Qu1ckn1ck, I'm with you on the Mark 2.5 being a better car to drive than the Mark 3. I still own my Mark 3, but regret swapping my previous Mark 2.5 for it, and prefer driving the Mark 2 that I now also own to the Mark 3
The Mark 3 is a lovely car, but the Mark 2 / 2.5 are IMHO much better as drivers cars
I can't say I totally agree with that, I've had a Mk2.5, a Mk3 and my current Mk3.5RC. The Mk2.5 is certainly more basic than the Mk3/3.5 but I don't think it makes the later models any less of a drivers car.
Of course that is all down to the definition of what constitutes a drivers car. Many would say that the rawer and more basic the car is is what defines it as a drivers car. I've said earlier that one of my favourite cars was my old Mk1 Cortina, when I first got it it probably produced 60 odd horsepower on a good day and had old skinny crossplies fitted, (I loved the crossplies for their progressive loss of grip rather than the snap you tend to get with radials, that's showing my age perhaps, lol), but it produced a hell of a lot of fun for a 17 year old in his first car.
Moving onward and into the 21st century though, I don't necessarily agree that rawness and basicness maketh the drivers car. I think that all the MXs are to a great degree drivers cars and whilst I don't think that a real drivers car need have a zillion horsepower I genuinely feel that the fives in all there forms could have done with say 15 - 20% extra BHP and torque, just for sheer fun and because the chasiss could easily cope with it. Although as well documented on this forum there are certain people with smaller engined 5s who can outdrive many a bigger engined cousin
I have also told the tale of an inteligent Scooby owner and driver, oh yes there are some non knuckle dragging Subaru owners out there, who drove my Mk3 Sport over a roughly 50 mile jaunt over a mix of roads and was grinning from ear to ear when he was done,, he also remarked that as well as the fun factor, he found the car deceptively fast.
All I'm I'm trying to say I suppose is that I could not say that one is any 'better' than the other, they are all drivers cars, that's a certainty, they all have something to bring to the party. The Fifth gear shootout with a Mk1 and Mk3 showed the Mk3 could be quicker round a track, around a second at their Anglsey track but for me there is a whole lot more that track performance to the MX. I'll stick my neck out here and say that of all my cars in 35 years motoring, my Mk3, with it's eibachs and geo set up properly was probably the 'best' drivers car for me. My current 3.5, Mk 2.5 (unmodded),old Cortina and much modded Capri running a close second, third fourth and fifth
. Future plans , hopefully, for the Mk3.5 may well change that mix though.