Originally Posted by Everlastingboost
Looking for real world experience on our crappy north american roads. I'm in colorado and some of the roads have gigantic potholes and lots of cross winds are a daily occorence. Is the new focus quite on the highway? Is the suspension bumpy on uneven surfaces? I know its a sport tuned suspension but I'm looking for something that has the best of both worlds. From the reviews the ST does get fairly close to that. So lets hear what the real user experience has to say?
Go to your dealer and ask them for an extended test drive. I did that down here in Austin, TX where the roads aren't great either. Wind noise in an ST is about as quiet as a Titanium. However, tire and road noise is a little more pronounced in the ST. Also, the ST is more bouncy or bumpy on the road, due to its stiffer sports tuned suspension. You can definitely feel the difference over rough roads but it's not bad.
I use the GTI, Mazdaspeed3 and ST when I compare highway noise and cabin NVH in performance hatches. The GTI is the most comfortable on rough roads and quietest at highway speeds. The Mazdapspeed3 is the bumpiest and loudest at highway speeds. The ST is somewhere between those two. Each have their own charming qualities but overall, I prefer the balance of the ST.