Any way to make the WRX feel as tight as the Ford Focus ST?
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This is a discussion on Any way to make the WRX feel as tight as the Ford Focus ST? within the Comparison: WRX vs World forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; I have been lurking on this forum for a few weeks and this is my first post. I have been ...

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    Any way to make the WRX feel as tight as the Ford Focus ST?

    I have been lurking on this forum for a few weeks and this is my first post. I have been looking to buy a 2013 WRX hatch for a few months and finally got to test drive one today. I was not impressed with the feel of the car compared to the Focus ST. The WRX felt sloppy in just about every way that the Focus felt tighter. The power was the only redeming factor for the WRX. So my question is, without spending an arm and a leg, are there ways to make the WRX feel as well put together as the Focus ST?

    The WRX's steering felt very loose, the clutch and shifter felt like it came out of a Geo Metro and in general seemed substandard for a performance automobile.

    Would new bushings and sway bars bring the overall feel of the WRX into the same range of the Focus ST? If so, what bushings would be the most effictive for bringing the "slop" out of the WRX?

    Thanks

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    Registered User cogito's Avatar
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    Do you really want a WRX ??? You need to do a honest pro con sheet. Sounds like you really didn't enjoy it.
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    I enjoyed the power, everything else was lackluster. I am really on the fence with these two cars, I just want to know if there is a semi affordable solution that will make the WRX more attractive to me.

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    MTM
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    get an STI?

    stiffer suspension, and get it with a short shifter. Problem solved.

    Also isnt the ST FWD?

    If they made the fiesta ST or Focus ST in AWD Id lust after one... until then... meh. Id take Ken Block or Brian Deegans fiesta though

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    Registered User cmayba's Avatar
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    Front and rear sway bars with upgraded endlinks

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    Quote Originally Posted by cmayba View Post
    Front and rear sway bars with upgraded endlinks
    That is what I wanted to hear. If I do go with the WRX, the Cobb short throw shifter with the bushings will also be a must. Is there a way to adjust the engagement point of the clutch? The WRX I test drove today seemed to grab only when the clutch was almost all of the way out, that was kind of annoying. I am not sure if it was because the one I test drove had 13,000 miles on it and the original owner didn't know how to drive stick or if they come that way. Anyway, if they do come that way, I would need to be able to adjust the clutch.

    As for the steering, how much of a difference would the Whiteline steering rack bushings make? I have a feeling that I will need to upgrade all of the driveline, transmission bushings as well as the engine mounts. I just hope I can get all of the parts for under $2,000. I would feel comfortable enough replacing most of the bushings and sway bars. It's the engine mounts I am afraid of.

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    Registered User jeremydingeman's Avatar
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    buy the st and put some power mods on it.
    Find a low-mileage one-owner unmodified '04/'05 and you're golden.

    Understeer is when you hit the wall with the front of the car.
    Oversteer is when you hit the wall with the rear of the car.
    Horsepower is how fast you hit the wall.
    Torque is how far you take the wall with you.

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    Why not wait for the 2015? The structure is 41 percent stiffer overall and the spring rates are up 39 percent at front and 62 percent at the back. The anti roll bars are bigger and the bushings are firmer. I believe the road holding ability is better than the focus as well (between 0.94 and 0.95 depending on the reviewer).
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    Resident Jackass ShiftingLanes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gonzo3333 View Post
    That is what I wanted to hear. If I do go with the WRX, the Cobb short throw shifter with the bushings will also be a must. Is there a way to adjust the engagement point of the clutch? The WRX I test drove today seemed to grab only when the clutch was almost all of the way out, that was kind of annoying. I am not sure if it was because the one I test drove had 13,000 miles on it and the original owner didn't know how to drive stick or if they come that way. Anyway, if they do come that way, I would need to be able to adjust the clutch.

    As for the steering, how much of a difference would the Whiteline steering rack bushings make? I have a feeling that I will need to upgrade all of the driveline, transmission bushings as well as the engine mounts. I just hope I can get all of the parts for under $2,000. I would feel comfortable enough replacing most of the bushings and sway bars. It's the engine mounts I am afraid of.
    I have a 2014. The clutch travel from the floor to engagement I do find to be far, but then again I don't find it annoying at all. That's just the way it is. If you don't like it, you can always upgrade the clutch, but then again the ST would solve that problem. I've driven both these cars and the ST didn't feel as good as the WRX to me. It's all about personal preference and feel. If you're really looking for a reason to not get the WRX, how about this: Base 2014 WRX is $26k (rounded up) and a fully loaded ST is around $29k. To get the refinement and goodies you get in the ST, you need to buy the limited (which I got) and now you're looking at 33k. ST wins in price, IMO.

    As far as upgrades, if you throw swaybars, endlinks, and suspension upgrades on anything, you'll improve the handling. The body roll is a common complaint with the GR WRXs ('08+). If this was me, and I was buying a DD (which I did) the WRX is the better buy as it has more utility (larger gas tank for better range, more interior space, AWD). If you're getting a toy, get the ST.
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    I just feel like if you buy the ST you are going to find yourself regretting that you got a front wheel drive car at some point. That's how I felt with my last car before the wrx. In the end it's really the feeling in your gut that will help you decide.

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    Registered User ElusiveSAV's Avatar
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    I drove them both. I'm a salesman for ford and personally not a fan of the focus st. The fiesta st is a different story. One thing I do know is that the focus summer tires are horrible in the winter. We have a hard time
    Moving them around the lot in the snow so you will need to upgrade them. The focus interior is amazing and far beats the wrx. I own an 11 wrx sedan and I wouldn't trade it for any focus st. If you have any pricing questions on the focus pm me and I can give you some info. I'm in PA.

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawkeye26 View Post
    I just feel like if you buy the ST you are going to find yourself regretting that you got a front wheel drive car at some point. That's how I felt with my last car before the wrx. In the end it's really the feeling in your gut that will help you decide.
    I agree. As much as I love my Altima, 270 horsepower and front wheel drive sucks. I think the WRX is my next car.
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    Registered User skimd's Avatar
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    It's and interestingly-phrased question...

    If you have read my post you know I am a fan of both the Ford Fiesta ST and the Focus ST.

    That being said, I didn't buy one (and my Ford sales rep still sends me email and I could have gotten the vehicle over $5,000 less than MSRP. And there were quite a few on the lot.

    When I purchased my WRX, the average time a WRX Limited stayed on the lot was a day.

    Yes, I admire a lot about the Fords. The front interior and the entertainment system is top notch.

    If I lived in a different region, I might be driving the Ford. Great car. Great value.

    But I am driving a Subaru and, given this winter, I am all smiles about it.

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    Yes the stock shifter sux. I would recommend upgrading to the short shifter and lower the clutch pedal height to just below the brake pedal. It changes the engagement point to so it grabs a lot quicker and it gives a lot better drive feel. Take the wrx on a decreasing angle turn, your going to love the awd traction vs fwd. It'll make up the crap interior.

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