May 24, 2013
While driving our 2013 Ford Focus ST the other day, I spotted another Focus ST on the highway, but this one was Performance Blue. I like the Tangerine Scream yellow paint on our Focus ST, but I'm a big fan of the blue paint, too. If I were buying an ST, I'd have a pretty long internal debate about which color to choose.
May 21, 2013
We recently had a service message pop up in the instrument cluster of our 2013 Ford Focus ST. The odometer had ticked a few hundred miles past 10,000 and the car was politely reminding us that it was time for some love.
May 9, 2013
Every time I walk up to the 2013 Ford Focus ST, the first thing I notice is the bolstered Recaro sport seat. And I cringe.
Not because of the bolstering. I like that. What worries me for a brief instant is the heavily rearward-angled seat cushion. That angle looks like it would crush the cash and prizes, if you know what I mean.
May 8, 2013
This alert flashed upon startup of our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST. It stayed lit for about five seconds (complete with handy progress meter beneath the image), so it was easy to see (but hard to fish out the camera in time).
May 6, 2013
A weekend in our 2013 Ford Focus ST reminded me of being a kid again. For a portion of my childhood there was a yellow Ford Pinto in our driveway.
May 2, 2013
In the month of April, our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST spun an additional near-1,000 miles onto its odometer and consumed 44 gallons of 91-octane fuel. That equates to 22.4 miles per gallon for the month, which is a bit better than its lifetime average, too.
May 1, 2013
A few days in our 2013 Ford Focus ST reminded me how few yellow cars are on the road. Aside from taxi cabs and one Gallardo, I did not see another yellow vehicle until this van parked next to me. The color doesn't work for everyone, but I love it. And it is great for marketing. Just ask this guy. You can't miss it.
April 26, 2013
This seems to be going around these days. Maybe it's my imagination. But more cars passing through our garage offer increasingly smaller center console compartments. The Focus ST's tall, skinny compartment isn't exactly useless. You can still drop a phone or a wallet in there, sunglasses in a thin case, maybe. But you can't, as I like to do, dump the contents of my pockets in one central space. At minimum, a center console should accommodate wallet, phone, house keys and some sunglasses.
April 25, 2013
This sporty little hatchback with the turbo four-cylinder has quickly become a favorite of our editorial staff. Driving the 2013 Focus ST is never boring. And the car is practical, too. It has handled all sizes and shapes of cargo in its handy hatchback.
April 16, 2013
This is why. Because first you manage to jam two pieces of a Jeep Cherokee catalytic converter system into the Dodge Dart, packages you need to return to the manufacturer. But the cranky FedEx lady says you don't have the right shipping label and refuses your package, and you jam everything back into the Dart again.
April 15, 2013
"It's the little things." We hear that all the time, but it really is the value of special conveniences and thoughtful touches that can make a car seem like so much more than just a moving appliance. When so many cars are so very good, it can be those little things that can make you go, "Both seem otherwise equal, but I'll have one of those, please."
Indeed, it's the little things the Ford Focus does that make it stand out for me beyond simply being brilliant to drive. They also help blur some of the discontent surrounding MyFord Touch. The windows are one such example. They all go up and down with a single touch from the driver's seat. That's a luxury car feature in an economy car and I appreciate it.
April 12, 2013
Back in the days of our dearly departed long-term Ford Flex, several editors were not fans of the front head restraint positioning. Essentially, they tilted too far forward in their effort to presumably prevent whiplash. It wasn't a universal problem, as some seating positions put the restraint in a just-right place. I was thankfully in that camp.
April 10, 2013
Last night while perusing the DirecTV Guide, I came upon an episode of British motoring program Fifth Gear featuring a Tangerine Scream 2013 Ford Focus ST. Whatya know? That exact car just happened to be sitting a few floors below in my garage.
Beyond being incredibly jealous that the pointily sideburned presenter got to drive the Focus ST on a spectacular strip of Norwegian road, I took note of his principal beef with the car: the body style.
April 9, 2013
Our Ford Focus ST includes keyless ignition/entry (a.k.a. Intelligent Access with Push-Button Start), meaning you can unlock the doors and turn on the car while keeping the key in your pocket. Note the little black pad on the front door handle, which indicates where you press to lock the door. Also, note the lack of said pad on the rear door handle.
April 8, 2013
I have two questions:
1. Who had the brilliant idea at Ford to put the switch for the 2013 Ford Focus ST's interior light above the B-pillar, which is both above and behind the driver's head? Admittedly I'm no genius, but it took me forever to find the light and the switch. Ultimately, I don't care that the light is situated there, but it's a silly place for the switch because it's awkward to reach back and up to press it, whether you're stationary in a parking light or especially if you're driving.
April 4, 2013
You probably want to blame us, the Edmunds editors, for our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST's less-than-stellar fuel economy. Or maybe you think fault lies with the EPA's testing procedure. We've been averaging around 22 miles per gallon, which is below the EPA 23 mpg city rating, not to mention the 26 mpg combined rating.
Truth is, the blame lies solely with Ford. They're the ones who dropped such a fantastic turbo four-cylinder into the engine bay of the Focus ST. If a smile doesn't creep across your face every time you plow into the throttle, there's something wrong with you. Seriously, make an appointment to go see someone right now.
April 3, 2013
Edmunds recently began assigning letter grades to each and every vehicle it tests. Here's a link to the most recent batch of letter grades by vehicle segment. The 2013 Ford Focus ST, our very own long-term test vehicle, in fact, underwent the laborious process and emerged with an A. See the details here.
April 2, 2013
During the month of March we put 1,482 miles on our 2013 Ford Focus ST. We must've been having even more fun in this little turbo hatchback than usual, because we averaged just 20.4 mpg for the month on 91 octane premium.
April 1, 2013
Before I drove away, this message popped up on our 2013 Ford Focus ST's display, "911 Assist is OFF. Set to ON? Yes/No."
Many new cars feature some sort of built-in telematics or concierge service that varies by manufacturer in what is provided, but most use an embedded cell phone and there's usually a subscription fee.
March 29, 2013
Okay, this really is thrashing an expired equine, because there's a nearly identical photo and post right here from a month ago. However, I fear that with each passing glitch and shrug of our collective shoulders, that Ford is getting a pass on the persistent problems inherent with SYNC and MyFordTouch. I get the feeling we're all just saying, "Yeah, that's part of the package. They all do that," and to me, that ain't right.
March 22, 2013
We encountered another problem with the media interface on our 2013 Ford Focus ST. In the past, we've posted about issues with phone pairing and the fact that our Focus seems to think it has a rearview camera. Well, add these mystery radio buttons to our list of audio and technology woes.
March 19, 2013
The technology on our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST has more than its fair share of issues. From the annoyances with MyFord Touch and pairing our phones, to the car thinking it should have a rear-view camera the audio and navigation controls and software seem to be the weak point on this car.
I'm not a big fan of the system, and this week I found myself putting another item on the well-this-isn't-intuitive-at-all list: the placement of the steering wheel volume controls. What the heck are they doing on the right-hand side of the wheel?
March 18, 2013
I typically try to avoid parallel parking our long-term cars (or any cars that aren't mine really), but in West Los Angeles it's unavoidable. The streets are crowded and if you plan on having guests, taking an available street-spot is always a good idea.
Editor Brent Romans already noted that our Ford Focus ST doesn't have a back-up camera, but the tires offered me a bit of parking assistance this weekend.
March 15, 2013
Running errands in our long-term Ford Focus ST this weekend, I parked across from a bright-yellow Chevrolet Cobalt SS. I immediately felt a sense of camaraderie.
It's nice to see another cheerful color amongst beige sedans and non-offensive silver SUVs. Yellow is a paint color that you don't really see on mini-vans or SUVs (unless they've been converted to taxi-cabs). Car companies seem to give small, fast automobiles a yellow paint job to designate them as high-performance and to help them stand out in a crowd. The paint however, wasn't the only thing these cars had in common.
March 13, 2013
After spending a weekend with the Focus ST, let's just say I've developed a certain fondness for its quick reflexes and eager powertrain. There's never a dull moment with this thing. I drove to the drug store to buy a birthday card for my niece and the journey was like time spent on an amusement park ride.
March 12, 2013
All cupholders were not created equal. Some do their job of, you know, actually holding water bottles and other drinks in place. Others don't.
When you think of cupholders, you might be of the mind that they're most important for people-haulers like minivans, SUVs and vanilla sedans.
I disagree. I think the best cupholders should be in performance cars, such as our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST. It's cars like the Focus ST, which positively beg you to charge hard into corners, that truly need anti-tip cupholders.
As you can see from the photo, it doesn't have them.
March 11, 2013
I've flip-flopped on our 2013 Ford Focus ST over the last few days. When I first took the Focus ST home, I hated it. My introduction to it was in rush hour traffic and I knew that was a bad place to evaluate it, but I couldn't help it. The gear changes felt abrupt, the clutch felt too firm and the bolsters on the Recaro seats hurt my shoulders. In stop-and-go traffic, I was asking myself why I ever thought this car could be any good.
The next day it changed my mind completely.
March 8, 2013
Mark filled up our 2013 Ford Focus ST when the light came on during his break-in trip and only got 10.2 gallons to go in. With a fuel tank that holds 12.5 gallons, that's a pretty conservative gauge. As I drove the Focus ST today, the light came on again.
I'm cautious and hate running out of gas, so I pulled over at the first gas station I could find. I went to fill up and noticed that the trip odometer only read 151 miles. Based on the mileage we've been getting in the Focus, something seemed fishy.
I filled up the tank and to my amazement, this is what I see:
March 7, 2013
The blind spot mirrors on our 2013 Ford Focus ST are great. As a motorcycle rider who knows what it's like to have an SUV enter my lane unannounced (and out of bad habits), I like to check my blind spots by turning my head. On the Focus ST there are small blind-spot mirrors built into the upper outside corner of the side-view mirrors that give you a quite a bit more confidence the moment you step in to the car. They basically eliminate the desire to turn your head.
March 5, 2013
I like the hug-me-tight Recaro seat in our Ford Focus ST. What I don't like is the fact that its adjustments are manual. Because I'm 5-feet, 3-inches tall, I have to pull the seat fairly far forward in order to get a comfortable clutch and steering position. Then comes the pumping up of the seat for the right height, the manual back angle adjustment, etc.
March 4, 2013
During the month of February we drove our turbocharged 2013 Ford Focus ST about 1,250 extremely thrilling miles. We've been finding that the Focus ST's combination of power and handling make even the most mundane drives a little something special. During the month the hatchback averaged 23.1 miles per gallon on 91 octane premium.
March 1, 2013
If you'd asked me a couple of weeks ago whether I'd get the Focus ST with the Recaro seats, my answer would have been an unequivocal "yes." Though I'm not necessarily a huge fan of their vaguely gaudy yellow-and-black color scheme, the seats are a satisfying fit for my frame. I haven't done any canyon carving in the ST, but when I'm pressed to make sudden stops and sharp turns on the commute to and from work, the seats work to make sure that I'm held firmly in place. And I like that.
February 26, 2013
I can't help it. Every time I get in our long-term Focus ST and see the logo on the steering wheel, the first thing I think of is Subaru, not Ford. Call it good branding on Subaru's part or poor graphic design on Ford's part. But either way the similarity between the two logos is unmistakable.
February 25, 2013
This alert popped up in our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST upon startup once over the weekend. Note: our car is not equipped with a rearview camera.
February 22, 2013
These Recaro sport seats are part of the Focus ST's $4,840 202A equipment group which also includes a pile of other features (Sony audio with 10 speakers, 8.0-inch LCD touchscreen, nav, dual climate control and more). That's the only way to get them.
February 20, 2013
It's possible the Focus's fuel door is the most well integrated fuel door in the history of fuel doors. It complements the body lines and tail light placement and its gaps match those between the bumper and the rear quarter panel perfectly. In fact, looking at it the first time, I wasn't even certain it was a fuel door.
Nice work, Ford.
February 19, 2013
I adore the 2013 Ford Focus ST, I really do. I love the way it accelerates, corners and stops. I dig the sounds the EcoBoost turbo makes when it's working hard. What we have here is a hot hatch with a soul.
But I could never own one.
It's the Recaro seats. I loathe them.
February 14, 2013
Recently, I happened to notice the gap between the tweeter on the passenger side of our long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST and the door trim below it.
Then, I glanced over at the driver-side tweeter. It fits tight to the door trim.
February 13, 2013
On a recent Saturday, my husband and I drove the long-term 2013 Ford Focus ST to Escondido, California to see some friends. We cruised the interstate on the outbound trip and it wasn't shaping up to be much of an adventure for the Tangerine Scream hot hatch. There wouldn't be time for a run up Mount Palomar.
However, additional errands forced (yes, really, forced) me to detour onto some curvy back roads in northern San Diego County. And honestly, you can't help but have fun in the Focus ST.