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Last Post 13 Nov 2014 09:38 AM by  Scoob
Which "hot" hatch?
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Fab
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27 Oct 2013 04:03 AM

    Which of these "hot" hatch would you pick as a dual purpose car (AutoX/Daily) and why?

    2011+ Subaru WRX (D-Street)

    2013 Ford Focus ST (G-Street) 

    2014 Mazda 3s (2.5L, Auto w/ paddles, no standard yet) (H-Street) 

    Boxologist
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    27 Oct 2013 09:08 PM
    Don't forget the Fiesta ST in GSt. But I would still go for a 7thgen Celica.
    drdisque
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    27 Oct 2013 09:22 PM
    The WRX is a much bigger/heavier car than the other two but is a very fun car. The ST really great car for GS. Maybe a bit less civilized around town than the WRX.

    The 2014 3 hasn't officially been classed in HS yet so there's a chance the 2.5L won't be placed there. I don't really know if I'd really put it in the "hot hatch" category, but even with an auto it should be competitive in HS at least at a local level.

    If the emphasis is on "hot", I'd go with the Focus ST.
    mitchman
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    27 Oct 2013 09:36 PM
    What kind of car are you coming from? Or is this your first autocross car?
    Adam303
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    28 Oct 2013 01:35 AM
    How much do you value fuel economy? If you do, scratch the WRX.

    Focus ST would be a good dual use car in the 25K price range.

    Agree with Drdisque on the 2.5L Mazda3. It's not a "hot hatch." Mazda used the 2.5L model to introduce some luxury features and upscale interior along with technology into the compact segment. Explains why they launched it with an automatic only, has no LSD of any kind, and it has standard driving aids you'd expect to find in a Camry or Prius, but not a sporty little hatch. It also costs nearly 25K (same as Focus ST and GTI) so Mazda obviously invested the money in places other than performance. It would get eaten alive in G-Street so I can't imagine it going anywhere other than H-street.

    If you're looking to buy new, one of the best deals out there for a daily/autocross car would be the Mazda3 2.0L I-sport hatch. You can pick one up for around 19K. 29 city/40 hwy mpg, sub 2800 lbs, available with a stick and will probably be a better and more competitive H-street car than the 2.5L will ever be. The 2.5L is heavy and won't be able to put the power down. Remember, more HP isn't always synonymous with sportier. The sportiest Mazda3 Hatch currently available is the i-sport.
    Fab
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    28 Oct 2013 02:48 AM
    I know the Mazda 3 doesn't qualify as a hot hatch hence the quotes on hot

    I have been campaigning an STS Miata for the last few years but I might need to shift to a more family friendly vehicle.
    That vehicle would be also replacing an automatic Honda Fit so I'd rather not lose the practicality.

    Good point on the additional weight of the 2.5. Didn't realize it was 200lbs heavier and that it's possible it might be classed in G-Street rather than H-Street.






    JCN
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    29 Oct 2013 09:06 PM

    WRXs are great as a daily driver if you live in a snowy climate.  I like ours.

    kyoo
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    04 Nov 2013 02:32 PM
    focus st. may be a bit more reliable than the wrx
    Adam303
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    05 Nov 2013 11:24 AM

    Fab, in case you're curious, here are my impressions on my 2014 Mazda hatch. It's an i-sport with a stick and 0 options The on-board computer says I'm averaging 32 mpg with a decent mix of city/hwy driving and a rather heavy foot. It will probably improve a tick or two once the engine breaks in a bit more. Given the 29/40 mpg rating for the Mazda, similar driving in the Focus ST would probably yield mid 20's so I'm happy with the fuel consumption. The 2.0L155hp Skyactiv engine while not overwhelming in the power dept has plenty for over-taking/passing and day to day driving especially when coupled to the sub 2,800 lb curb weight of the i-sport. Mazda improved the exhaust manifold and upped the compression to 13:1 on the 2014 resulting in meatier mid-range torque coming in at a lower rpm so you don't have to wind this thing out to get some decent acceleration. Runs on regular gas.  If you're looking for neck snapping acceleration look elsewhere, but of course be prepared to pay the gas and insurance tax.  Handling feels good and while I still prefer the feel/feedback of a good hydraulic system this electric rack is pretty damn close. This car could use more RSB which I'll probably add later. Interior quality and standard content on the car is amazing for the price as well.  I think anyone would be hard pressed to find brand new car for under 19K that would be a better dual purpose car or just a fun, practical daily driver. 

    [/URL]

    Scootin159
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    05 Nov 2013 03:11 PM
    No love for the Fiat 500 Abarth?

    160hp, 2400#, 28/34mpg, 64" wide, $22k, GS classing

    I daily drive mine, and autocross it when the weather is right (i.e., wrong for the FM). On tight local courses it's arguably the car to have in GS, but on larger national-sized courses where the % full throttle time goes up it's likely going to give up some time to the ST's.
    RustoWRX
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    24 Nov 2013 09:10 PM
    Here's my $0.02, after autocrossing and daily driving both a Mazdaspeed 3 (FWD turbo) and a WRX.

    The Focus is probably the better daily driver, but a FWD, moderate horsepower car (+250) has trouble putting it down in AutoX (especially without a LSD).

    The WRX has its quirks, but its performance is great.

    If you want a hot hatch that is competitive, WRX all the way.
    RustoWRX
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    24 Nov 2013 09:10 PM
    Here's my $0.02, after autocrossing and daily driving both a Mazdaspeed 3 (FWD turbo) and a WRX.

    The Focus is probably the better daily driver, but a FWD, moderate horsepower car (+250) has trouble putting it down in AutoX (especially without a LSD).

    The WRX has its quirks, but its performance is great.

    If you want a hot hatch that is competitive, WRX all the way.
    z06fun
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    01 Dec 2013 10:15 AM
    I'll give another vote for the wrx. I have a 2013 I run in DS, I've added the off the shelve adjustable koni's and a larger adjustable rear bar and it is a VERY balanced autox car, won both national events I went to with it this year. It really has no major weaknesses on course. I've been doing this for 15+ years in many many different cars, this car just seems to work really really well. Decent tire wear too with 2.0 degrees front camber mine gets. LOTS of room for tire in the wheel wells.
    For daily driving it is nice too, although the konis certainly make bumps more noticeable. Mine is a totally striped down model, but still has decent stereo that can read a USB drive.
    cityparkmark
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    04 Dec 2013 09:53 PM

    I had the same choice exactly 10 months ago and I chose a brand new "left over" 2012 Mazda3i (GT version a few tidbits of creature comfort like leather, navigation and ambient lighting).  My big win was a $4,000 dealer discount compared with the 2013s!!!  Which I immediately spent on Enkei RPFs, Potenzas, Corksport cat back, thicker rear sway, and Koni yellows!

    Now, I got the 2.0 liter, 148 hp and thought i would regret it.  Well, the $58 insurance bill compared to my $235/mo on my BMW E46 difference makes up half the car payment.  The Speed3 and WRX insurance estimate was about the same.  This model Mazda3 got an IIAH Top Safety pick.  Plus, I get 37 MPG actual driving on Texas freeways, 27 on tankfuls that I autocross though.

    Final word, is this Mazda 3i has good thoroughbred on handling, stopping, cornering...  and my two 1st Place and one 2nd Place local trophies, attest to the fine autocross prowess this "hot hatch" has in only 6 events.  And when I drove The Circuits of The Americas F1 track with my local BMWCCA club, i was quickly on the heels of many a novice M3 owner especially on the corners!  LOL  It's not always the car... but the driver that wins the race!

    I am actually jealous because the 2014 has been greatly refined 1) header upgrades and 2) little better HP, finally 3) the 2.5 gets much much much better gas mileage with that Skyactiv technology.  Go for the 2014 Mazda 3 with 2.5, you won't regret it and your insurance will probably be less than the ST too.  (or see if they still have a 2013 and get the $4,000 off retail, i got :-)

    Happy Autocrossing!
    ~Mazda Mark in Houston

     

    tcjensen1
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    06 Mar 2014 02:22 AM
    My wife was in same boat, and we went WRX, for the higher ultimate potential of AWD vs FWD, and the annoying torque steer of the mazda speed 3, and that the ford focus st was a ford focus. (Albeit it's a pretty sweet car)
    Fab
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    19 Aug 2014 06:21 PM
    Still looking.

    WRX is now out and the 2015 GTI (perf pack) and Fiesta ST joined the fray.
    But for a dual purpose car (AutoX/Daily) I think the 2015 Mazda 3 2.5, that is now available with a stick, will be competitive providing it stays in HS.

    I assume a manual transmission is still preferable to an automatic for autox.
    Alan Dahl
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    27 Sep 2014 08:40 PM
    If on-street performance and fun-to-drive are most important then the Fiesta ST is a great choice. However unless the FoST moves to DS I don't think it's super competitive (unless it rains, in which case it's killer). Still I'm currently leading the NWR PAX class standings so it doesn't suck too bad. I'm really hoping it rains for the last event though... :-).
    CanUreL8
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    08 Nov 2014 10:52 AM

    So... I'm thinking the Ford Fiesta ST (2014) would be good hot hatch for H Street in 2015.

    Scoob
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    13 Nov 2014 09:38 AM
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