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I have a serious issue whether to get the Focus ST or the Miata MX-5... what do you guys think I should do?
 

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Since they are totally different cars, the questions become:
1. Do you need a back seat? Yes = Focus, No = Miata
2. Do you need cargo area? Yes = Focus, No = Miata
3. Do you want performance AND practicality? Yes = Focus, No = Miata

Seems like an easy choice to me. But then again as an all-out fun drivers car, it's hard to beat the MX-5. Everyone's car needs are different, so what may be a perfect vehicle choice for one is not even a consideration for someone else.
 

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Have you sat in a Miata? I haven't, because I couldn't fit through the door (I'm 6'7" but still). The ST will have more power, will probably be just as good in the handling department and there's the practicality factor as well...
 

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I have a serious issue whether to get the Focus ST or the Miata MX-5... what do you guys think I should do?
If you're considering a Miata, then I think you owe it to yourself to also consider the BRZ/FR-S. Reportedly those are also very fun cars to drive, and they are a newer design to boot. There have even been hints that they are going to make convertible versions of them, if that is interesting to you.
 

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You just need to look at what your requirments for a new vehicle are and get the vehicle that fulfills your requirments and more importantly you will be happy with for the foreseeable future. I think both cars will fulfill you in the fun department without any problems. For me personally I need something with some cargo room, has room for a child and I would feel comfortable driving in the winter. A miata or any 2-door sports car for that matter does not fulfill that requirment for me unfortunately.
 

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There are many things to consider but the good news is you are comparing very different cars. My choice would be DD ST toy MX-5. You could use a Miata every day but if I could only have one vehicle the space limitations and lack of power brings me to the ST. That said though every time i drive a Miata it feels special and I have not driven the ST long enough to compare. The Miata is an amazing drivers car but no one really knows how an ST will compare need more seat time. So all you are left with is a spec sheet for the ST and one of the best driving cars for the money around. A closer comparision would be to consider a BRZ or something RWD N/A not to complicate things but it does depend on you're priorities are and if RWD or a drop top are on the top of you're list.
 

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Have you sat in a Miata? I haven't, because I couldn't fit through the door (I'm 6'7" but still). The ST will have more power, will probably be just as good in the handling department and there's the practicality factor as well...
I fit fine at 6'1"/6'2", and I would be *stunned* if the ST handles as well as the Miata. But we'll know soon enough. The ST would have to be light years ahead of the GTI and the MS3 in order to outcorner a Miata. They aren't close.
 

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What exactly are you looking for, as others have mentioned. If you want a practical car, the Miata is not the answer. I mean, technically you can haul around one person/kid/dog, and there is enough room in the trunk + front seat (if the aforementioned person isn't there) for a normal grocery run in our house (four people) but its tight. I put four full-sized Ferrari rims in mine the other day, but not wise on a long trip.

Gas mileage will be worse in the Miata for regular/daily driving, though not horribly so.

If you want ease of cargo/passenger carrying, then boot the Miata. Not worth the hassle. Other negatives include road noise, ride harshness, wind noise, and lack of amenities. Unlike others, I won't put power on this list. It isn't powerful in a traditional sense, but it also weighs about 650-700 pounds less than an ST, so it feels plenty quick.

If you don't care about anything practical (at all), then it will outhandle the ST (likely if the ST is similar to others in its class), certainly transition faster due to lightness and agility. It will outperform the ST on most track days on most tracks (or be strikingly similar), it'll be more fun to drive (subjective, but I haven't found a modern front-driver as fun as a Miata yet - maybe the ST will change that. I doubt it.). And, of course, there is the roadster part of things. Being able to kick out the rear end of the car at will is very pleasant.

Price-wise they should be identical, depending on trim level.

Aftermarket support for the Miata will be much greater from the get-go, but I suspect it'll be healthy enough for the ST.

What more information can you give us? Daily driver? Extra car? Track days? People/pet hauler?
 

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I own a current NC2 MX-5 with the retractable hardtop (2010) and am considering the ST. I feel ATX Eric was on the money above - in the right environment, tight road or track the MX-5 represents a great sports car driving value. In my mind, which is an opinion, all you guys (and gals) are overrating the value of practicality. How often is there more that one other person in the car with you daily? For me it is rare and I have 4 munchkins - so when it comes to ST vs a 2 seater - the performance has to be there on the ST - waiting for some independent performance numbers.

P1060522.JPG
 

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For me it really comes down to weather. If I didn't live in the Northeast with the snow I'd just have a Mustang and drive it all year round. But they suck in the snow so I won't drive one year round here. I also wouldn't want the salt to eat through the car but that's besides the point. I know I COULD drive one in the winter and some people have told me they aren't THAT bad but I just don't feel comfortable with RWD in crap northeast snowy/icey road conditions.
 

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I own a current NC2 MX-5 with the retractable hardtop (2010) and am considering the ST. I feel ATX Eric was on the money above - in the right environment, tight road or track the MX-5 represents a great sports car driving value. In my mind, which is an opinion, all you guys (and gals) are overrating the value of practicality. How often is there more that one other person in the car with you daily? For me it is rare and I have 4 munchkins - so when it comes to ST vs a 2 seater - the performance has to be there on the ST - waiting for some independent performance numbers.

View attachment 1870
Nice looking car. I think what you will find is that the ST may well lap the track faster than an MX-5. But I suspect a segmented view will show that much of that will come in the straights. I also can't imagine that the ST is quite as fun to drive. Although I hope to be proven horribly wrong on that front. :)

But for some of us, practicality is definitely more of an issue. For me, for work, I haul wheels/tires/auto parts somewhat frequently. I also take my daughter to school every morning during the school year, and we refuse to let her ride in the Miata for long distances of any kind (even in town). I also don't need my MX-5 for work any more, so I'm being a bit of an a-hole to my wife by not being able to take some miles/wear/errands with the kids off her plate and off her car.

But you're right. Everyone will be different on that front.

Four kids!! Wild!! I'm sometimes pulling my hair out with just two!!
 

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For me it really comes down to weather. If I didn't live in the Northeast with the snow I'd just have a Mustang and drive it all year round. But they suck in the snow so I won't drive one year round here. I also wouldn't want the salt to eat through the car but that's besides the point. I know I COULD drive one in the winter and some people have told me they aren't THAT bad but I just don't feel comfortable with RWD in crap northeast snowy/icey road conditions.
I count my blessings that I don't have to deal with any kind of Northern winter.
 

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If you decide you want the mx-5 I would highly recommend checking out the Subaru BRZ. The mx-5 has alot of road/wind noise and isn't as practical. I'm not saying the BRZ is a practical car but it is much more so than the mx-5. It is priced similarly to the ST.

I have a deposit on a BRZ and it should be here soon but if anything negative happens like too long of a wait I'll take it as a sign and go with the ST. They are both phenomenal cars compared to the other cars in their own segments.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Wow, thanks a lot for the opinions guys! I think I'm going to stick to the ST then because it is true about the space, I'm definitely going to need it! I was just considering the MX-5 because of how fun others say it is to drive.
 
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