Performance and Practicality in mid/upper $20k?
I'm new to the forum, but you all have a great resource here and I'd love to get the input of the masses. And yes, I fully realize the folly of asking for car opinions on a forum dedicated to one model of car... but here it goes:
If you had a budget of say, mid to upper $20k, would you get a ST (or for those who have one, would you buy it again)?
I'm driving my wife's Hyundai Santa Fe (AWD) as she got a minivan for our growing family. I had to sell my '05 Saab 9-2X Aero (Subaru WRX w/ Saab badges). I thought I could handle driving the Santa Fe to and from work but I'm slowly going insane.
I have two young kids, so a backseat is highly desired (though w/ a 3rd on the way, my car will never shuttle the entire family). I have to have a manual transmission as well. I love gadgets and gizmos and MFT doesn't scare me. And again, my budget is under $30k.
I test drove a Tangerine Scream w/ ST2, Nav and moon roof. Loved everything about the car except I'm not sold on the color. I don't think it's a BAD color, just not my personality. I'm also not sold on FWD having come from an AWD vehicle and before that a '05 Pontiac GTO, '06 Dodge Charger R/T, and assorted 4WD trucks and Jeeps.
Again, I enjoyed the test drive, as short as it was, but seeing as how I could get a BRZ/FR-S, Subaru WRX, Hyundai Genesis Coupe, a 5.0 Mustang or even a used '05 or '06 C6 Corvette... I'm struggling to convince myself that a loaded out ST w/ FWD is really worth the $25-28k.
So where would your money go? Obviously most of you have a Focus or are considering one, so you'll be biased, but I'm interested to hear what some current ST owners would do if given a do-over.