The new one is a great car. But then, there are other great cars, and if you already have one of those, then sure, why pay all that money?
I remember another poster saying something along the lines of the thing he liked about his old SVT Focus was that it was a relatively on-the-metal experience for him, and he worried that the oft-mentioned refinement of the 2013 would refine the fun out of it.
That's a valid concern, actually. The new ST is a blast to drive, IMO. It's also very well-mannered, willing and compliant, and pretty luxurious in the top trim. Very quiet at low RPM, smooth ride, lovely under-the-radar quality until you let it loose.
But if you wanted to wrestle the steering wheel, have the engine growling all the time, and listen to the gears move, so it's like those in-cabin shots from a rally race, you're not going to get that. The 2013 ST has performance, but it's not raw performance.
>And whats with that intake noise piped into the cabin through that plastic hose
Enthusiasts like to hear the car go VROOM. All performance cars cheat the engine noise one way or another, certainly by tuning the exhaust and adding resonance. That's especially a challenge with a 4-banger. The ST engine is pretty quiet, especially with the engine cover. They did quite a number eliminating the NVH, which is great for the passengers. But for those of us that want to hear it go vroom, they had to deliberately compromise the noise insulation. There's a butterfly valve in that pipe to keep it quiet at low RPM for highway cruising, and only let the noise in when you step on it.
Nice compromise IMO -- and a good example of the sort of thing I was talking about in the first paragraph. Refined, pleasant, and not what some people are going to want.
Better than the mechanical vibrator VW sticks under the dash of the GTI, anyway.