By on February 16, 2015


When we last saw our hero, he was debating between keeping his Boss 302 or selling it and downsizing to a little pocket-rocket Fiesta ST for a year or so until the Shelby GT350 hits the showrooms. Wait, let’s leave that writing-in-third-person nonsense to NFL wide receivers and people with delusions of grandeur. Reset.

I spent much of last week crunching numbers and trying to figure out what I wanted to do. Like our fearless leader (Obama, not Derek)—to those of you who voted in the comments section, I heard you. For those of you didn’t vote, I heard you, too. I read all of the reasoned opinions. I calculated. I planned. I schemed.

And then I said, Eff it. Let’s do both.

. 068

The more visually astute of you will notice that the above is a picture of my driveway/garage. You’ll also notice that this driveway/garage has both a Fiesta ST and a Boss 302 residing in it (the Flex steadfastly refused to vacate its well-earned spot on the other side of the garage, as did the mountain of children’s toys and Cozy Coupes). Dafuq happened? Sit back, relax, adjust the resolution on your monitor on this Monday morning, and let me spin a yarn of excess for you.

I had been in communication with the Internet Manager at Paul Miller Ford in Lexington, Kentucky all week, explaining to him that I would coming in that Friday to look at the Fiesta ST that they had on their lot, which was the only one in Kentucky dealer inventory at the time. The terms of the deal I laid out were easy—I wanted $37K for my car, and I would gladly pay X Plan minus rebates for theirs.

It wasn’t exactly the car I wanted—it was Performance Blue, and I wanted Molten Orange. It had full SYNC navigation/entertainment and a roof, neither of which I was particularly excited to pay for. My dream Fiesta would have had neither of those options, but would have had Recaro seats. One of the commenters in last week’s post said something about Baruth boys being, ahem, plus-sized. As Gershwin would have told you, it ain’t necessarily so. I’m scraping the botton of 5’9″ and I tip the scales just south of 160 pounds, so the Recaros are no problem for me.

However, I was prepared to drive the Fiesta they had and order the Fiesta that I wanted. When I arrived at the dealership on Friday, I was surprised to see it totally swamped by sub-prime customers wearing Kentucky blue. Turned out that Julius Randle, the former UK Wildcat and current resident of the Los Angeles Lakers’ injured reserve list, was in the house to sign autographs. Much to the chagrin of the sales manager on duty, Randle rolled up in an A8 to the dealership, not an Expedition. The circus-like atmosphere of the store made it a little difficult to conduct business, but that was fine with me. I just wanted to drive the little hatch and be on my way.

There was one small snag—I was coming directly from the airport, so I wasn’t driving my Boss. I rolled up in my Legacy Wagon, which impressed exactly nobody at the dealership.

“So, uh, what’s that car you’re driving? Is that a Subaru?” asked the new car manager upon greeting me, undoubtedly trying to see if his only sales prospect of the day was a 520 beacon score waiting to happen.

“That’s my airport car. No worries, dude. I work for (redacted).”

“Oh, okay.” He was visibly relieved. “Let’s go find that great little car!”

He introduced me to the Internet Manager, who introduced me to the salesman. As per usual, the salesman knew next to nothing about the car, but that was okay by me—I actually prefer it. I’d much rather spend my test drive focusing on the driving dynamics of the car, not hearing about crumple zones and airbags.

The test drive loop wasn’t exactly the Grand Prix Monaco course. I didn’t have too many opportunities to scare the salesman—he only asked me to slow down three times. But what a car. The statement I’m wanting to make may seem a tad ridiculous out of context, so I’m going to save it for a tad later in this post. Instead, I’m going to focus on some of the complaints that people have about the Fiesta, namely the interior.

First of all, if you’re complaining about the interior materials of this car, you’re an idiot. You’re completely missing the point of the Fiesta. The interior is more than adequate—in fact, it’s a major upgrade from a Boss 302. The SYNC MyFordTouch system is exactly the same one that you’d get in a Flex Titanium, complete with 2 USB ports, SD card reader, and audio input jack in the center console. It synced up easily with my iPhone 5s, no questions asked. The Sony eight-speaker sound system is quite acceptable. I wouldn’t call it “good,” but neither is it terrible. Again, I’m coming from a Boss 302 most days, so I’m easy to please. I much prefer the spooling turbo whine that is pumped into the cabin from the sound symposer, anyway.

The test drive was more than enough to convince me that I wanted the car. A few questions remained, however.

  • Should I do a 60 month buy at 0%, or a 24 month lease?
  • Should I order exactly the car I want and wait three months, or get it today?
  • What the hell am I going to do with my Boss?

Taking them one at a time:

  • The sales manager was likely staring at a terrible February. The weather in Kentucky, like everywhere, has been awful for car sales. On a 24 month lease, he was willing to do X Plan plus all rebates plus a little bit more, and then also give me 12K miles for the same price as 10,500. Done.
  • I suck at being patient. The discounts pretty much wiped out the additional cost of the navigation system, which meant that for the next two years I wouldn’t have to do the dreaded “I HAVE TO HANG UP ON YOU RIGHT NOW BECAUSE I HAVE NO IDEA WHERE I’M GOING AND I’M USING MY PHONE FOR GPS” that I often have to do in unfamiliar cities. And I had been driving a yellow car for 32 months—maybe a subtle color wouldn’t be so bad for once.
  • Fuck it. I ‘m keeping the Boss.

The last one was the tough one. In order to explain, let me introduce you to Kevy.


Kevy is the little boy on the left in this picture, standing proudly next to his little sister. He’s a smart, talented, warm-hearted kid. He’s a pretty good goalkeeper. Most importantly, he also happens to be my son.

Kevy loves the Boss 302. He asks to be picked up in it from school daily. He brags to his friends about it. He tells them that his daddy’s car is the fastest car in the parking lot, and that Daddy will beat any of their daddies in a race. The day I bought the Boss, on June 9th, 2012, Kevy asked to pose for pictures with it all day. As you can see in the picture, his favorite color is now Yellow, because Daddy’s Boss is yellow. He loves it. How could I disappoint him?

After I figured out that I could afford to have both cars in the driveway, it was a no-brainer. The Boss has entered a realm known as the “993 Zone,” where depreciation no longer has any real meaning. Case in point: The Boss stickered for $45,240 32 months ago. It now sells privately with 30,000 miles on it for at least $38k. That’s insane. My financing rate is good enough that I’m essentially paying 98% principal with every payment, so I will likely get back nearly every dollar I pay on it for at least the next twelve months. One could make the case that the Boss will be devalued by the launch of the GT350, certainly, but one could also make the case that the Boss could become more popular as people realize that the additional dealer markup on the Shelby isn’t going to go away any time soon. There’s also this: neither the Boss nor the Fiesta can do what the other can do. Neither is a replacement for the other. If you love one, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll love the other.

So I signed some papers, left the Subaru in the dealership parking lot overnight, and immediately went canyon carving.

There’s a stretch of road in Kentucky that’s a favorite among the buff books for road tests. Route 52 from Richmond to Morehead, as well as some of the lesser arteries that wind off of it, is one of the best driver’s roads in America. The Fiesta ST is perfectly suited for just such a jaunt,  stretching out its 202 lb-ft of torque and power-to-weight ratio of an E30 M3 along the banks of the Kentucky river, making elevation changes of a nearly a hundred feet around every corner.

It’s one thing to hoon around in a press car. It’s entirely another to do it in a car that you just signed paperwork for less than an hour ago. In some ways, it’s more confidence inspiring. In others, much less so. Nevertheless, on this Friday afternoon, the Fiesta and I became one as we traversed the hills of the Bluegrass.

Every turn was perfect. Each gearshift executed perfectly, the gearbox easily the best I’ve ever driven. The tires never slipped. The wickedly short wheelbase meant that the nose never plowed. I nearly forgot that I was driving a FWD car. The turbo never lagged. The torque-curve never flattened. I simply couldn’t push the car hard enough—each time I thought I had reached a limit, the Fiesta nudged me. Come on, Bark. We can go faster. We can turn harder. We can tempt fate on this next blind hill. It will all turn out okay. And you know what? It always did.

Journos throw around the term “usable speed” somewhat casually, normally in reference to some slow car that’s supposed to be fun to drive “at the limit.” Most journalists would piss themselves “at the limit.”  In my mildly capable hands, the Fiesta’s limits are almost unreachable on a public road. Every ounce of its speed is not only usable, it’s capable. As I closed the gap between myself and other cars on the road, occasionally a Fox Mustang or Miata out for a spirited drive would attempt to keep me from overtaking. It was an exercise in futility. The Fiesta artfully absorbed them, lifting a rear wheel almost as if to wave goodbye on the next corner entry. The fingers extended by my fellow road-goers wasn’t a middle finger—it was a hearty thumbs up.

Road tests seem to suggest that the Fiesta does zero-to-sixty in roughly seven seconds. I suggest it doesn’t fucking matter. No more fun can be had for this amount of money. No more fun can be had for twice as much money. So here’s the ridiculous statement that I wanted to make earlier:

The Fiesta is the best car I’ve ever driven.

Maybe not the best car for sitting in or for taking to a dragstrip or for showing off how much money you make, but for driving? No question. It manages to do the impossible—it inspires nearly endless confidence while keeping the nannies and electronics out of the way.  My only wish would be for a slightly higher rev limiter—it’s quite easy to find yourself bouncing off it.

As I flew along State Route 388 up towards Fort Boonesborough State Park, I finally came to a rest at the intersection of 388 and 627, where the hooning would be forced to subside as the road became a straight line all the way home to Winchester. I could smell a little tire and a little brake, but I mostly just sensed pure driving nirvana.

So stick with me for the next 24 months. We’ll see if the driving dynamics of the Fiesta manage to keep the snarling Boss in the garage, or if my lust for power eventually proves unquenchable. But for now, let’s do both.



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137 Comments on “Bark’s Bites: Welcome to Our 24-Month Long Fiesta...”

  • avatar


  • avatar

    Looking forward to updates. ;-)

  • avatar
    Felis Concolor

    Sounds like fun; enjoy your Jekyll/Hyde garage!

  • avatar

    sounds like a fun drive! Ever driven on some of the other more scenic, fun to drive routes on the Bourbon trail? I would suggest more reviews based on a driving route between the distilleries along the trail. The drive between the Woodford Reserve and Wild Turkey distilleries takes you along the Kentucky River. Everything people think about Kentucky can be seen on that route!

    • 0 avatar

      I will have to check that out! Remarkably, even though I’ve lived in central KY for seven years, I’ve never done the Bourbon trail thing. I’m not really much of a drinker (not nowadays, anyway).

    • 0 avatar

      I’m going to second the bourbon trail thing. That’s where I’d go in Kentucky, unless the scenery and the driving are underwhelming by local standards. And even then, I’d be tempted.

      Uh, Bark, so you’re saying the Fiesta is more fun than the Boss? (And I ask that as someone who is more interested in great handling, steering feel and the like than in power.) And I certainly don’t need a status symbol, especially if the driving is terrific, but I do not particularly like the fish face that has become Ford’s identity. But if the thing drives as well as you say, I might have to test drive one, despite all that.

  • avatar

    I did the two car thing once with a 2006 TSX and a 2011 Miata.

    Never again.

    Too much money and hassle. The Acura was already paid for, but I still didn’t like dealing with keeping two cars up and running.

    • 0 avatar

      Try three :)

    • 0 avatar

      I do three in my garage. An SUV, a convertible (my wife’s), and a sports car. To me, a perfect combo. I like options :)

    • 0 avatar

      Technically I have 5, possibly with a 6th coming in shortly. But #5 is pretty much taken care of by my oldest daughter, who rarely needs me to help her with anything on her car anymore. But I have my Mustang and my wife has her MR2, and we have a CRV for daily driving and dog duty, and a Civic for my wife to daily drive, and she shares with our younger daughter. The 6th is the truck I have wanted for a long time, but I may wait for the lease to be up on the Civic before pulling the trigger on it.

      Funny how it turned out for Bark, I had recently toyed with the idea of leasing a FiST for daily driving; running the numbers I came up with $180/mo or so thanks to some extremely generous incentives (though I cannot verify if that was accurate, I didn’t get to the negotiations stage of the process!). but thats still $180/mo more than the CRV costs I I just suck it up for now.

      • 0 avatar

        If you can get a FiST for $180 a month, let me know so I can go get two more. :)

        Best case is around $260, and that’s over 39 months for a base car with $2K down.

        • 0 avatar


          Those are a great pair of kids you have. I’m glad you listened to Kevy and kept the Boss.

        • 0 avatar

          @Bark – well all I was going by was the numbers on the Ford website “estimate your payment” calculator. Even now it says that you can lease a base ST for $189/mo with about $3k out of pocket, [email protected]/yr.

          At the time I was looking they were blowing out the 2014s and had some great rebates that I could qualify for, on the order of $2500. The site calculator didn’t adjust for credit union pricing, and only accounted for $1000 in incentives. So my creative math skills told me I could possibly have $1500+ more in rebates that could apply to the lease upfronts, plus another $500 or so in USAA pricing discounts, which could mean a Fiesta ST with my trade (or very little down) at $189/mo or so.

          As I said, I never actually went to the dealer to run numbers, so its highly likely that all of those rebates wouldn’t be able to apply to the red carpet leases. Or the lease calculator could report totally bogus numbers, who knows. I waited a few more months and bought a 2015 Mustang GT/PP instead.

          Either way, love the new car, and you are living the dream. I miss my GTI sometimes, but I love my Mustang. Being able to have both a hot hatch and a muscle car is a great combination.

  • avatar

    Congrats. The new Fiesta will come out soon enough and it will be bigger. It has too as little brother Ka is actually larger. As such the pleasures this car provides wont exist anymore. This Fiesta will go down in history books and you will have had one.

    • 0 avatar

      And to think, the MCA program almost didn’t happen. The next gen platform was supposed to be a 14 or 15 MY. Budget overruns (and who knows what else) made this North American ST possible.

  • avatar

    Way to go, Bark! I saw one in the wild yesterday for the first time ever and it instantly made me wonder if you had done the unthinkable and traded in the Boss for the FiST. With so many B&B discussions turning into dirge-like diatribes about finances and interior quality and back seat room, it’s refreshing to see an enthusiast get a car just because it’s a great driving car.

  • avatar

    Kept the Boss…good man. I have a feeling that’ll pay dividends for you in the long run.

  • avatar

    GT, FiST, FoST, flat-plane-crank GT350, Raptor. Ford is kicking ass and taking names.

  • avatar

    How is the ride over bad roads? That’s a real concern for a middle-aged gentleman in the Northeast like myself.

    Please keep us updated on any rattles/squeaks, too. I’ve seen complaints on the FiST forums.

    Congrats on the purchase!

    • 0 avatar

      It’s quite stiffly sprung for a stock car—it reminds me of what my RX-8 was like on Koni Yellows. You’ll definitely feel the bumps.

      • 0 avatar

        as mentioned in the other thread, you can make a huge difference in unsprung weight by going to a 15″ or 16″ wheel with the accompanying lighter weight. as much fun as the car is stock, 24 lbs less to spin up in the front wheels is no joke.

        on smooth roads the ride with the 17s is stiff. on busted up “roads” as we have here in Michigan, you shudder when you venture into areas where you are not familiar with the local potholes.

  • avatar

    Congratulations! I’m a hot hatchback guy myself- in fact, I’m currently trolling Craigslist for Focus SVTs, to replace the one I had to sell back in 2009 when child #3 came along (we traded up to a Flex). The Fiesta ST looks like the true successor to that car- about the same size, a bit more power, same superior driving dynamics. There is something magical about a fast Ford.

    Now you’re making me look at Autotrader for STs in my area… maybe my wife won’t divorce me for car #4?

  • avatar

    Already hitting the rev limiter, so I guess you don’t believe in a slow break-in?

  • avatar

    If you can afford it this was the best of all possible choices. Only drawback I see is keeping the mileage under the limit. Daughter has had a Fiesta for over 100k miles now. Didn’t think it would hold up. I was wrong.

  • avatar

    Congrats! I recall all the swank when Fiesta came out, all those mystery locations and Facebook clues.

    I don’t find Ford to offer value when you go to their website and price-out FieFo.

    But then I was at local autoshow stunned by $40K Golf R…

    24 month was wise, little uns will outgrow limited rear legroom.

  • avatar

    Haha, nice one.

  • avatar

    Fun article, cute kids. Save the Boss for your son. It’ll still be bossy in 10 years, if you keep to the Fiesta!

  • avatar

    “And then I said, Eff it. Let’s do both.”

    Why not both indeed. Can’t argue with this solution. Didn’t even need to read the rest.

    Edit, but I did anyway ;)

  • avatar

    I’m curious to see how you enjoy it. I’ve been looking at the Fiesta, Focus, and GTI as my next ride. I think the biggest competitor of the Fiesta is probably the Focus; from what the sales guy was saying on Saturday, there’s enough cash-off the Focus that the difference is probably negated to a thousand or two, and not the 6k difference from the MSRP.

    • 0 avatar

      The Focus is a nice car, but it’s really not in the same class as the Fiesta from a sporting perspective. The only reason I can think of getting a Focus would be for the extra space (if you needed it).

  • avatar

    Will a rear-facing baby seat fit in the back? My E46 is getting old and I may replace it within the next 1-2 years.

    • 0 avatar

      I haven’t tried a rear-facer, because my kids are in a booster and a front-facer (both fit with no problem). I’ve read that rear-facers will fit in the middle.

    • 0 avatar
      Nick 2012

      You may be able to get a really small rear-facing (RF’ing) seat in the middle and have it poke through the center, but that is not likely with the Recaros.

      I have 2 in car seats, so I have to put them in outboard positions. When I tried a test-fit in a Fiesta, the one RF’ing car seat could not coexist with the front passenger seat and rendered it unusable. Forward Facing seats are fine in the back, but you will feel your kids’ telegraph signals from feet hitting the seatback. The Fiesta just doesn’t have a lot of rear seat space.

      If only Honda handed off a BIW Fit for Ford to use as a base for the FiST….

      • 0 avatar

        I have an up-to-35 lbs rear-facing in the center of my Fiesta and w/34″ inseam, vertical-ish seatback and Recaros, there is no issue.

        if the seat grows too big later to fit in the center, I will just end up taking the front passenger seat out of the car and my wife will sit behind me with the seat slightly farther forward for her.

        Bark got the wrong car getting it without the Recaros though, they are the right seats for the right car. especially for someone who is thinner as he is.

      • 0 avatar
        spreadsheet monkey

        Honda don’t need to do that – they already know a thing or two about making hot hatchbacks. Internet fanboys have been wanting a Fit Si for a long time, but Honda won’t build it…

  • avatar

    Wow, debt doesn’t bother you at all does it? You might want to learn about Dave Ramsey sometime, SOON…

  • avatar

    Wow. what exactly did bikephil say the first time?

  • avatar

    ps… Bark…enjoy the new car. look forward to reading more about it. love the color.

  • avatar

    so what are the lease terms on this?

  • avatar

    Great choice Bark! Glad you kept the Mustang – you would have regretted selling it for sure.

    There is a part of me that really, really wants to keep my Abarth despite having an M235i on order. It just so darned fun around town and on twisty back roads at reasonable speeds. I just don’t have the garage space. I could sell my 328i wagon, but I know I would regret that instantly and forever, even though it is the financially smartest course. Both are paid for, but the BMW is worth a lot more than the FIAT. Are you keeping the Subaru or using the Fiesta for your airport car?

    And really, these Dave Ramsey accolite dipshits need to just STFU. With the carmakers throwing free money around like it is going out of style, I am all for locking in some of it before it is gone. You can’t take it with you!

    • 0 avatar

      What’s better than paying cash and being “debt free”?

      Taking someone else’s free money, parking your cash in an S&P 500 index fund and making 16 percent.

    • 0 avatar
      Chris FOM

      No kidding. I think Dave Ramsey has some reasonable advice. Most people could probably learn something from him. The sub-prime customers should treat it as gospel. For people in serious financial trouble it’s simple, effective, and idiot-proof as long as you’re willing to make the sacrifices it requires. But like most simplistic, reductionist approaches it lacks nuance. There comes a point where your income, assets, and credit makes some of it unnecessary, especially treating debt as a supreme financial evil. There’s nothing inherently wrong with debt. The problem is with bad and/or excessive debt.

      For another perspective, look at the corporate world. Apple is one of the most smartly-run corporation in the world. They’re literally making money faster than they can spend it. They have nearly $200 BILLION dollars in the bank. And yet they’ve taken on $35 billion in debt in the last 18 months alone. They’ve bough companies, paid dividends, bought back stock, bought out other companies, basically done anything they could with that cash EXCEPT avoid debt. And they’re hardly unique in that approach. Many companies have cash on hand that is multiples higher than their debt yet aren’t on any hurry to pay it down. MS has $81 billion in the bank and $18 billion in debt. Google has around $60 billion in cash and $2 billion in debt. And so forth.

      If you’re living hand-to-mouth with crap credit, owe a pile of money to a dozen creditors, and have no financial security follow Dave Ramsey’s advice to the letter. It will help. But spare the proselytizing to those who never got themselves into that situation to begin with.

  • avatar

    I was one of the interior detractors – for the record, my comments about the FiST interior were not “material quality”-related, but aesthetic. I think the Focus and Fiesta (and Mustang) interiors are ugly, but especially the ST models with their ridiculous seats and unfortunate dashboards.

    I used to drive an MS3 (’09), so I’m not averse to accepting that tradeoff to drive a hot hatch. But I also think the MS3 was a paragon of restraint and beauty compared to the ST stuff.

    Addendum – the non-Recaro seats look pretty good. I’m looking forward to Bark’s future reports.

  • avatar

    One recurring theme I’ve heard about the Fiesta is it has a lot of reliability issues. Consumer Reports ranked it as one of the least reliable cars made, and I’ve also heard at least one Ford mechanic say to avoid them. They seem to have a lot of transmission issues?

    Curious what issues the car will have.

    I personally like the Fiesta and wouldn’t mind getting one, curious if it’s overblown.

    • 0 avatar

      That’s partially why I opted for the lease over the buy. The difference in monthly payments was only about forty bucks or so after those dastardly KY property taxes.

      If something goes wrong with the transmission, it will be under warranty the entire time. What I CAN tell you is that it is the smoothest-shifting gearbox I’ve ever encountered. It’s a vacation compared to the Mustang Getrag.

      • 0 avatar

        If you don’t have the fluid in there already, try filling the Mustang trans with the Ford XT-M5-QS fluid. Ford speced this fluid to make the Getrag shift smoother, and is the fluid that is raved about by many Miata owners.

        • 0 avatar

          I believe the ’13 Bosses already come stock with this fluid. I am 99% sure mine did because I don’t have the shifting problems that the earlier MT-82 users complain about.

      • 0 avatar

        From what I understand, the transmission trouble is mostly related to the PowerShift dual-clutch disaster in the regular Fiestas. Hopefully this will be smooth sailing. Congrats on the new car!

  • avatar

    Bark M, simply awesome, thanks for this entertaining piece. I’m glad you ditched that POS boxer! Please keep us posted about your ownership experience with regard to reliability. I’m curious to see if the FiST will hold up to the same type of “abuse” I would put it through.

  • avatar

    Bark M, simply awesome, thanks for this entertaining piece. I’m glad you ditched that POS boxer! Please keep us posted on your ownership experience with regard to reliability. I’m curious to see if the FiST will hold up to the same type of “abuse” I would put it through.

    Can you explain this symposer plumbing, it is routed near or into the cabin?

    • 0 avatar

      It’s basically a tube into the cabin from the engine compartment. It’s got a fair amount of foam in it—some people have removed the foam.

      • 0 avatar

        it isn’t actually _to_ the engine compartment (air does not pass into the car from the engine bay) but it allows the sound to come through. it is passive (vaccuum activated w/o any mechanical activation) in the Fiesta ST, the Focus ST is actively opened/closed based on some sort of logic in the ECU.

        you’d better get snow tires for it unless you keep the beater Subaru around, the stock Bridgestones are not going to be any fun at all in any sort of snow or ice.

        • 0 avatar

          Oh, the Subie is staying. It’s a free car—I’ve already paid for it by keeping miles off of the 302—and it rocks in the snow. It would cost me more than I could sell the Subaru for to get winter wheels/tires for the Fiesta.

        • 0 avatar

          It’s a convolute assembly that is routed with the main harness. The trick is to not kink it as you route it through the firewall. It does bridge the cabin, in a way.

  • avatar

    Awesome decision. I’m happy for you and Kevy. If you can, why not? I may add this to my list in event of need, since my wife has a CUV I don’t need a lot of room with just one kid.

  • avatar
    Jack Baruth

    Just to elaborate on Bark’s comment — there’s only one Baruth over six feet tall and/or 180lbs in our family history, and it’s me. Everybody else is a marathon runner, including the women.

    • 0 avatar

      And I feel like a jerk.

      I am sorry for that comment, because I thought you both were the same height.

      That’s what I was trying to say, not the other thing.

      I’m gonna shut up.

      Neat cars though.

  • avatar

    I have 4 cars in my garage/driveway, a 911 Carrera, a BMW 335i, a Nissan Pathfinder, and just bought another car for my 18 year old son. Offered to buy him a Molten Orange Fiesta ST but he wanted a Scion Tc, go figure?? I loved the ST, so it is just as well, it would have driven me crazy because I would want to be driving it all the time. As you say , lots of useable performance, and reasonably stealthy too!!

  • avatar

    This review (and the one on the Raptor) is exactly why I come to this site. Absolutely outstanding.This is the anti-major market car magazine review and it’s perfect. Well written, and accessible to the non-gearhead (that’d be me) who enjoys driving well made cars. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate some of the more technical stuff; I’ve learned a bunch here! It’s just that I’m that guy who winds up paying the “I tried to fix it myself” rate when I dive into some of the more complicated stuff.

    I tip my hat to Mr. Bark for an excellent article, and what sounds like an excellent choice of cars.

    And to the rest of the contributors, please keep ’em coming. This is one of the best, but I read and enjoy much of what gets posted here.

  • avatar

    Has anyone cross-shopped this with a Cooper S or JCW? Not that IIIII want the Mini, I’m asking for a friend. Really.

  • avatar

    That’s hilarious, I have the very same Performance Blue Fiesta and have a Boss 302 in Kona Blue. The Fiesta is so much fun it’s never leaving the stable, although a Stingray may be replacing the Stang…

  • avatar

    Kills me that this thing doesn’t fit an infant seat. You made the right decision.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Great write-up.

    That’s a pretty car, even if blue wasn’t your first choice. As for the Fiesta, at 6’6″ I can’t even consider one – not to mention I like to carry passengers. The only Fiesta I’m really fond of was the 78 Fiesta I learned to drive on – quite different from this one!

    However, you’ve described a predicament I’m facing this year – to keep 3 vehicles or go down to 2, with a replacement vehicle being dual-purpose. There are good reasons for doing both. I dread parting with a perfectly good vehicle for purely financial reasons, only to miss its utility many times a year.

  • avatar
    Athos Nobile

    I could predict you going for the Fiesta, it is so much fun. Well done on keeping the 302.

    Have you sat your kids in the back?

  • avatar

    Bark M. Go to all you need is your vin number and you can sign up for a free ST Octaine Acadamy driving school. Would love to hear your review of the class.

  • avatar

    One nice thing around here is that writers and commenters tend to actually buy the kind of vehicles that they claim they want to own.

  • avatar

    Congrats! Drove one of these a few weeks back, and it’s really a special car.

  • avatar

    Quick shoutout to KY 52:

    This was the road I learned to drive on. I especially love the stretch from Irvine (UR-vin) to Beattyville, which is a ribbon of elevation changes and off-camber curve awesomeness. Then, the stretch from Beattyville to Jackson opens-up into a series of fast sweepers and straights that just beg you to floor it. That’s also the stretch I grew-up on.


  • avatar

    Speaking as another current owner of a SBY 2013 Boss, and someone who almost did a similar thing last fall, I totally understand and relate to Bark’s decision here. Almost as if this article was written about me! As my Boss sits in hibernation up in the NorthEast until this spring(or until the 4+ft of snow is gone, or I move south), I still ponder making this same decision as Bark has. However, I would probably part with my Boss, even though my 12yo son shares the same sentiments as Bark’s little Kevy. Of course, now there is a new AWD Focus RS, the GT350, and whatever else FOrd has in the offering to entice me. As the owner of 98 SVT Cobra for 15 years with 305 HP, and a 2011 Taurus SHO with 365HP (traded for Boss), I’m quite certain that the FoRS with 315+ HP would probably be one bad ass, fun little ride. Of course, I still don’t think it can be driven to its limits on any public roadways, safely, like you probably can with the FiST. Now, I also have my winter beater, a 99 Honda Civic 5 speed. With a redline approaching that of the Boss’s 7600, I drive THAT to it’s limits, and it is actually a lot of fun. The Boss unfortunately belongs on a track to experience its true essence of bliss. My similar time at Miller Motor Sports park made me a believer. So Bart, as a fellow owner, how about an update…way sooner than 24 months from now. Perhaps 24 days!

  • avatar

    “I was surprised to see it totally swamped by sub-prime customers wearing Kentucky blue” and “so, uh, what’s that car you’re driving? Is that a Subaru? asked the new car manager upon greeting me, undoubtedly trying to see if his only sales prospect of the day was a 520 beacon score waiting to happen.”

    Not to be a negative nelly but this is why I wouldn’t buy this or a Focus ST. In 2 years when you go to resell the car these types are going to be lined up at your door offering you 6 grand for the little firecracker. At first you’ll be insulted but later you’ll be kissing their redneck a-ses to get it because they’ll be your only buyers. These cars are already selling below invoice, which scares me.

    Though to be fair, I guess if you’re comfortable with that or going to keep it awhile this will be a very fun car! Keep us posted.

  • avatar

    Can a hitch be put on the ST to allow for a bike rack, or does the fascia get in the way?

  • avatar

    congrats on the car. This was the car I really really wanted. Had they been available used on the market another couple of years I probably would’ve gone for it. Unfortunately, the price difference to a used Fiat Abarth was too much to ignore and I bought my 2013 Abarth yesterday. Enjoy the car.

  • avatar

    Superdessucke -I reach a different conclusion than you regarding the retained value of either the FIST or FOST. Both have a rabid enthusiast following, uniformly stellar reviews, dirt cheap running costs, and can be bought new for $20-25k. While a plain jane Focus or Fiesta will depreciate with painful KIA-like rapidity, I anticipate that the ST models will retain their value pretty well. There will always be enthusiast buyers for used ST cars, just as there are for WRX, STI, EVO, GTI, Civic SI, Golf R, and even the heinous but fast Neon SRT4 cars. Moreover, even if a FIST/FOST depreciates 50%, you have lost $10,000-ish to depreciation over a few years, while enjoying a car that is exceedingly inexpensive to operate. In comparison to many, many of the other cars you could have bought, that $10,000 depreciation hit is actually reasonable. Finally, add back in the inexpensive insurance, low sales tax, and low running costs, and your total cost to own a FIST/FOST should prove to be comparatively cheap.

  • avatar

    I’m not in a position to own 2 fun cars, but I totally get this. Props for being able to keep the Bossstang.

    Like your 302, I have a special sports car that is my childhood dream come true. Also like yours, it’s supposedly very capable and has stopped depreciating. But it’s also very needy and shouty, and driving a rolling occasion for too many days in a row becomes a chore. Adding too many miles results in prohibitively expensive maintenance and repairs. Driving it to its abilities on public roads earns you a quick ticket to your choice of the local jail, the local hospital or the local morgue.

    So I still want a fun little MT car like a Civic Si or a Fiesta ST. Something that’s a blast at legal speeds, yet useful enough to be my DD and occasional baby-schlepper.

    Looking forward to your canyon carving journals and “fun”-related comparisons with the Boss. Safe travels and happy motoring! And yes, 0-60 time doesn’t matter when you’re having fun in any car.

  • avatar

    “No worries, dude. I work for (redacted).”

    They pay well at (redacted) I take it?

    I wouldn’t have been terribly pleased if salesmen had given me the stinkeye based on what I drove to the dealer. When I was shopping for my Sonata I rolled up to a few different places in a beat-to-hell ’02 Forester, dressed to the ones, and never had anybody bat an eyelash. I inquired about Audis and Volvos while wearing a ripped up old work sweat shirt and was treated fine.

    Plus, the car you were inquiring about wasn’t exactly 1%er territory, anyway. It’d be interesting to know if that dealer was in a particularly wealthy (or particularly poor) area…

    • 0 avatar

      There is a misconception among some car dealers that my employer pays in gold bars.

      The dealer is in a pretty middle-of-the-road area, but they’re the biggest dealer in KY. It’s entirely possible that I was overly sensitive to it.

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