Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Sunny Melbourne, Victoria
ST170 NOT worth the money over Zetec
This is my first post here, just wanted to add my 20 cents worth!
Having owned a 2dr Manual 2.0L Zetec (Machine silver) since February 2003, I finally test drove an ST170 the other day after wondering just how good it was for a while. I can be honest with you all and say I was not really all that impressed. It is barely noticeable the increased speed over the Zetec, although the exhaust sounds much better tuned and is a little more resposive naturally.
The driver's seat power operation makes it sit too high, much higher than the manual windy one on my Zetec which sits nice and low and central. It's also a lot more comfortable in the Zetec.
The gearbox in the Zetec, although only 5 gears over the St170's 6 gears, seems smoother and more user friendly, well weighted and flexible.
The suspension is too hard in the ST170, although nothing beats it for turn in response. I just don't know that I could live with it after all that, with the Zetec's being slightly more absorbent and generous, albeit a little rolly at times.
Disregarding the absolutely gorgeous body on the ST170, I would happily buy a Zetec again given the choice, and spend the extra $7,000 on a body kit, 17 inch rims and a new exhaust/intake system with a powerchip. Not only would you see about $1-2000 change from your investment, but it would be virtually as quick, running about 115kW or so after the light mods. I could then spend my last $1000 on the factory 6-stacker CD player if I really wanted to. You'd have a similar handling car, almost as quick, arguably better looking rims and more comfortable seats, less gears to change with a better gearshift and all the sexiness of the 2 door body.
Anyone agree? Anyone out there test driven the two back to back? Hope it helps!!!! I guess the only problem would be resale... but who cares, I'm not planing on selling it before it falls apart... which is never!!!