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What hot hatch do you own?
This poll is closed.
Golf GTI / R / R32 196 0.02%
Impreza WRX / STi 133 0.01%
Mazdaspeed 3 92 0.01%
Veloster Turbo 20 0.00%
Focus ST 149 0.01%
Other Hot Hatch 230 0.02%
Elantra GT 1000001 99.92%
Total: 1000821 votes
[Edit Poll (moderators only)]

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bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Inspired by my own recent auto purchase, I thought that other hot hatch owners should have a place to discuss their own cars. Due to the composition of SA, I'd bet this thread will be US-centric, but if you're a European with one of the super-hot hatches that we don't get here, please feel free to share!

Let's talk cars:

Volkswagen Golf GTI



The original hot hatch! Known by many names throughout the years, including the Rabbit, the Golf, and even just the GTI, the Golf is one of the most popular hatchbacks of all time. The Mk6 Golf GTI develops 200hp and is paired with a 6-speed DSG or manual transmission that drives the front wheels. An even hotter version of the Golf called the Golf R comes standard with 256hp and all-wheel drive. The Golf GTI starts at just $24,200 while the Golf R starts at $34,195.

Subaru Impreza WRX



The pedigree of the Impreza needs no introduction, and although the coupe version is more common, there exists a WRX hatch with 265hp and an all-wheel drivetrain. The WRX STi adds other go-fast parts and has a hopped-up 305hp engine. The WRX starts at $25,795, while the STi trim comes in at $36,295.

Mazda Mazdaspeed 3



Starting at $24,200 (in direct competition with the base Golf GTI), the Mazdaspeed 3 is no newcomer. Debuted in the 2007 model year, the Mazdaspeed 3 has been delighting drivers for years with its mix of huge power combined with paltry price. The most recent model features 263hp driving the front wheels.

Hyundai Veloster Turbo



A newcomer for the 2013 model year, the Veloster Turbo ups the power from 138hp in the naturally-aspirated version to 201hp in the turbocharged variant. The Turbo is available with a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission and is available with front-wheel drive only. The Veloster Turbo is one of the more affordable hot hatch options, coming in at just $22,100.

Ford Focus ST



The newest of the hot hatches, the Ford Focus ST was introduced in the US for the 2013 model year. It features a 252hp motor powering the front wheels and hopes to disrupt the hot hatch market by starting at a reasonable $23,700.

This thread is now a place to show off and discuss your hot hatches!

bobfather fucked around with this message at 03:02 on Jun 27, 2013

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bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

IOwnCalculus posted:

You forgot the best feature of the MS3 - the insane torque steer.

I tried not to be hypercritical of any given car, although you could be of most of them for various reasons.

By contrast, the torque vectoring system that the Focus ST has in place largely reduces the torque steer in that car, while almost matching the MS3 for raw HP numbers.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

If/when the Fiesta comes around it will definitely be considered a hot hatch.

So no Euro Vauxhall owners want to step up?

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Edit: ^^^^^ Nice car! Here's mine! An ST3.



I see there are quite a few ST owners on here. Anyone else running any mods?

I personally just picked myself up an SCT Livewire TS with the Unleashed tune on it. Aside from the immediately-noticeable power gains, I'm also seeing much better throttle response in the 1-2k RPM range and better fuel economy from it.

I've also installed a Green air filter, not for any power gains but because I appreciate that I just need to keep it cleaned and oiled every once in a while versus buying disposable paper filters for the life of the vehicle.

bobfather fucked around with this message at 17:31 on Jun 27, 2013

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Tide posted:

LOVE these. We are looking at them from afar at the moment, as I may pick one up for my wife as she's tired of driving the XTerra. How's the backseat legroom, keeping in mind I'm 5'10", she's 5'4", and most of the time the backseat is going to have a growing 6 year old in it. Doesn't seem to be much there...

I don't want to go to the dealer because...well...I might pick it up on an impulse buy.

Plenty, unless either of the people sitting in the front are super tall. I was cross-shopping an FR-S and BRZ and the Focus has actual, usable back seats. My 6'1" father fit easily in the back seat while my 5'5" wife sat in the front.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Bob A Feet posted:

Seconded. I let a few of my friends drive it pretty often and I'll ride in the back. 5'10" 180 pounds and I have no problems with my 6'1" roommate in the seat in front of me. Good head room too. The only bad things about the back seats is they don't fold flat very easily.

You do know that you can pull the back seat bottoms up 90 degrees towards the front seats, then pull the backrests of the back seats forward to have an almost completely flat surface, right?

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Personally I love the grabbiness of the brakes. I do agree the clutch engagement is a bit bipolar though.

No way that I know of to disable the up shift indicator.

There's a newish service bulletin out from Ford that replaces the engine motor mounts and some of the clutch lines. People have hypothesized that the clutch line changes might slightly increase the engagement zone for the clutch, but not many people have gotten the service done yet.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

KakerMix posted:

Then, because everyone was raving about the Focus ST, I went and test drove that. I loved the power and how good it felt driving, but it almost offended me with how juvenile I thought it was on the inside. The quality of some of the materials too, man. The back doors don't have soft-touch plastics like the fronts, screaming 'cost cutting' at me. I did not like the visibility or the interior at all. The weird 3 gauges that seemed to be stuck on as an afterthought in the dash, the horrible italicized fonts, I just couldn't look past it. Probably didn't help that the dealership catered to the sort of clientele that I'm not fond of.

I was coming from a BMW, so the whole Ford thing was going to be hard to swallow anyway.

It sounds like you drove an ST1 or ST2 - the full leather, non-color trimmed seats of the ST3 wouldn't have been interpreted as juvenile by any stretch of the imagination.

Which is actually the exact issue Car and Driver had when they recently compared the 2013 ST in the ST2 trim to the 2015 GTI - "too juvenile" might have been the exact phrase they used.

Either way, the Golf R is a heckuva car! Any plans to buy a tune for it? I bought one for my ST and it has transformed the car pretty significantly.

bobfather fucked around with this message at 17:41 on Jul 8, 2013

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Boaz MacPhereson posted:

What kind of tune did you pick up for your ST? I'm seriously considering picking one up and I'd like to see what options are out there.

The standard tuning devices out there are from SCT and Cobb.

The SCT devices are so-so. The SCT X3 is big, cheap feeling, but also the cheapest device of the bunch (~$379 or so).

The SCT LiveWire TS is a full-fledged touch-screen device and is about the size of a GPS unit. It looks nice and the display is quite good. It also supports plugging in a backup camera. One con against it is that the touch-screen sensitivity is absolutely awful. It also is the most expensive tuning device at $599. I have one of these because I wanted the backup camera capability, but I paid $400 for a second-hand device. I really like it, but I would never pay $599 for it.

Regarding the SCT devices, if you buy them straight from SCT the off-the-shelf tunes they come with are pretty lame and unspectacular. SCT does not (yet) support the Focus ST like it supports other Ford vehicles, meaning you can't program in specific strategies for your ST dependent upon the equipment you have on your ST. I emailed SCT about this and they said they have no idea if the Focus ST will ever have that level of support.

On the other hand, Cobb has their AccessPort (AP) tuner which is leaps and bounds better than SCT devices in terms of hardware, support, and price. The AP hardware is smaller and sleeker than the SCT hardware, and Cobb has been supporting the Focus ST very well and actually just released version 4 of their off-the-shelf tune for the Focus ST. Price for the AP is typically $450 with your odd sale bringing the price down 10% or so.

Now, you could easily buy either an SCT device direct from SCT or a Cobb device straight from Cobb, but the better thing to do would be to pick the device you want and then buy the device from one of the many custom tuners out there.

For the Focus ST right now the hot custom tuners are Unleashed Tuning and FSWerks. Unleashed has a stable, nice tune they provide for the SCT X3 and the SCT LiveWire. I have Unleashed, and it works very very well! Very noticeable improvement in power and responsiveness. I believe that the dyno results for the tune show +23 HP and +~50 torque over the stock tune on 93 octane.

FSWerks offers their custom tune on both the SCT devices and the Cobb AP. A lot of people choose FSWerks for this reason, because the Cobb harware (and support) is really superior compared to SCT. I don't know as much about the FSWerks tune, but I know it also yields 20+ HP and 50+ torque increases.

Honestly, I would say choose the hardware you want, then buy your tune based on that. If you prefer SCT the Unleashed tune might be better for you, and the guy who does that tune (Torrie) is awesome in terms of tech support. Otherwise, if you Prefer Cobb go with FSWerks.

The nice thing is that if you buy your device from Unleashed or FSWerks, the price is the same as if you would have bought directly from SCT or Cobb themselves, but you get the custom tune support in addition to the off-the-shelf tunes from SCT or Cobb.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Bob A Feet posted:

questions:

1- are there deadspots in the throttles? on focusst.org i was reading that some people found dead spots in the top and bottom of the throttle because of their tunes.
2- can you run them on 87/89 octane? I can always just start buying 93
3- Are there any like daily driving/ highway tunes for mileage? if so, do they work at all?

No noticeable dead spots in the throttle. I have not read anything like that online. Here's a link to the dyno chart for the Unleashed tune:

http://www.fastpartsnetwork.com/images/fst1.jpg

You can see from the graph that stock, the FST tops out at about 5500 RPM and HP starts to really drop off past 6000 RPM. The updated tunes (both Unleashed and FSWerks) really try to extend that power, but the fact is that the turbo for the FST is optimized to spool quickly, and not necessarily to pull hard all the way to redline.

It is not advisable to run a 93 octane tune on 87 octane fuel. However, Cobb has some off-the-shelf maps for 87 octane fuel, and as well both FSWerks and Unleashed will build you a custom 87 octane tune if you ask them to. You would just send an email to Torrie (Unleashed) or Randy (FSWerks).

Cobb has a tune for fuel economy, however people have reported that it doesn't work very well. YMMV, but a lot of people (including myself) have gotten the best mileage by running 93 octane on a 93 custom tune and then driving conservatively. The problem is that the custom tunes give the car so much more pep it'll be hard to stay off the throttle!

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

roger wilco posted:

You don't really roast the tires on these cars. The extra oomph would be nice because (the ST anyway) is a REAL dog off the line. Something that ups the torque down low would be really helpful. It's literally my only complaint with the car.

How are you launching? The stock ST can hit 0-60 in less than 6 seconds. 5.9 is what I believe Motor Trend got.

Without a tune the optimal launch is probably around 2500 RPM or so, to minimize wheel spin. Then most people are shifting by 5000-5500 RPM.

With a tune, 2000-2250 RPM is optimal for launches, and 5500 RPM for shifting.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

DEUCE SLUICE posted:

No launch control on the ST?

Not stock, but the most popular tunes can add it.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

It's actually pretty likely that the motor mount TSB is not done yet because FoMoCo is having trouble with parts availability for a few of the parts needed for the service.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Definitely schedule a service, but there are people that put their names down in June for the service that have parts back ordered until September.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Literally the only thing about the Focus ST I dislike is that the turning radius is horrendous, easily the worst of any car I've ever driven. It makes parking the drat thing a huge chore, and I'm not sure how it passed muster since the car is essentially a European hatch (that has to deal with all the space confines of Euro countries).

Aside from that it has been totally awesome to own. Time will tell if it remains a reliable car, but for the first 18.5k miles it has been trouble free, except for some non-essential service bulletins (for the shift banging, for the instrument panel cluster, and a new one for ST3 models only for some side-markers that don't illuminate properly).

bobfather fucked around with this message at 02:05 on Aug 4, 2013

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Bovril Delight posted:

Says 0 miles. Has the Recaros and what looks like the HIDs on the front end pics. The "Window Sticker" you can view has the 202A package on it, MSRP $29,525. Internet price $22,999.

My gut says that it's a price mistake, but if you did get the car for that price it would be the lowest price on an ST3 I've ever seen! I'd say go take a look at it if you're even remotely interested in the car.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

For anyone interested, I'm selling my SCT LiveWire TS over here.

Info is in that thread if anyone wants it!

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

The first salesman that let me test drive the ST didn't know about the reverse ring. Made for an awkward test drive.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Ringo Star Get posted:

Realized a few days ago in the ST when you have your front wipers on and you put the car in reverse, the rear wipers go on. Blew my mind at the things they think of.

If I want to keep the car under warranty, and I want to upgrade it, my choices are sticking to the official Ford store I assume? Or would my warranty just not cover the non-stock part?

Ford has to prove that your aftermarket mod caused your problem. For intakes and ECU flashes, most people just revert back to stock before service to save themselves the headache.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

AWD would certainly help, but then the base price of the car would be closer to 30k than 25k.

As always, the drag strips are the definitive way to settle what's faster.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Every day I am ridiculously happy that I got an ST3. The features are worth a premium.

Now, worth a 28k premium? Personally I wouldn't have paid that. But for the deal I got the ST3 was a no brainer, for me.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Looks great! Where in FL are you? I'm in Miami where it rains so much there isn't much use to washing my ST.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Atmus posted:

Does this violate the waranty, or what? Is it harder on the engine or something? Why don't the automakers shove them out the door with stuff like this installed?

I assume these questions have super obvious answers, but this would be the first time I've ever had a reason (or a car that would benefit from it) to look into it.

The tunes basically advance timing to higher-than-stock levels, and in some cases also increase the redline slightly, as well as change how quickly the turbo is able to spool.

Nobody really knows yet what the tunes will do to the engine. If tuned engines start failing left and right, then it might be attributable to the tune, but it might also be attributed to the fact that a person that would buy a tune would probably also drive their car harder than a person who doesn't buy a tune.

I do know that the Focus ST has a very advanced knock detection system that remains in operation even with a super-aggressive tune. If the engine pre-detonates the car will immediately pull timing and throw a code.

The good news is, so far there's lots of evidence that tunes are safe because there are combined, hundreds of thousands of miles driven across STs without evidence of a failure related to a tune. Hopefully that will maintain as the individual engines age a bit more.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Atmus posted:

I kinda assmed it was. But then they would have left the grille open for airflow or whatever, wouldn't they?

Actually, the ST has an electronic shutter that opens the grill automatically when needed.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Atmus posted:

...The only thing not awesome with that is I'll never be able to see it.

Wait... One of you guys has a truck or van and a large mirror, right?

If you ever wondered why your ST was making a low humming sound for about 10 seconds after you've stopped and turned off your vehicle, it's the electronic shutter closing.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

I unplugged my sound symposer and haven't looked back. The cabin is so much quieter now! I found the symposer was coming online no matter what at 1500-2000 RPM, even if my driving was slow and relaxed. I don't need to feel like I'm always driving quickly.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Atmus posted:



I seriously went out and drove around a bit to make it do it. The lighting was terrible, but holy poo poo.

Although it is a cool feature, I believe it also exists on the base Focus as well. I don't think it's a super-special ST-only thing.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

If you look in the engine bay, near the windscreen there's a black tube that connects to the cabin.

You can unplug that tube to disconnect the symposer. Alternately, you can follow that tube back down into the engine bay to find the sound symposer itself, and then you can use a small hand or a long screwdriver to disconnect the symposer entirely.

I went the latter route. It's a bit hard to visualize, but there are pretty good write ups on focusst.org. Just search for "symposer".

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

I think you're the first Fiesta ST owner to post. Great looking car!

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

I'm not sure about that specific model year Focus. I do know that sound symposers seem to be the new rage for most cars. I personally just don't care for the idea of them, which is to make a car sound loud even if it isn't.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

echobucket posted:

Woke up this morning to a dead battery in my Fiesta ST. Waiting for my wife to get home at lunchtime so I can get it a jump. Thank goodness I can work from home in my job.

You can't push start it?

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Eh. Buy a used ST3 and get 20% off MSRP!

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

SFH1989 posted:

Saw something on a Fiesta specific forum and now I want to modify my SES rather than trade it in for an ST.



It's the 2.0L EcoBoost from a Focus ST

Build thread.

2730 lbs with 252 HP.

I briefly looked at all of the photos he posted, and I couldn't help but wonder how much money he's poured into the car. It has to be in excess of $10k USD.

Edit: Almost the same power to weight ratio as a 2013 Camaro SS 1LE. Must be an absolute blast to drive.

bobfather fucked around with this message at 19:12 on Jan 20, 2014

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

The Focus ST and Fiesta ST I think both can run 87 octane.

In fact, my factory manual for my Focus recommends running 87, in spite of the fact that it develops maximum horsepower and torque when 93 is put in.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

MetaJew posted:

You'd be stupid to run 87 in either of those cars. That it can do it is no surprise. That it will knock, get poorer fuel economy, and generally suck is also no surprise.

My girlfriend's 3.8 Genesis coupe also says it can run on 87, but it knocks under high load. So, I convinced her to start buying 93.

It doesn't knock, actually. I do extensive monitoring using my AccessPort to log everything related to the ignition, among other variables.

The car is 100% fully capable of running 87. Ford says so, and I have logged empirical proof that doing so is not harmful.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Voltage posted:

Why not just by the non-hot non-turbo version and save even more money at that point if the main goal is to save a few bucks? My goal was to have fun and if that means $3 extra every fillup than so be it.

Then you'll do what you do, and I'll do what I do.

By the way, according to Ford the Focus ST makes 244 HP on 87, and 252 on 93. Not quite the significant difference you'd expect.

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Folderol posted:

Folks with Focus STs, how's the reliability of your car so far. The ST is one of a few cars I'm looking at, but I've heard there may be issues, and if there are still significant bugs to be worked out, I may wait or go in another direction.

Mine just hit 24000 miles, and not a hitch so far.

Well, not a hitch except for the piece of debris that grazed the undercarriage on the highway yesterday. It gouged a 1/4 inch nick into the oil pan, which then started (slowly) weeping oil.

Dealer says the pan is $~100-something, but that the labor to replace the pan, plus diagnostic fees will probably put the final bill in the ~$800 range. So word of advice, don't mess up your oil pan!

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

Focus or Fiesta ST?

If it's a Focus, I have not seen reports of widespread issues with transmissions. Either way, probably 95% of STs on the road are within the 30k mile power and drivetrain warranty, so why don't you bring it to a reputable Ford dealer and tell them what has been happening?

bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

I had an awesome experience with Leif Johnson Ford in Austin a little over a year ago -

2013 FoST3 popped up online with 14,500 miles. Listed at 26,500 or some such.

I emailed their internet department and told them that if they would give it to me for ~25k out the door, taxes and all I would put an immediate credit card down payment down and bring a check from my credit union for the rest.

20 minutes after making the offer, they said sure. I drove down to Austin, picked up the car, was done with paperwork in about an hour, and ended up getting a preowned ST3 for 23,500 before tax, title, and fees, or about 25k after all of that stuff.

Car has been completely problem free ever since, and it now has about 26k miles on it.

I've also had great luck with miscellaneous Ford dealers (Planet Ford in Houston, Metro Ford in Miami) doing all the TSBs for the 2013 Focii without any major hassles. Just had to ask nicely!

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bobfather
Sep 20, 2001

I will analyze your nervous system for beer money

You can do what you want in life but

Don't pay 35k for a Focus.

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