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It's been a little less than a month since I picked up my new Molten Orange FiST. I've already racked up 2500 miles...1000 of which was a round trip to California from Tucson. So far, I'm completely smitten with the car and have no major issues or complaints. Every day I drive it I am so, so glad I didn't get the Fiat Abarth I thought I was in love with.

I know there is a growing amount of information on the web about the car. It's been named a Car and Driver 10 Best, which I've never had the pleasure of saying I owned before. So I won't rehash what most will be able to read about it on the web. Instead I'll speak a little about living with the car as a daily driver...and I'll say this about the accolades you will read on the Interwebs...believe them.

One question I had at the time of purchase was about the Recaro seats. I really didn't know if I'd like them on a 500 mile drive. Luckily I fit in them pretty well. I'm 5'10 and 205...what one might call an athletic build. I'm a bit long waisted, and I feel like the seats fit like a glove. It might be my imagination, but I feel like the driver's seat bottom is loosening up a bit and doesn't feel as firm as it was when new. After an 8 hour drive my back and behind felt fine. If anything, the seats have encouraged me to continue exercising and keep my diet and beer intake in check. So...if you're a larger sized person and you're considering the Recaro seats, I would highly recommend finding a FiST with them installed to test drive prior to ordering or committing to them. Aside from the bolstering which keeps you in place during spirited driving, the seats also encourage proper posture. I feel the shape of the seat back is near perfect. I'm a chronic sloucher in the car...always have been. When I sit in these seats I tend to sit back and straight, more so than in any other car I've had. I'd say the only car I've had with more comfortable seats is the Volvo S60 I traded for this car...but of course the Volvo seats didn't hold you in the corners like these. The leather seats I had in my 2002.5 Jetta GLI were also very good, but nothing like these. If I have one gripe about the seats, it's the seat heaters. Holy Surface of the Sun, Batman! My wife thinks it's fantastic but she has asbestos skin so that makes sense. I really wish Ford would have put variable temperature settings for the front seat heaters.

The ride is firm. Really firm. If you've never had a performance car, this may be alarming to you. Please realize though that there is a difference between firm and harsh. I've driven on some rough roads that has made the car bounce all over the place, but I never felt like the car was out of control and I never felt the suspension hit the bump stops. The other side of that coin is that on a smooth surface there is grip and control beyond belief.

The car is small. It is. Some people have a problem with this. I do not. I can put the family in the car, kiddos fit in the back fine but full-sized adults may find it a tight fit. If you are part of a car pool, you may want a Focus ST instead. If you're like me and find that 85% of the time you are driving by yourself, then the size isn't an issue.

So, I'll wrap this up. At this point, I have no complaints at all. Sure I wish (like we all do) that the My Ford Touch interface was better. I also wish it had a backup camera and a home link mirror or sun visor. I wish the shifter sat about an inch farther back in the console. But there is nothing on the car that I hate. I am pleasantly surprised by the sound quality of the stereo. I am pleasantly surprised at how nice the navigation system is. What I love is that I feel like an absolute super hero when I drive this car.

Here's a few pictures.

JQ

First day home

Boot holds 36 beers no problem.

buxx stop in Blythe CA

My son got me fuzzy dice for it. They really block my vision though so they are only on display when parked.

Since I got the riveted-through-the-bumper front license plate in a state that doesn't require one, I decided a novelty plate should be my first farkle. Luke was impressed that it matched the color of the car perfectly.
 

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Looks great... but will/would look even better without the front plate. I removed mine and used plugs that are painted body color.
 
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Thanks for the writeup.

Front plates are required in my jurisdiction - but I would mount mine centred in the black mesh, it would look far better there - although I wonder if that position would block airflow too severely to the rad and the intercooler (if there is one, I don't even know lol).
 

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Thanks for the writeup.

Front plates are required in my jurisdiction - but I would mount mine centred in the black mesh, it would look far better there - although I wonder if that position would block airflow too severely to the rad and the intercooler (if there is one, I don't even know lol).
The intercooler is below the plate bracket. The plate bracket is in the ideal location to not obstruct airflow to either the radiator or intercooler. I had lowered the plate on my 2011 SES and it partially blocked the air to the radiator. I never had any temperature problems running it that way for over 2 years.
 

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The intercooler is below the plate bracket. The plate bracket is in the ideal location to not obstruct airflow to either the radiator or intercooler. I had lowered the plate on my 2011 SES and it partially blocked the air to the radiator. I never had any temperature problems running it that way for over 2 years.
Interesting. I'd be tempted to try the mid-grill mount and see what my temps did in the summer. The plate just looks awful in that pictured location.
 

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Here is what I did with my SES (the one on the right) . I had the SFE grill so it was partially blocked on the passenger side and the plate blocked part of the driver side.
 

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Thanks for the writeup.

Front plates are required in my jurisdiction - but I would mount mine centred in the black mesh, it would look far better there - although I wonder if that position would block airflow too severely to the rad and the intercooler (if there is one, I don't even know lol).
Texas requires a front license plate as well... I haven't used one in 7 years. Never been pulled over for not having one. If I ever do, I'll super velcro it on and then get it dismissed. lol
 

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^^^ That sucks...
 

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Thanks for the write up, johnnyquest! It's one thing to read/watch reviews from tester that may only have the car for a day, but to have some longer-term real-world perspective is even better.

What I love is that I feel like an absolute super hero when I drive this car.
This is both beautiful and heartbreaking... because I still have another month before I get my own. :p
 
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