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Discussion Starter #1
What?! No this isn't a race thread. The ST would totally win, duh! :nerd:

Couple weeks ago I drove the wife's mini van to Northern California. Traffic near LA was disastrous, we even got to see a CUV on it's roof blocking three lanes of traffic. Awe, but this is about my love/hate of the mini van. I love that we can load up the kids, cooler full of food/drinks, luggage and still have space to spare. The seats are comfy for the long drive, 6 hours, and suspension smooth everything out that LA roads have to offer. But that is where the love stops. My god, that automatic trans must have a congressional committee to debate whether or not to down shift. For a car rated at 286 HP, you would never know because the transmission always wants to go 6th gear and stay there. I took to manually shifting it to 5th gear for my time behind the wheel and that helped a lot. And then the handling? Well I see where I want the car to go and turn the wheel. Then I wait for the weight of the car to shift. And then it begins to change direction slowly. I visualize the tires flexing their side walls as they fight inertia to change directions. The wife doesn't notice any of these subtle nuances, but to me it's like driving a couch. It's soft and comfortable, but if you need to drive aggressively it just wants to resist every input. And there is now where to rest my left elbow. I know, that is a silly complaint, but this is my thread, so I wish to mention that the door is too far away to comfortably rest my elbow while driving. Driving for 3 hours straight you notice little things like this. Actually, considering all things, this is a very short gripe list for a mini van. On the up side though, I found an old 1930's Fairbanks Doctors Scale at a local estate sale and had no problem fitting the 5' tall cast iron antiquity into the back of the van. So +1 for bringing home random stuff that would never fit in a Focus.

When I got home, despite being exhausted, I made a grocery run just so I could drive my ST again. My gosh, I hate driving cars that handle like marshmallows. So far the only downside to the ST is that I can't bring home bulky road side treasures and yard sale finds. But I suspect a roof rack could be the solution...
 

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I was really hoping when I read the title that this was a race post, and I admit I chuckled before clicking. You ruined my day with your mature comparison lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was really hoping when I read the title that this was a race post, and I admit I chuckled before clicking. You ruined my day with your mature comparison lol.
It was a dirty trick to lure readers in, but the whole time I was driving the van all I could think about was how much I missed my ST that was at home in the driveway. Thanks for sharing my mini-misery.
 

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In the age of fast SUVs, the reasonable thing to do would be to make a fast van. All the wonderful space and amenities with all the power, AWD and suspension to follow it all up. I'll expect BMW, Mercedes or Audi to do something like this soon :)
 
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