST is more fun than the Focus ST, and closer in size to your Mini. I think the Civic and Focus would seem too big to you. Go with the Fiesta ST.
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      01-19-2019, 12:35 PM   #4
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Focus ST, hatch design is super nice/practical. Fiesta is cramped IME, wouldn't want to daily drive it.
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      01-19-2019, 01:03 PM   #5
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The Fiesta ST is great choice!

I've put almost 40k on mine and haven't had a single problem with the exception of the blend door actuator. Much more fun to drive than Cooper S. Get the Recaros unless you are heavy. Ride is a little stiff, but it's a minor trade off in my opinion

It's the most fun to drive car i have and I have some decent ones.
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      01-19-2019, 01:07 PM   #6
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Low mileage S2000 can be had for around 14k
Look for an 02-03 with the glass rear window and the AP1 is a lot more fun to drive than the AP2
28mpg is no joke when you rip to 9000 rpm every gear
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      01-19-2019, 01:09 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by pikkagtr View Post
Low mileage S2000 can be had for around 14k
Look for an 02-03 with the glass rear window and the AP1 is a lot more fun to drive than the AP2
28mpg is no joke when you rip to 9000 rpm every gear
Modern tech and good in snow? An Ariel Atom might be an alternative.
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      01-19-2019, 01:28 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Modern tech and good in snow? An Ariel Atom might be an alternative.
Hey if there's a will .....😁😁😁
Snow tires it'll work
I've driven to Tahoe before
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      01-19-2019, 04:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by pikkagtr View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Modern tech and good in snow? An Ariel Atom might be an alternative.
Hey if there's a will .....😁😁😁
Snow tires it'll work
I've driven to Tahoe before
Ha, I've used a Miata and an M Coupe as ski cars, but I might not recommend either to someone looking for a hot hatch.

I would however recommend my current Mk7 GTI. Pre 18's took a huge hit when VW doubled their warranty on 18's. Ask me how I know.
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      01-22-2019, 07:40 AM   #10
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Test drive a i3. Absolute blast to drive. Super easy to park. Instant torque makes it super quick off the line. Perfect 50/50 balance. Rear engine and rear wheel drive should be ok in snow with proper tires.
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      01-22-2019, 09:19 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by overlook637 View Post
Test drive a i3. Absolute blast to drive. Super easy to park. Instant torque makes it super quick off the line. Perfect 50/50 balance. Rear engine and rear wheel drive should be ok in snow with proper tires.
Agreed. Drove the first one and enjoyed it, but range was stupid. It's a little better now and used i3's are nearly free.

Also surprised by the room inside. Fit our kid seat easily. If the rear windows went down (a requirement for our dog), we'd likely have one.
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      01-22-2019, 03:09 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by overlook637 View Post
Test drive a i3. Absolute blast to drive. Super easy to park. Instant torque makes it super quick off the line. Perfect 50/50 balance. Rear engine and rear wheel drive should be ok in snow with proper tires.
I'm on my second i3 and I agree. It's such a good daily driver and the 2017+ finally has a decent range. I think it says something about the i3 that so many M3/M4 drivers have an i3 as dailies.

That being said I really like the Fiesta ST. I don't own one, but I actually know another i3 owner who has a FiST, as they are called. I've driven it and it's just a really fun car. I like small commuters as long as they are comfortable enough, and I find the i3 and the FiST to be adequate.
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      03-26-2019, 08:22 AM   #13
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OP: Does it matter to you that Ford is not going to be selling these cars in the US anymore and hence the value will drop like a rock?

Alternative to look into would be a Mk7 GTI. I believe you may be able to start to find them in your price range.

Fiesta ST would be my first choice of the three you have listed. Civic Si would be second and third would be Focus ST. I've heard of torque steer issues with the Focus ST.
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      03-26-2019, 08:57 AM   #14
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Never driven any of them but every review i have read talks about super harsh ride on the ST's.

I'd go Civic all the way, will likely have less issues and hold value better too.
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      03-26-2019, 09:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TSM330i View Post
OP: Does it matter to you that Ford is not going to be selling these cars in the US anymore and hence the value will drop like a rock?

Alternative to look into would be a Mk7 GTI. I believe you may be able to start to find them in your price range.

Fiesta ST would be my first choice of the three you have listed. Civic Si would be second and third would be Focus ST. I've heard of torque steer issues with the Focus ST.
I don't think the value will drop any more than normal. If anything they should be slightly better since there is no new MY to replace and improve upon it.
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      03-26-2019, 02:16 PM   #16
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For pure fun, I'd go with the Fiesta tbh.
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      03-26-2019, 02:34 PM   #17
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Since they should all be fun, I'd go with the Honda as it is the only one I would buy used.
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      03-26-2019, 02:41 PM   #18
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Had a FiST and it was super fun. Only sold it because I no longer drive to work. FoST has more power but way more noticeable torque steer and also feels much heavier. The FiST feels like a go kart, the FoST feels like a sporty hatchback.
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      03-26-2019, 02:42 PM   #19
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Golf GTI 6M.

More fun to drive than any of those, and still has a quality interior you can be comfortable in when you are stuck in traffic etc.
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      03-26-2019, 03:02 PM   #20
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Owning a GTI and having driven the Fiesta ST, there's no way you could say the GTI is more fun. More civilized, more capable and faster, yes. But not more fun. The GTI is approaching being too polished. The Fiesta is a lot more entertaining.

It isn't nearly as civilized, it's a little small for 6'2" me and my four year old, and the interior is nothing to write home about, but they're still fun and it's a shame Ford won't bring the new one here.
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      03-26-2019, 03:05 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Bread View Post
Owning a GTI and having driven the Fiesta ST, there's no way you could say the GTI is more fun. More civilized, more capable and faster, yes. But not more fun. The GTI is approaching being too polished. The Fiesta is a lot more entertaining.

It isn't nearly as civilized, it's a little small for 6'2" me and my four year old, and the interior is nothing to write home about, but they're still fun and it's a shame Ford won't bring the new one here.
I've driven all 4; GTI, SI, and both STs. The only one I would ever own is the GTI; and I found it to be easily the most fun to drive.

To each their own
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      03-26-2019, 03:21 PM   #22
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Out of that group I'd say the fiesta hands down. But if fun isn't the top criteria than I'd look at GTI's as suggested. Much better car overall to live with daily but not as fun or tossable as the fiesta.
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