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Coming from Subaru STI to Boss 302, my impression

I came from driving Subaru STI, but decided to get the Boss 302

I was never a big fan of Mustangs, because I was under the impression that they are big boats that can run straight lines only while falling short on twisties.
In late 2011 I heard about a special edition Mustang called Boss 302, I read about it a lot and researched, so many you tube videos and reviews I watched too.

So on early April 2013 I decided to get 2013 SBY Boss 302, sold my STI and for daily driving I got 2013 Honda Fit.

My STI pictures
http://postimg.org/image/qwm4yohdj/

http://postimg.org/image/oespdumo1/

My Boss pictures
image.jpg


http://postimg.org/image/x9q1t6oad/

http://postimg.org/image/g092tom9p/

http://postimg.org/image/y0sf3q57n/

Here is my impression.

This impression is based on comparison between the Subaru STI vs Mustang Boss 302, I am 33 yo with only 8 HPDE days seat time

Let us start:


Exterior Objective as you know

STI:
unique rugged look, special athletic personality, not beautiful, but she grows on you ( magic)
not so many out there

Boss 302:
Aggressive, muscular and beautiful head turning-thumb raising car (kids love it for some reason lol)

definitely not so many out there, but wait a minute all S197 Mustangs look alike lol

Interior

STI:
Simple, typical Japanese late 80s and mid 90s interior, easy to operate and outstanding visibility.
Very spacious with big cargo space to haul 1 month worth of shopping from Costco or winter tires and wheels set up...lol
Full of hard plastics

Seats comfortable, but NOT supportive at track.

Boss 302:
Retro style, very ergonomic and simple, large steering wheel ( larger than my taste) but a very nice alcantara on it.
Hard plastics, but soft foamy leather material too, which I love, it lines the cook pit where your right leg touches the center console and it is soft and comfortable.
Big trunk and useless rear seats.

Recaro are very supportive and comfortable, but no lumbar support, so I stuck some foam there by 2 velcro bands lol ( DIY)

Seating and Driving Position

STI:
you sit almost ON the car and very easy to see outside.
It took some time to get the proper seating position and I remember I always asked the dealer mechanic NOT to change the seating position because it takes me forever to get it right again, otherwise I get right hip pain and some muscle spasm...lol

Boss 302:
You sit IN the car, low in the cockpit, your legs are wrapped comfortably and tight between the center console and the door.
Visibility is decent, but the hood bulge will take some time to get used to it.
seats are comfortable and will hug you, not very difficult to find a good position quickly, so I don't ask the Ford mechanic not to change the seating position.

Start UP and exhaust note

STI: you hear the sweet Boxer rumble through the SPT exhaust (came already installed from the dealer), it is very very unique and warming.
when you accelerate, it is very engaging note!
However sometimes it can sound like a big resonating fart can, but once you slow down or downshift, it rumbles nicely again.

Boss 302: you feel as if there is 444 tigers roaring in your face, literally.
when you accelerate to 7500 RPM, the sound is INTOXICATING!
when you downshift, the sound is even sweeter

Daily Driving STI hands down

STI: comfortable, softer suspension and she takes you anywhere and anytime.

Boss 302: in short, it just does not belong to public roads.
Slightly less comfortable ride than the STI, she begs you to push her hard, it is a guaranteed ticket for the police tickets lol

Shifting/Clutch/Transmission and Steering Feel

STI:
I did not like the clutch engagement pattern of the STI, it took some time to get used to it, it was almost like on and off kind of engagement.
Clutch is not very heavy, easy to press with no muscle fatigue.
Shifting (I had Subaru STS) from 1 to 2 always required some finessing, was not very easy, the car would jerk, but from 2nd and above was easy.

Noticeable drive-train lash due to the symmetrical AWD system and may be softer bushings.

steering feel was numb, really numb!
Beefy sturdy and ready for abuse tranny!

Boss 302:

Clutch engagement is very smooth and not like on/off pattern at all.
shifter is very short and gates are very narrow so you can easily hit the gates walls if you have not gotten used to it.
Thank God, I don't have any problem with shifter and clutch so far, however many Boss owners have experienced issues with shifting like shifter getting locked (I think it is likely hitting the walls between the gates) and clutch sticking.

Not saying that the shifter is great but the drivers are not shifting right, but I think the shifting mechanism needs some finessing and deliberation.

You can easily dump the clutch and go!

With the red trackKey I have launch control too.

The steering feels more communicative, I can tell what's happening with the tires, however it is not super engaging, but remarkably superior to the STI one.

Tranny feels beefy and good, but some reported failures out there, scary.

Power Delivery/Engine

STI:
short power band
The car is sluggish until you reach right above 3000 RPM, then rush of power and glory comes to you!
your heart starts beating fast and you just started smiling, but right after 5000 RPM, the dream is over, no more power, no more torque...

With the stock tune, you don't even need to say where is the redline, because the engine goes out of breath way before the redline.

Once your are playing with the gears and keeping the engine at its power band, this car is nasty, torquey and a blast to drive.

ring-land issue ( engine failure) was never a major issue for me, because if Subaru did not warranty the work and a new engine ( I was 100%stock), I would have put a Cosworth short block in it.

Boss 302:
The engine is a monstrous animal, it makes its 444 HP at 7400 RPM
power band is wide and there is torque everywhere.
It revs and revs and it feels like a race engine (talking about racing, Ford uses the same exact engines in their Boss 302S and 302R race cars)
forged aluminum pistons and the other forged stuff.

However there have been some few cases of blown Boss Hi-Pro engines too.

Track Impression

STI:
She fell short on the track compared to the Boss.
she felt heavier than the Boss, despite that it is almost 250 Ib lighter.

The STI understeers a lot, front heavy with body roll and limiting unsupportive seats.

Straight line acceleration is good and in turns you can get on the throttle earlier than you think.

In the hands of a good driver (not mine lol) you can trail brake this Japanese chick and get it turn in nicely.
With some good coilovers like RCE Tarmac 2/sway bars and sticky tires, she can be addicting on the track.

But we are talking stock here.

Boss 302:
The track is the natural habitat of this Michigander.
The sound, the feel, the level of control, the balanced chassis and the power is insane.

It is very neutral, however at high limits it will understeer, you can get power oversteer if you really push hard, but gets corrected easily.

There is also some body roll, but the Recaro seats do wonders

As you might know there are adjustable suspension settings, from 1 to 5 so that you play with how soft/stiff you want them to be.
It feels more planted and more fun than the STI on the track.

However there is some room for improvement with some suspension upgrades to be even better.

It is great that in the Boss owner manual, Ford gives instructions of how to prepare your car to the track, recommended tire pressure, suspension settings...etc

*************************************

Will add a short review for my daily driver in case someone is interested

I drive Honda Fit daily, it is a fun little spacious car, I installed swift springs, rear sway bar, a set of Enkei rpf1 wheels with Dunlop Direzza zii and the car is literally transformed.

I took it to auto-cross event and it performed very good.

It saves gas and very practical too.
it revs to 6800 RPM redline with pure 117 HP power, not a lot, but you feel them because the car is very light.
seriously the power band extends from 4000 RPM all the way to redline, which is fun.

It is like a FWD Miata.

Thanks
 
Thanks NFSBoss

I have been spying on this forum for a long time and learning a lot from you guys!

I was at Detroit Grand Prix a few weeks ago and met all those guys from Rehagen racing, Watson racing...etc, all Bosses all over the place, it was like the Boss paradise!!
 
welcome, and very nice write-up!

I've always been a fan of subaru because of the rally heritage.
I was 100% sure i was going to purchase an STi when i was ready for a car, and like you, i never considered a mustang until i heard and read about the boss 302... i just had to have it lol

seems like you've already tracked your boss, so kudos to you. i still havent had the chance to track mine, but i can't wait.
I'll be looking forward to your driving impressions.
 
Nice writeup. I cam from a '08 WRX (stage 2) and can resonate a lot with what you have written. To be blunt, I've not really missed the WRX since I got rid of it, that tells me something. :)
 
F.D. Sako said:
welcome, and very nice write-up!

I've always been a fan of subaru because of the rally heritage.
I was 100% sure i was going to purchase an STi when i was ready for a car, and like you, i never considered a mustang until i heard and read about the boss 302... i just had to have it lol

seems like you've already tracked your boss, so kudos to you. i still havent had the chance to track mine, but i can't wait.
I'll be looking forward to your driving impressions.

By the way, I purchased the Boss without test driving it...lol, no regrets whatsoever
 
askjeffro said:
Nice writeup. I cam from a '08 WRX (stage 2) and can resonate a lot with what you have written. To be blunt, I've not really missed the WRX since I got rid of it, that tells me something. :)

To be honest with you, I miss my STI everyday, because she was replaced by Honda Fit, although great small fun car, but you are talking about the STI with sheer performance!!!

The Boss, however, has her special place, the track.
At the track, I never miss the STI.
 

Grant 302

basic and well known psychic
Welcome to the Boss club!

I baby-sit a friends '02 'Bug-eye' WRX...and driving them back to back is really a night and day difference. I've considered adding an '08+ STi...because I could use the same track wheels/rubber. Maybe someday...
 
Grant 302 said:
Welcome to the Boss club!

I baby-sit a friends '02 'Bug-eye' WRX...and driving them back to back is really a night and day difference. I've considered adding an '08+ STi...because I could use the same track wheels/rubber. Maybe someday...

I waiting for the newly redesigned STI, will be 2015 model, will wait a few years and likely pull the trigger on it if it turns to be good, Subaru is making some performance enhacement changes, no details yet
 
13Boss#3328 said:
To be honest with you, I miss my STI everyday, because she was replaced by Honda Fit, although great small fun car, but you are talking about the STI with sheer performance!!!

The Boss, however, has her special place, the track.
At the track, I never miss the STI.

I hear ya. For me, my subaru gave me many mechanical issues from day 1. That coupled with poor service left a bad taste in my mouth, obviously peoples experiences will vary. I do concur, no way to compare an STI to a Fit! :)
 
13Boss#3328 said:
I waiting for the newly redesigned STI, will be 2015 model, will wait a few years and likely pull the trigger on it if it turns to be good, Subaru is making some performance enhacement changes, no details yet




Welcome and thanks for that detailed report! I came from a '12 Nissan GTR and my biggest issue on the track was getting use to visibility difference between the two cars, not to mention having to shift now.....lol. Never realized how high the cowl/dash is on a Mustang but I'm comfortable with it now. I would be surprised if you continue to have such good results with the factory shifter. You may consider a shifter later. If Subaru comes out with a turbo STi version BRZ I'm all over that!
 
Are you missing a brother? I sold my 08 STi hatch, built motor Garret 35R, for a 13 Grabber blue Boss. Miss the sti a little but the boss is just so much fun!
 
Insurme said:
Welcome and thanks for that detailed report! I came from a '12 Nissan GTR and my biggest issue on the track was getting use to visibility difference between the two cars, not to mention having to shift now.....lol. Never realized how high the cowl/dash is on a Mustang but I'm comfortable with it now. I would be surprised if you continue to have such good results with the factory shifter. You may consider a shifter later. If Subaru comes out with a turbo STi version BRZ I'm all over that!

Insurme, so you mean if Subaru makes STI turbo Brz, you might ditch the Boss?
How do you like it so far?
I want to hear more about your story, how was the GTR? Did you sell it? Why? How is your Boss compared to the GTR?
Are you the same person who posted impression about the Boss in the M3 forum? The cabinet man?

Lol many questions
 
Swiesz said:
Are you missing a brother? I sold my 08 STi hatch, built motor Garret 35R, for a 13 Grabber blue Boss. Miss the sti a little but the boss is just so much fun!

Yes bro!

It is all good, I enjoy cars, Honda fit is fun too and will go back to STI one day, but will keep the Boss, because it is the Boss.
 
13Boss#3328 said:
Askjeffro, do you daily drive your Boss?

Yes, but no. :)

Spring through Fall I do, when I don't ride my bike to work.
Also, my work is close to home, so not much commuting.
I store the car in winter.
 
I also came out of a Subie, had a 2011 Satin White STi Sedan. Stock tune was garbage but with a few choice mods i.e. Cobb stage 2, down pipe, CBE, intake, it was a different animal and should have come that way from the factory. Kind of miss the Subie community and the finger waves always received from others driving WRX & STi's. The STi forums were also entertaining with constant chatter about the most recent "street kill" and what they beat, HILARIOUS! The Boss is a completely different ride and LOVE IT! I've driven in 6 track days so far with my 013' GB and have always managed to put the STi's out there in my rear view mirror. The 2014/15 STi looks very promising and who knows maybe another one in my future but no way will I part with my Boss! Welcome aboard!
 
geneva said:
I also came out of a Subie, had a 2011 Satin White STi Sedan. Stock tune was garbage but with a few choice mods i.e. Cobb stage 2, down pipe, CBE, intake, it was a different animal and should have come that way from the factory. Kind of miss the Subie community and the finger waves always received from others driving WRX & STi's. The STi forums were also entertaining with constant chatter about the most recent "street kill" and what they beat, HILARIOUS! The Boss is a completely different ride and LOVE IT! I've driven in 6 track days so far with my 013' GB and have always managed to put the STi's out there in my rear view mirror. The 2014/15 STi looks very promising and who knows maybe another one in my future but no way will I part with my Boss! Welcome aboard!

I have seen 1 Boss only so far, we finger waved lol
With the STI it was like a secret fratenity lol
With Mustang, if you decide to finger wave, you are screwed, because you will get distracted! So many out there, so I decided to limit the waving to other Bosses ;D
 

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