By on January 8, 2014

Clark writes:

Hello Sajeev,

I currently drive a 2007 G35S that works great and has been dead nuts reliable since I bought it lightly used a couple of years ago. It also works just fine for my duties of pickup/drop off of my toddler at daycare. Despite being plenty quick, it’s kind of dull. I really miss having a daily driver that doubles as an autocross/occasional track-day car.

A few weeks back I attended a ford ecoboost event and got to hustle a Fiesta ST around an autocross course. I was pretty impressed and now I’m strongly considering switching over. I also like that it gets ~50% better fuel economy and the 17″ wheels mean cheaper replacement tires than the staggered 18″ setup on the G35 (plus, I think I may be harder on tires than most). Lower running costs wouldn’t hurt my feelings one bit.

My wife is less impressed. She thinks the interior feels cheap (compared to the Infiniti it is) and is too small. It is a real tight fit to get a rear-facing child seat in the back. The G35S is the first car I’ve ever owned with 4 doors and a usable back seat; all of my previous cars have been sports cars. Compared to my Miatas or Corvettes and the like, the G35 feels huge, and the smaller Fiesta still seems like a wonderland of practicality. I don’t need luxury, just something sufficiently practical for hauling my child (or perhaps children) and fun to drive.

Is there anything I may not be considering that would make me regret trading down?

Sajeev answers:

What’s that phrase about walking a mile in someone’s shoes?  Oh my damn, son.

You say you “don’t need luxury” but do you “want” it?  I coulda/shoulda spent 10+ years restomodding a Fox Body Mustang, but I chose my Fox Cougar instead.  Why? I like the extra bits and am okay with the extra 400 lbs or so of ballast.

But you aren’t me (lucky you) so I seriously doubt you’ll regret the downgrade, unless your wife’s/child’s needs grow to the point that a Fiesta is impractical. As the kid grows up and you take their friends to school/movies/dates, you might regret selling the Infiniti.  And perhaps your career/social life demands a more prestigious vehicle for the valet lot? Or your wife’s career/social life?

Then again, you’ll probably want another car by the time your child is ready for the Prom…so perhaps throwing up roadblocks is unnecessary. I won’t answer this question, rather I’ll ask everyone to consider the total lifetime expenses of this purchase.

  • Fuel, wear and tear items (Fiesta’s advantage)
  • Depreciation expenses (Fiesta will depreciate more percentage-wise than the Infiniti)
  • Insurance price differential

Is it worth owning a Fiesta ST for a while when you might wind up selling it 1-3 years from now? Tough call, glad I don’t have to make that decision for you!

 

Send your queries to sajeev@thetruthaboutcars.com. Spare no details and ask for a speedy resolution if you’re in a hurry…but be realistic, and use your make/model specific forums instead of TTAC for more timely advice.

 

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94 Comments on “Piston Slap: The Fiesta’s Rocky Road Ahead?...”


  • avatar
    Pch101

    The wife has expressed her dislike of the Fiesta, and that makes it a no-go. (It may be a bit too boy-racer for her tastes.)

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      4 words: Happy wife, happy life.

      Proceed at your own risk.

      • 0 avatar
        ClutchCarGo

        And an additional note, her comment that the interior feels cheap may very well be code for “I don’t think my baby will be safe in that thing”. Be sure that you’ve plumbed the depth of her concerns as you do NOT want to go against her maternal instincts on this.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Yup – my wife gets the veto over any vehicle purchase. Her tastes in vehicles are pretty dang good, but she does have her quirks (ex. No Lexuses – “they’re for old people”, or No Benzes – “too pretentious for her workplace”). Oddly enough, she’s totally on board with my desire to eventually pick up a sky blue 991… go figure.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “Yup – my wife gets the veto over any vehicle purchase. Her tastes in vehicles are pretty dang good…”

        Did I just step into the twilight zone? If it works for you great, but how ’bout she gets what she wants and you get what you want. Now of course there needs to be limits.

        For example you need something with at least four seats and four doors and you decide to get a Corvette but absent those concerns why would you defer if its something you’ll be driving. Shared vehicles I understand. You both need to be content but to give your wife “veto” power over something for you I just don’t get it but as I stated earlier if you like it and it works go forth and be merry!

        Concerning the OP. Listen to what ClutchCarGo is saying. Methinks she has a safety concern about the car’s size. If that’s the issue it would behoove you to choose something else.

        • 0 avatar
          fvfvsix

          If I let her get what she wants, then I’d be maintaining a Range Rover every 3 months. No thank you. I’d rather we reserve the right to veto each other’s car purchases. Rarely used, but often appreciated.

          The gist is this – My wife isn’t a car person – except for her love of MINI coopers. She does little to no research, and all maintenance tasks/scheduling is my responsibility. So, I pick the cars while she gets the veto. In truth, she wouldn’t care if I drove a clapped-out Ford Pinto as long as it was safe, but I would prefer it if we were on the same page with purchases that cost multiple tens of thousands of dollars. I’m not a Benz guy anyway :)

          • 0 avatar
            PrincipalDan

            @fvfvsix, at least my lady is confident enough in my car enthusiasm that if I tell her “A Range Rover is an unreliable POS that you don’t want to own 1 min after the warranty expires.” She will believe me. That’s not a veto, that’s a “Oh, my knowledgeable husband is talking I should listen.”

            Of course communication has to be a two way street.

          • 0 avatar
            hubcap

            Oh! Oh! Mr. Kottah (okay…bad school joke) but Dan, we know that the Rangie is not the paragon of reliability *but* the car at the very bottom, the Challenger Deep, of CR’s list, is more reliable than the cars that we’re at the top of the list six years ago. N’est ce Pas (I’m sure I read that somewhere, don’t quote me)?

            Look we only live once. If you have the means and the desire for a RR or something similar I say get it. Don’t plan on keeping it past the warranty period… Lease it.

            I have no interest in a RR but if I could swing that new baby Lambo by God’s Green Earth I would.

          • 0 avatar
            ajla

            “If you have the means and the desire for a RR or something similar I say get it.”

            The whole “means” things seems to be the sticking part.

            The anesthesiologist can buy all the Land Rovers and AMGs and A8Ls they want, but the assistant manager who buys that ’07 RR HSE for $22K might end up in a world of hurt.

      • 0 avatar
        fvfvsix

        “means” isn’t the sticking point at all – rather the fact that we are not innumerate. Range Rovers are just a really bad value on a fundamental mathematical basis. If she were so inclined, she could buy a new one every 3 years with her bonus checks. Luckily, she’s smart enough to know that there are better uses of her money.

  • avatar
    bball40dtw

    If you have to put a car seat in it on a regular basis, the Fiesta is not the car for you. I’m sure people make it work in Europe or wherever, but your wife thinks the car is too small too.

    Honestly, I can’t even recommend the Focus ST to multiple car seat households. The size of the front seats (especially recaro) make it near impossible to get two car seats back there.

  • avatar
    mnm4ever

    Have you considered the original hot hatch… the GTI?

    It has much more room in back for car seats and the interior is of much higher quality (feel at least) than the Fiesta, and you give up nothing in performance, it can be a daily driver and an autocross car right from bone stock.

    Wait for the new one with 300 lbs less weight, do not go crazy on the stupidly priced options (really you don’t NEED leather for $4k) and lease it if possible, VW leases are generally a bargain and that way if you get stuck with a lemon it is easier to dump.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The GTI is better for car seats than the Fiesta ST or Focus ST. The seat track on the GTI is much longer. I did sell my GTI before my Focus one we had a kid though. The Focus trunk fit the stroller and other stuff much better than the GTI.

      • 0 avatar
        mnm4ever

        Agreed, the GTI hatch doesn’t seem very big to me, people constantly brag about how practical those cars are but I think it is downright small. But, probably worlds better than a G35 coupe.

        The problem with the Fords are that his wife thinks they feel cheap, which I would agree with. The VW would solve that problem while being just as fun to drive and also a bit more “grown up”.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I must say that I miss my MkV GTI more than any of the other cars that I have owned. It was the first car my wife and I bought together. The only positive that came from selling it was that I sold it to an ethusiast for quite a bit over blue book value. Used hot hatches are a crapshoot because some really get hooned. It was nice to actually have an automotive transaction with an informed buyer.

        • 0 avatar
          Shawnski

          mnm4ever; VW snob detected here. These aren’t 80s Escorts being discussed here. I would place the Focus and Fiesta very much in the same quality level (materials, feel) as a GTI, if not up to Golf R $tandards. The Fords are however significantly more engaging to drive than any VW I have come in contact with, and not just my attitude.

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            @Shawnski; Ford apologist detected here. :)

            I am not being a VW snob, I am actually the first to criticize my car for lack of durability with all these “high quality” bits that make it appealing to the so-called VW snobs. And don’t get me wrong… I LIKE the Fords, very much actually. I find them to be very engaging as well. But for every day use MY OPINION is that they are a little more hard-edged than the VW. It would really come down to the preference of the OP, who as we know now chose and is very happy with the Fiesta ST. But really to try to say there is a “significant” difference in driving engagement tells me you must never have driven a new GTI. They are all really close, even including other brands like the Mazdaspeed.

            As for the quality feel between the Ford and the VW, the Fords are really good. But most people still think the VW products are a little better than the Fords. And really, our opinions don’t matter… the OP’s wife thought the Ford felt cheap. So as an alternative to that, I suggested the VW.

            Honestly if I were buying a new hatch I’d probably pick the Ford over the VW too if only for the long term durability. But if my wife didn’t like the Ford I would get another GTI. But I don’t want a hot hatch anymore, I am thinking about trading it for a 2015 Mustang GT. So much for the VW snob theory.

    • 0 avatar
      klossfam

      Interesting as I traded my 2008 G35xS for a 2011 GTI Autobahn (4 Dr) about 2 years ago…Don’t regret it a bit. The GTI rear seat is as useable as the G35 and the performance in the ‘real world’ (even with FWD vs AWD that was RWD-based) is not that dramatic. Of course, the GTI we have is loaded, so the features/luxury difference is almost not existent with how well VW does interiors. Real world around town mileage went from 16 mpg with the G35xS to 25-26 mpg with the GTI, so the savings there has some teeth.

      The G35 developed a head gasket leak at 48,000 miles and in 23,000 miles, the GTI has been perfect (not one issue). I think if you went a little more ‘upstream’ from the G35, the “better half” might be more cooperative. Maybe a Focus ST if you are hooked on the Ford hot hatches?

  • avatar
    Thill

    As someone with young kids I would say don’t do it. I could barely fit two car seats in a Focus ST when I test drove one. I ended up with a WRX which is a blast to drive and has more legroom.

    The GTI is another solid recommendation although not nearly as fun to drive as a Fiesta, Focus, or WRX.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Diagree… the Fords might be more fun on a track but in the real world the GTI is just as fun while being much more livable. It is one of the best all around cars I have ever owned, even after 4 yrs it still makes me smile. I was sorely disappointed by the Focus and Fiesta ST, they just don’t have the same feel, just like the Mazdaspeed3 felt.

      I do like the WRX, it is very fun to drive and the faster, better performing car, even in the real world. Very livable day to day and practically unlimited tuning potential. But if his wife things the Ford interiors feel cheap, how do you think she will like plastic-ville in the Subaru? And while looks are subjective the only girls I have ever met who like the WRX are the die-hard gearheads and I am pretty sure the OPs wife is not one of them. Oh and the gas mileage sucks compared to the FWD hot hatches. I doubt it would be any better than his Infiniti.

      • 0 avatar
        hubcap

        “It is one of the best all around cars…”

        I read this a lot concerning the GTI and honestly I can’t figure out why. I’ve driven GTIs and owned GLXs/GLIs and while the GTI is a nice car there are others that I’d rather have over it.

        It’s almost like because the GTI is a hatch, that gives it an automatic additional 15pts on the scale but here’s the rub, at least for me. If you need to carry people and cargo the hatch is limited much more so than the sedan.

        There is no doubt the GTI is a nice car and this isn’t meant as a slight but I’d put others into the best all around car before it.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I really like the MKV GTI and GLI. I owned variations of both an they are basically the same car. I like the functionality of the hatch, but its personal preference. When you drive either one, they just feel right. They aren’t Mustangs or M3s, but they provide a compromise in a fun, compact package. Jeremy Clarkson said it best when he called the GTI, “all things to all men.”

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          Well the OP is considering a hot hatch already, and a lot of people do think a hatch is more sporty than a sedan. But how is a hatch any less practical than a sedan, especially a sedan it is based on?? The passenger space is equal, there is still a cargo area to hold both people and stuff, and you have the added bonus of folding the seats down to carry bulky items that won’t fit in a trunk.

          As for best all around car: sportiness, practicality, price, quality, driving dynamics, economy… it does a lot of things very well while giving up very little. What others would you consider better?

      • 0 avatar
        stottpie

        Really? A GTI owner prefers the GTI?

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          I’ve owned both a Focus ST and GTI. I would recommend either one over the other depending on the situation.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          Gee are you being sarcastic?? I couldn’t tell…

          Yes I am a GTI owner, but I am not one of those guys that recommends whatever car I own as the answer to every question. He wasn’t asking about minivans or muscle cars or sports cars. He is looking at a hot hatch to replace his Infiniti. And his concern is that the Fiesta is too small and his wife doesn’t think it is premium enough, and he wants something more fuel efficient than his G. So do you have a better suggestion than a GTI?

          But the comment was made that the GTI was “not nearly as fun as a Fiesta or Focus”, which is BS. It’s not like I am saying that the Fiesta or Focus isn’t nearly as fun to drive as the GTI, all 3 are quite entertaining cars that are very fun to drive. There isn’t a huge margin there between them. Get an APR or Revo tune for the GTI and they about dead even. It will come down to personal preference, but I feel that the Fords are a bit too harsh compared to the VW, which makes them more fun on a track but not as good to live with day to day. The GTI is a little better balanced.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            A Stage 1 APR tune, for any VAG 2.0T, may be the best $600 you could ever spend on a car.

          • 0 avatar
            th009

            APR — yes, once the warranty is over …

          • 0 avatar
            mnm4ever

            My dealer performed the Revo tune for me, for free actually, as they found that it was already applied to the car and could be re-activated after the original owner had reflashed it back to stock. The car was at the dealer getting warranty work done at the time this was discovered, and had been back a couple times after that for warranty work as well. I don’t think most dealers care about the tuning or even look for it.

  • avatar
    DC Bruce

    My motto is, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” The G37 is a nice car and a quantum level above what you are considering in refinement, etc. It’s also established a good record for reliability. Yes, it probably gets 5-6 mpg less than the Fiesta in the real world, but you don’t sound like a 20K m/yr. driver, so translating those differences into dollars adds up to less than you think. Moreover, regardless of what vehicle they’re in (sedan, pickup truck, SUV, hatch) Ford’s “Ecoboost” engines seem to fall far short of their EPA ratings in real-world use. Clearly, Ford has figured out how to game the EPA test; and the differences between the EPA test and real-world driving turn out to be significant with the Ecoboost motors.

    The Fiesta and Focus ST both have that “boy racer” look and feel about them, which the Infiniti lacks. Both of them have disappointingly small back seats. So, if you’re determined to trade the Infiniti, the GTI looks like the more sober choice . . . although you should expect it to spend more time in the shop, regardless of who’s paying the bill for the repairs — you or VAG.

    I actually used to haul my kids around in the back seats of my ’87 Mustang GT . . . when they were 7 and 4. They thought it was a blast! That definitely had the boy racer look and sound to it . . . but then I was under 40 so maybe I qualified as a “boy.”

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      Even if he’s putting 20k miles on the G this year, which he’s clearly not from the description of daycare-chauffeur, people overrate 5MPG, especially when it’s weighed against car payments, increased insurance, and most importantly, going from a late 20-something respectable daily driver to a boy-racer econobox.

      It never ceases to amaze me how many people could scratch the itch of a performance-minded daily driver by taking up karting for a year or 2, without screwing around with the thing that gets them to work.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I like your advice, so +. There’s no reason to get rid of the G, and the G is not too big. Mister OP wants to drive a big car, come pilot my M. When I stepped out of my GS and into it, it felt damn near unmanageable. It drives larger than my A8L did.

      The OP sounds too grown up/responsible for the Fiesta.

      “And perhaps your career/social life demands a more prestigious vehicle for the valet lot?” Sajeev’s point about this was very valid too.

  • avatar
    Vulpine

    To answer the querier’s question, what he’s overlooking is the fact that the child won’t remain small for all that long. You’ll quickly discover you need a bigger car to carry the little one’s things and to handle the shopping and carrying needs over the years. Personally, I wouldn’t recommend anything smaller than a Focus and even THAT is too small for my taste with what you have coming. I understand your desire to have a smaller, sportier car for your own enjoyment, but unfortunately you now have to consider your wife and child’s needs as well.

    At the same time, I would think the Infiniti is a little too much car–not in size but in cost. Being a luxury car, maintenance is going to cost more and you’ve already mentioned fuel economy. My best recommendation is either a decent mid-sized sedan like the Ford Focus or Chevy Cruze (I hate using the term mid-sized for them, they’re still compacts). There’s a pretty broad selection of cars in this class and they offer reasonably good performance while still giving acceptable economy. On the other hand, an SUV or crossover will offer more convenience–something you’ll appreciate when you’re constantly carrying the baby’s necessities around and later when you become the DIYer of the household. And depending on where you live, you might want to consider some form of AWD for weather driving safety.

    • 0 avatar

      The Infinity has already undergone a big chunk of its depreciation, so that’s a big financial advantage. But, do the math on all the expenses.

      My best friend really liked the Cruze–to his great surprise–when he rented one for a Colorado vacation last summer.

      I don’t know that AWD adds safety to driving. It doesn’t help you stop! Snow tires do that.

      And of course, reread Pch101′s (first) comment.

      On the other hand, I’m not sure I buy the “too small” argument. Five of us in my family of origin toured Europe for two months in a Peugeot 404 wagon. Granted, my sister was only 3 at the time, but this WAS a small car, especially by American standards.

      As for Scott314′s argument about when the in-laws come, if that’s an issue you can always rent a car. Or maybe they come by car–by Panther.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      If you can’t carry around a couple kids and their stuff in what is a normal size car for 95% of the world’s population, leave some of the crap at home.

      My Mother carted my brother and I around in an old rusty 911 when I was in middle school/Jr High. And I was 6′ tall by then. Our “big” car was a ’77 Grand Prix. Either has 1/2 the space of a modern small hatch. Tens of millions were raised in things like Datsun B210s and Rabbits, which are also smaller than a Fiesta.

      If the OP wants an ST, he should get an ST. If Wifey wants something else, she should get what floats HER boat.

      • 0 avatar
        Feds

        I used to be you, then I had kids. YMMV but the difference between then (when I was secured by the blankets tucked into the bed of our Dodge conversion van) and now (when I had to sell my Protege5 when I had my 2nd kid) is that the law requires car and/or booster seats until a kid is 80 lbs. Those Mommy lovers are BIG, even little boosters. There are a few slim options on the market, but there is a tangible safety differential between an inflatable armless booster and a high-back booster with head protection.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        The problem with that argument is that the world today is not your mother’s world. Carrying around a couple of underage kids in the back of a 911 without booster seats is illegal. Fine, so you were six feet tall in middle school; that also means you weighed more than 80 pounds. This guy’s kid is mere months old and legal requirements means he’s just about got to have something bigger for accessibility, safety and comfort. Keep in mind that the US has some of the most stringent safety requirements in the world–especially when it comes to child safety. (Not that I agree with all of the regulations, only that we have them and have to live within them.)

        • 0 avatar
          krhodes1

          While I agree, I find it VERY hard to believe that you cannot find appropriate safety equipment to carry children in the back of a Fiesta. It may not be available for $50 at WallyWorld, but it is out there, because Europe has about the same regs as we do for this. And the Fiesta is a perfectly normal car for a young family in Europe to have.

          • 0 avatar
            Pch101

            Trying to apply European expectations to American moms is a ticket to a county divorce court.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            You certainly can. However, there are drawbacks. I had a Fiesta for a few weeks. At 6’4″, if I put my seat in a comfortable driving position, I would not be able to get a child in a forward facing car seat. My seat back was against the front of the convertible car seat.

            The convertible car seat I own is made by a UK company and happens to be the American version of one of the best selling car seats on amazon.co.uk.

          • 0 avatar
            Cubista

            Also consider that the rearward-facing car seat also probably needs a collapse-able buggy/carriage configuration to go with; trunk space for a Fiesta is notoriously limited (Clarkson could BARELY get a mounted zebra’s head to fit during the Top Gear “Real World” test of the car).

            All of this assumes the OP and his SO are content to keep just the one sprog; trust me when I say that can change REALLY QUICK. Two pre-school kids requiring full-size car seats in a Fiesta is a non-starter.

    • 0 avatar
      pb35

      The OP wants a daily driver that doubles as an occasional auto cross/track day car. I seriously doubt a Cruze or Focus will fit the bill here.

      As for me, I cart my 4 year old twins around in a full size Charger R/T. I wouldn’t feel comfortable driving my kids around in a compact car, not here in truck mad Texas. Yeah, I know, your family of four made do with a Pinto with no rear seat belts, so what?

      Oh and I traded my 8 year old G35x for the Charger. I felt the back seat in the G was a bit cramped.

      • 0 avatar
        GiddyHitch

        Seriously? The G’s rear seat is a bit cramped (compared to my M) but the Charger has to have one of the worst ratios of exterior dimensions to interior dimensions since the demise of the Panther.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        The back seat of a 2007 G35S is the most comfortable I’ve ever experienced. The back seat of the previous generation was among the worst I’ve ever experienced.

  • avatar
    Scott_314

    First of all, props for caring more about what you like than the badge on the front or the ‘prestige’ of the car. Like anyone else cares what you drive.

    Second, I disagree about car seats needing a bigger car. Car seats in a smaller car are an annoyance it’s true, but not the end of the world. After awhile the kids go front-facing anyways.

    My mom always had a two-door and she would argue that two doors is better – the kids have their own private space, and you have a bit more security and control. Besides a lot of people remember a childhood of crawling over seats to get in the back, and it’s not the worst memory we have growing up.

    The Infiniti is also expensive to own. According to fueleconomy.gov the annual fuel bill is $1,000 more than the Fiesta ST. Tires, insurance, and maintenance could easily be another $1,500.

    But all that said, those savings would be eaten and then some up by depreciation on a new ST. Plus, the G35 is a nice car. So yeah, it’s a tough call.

    I would say that for the rare time the in-laws visit you might want a bigger car available. So if you’re a one car family, stick with the G.

    If you’re a two car family, let the wife have the bigger vehicle and go with the ST. Maybe consider a slightly cheaper used WRX if you can find one that hasn’t been beaten.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      The Focus and Fiesta in ST trims are no gos for me personally with kids because of the size of the seats and the fact that I’m 6’4″. On the Fiesta ST, forward facing car seats won’t even work. The back of my seat touches the car seat. On the Focus, it isn’t much better. I’m sure it will work for some people, but his wife thinks the Fiesta is too small. If she thinks the car is too small, who am I to argue.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      He will spend MORE on Fiesta ST insurance than he does on G35 insurance.

  • avatar
    fredtal

    About once a year I get the urge for a new car. Resist and you will be rewarded with money in your pocket. Succumb and you get a new car to play with. Personally I’m a cheap bastard and unless I can come up with a good finacial reason to spend thousands of dollars then I don’t. It also helps that I pay cash for my cars. Leasee’s are more easyly fooled.

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    First, I will state that I am biased. I prefer Japanese cars. I have been driving 15 years and of those 13 were spent behind the wheel of Japanese cars. And when I say Japanese cars I don’t mean American-made transplant, I mean “J” in the VIN Japanese. So knowing that, take my opinion with a grain of salt.

    I would keep the Infiniti. It’s a nice car that you know to be reliable and is quite sporty in spite of its girth. I don’t see it as a good fiscal move to jump ship to a car that is an unknown to you.

  • avatar
    PrincipalDan

    Get her into a Focus ST and see how she feels.

    Or accept the fact your a married man and test drive a Fusion Titanium AWD. :)

  • avatar
    Nedmundo

    I’m with DC Bruce on this one. If the Infiniti is working for your family, and the wife likes it, stick with it. IMO, a mid-sized sports sedan is an excellent option for a family-hauling enthusiast, and you have a good one. When my kids were little, it was a 2001 Saab 9-5 Aero, which was a blast to drive, but was also practical and comfortable on long family road trips. Ditto for its replacement, a 2010 Acura TSX (6MT, of course). The Acura isn’t quite as fun due to lower power and numb steering, but has one huge advantage — reliability — which should be an Infiniti strong suit as well. Every time I’m tempted by something like a Focus ST, I start thinking about the compromises, and come back to reality. You might have a different experience, but I suspect that if you go down to something like a Fiesta, you might have regrets down the line. In a couple of years, maybe you can pick up a used FR-S or BRZ for a little fun on the side.

    • 0 avatar
      fvfvsix

      Nedmundo – I have a solution to alleviate some of your Acura’s steering woes… Ditch the original tires and buy a set of Michelin Pilot Sport A/S 3. You will not believe how good that car can handle until you do this.

      • 0 avatar
        Nedmundo

        Thanks. Tires do indeed make a difference, and I recently installed Conti Extreme Contact DWS, which definitely improved steering feel relative to the OEM Michelins. But the EPS is still numb and has poor on-center feel, just like most EPS systems. At least it’s better than the steering in the F30 BMW 3 Series! Maybe I’ll try the Pilot A/S 3 next time.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          The ExtremeContact DWS is an excellent tire. The pilots will give you better road feel, but the ExtremeContact’s give you 90% of the handling, a cheaper price, longer tread life, and MUCH better cold weather performance. They may be the best all season in the snow. Both are excellent products though.

  • avatar
    Thill

    The problem with the Focus and Fiesta is also front leg room. I am 5’11″ and with my seat in the normal driving position there is very little room behind me, even for a child, and especially not a rear facing child seat. Those Recaro seats are amazing to sit in, but really eat into the available legroom in the back.

    And that was in a Focus ST. The Fiesta ST is even tighter than the Focus. Honestly, this is a lot like the BRZ/FR-S in that the backseat is just there to say it has four seats. Unless you are short and your passengers are short, fitting even children in this car would be a challenge.

  • avatar
    Domestic Hearse

    Keep the G. I assume it’s paid for? If so, all the better. You like it, wife likes it, fits the needs of a growing family.

    The answer (and some maintain it’s always the answer): Miata.

    If you like track-day events and something fun to drive on weekends, an older Miata is just the ticket. Cheap to buy, cheap to fix and maintain, cheap to insure, and a great supply of performance enhancing aftermarket products.

    Shoot Steven Lang an email, have him keep an eye out for you. Now’s the time to buy a used sportscar, especially a ragtop, what with the entire nation in a deep freeze.

    BTW, really enjoyed Baruth’s R&T PCOTY piece. I was rooting for the little Ford to win. Sounds like a hoot to drive. However, if it’s your family’s DD, and the Fiesta is already too snug for a small child, you’ll outgrow your love for it quickly. Plus, tracking your family’s only car is never a good idea. So save the G for the street and find that old Miata for your hobby.

    • 0 avatar
      ellomdian

      “If you like track-day events and something fun to drive on weekends, an older Miata is just the ticket. Cheap to buy, cheap to fix and maintain, cheap to insure, and a great supply of performance enhancing aftermarket products.”

      And when you get tired of it, you can sell it at most of the original cost to the next ‘you’.

    • 0 avatar
      Kendahl

      Agreed. Keep the G for family duty and get an old Miata for fun. For more money, an old Honda S2000 would be even more fun. Just make sure to get an inspection by a competent mechanic so that you know what your toy will need.

  • avatar
    danio3834

    Simple solution: track the G.

  • avatar
    Lightspeed

    Keep the Infiniti, in fact, mile that sucker out! Get a beater Miata or even a used kart for track-days. I have a Lexus GS I plan to mile-out to 350-400,000KM. It’s a nice car, fast enough and paid for!

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Happy wife, happy life.

    She doesn’t like it.

    Game, set, match.

    Unless you like divorce lawyers, run down one room apartments, seeing your kid every other weekend, and driving an 88 Festiva for your daily drive – walk away from the Fiesta.

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      So that’s how it works? She needs to like and approve whatever you want? In my book safety concerns and other such issues are valid but just because she doesn’t like something means you can get it?

      I’m glad its working for you. May I ask a question and please understand I mean no harm? Have you tried you getting what floats your boat and she getting what floats hers? Within reason of course.

      • 0 avatar
        Vulpine

        Hubcap, it’s obvious you’ve never been married or never stayed married for long. If you had, you’d have a much better understanding of the problem.

        First off, if you pay attention to the OP, it’s quite obvious they’re a one-car family–at least for now. I’m guessing they feel they can’t afford to buy a second vehicle, so one vehicle has to serve the entire family’s needs. As such, despite the lower gas mileage his current vehicle is the better choice for many reasons. On the other hand, being older his existing car may be getting into that range of costing more to maintain than the payment of a new car. In other words, he simply cannot do what you so adamantly recommend. Maybe in a few years he can, but if he tries now more likely he will join the ranks of the divorced poor.

        • 0 avatar
          mnm4ever

          @vulpine – I never got the impression that they are a one-car family. He mentioned having sports cars in the past and going to track events, somehow I doubt his wife is waiting at the bus stop while he drives the Infiniti to work and does occasional drop off duty for the kids.

          I think the answer is somewhere between the two. You don’t just up and do whatever you darn well please without taking your wife’s opinion into consideration. But you also can get some leeway into getting what you want even if it isn’t her first choice. My wife will let me get whatever car I want, but I value her opinion as it makes my life easier. My brother’s wife tells him what he can and cannot do and I laugh anytime he tells me that.

        • 0 avatar
          hubcap

          “Hubcap, it’s obvious you’ve never been married or never stayed married for long. If you had, you’d have a much better understanding of the problem.”

          Oh snap!

          It’s like that? I feel that there’s a chance, ever so slight, that I have not communicated my position as clearly as I could have.

          I was responding to what APaGttH said but I’ll address my thoughts about the OP’s post further below.

          So,let’s start afresh as if a spring shower has washed all the misconceptions away while little forest sprites gently clean the crevices.

          I’d like to know what is so wrong about each partner choosing a car that works for them. Again, practicality and safety need to be taken into consideration, but with those two items checked, why not go with what makes you happy?

          I might be missing something. Sometimes me and subtle aren’t the best of friends so if I am please let me know.

          As far as the OP’s original post… It wasn’t obvious to me that they’re sharing cars and after re-reading it still isn’t.

          The OP mentions he’s owned many cars, specifically Corvettes and Miatas and that the G is his first four door.

          He never mentions nor implies that he and his wife share the car. If they do, she has every right to object.

          If they don’t she still has that right as long as its a safety or practicality concern, and if it isn’t I’m sure he’d still want to know her feelings but again, if those concerns are off the table why wouldn’t you purchase what you want?

          Now I’d like you too sit down before I confess this next bit of information.

          I’m married and have been for a number of minutes. It might be hard to believe but it’s true:-)

          • 0 avatar
            fvfvsix

            @hubcap – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with each partner choosing a car that works for them… however, there can be some benefits from coordinating vehicle purchases with your spouse. For example, one person may daily drive a ute (which will assume road trip duties), while the other can pilot around a small-ish, high MPG car for around-town duty. This keeps you from ending up with a pair of F-150′s or some such.

            Either way, the OP has stated that his wife has a concern about the Fiesta ST’s interior. If she is adamant, then he needs to listen to her concerns. If they are both reasonable people, then this shouldn’t be a deal breaker to resolve.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            Ok, maybe I’m wrong. If so, I apologize. However, my take on his argument was that his is a one-car family based on the way I read it. If they’re not, then her argument is less valid as it would be HER car that is the primary family car and as such you would be correct.

            On the other hand, I’m personally opposed to the Fiesta as his ‘toy’ car pretty much for the same reasons she’s opposed to it–though I’m willing to be more up front about the relative lack of safety in such a vehicle. Even the head of the NHTSA has blatantly stated that the smaller the car, the more deadly in a collision. The Fiesta is one of the lightest American made cars and would be seriously thrown around in a collision with any other vehicle larger than itself. Sure, it will sacrifice itself to save the passengers’ lives, but with less room to crumple, any crash energy will expend itself by physically moving the car in a new direction. Even the best baby seats would be hard-pressed to cushion an infant from the kind of G-forces involved. A heavier car is inherently safer at that point.

            He still has to pick up the little one at the end of the day, which means that even if only for 5-15 minutes that child is in his car, there is an increased risk of serious injury if not death when compared to what he currently owns.

            I understand your point that he should get what HE wants, but if that little one is going to spend any time at all in HIS car, he needs to be cognizant of the risks and work to mitigate them in a manner that satisfies his wife, too.

          • 0 avatar
            GiddyHitch

            This post delighted me top to bottom.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    Check out Alex Dyke’s Fiesta review, I took away from it the Fiesta’s not bad but it seems like it sells more Focuses. If Focus can do everything the Fiesta has enticed you with, it seems like the more practical choice.

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    The issue ‘Daily driver’ has to be rethought. Get a weekend, really fun car. A NA Miata or E-30, for road and track should work out all the issues.

    If the wife gives you the evil eye about that, smile, but be firm. If your meeting all your other responsibilities, you’ve earned it, have some fun, cuzz you will be dead too soon and one should have as much fun as one can on the way to that condition.

  • avatar
    ThirdPedal

    Hello all. Clark here, I’m the guy who wrote the email. I sent the question in a while back. The decision has already been made, and I traded in the Infiniti for the ST. This was a little over a month ago and everything has gone smoothly. The childseat fits ok in the car so long as it’s in the center, and reaching into the center to strap in the baby hasn’t been nearly the chore I expected it to be.
    I had a Miata that filled the “fun” requirement, but I sold that to a friend in a bind, and was really jonesin for something I could autocross again.

    The wife came around pretty quick. Once I used the car for baby hauling a while, she decided she didn’t need a big car either and traded her outback in on an Accord. So we’re both happy.

    By the way, the Fiesta ST is a great car. Almost as much fun as my Miata. A superb drivers car.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      Great to hear it, and glad you are enjoying the Fiesta. Out of curiousity, what kind of gas mileage are you seeing with it?

      And I guess this answers the question of whether or not you are a one car family. But is a new Accord any smaller than an Outback?

      • 0 avatar
        ThirdPedal

        My best tank was about 28.5 mpg, and my worst was about 25mpg so far, about 2500 miles in.

        The Accord has less cargo space, and a much tidier driving experience than the Subie. But wow is the steering numb on the Honda. I read people complaining that this is common in that type of car, but I couldn’t believe how artificial it feels. That + CVT= blah. But she loves it.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Congratulations, and apologies to those I may have upset for misreading your letter. Had I known up front you were already a two-car family I would have responded differently.

      Personally, while I accept your decision, it is not one I would have made; but then, I’m not the biggest fan of small-ish cars. Then again, I’m also not a fan of the Road Whales™ known as full-sized pickup trucks either–not as a family car, anyway. I currently drive a 4-door Jeep Wrangler and have owned almost everything between a Volkswagen Fastback to a ’73 Gran Torino and even that Gran Torino was much too big for my comfort. I’m happier with something more the size of the current Camaro and would point out that fuel economy in a Camaro is remarkable–as long as you keep the pedal off the metal. Lots of fun. Sharp handling. But with the V6 certainly not the fastest car on the track. Still, with the V6 it’s also lighter and more agile, making it a better autocross car. Again maybe not the fastest on the track, but would do well in its class. And because it’s just that much bigger, it’s also that much safer. But that’s me. (I got best in class long ago in a ’75 Cutlass Supreme–but then, there were only three big cars in that particular race and I was willing to throw it around intelligently. The other two took out dozens of cones on every run, I ran a clean run each time and still beat the 442 before penalties.)

  • avatar
    3Deuce27

    I have too laugh at all those scared, weak kneed ‘PW’ creatures/gentlemen commenting above.

    Few women want a man with his tail always between his legs. And if your dealing with one that does, your life is pretty much hopeless anyway, unless you grow some balls.

    There are no guarantees, that giving up on what you want, is going to guarantee domestic bliss.
    60+ years of watching couples relations, has affirmed that for me.

    It’s about give and take. You want a fun car, give her and her mother a Caribbean cruise or a new bathroom.

    If she can never be satisfied, your going to pushed off the bus, eventually, and it is going to be a shitty ride till then. And when that happens, what is left of your self respect will be totally trashed. Kick yourself in the butt now instead of then when it won’t count for much but misdirected anger and self loathing.

    Any woman that always has your balls on a chopping block is and ugly person, and it is going to end badly, someday.

  • avatar
    daviel

    Track car? How much time have you been spending at the “track” lately? Not enough, you say. You want to run the ST at the track? If your finances can stand such car purchases, get the ST. Run it hard – to death, then get something else, say a 2015 Mustang v8. I have no sales resistance and would probably have driven the ST home from the Ford sales promotion. You can find a baby seat that will fit the ST. Me? I’d love to have a Fiesta ST.

  • avatar
    boomhauer

    I’m in almost this exact same quandary. Although mine is more acute as I have the coupe where as OP has the 4 door sedan. The G35 is a lot of fun, but in the Austin metro area, tons of traffic, so don’t even have a chance to really exercise it unless I hit a toll road.

    The other part to consider about keeping / ditching the G is that to do a stereo upgrade (bluetooth, etc). You have to spend about $350-400 just for the JDM AC controller and bezel + the stereo, microphone and backup camera. $1000+ just in parts.

    MEGA thread on G35 stereo upgrade:
    http://g35driver.com/forums/audio-video-electronics/333847-wrathernauts-double-din-installation-faq-shopping-resource-list.html

    Personally, I’m putting my ’06 G35 Coupe (65k) up for sale this weekend hoping for $14k.

    OP – Check out the Forte5 coming soon. I also like the MazdaSpeed 3. Can get a decent one for under $10k.

  • avatar
    rpn453

    A 2007 G35S is kind of dull? I think I know the problem. If you take the center console apart you’ll find a Bosch unit containing accelerometers. Splice a switch into the power to that unit and install the switch inside the console bin. Leave it turned off unless your wife is driving it or something.

    Seriously though, my buddy has that exact car and I find nothing dull about driving it, being a passenger in it, or even just watching him drive the thing sideways through our local track. It’s plenty communicative but it is fairly big and a bit soft, so I can see how someone might find the Fiesta ST to be more fun, from what I’ve heard about that car. I’m just picking on what was to me an unexpected choice of words for a car that’s driven by the most fish-taily of all my friends!

    Edit: I just did a quick search and it seems that the G35S was actually available with an automatic? Was that part of the problem?

  • avatar
    jimbob457

    According to the sage advice of my grandfather, there is (at least) one of two things every boy should do in his time: date a stripper and/or buy a Jag convertible. At your stage of life these choices are: get a girlfriend on the side and/or buy a motorcycle. Neither of these involves buying a Ford.


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