Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Astra VXR v Focus ST

Collapse
This topic is closed.
X
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • Astra VXR v Focus ST

    We've finally got a production ST to test vs our production VXR's.
    So first impressions then a back to back drive.
    First impressions;
    Exterior - its in red and looks rather cheap. Difficult to tell its a 'performance' version. Dreadful ST badge on wing highlights the tackiness.
    Interior - Nice seats , bit high and not as figure hugging as ours but good. Extra dials look pretty at night but pointless - tho fun to chase the boost gauge round. Again a feeling of cheapness in controls and quality of dash etc... Instruments look like a regular car and the interior overall does not feel special at all. Disappointed
    Engine - Great engine note. Offbeat warble. Gutsy , long throttle pedal masks how quick it can go but once you realise and wring its neck it feels quick. However as noise rises you realise it sounds faster than it is. Otherwise love the engine.
    Gearbox/Torquesteer - Box notchier than usual Ford excellence but could be this car. Car torquesteers as much as ours , so not much.
    Handling - Slighter softer than ours but very well controlled. Steering nicely weighted and better than Astra. You can jump in this thing and fly down the road. Very nice. Not as edgy as ours and ultimately not as much grip but the driver will make more difference than the chassis on these.
    Overall - Not as aggressive or as good looking as Astra. Great engine (but see below) and very good handling/ride. Sort of sits between the SRi and VXR really - really needs an RS version that would then sit above VXR.
    Back to back.
    We tried roll on's in 2nd 3rd 4th and 5th. In every gear on every occasion , and even getting the jump on the Astra on some occasions the result is the same. The Astra would slowly ease out a few feet then you could visibly see the Astra start to take off and disappear as the Focus warbles away to itself. This was std car vs std car. With a car with the Miltek fitted tha Astra just walks away. With the 280PS and Miltek set up it just disappears.
    Mechanically the focus is a nice package and I expect all its customers to be happy with it in isolation. When next to the Astra (or Civic , even Golf) it looked unexciting and flat. The interior is a total let down that fancy coloured fabric cannot liven up. Give the car a facelift , extra 20PS or so and it'd be a contender.
    Obviously all just our observations.
    Stu

  • #2
    Stuart,
    I had a drive in an St at the weekend, Love the noise but the whole car just didnt have any energy or presance, it felt like a Regular focus on Halfords pills.
    I thought the gearchange was quite good but all the pedal pressures were all wrong for me.
    I think the production VXR Astra is a very capable car, Not really any torque steer if you know how to treat it, a drive in an Escort Rs turbo, willd define what is torque steer.
    I thought the ride on the focus was acceptable but on the limit I have more confidence in the VXR
    The only thing I dont like About the astra is the steering is too light ,but thats personal preference I think. The Focus felt slightly better in this respect but as a whole car package the VXR would take my money,even more so if it had a lightweight v6 underbonnet.
    dp

    Comment


    • #3
      ST is abit souless

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by davidof
        Stuart,
        The only thing I dont like About the astra is the steering is too light ,but thats personal preference I think. dp
        Tend to agree. 'Our' steering map is the one that is activated by the Sport button. In Germany however they have a minor panic if we get any heavier on steering weigth with the regular set up. In the UK we tend to prefer a heavier movement once off centre and the Focus ( and Mondeo ) provides what we'd consider a good weight vs feel.
        you can actually reprogramme the steering maps on the car but we'd never be allowed to access the coding.....
        Stu

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Aussie
          ST is abit souless
          agreed, and those wheels!

          Comment


          • #6
            When I test drove the ST I liked it, but not enough. At the time I couldn't quite put my finger on it. However, on reflection I think Aussie nails it...... the ST felt souless.
            The beloved, god bless her and may Alah bless her with a long and properous life, kept on saying that she found in as heavy as a 9 month pregnant sow on steroids.
            The VXR felt sharp right from the beginning and offered the challenge of a car that had to be tamed.
            Ford have tried too hard and ended up with a 225 bhp Golf GTI :?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by MoveOver
              When I test drove the ST I liked it, but not enough. At the time I couldn't quite put my finger on it. However, on reflection I think Aussie nails it...... the ST felt souless.
              The beloved, god bless her and may Alah bless her with a long and properous life, kept on saying that she found in as heavy as a 9 month pregnant sow on steroids.
              The VXR felt sharp right from the beginning and offered the challenge of a car that had to be tamed.
              Ford have tried too hard and ended up with a 225 bhp Golf GTI :?
              I think the real competition will be the 237 bhp unit (insurance friendly number Stu?) VAG are going to drop in the GOLF GTI in April and the SEAT LEON CUPRA in October.
              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by BLACKVXR
                Originally posted by MoveOver
                When I test drove the ST I liked it, but not enough. At the time I couldn't quite put my finger on it. However, on reflection I think Aussie nails it...... the ST felt souless.
                The beloved, god bless her and may Alah bless her with a long and properous life, kept on saying that she found in as heavy as a 9 month pregnant sow on steroids.
                The VXR felt sharp right from the beginning and offered the challenge of a car that had to be tamed.
                Ford have tried too hard and ended up with a 225 bhp Golf GTI :?
                I think the real competition will be the 237 bhp unit (insurance friendly number Stu?) VAG are going to drop in the GOLF GTI in April and the SEAT LEON CUPRA in October.
                Maybe 240ps is insurance friendly in Germany?
                My last car was a MKV GTI and it certainly needed more power. Never found the car a challenge or fun, with 237 I think it will be. The question is how much of a premium will VW charge for it. Knowing them another £1500. That will then be one hell of a price difference.
                The Leon could be more of a competitor, but since the old LCR, Seat seems to have lost their way IMHO. Be interesting to see how the new LC goes, looks and handles.
                Jonathan

                Comment


                • #9
                  I drove one recently on the same day as a drive in a VXR.
                  The Astra VXR package felt "There" where as the ST you got the feeling of "Come on you know you can do more"
                  On a longer Journey I can feel that the ST would be the more comfortable ride, and the VXr can never match the fantastic sound of the ST engine.
                  We have to have a 5dr as our Zaf is the wife's car so the St was an option, but the other half said she could not bare to own a Ford so you can't knock her there.
                  So a 5drAstra VXr would be the answer..........................
                  As he runs for cover (Sorry Dougie......could'nt resist
                  Astra 1.9 CDTi SRi XP Sporthatch in White plus extra bits.
                  Land Rover LR2 HSE

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I was going to buy an ST3 in red put a deposite down but could not get one till august some time so i desided to go for the VXR witch i am more than happy with
                    The ST is not as exciting as our VXRs.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I'll eat me rubber 19" rubber hat if VW bring out a 237bhp Golf. These cars cost a mint to develop and for VW to give up so quickly on the 197bhp unit would be a breathtaking admission of wasted millions, if not 100s of millions of pounds.
                      The GTi is what it is, technically brilliant, but after all is said and done 6 chillis short of a pepper. This is where Ford (in my personal opinion) have got it wrong with the ST, they just got too close to a baviarian sour crout. The engine may sound great, but the fuel bill will eat a lion size hole thorugh your pocket, it's CO2 emissions will mean no aspiring sales rep will get within 100 sales commissions of it and once the sound effects have worn off any private buyer is going to feel cheated.
                      My father still talks about the Cortina GTi he drove in the 1960s. I remember him saying that my mother grandmother was always concerned about the speed that the car was travelling at when she was thrown from one end of the back seat to the other. He always used to refer her to the tacho to reassue her that the car's velocity was not quite what is seemed. Each time she sat back re-assured.
                      I believe in years from today we will all talk about the grandmother we drove in the back of our VXRs, I don't believe it will be quite the same for our compatriots behind the wheel's of their Gold GTis and Ford STs.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by MoveOver
                        I'll eat me rubber 19" rubber hat if VW bring out a 237bhp Golf. These cars cost a mint to develop and for VW to give up so quickly on the 197bhp unit would be a breathtaking admission of wasted millions, if not 100s of millions of pounds.
                        I feel a Clarkson Hair on Pizza style event in the offing here
                        In the same way that poor old VX made a 'breathtaking admission of wasted millions' and developed the Z20LET/R 200PS to the Z20LEH 240PS the VAG group have done the same with the 2.0 FSI.
                        But poor old VW were forced down this path by the evil SEAT/AUDI wing of VAG who wanted a unit to compete with the VXR/Mazda MPS3/CT-RR etc to make the 2006 SEAT LEON CUPRA competitive and so Malaga have created the 2.0 FSI 240PS.
                        So VW are going to be faced with a new sports hatchback from VAG with the golf floor plan, for much less money with a development of their own engine producing another 40PS....not good for VW marketing
                        Of course it may not finally happen and I was only quoting Auto Express, bastion of auto truth lol, but the engine most definitely exists.
                        sigpic

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Wouldn't that make the Golf R32 a little defunct? Surely the GTI and R32 would be a little too close in the power stakes. So they would be having to up the power on both I would have thought.
                          I also read an interesting post somewhere else earlier this week about the Focus (I think it might have been on Pistonheads). Anyway it was being suggested that when a Focus is run on 98 Ron it produces somewhere in the region of 237 BHP. I don't know how much truth there is in that statement.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            That is unusal as manufacturers usually always quote using super unleaded.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Ive just re-read the pistonheads article, it isn't bhp it is NM of Torque.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X